Term Paper: Planning &amp Marketing Conferences

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[. . .] This can be circulated to the members before the start of the workshop. This is not very difficult as most marketing people know four or five people who would like to meet each other and talk among themselves. Most of the time, frustrations in marketing, among the executives arise due to their high and unrealistic expectations. This sort of expectations should be avoided and the realistic targets should be set in the areas of significant growth, brand differentiation, persuasion through advertising and maximizing the profit to shareholders. (Use meetings and conferences in your marketing mix) The greatest importance of personal contacts is for travel agents who have to seek out profitable clients including small and mid-sized businesses. (Snagging those small, profitable corporate clients)

Administering a workshop or conference

There are many aspects to a workshop or conference and they all require proper planning, scheduling and administration. All the jobs whether big or small have to be attended to. To do this, the first step is to develop a long-range plan for the entire program along with completion dates for each activity. The next step is book space in the place where the event is to be held and fix up the schedules for the event. Then there is the management of the event and this involves the registration procedure which includes collection and processing of registration, sending out the pre-registration mails and confirmation letters, providing the staff for the conference desk, preparation of the registration packets for the conference including the conference program, information about the venue, a set of maps that may be required, information about restaurants and sight-seeing ideas for the spare time of the delegates.

Apparently simple activities also have to be undertaken like preparation and distribution of name badges, preparation of signs for the event, preparation of the roster of attendees, preparation for the re-certification or re-licensing of the attendees, arrange for the entertainment of the attendees, prepare on site management at the time of the conference, provision for tracking on enrolment up to the time, and publicity and promotion. For any conference it is very important that the correct target audience is reached with the publicity, and this requires the preparation of the correct copy for the program along with suitable visuals, then the printing of those brochures, then sending those brochures to the proper people, and in today's world have a suitable Web page for the program.

In addition for any program to be successful, it has to be adequately covered in the media. All events also require proper financial planning and the first step in this is preparing a draft budget. Sometimes the programs are to be designed to be self supporting, and this requires correct estimation of registration fees and collection of the amount from the participants. All the income and expenditure from the conference or workshop have to be carefully monitored and maintained in line with the legal requirements. This is to be carried forward into proper accounting records, and the bills also have to be paid and entered into the accounting, and finally a report has to be prepared for the top management. (Administration)

Now let us look at how one of the major organizations in the field does this job. We are talking about ComSoc. They have a group determining the needs of their customers, the possible future direction of the customers, the success of the company in meeting the needs of the customers, the areas where improvement is required and finally the change in strategies that are likely to lead to success. When they analyzed their own conferences, they found that some were pretty well directed and met the market needs, whereas in other areas there were requirements of new conferences or changes in format of existing conferences. This made them decide to have future surveys so that the directions could be corrected in future also. (ComSoc's Conference Portfolio)

The committee that was formed then started working on the activities to develop a marketing plan which would target industry customers, develop preliminary budgets, develop technical committees of 5 or ten members from important companies in the industry, set up programs for development, and finally manage the existing conference activities. The task sets up the requirement of the existence of a steering committee for each conference and has adequate staff for the conference; then the technical committee has to be guided to follow the design of programs in line with the strategic direction that is to be taken by ComSoc; and finally the quality standards and review have to be set.

There is also the importance in closing the details of every conference in a period of six months from the end of the conference and this is important to both IEEE and the Communications society. The importance and difficulty of this exercise can be understood when we realize that this means the conference committee must receive, process and pay all invoices; process all finances and that all also involves dealing with the local governments; the auditors must audit the conference; a final report has to be prepared; and the bank account has to be closed. (ComSoc's Conference Portfolio)

The details of work that can be done in conferences

The first task is to gather consumer information as mentioned and people attend conferences to meet their customers, and today the attendees are usually the decision makers. During the conferences it is useful to find out the shopping lists of these companies. This can be done through short questionnaires or checklists in exchange for something free that is given to them. This helps in two ways of getting market feedback and collecting customer names. The second task is that of assessment of competition and this can be done very easily with just a stroll down the aisles and finding out what the competitors are doing. This is also the reason for collecting new catalogs and promotional pieces which give details about market positioning, pricing and sales policies.

The third task is the checking of market trends. Many senior marketing experts do not like to attend programs and discussion sessions during conferences, but they provide an opportunity for understanding the current and future trends. Even the program listings give ideas for this. The program guides also list the name of presenters and this gives a great list of people who can be representatives for the industry. The fourth task is that in many conferences it is the members of the advisory boards of the companies who are present at the conference.

Many of them are experts attending the workshop or conference, and it is quite easy to set up a separate meeting with them at the place of the conference, and be able to discuss new product ideas, pricing and sales strategies there. The last advantage of attending workshops or conferences is that is gives an individual a clear idea of the competitors who are in the market. The cost of launching new products is increasing, and a conference may be a good place to tie up with some other marketing organization in the business and thus expands market penetration, distribution or product offering as a partnership between the two organizations. (Making Conferences Work for You)

Preparing for a conference

One of the most important aspects of any conference is that others have to be informed about the participation in the show. Advance preparation for the show can give important leads from a show, and non-preparation can lead to very little utilization of the show. It should also be remembered that companies of all sizes require publicity, and only the form is different. To get the attention of the media, remember that they look only for interesting products and interesting angles, and the size of the company does not matter. It may be of help to contact the promoters of the conference for help in organizing such shows and whether they would permit the items to be exhibited a little early or for a few extra days. If the show is small then it may be possible to even approach the media directly.

For the purpose of the media prepare a direct and factual press release, and this should give clear indications of the positives and negatives about the product that is being promoted. It should be remembered that the language should be factual and not like an advertisement. It should be also clear that in the press releases it is not worth it to say untruths, as these will soon be found out by the media, and then the media will remember the company for the wrong reasons. In the press release, there should be a contact number and telephone number at the top so that the press person may ring up for clarifications should they require them. To help people in this regard, there are public relations agencies and other professionals. (Make Convention Publicity Pay)

When the person is going to attend the show,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Planning &amp Marketing Conferences.  (2004, April 23).  Retrieved April 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/planning-marketing-conferences/4370650

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"Planning &amp Marketing Conferences."  Essaytown.com.  April 23, 2004.  Accessed April 20, 2019.
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