Post-Conference To-Do List
In our article about closing down a conference we mentioned including a customer satisfaction survey in your thank-you letter to delegates that attended. That's just one of the important things that need to be done once a conference is done and dusted and we'll be going into more in this 'To Do' list.
Open a 'Next Conference' FileMake a file, folder, or computer directory where you can store all the things that you learnt though the conference. Write down all the little things that you remember about the conference before you forget about them and store all the results of review meetings to be held.
This will be invaluable to refer to when planning the next conference. Make sure you put it in a place where other people can access it if you happen to have moved on to something different by that time.
Get Names RightGo through all your contact lists, delegate lists and forms that were filled in when people were arriving at the conference. Collate and cross-reference it all so that you are completely clear about who turned up to the conference, all the late replacements and no-shows, to make sure that when you contact people in time for the next event you will use the right names, titles and so on.
This will make you look professional and increase the chances of repeat bookings.
Chase Up SurveysCall or email delegates to ask them to fill in their surveys, or even to take their responses over the phone, if the numbers are manageable. This information will be invaluable for planning the next conference.
Hold a Post-Conference Review MeetingGet all your conference support staff together and review what went well and what wasn't so impressive. Ask for suggestions to improve the conference and make sure they are given credence as this will go a long way to getting support from those staff members for the next conference. Do this quickly while issues are still fresh in people's minds.
Include External ContractorsIf you had outside support companies, perhaps IT, audio-visual, catering companies or the like, get together with them to get their feedback. Again they will be more likely to support you if they feel that their time was made worthwhile.
Will the Venue Support You?A meeting is also very worthwhile with the conference venue that you patronised. Again look for what went wrong as well as the successes and investigate where you both could have done things a little differently for a more successful conference next time.
Time ManagementFinally, make sure that these things get done in good time. Set a target of, say, three weeks from the end of the conference to get them all out of the way otherwise they will drag on and eventually be put to one side.
It's true that they're won’t be as urgent as some other tasks that will be begging for your time once the conference has finished, but doing them will make planning for the next conference much easier.