10 tips for planning a successful event

Congress Hall Theatre Seating EmptyCentral London’s Congress Centre has hosted hundreds of high profile conferences, meetings and events in recent years. Here are the hi-tech WC1 venue’s top tips for staging a successful event:

1. What are the main objectives of your conference or meeting? You should determine these before you do anything else and ensure that your core objectives remain at the centre of everything you do.

2. Who is your event targeting? Think carefully about your target audience and design your conference, meeting or event to ensure it effectively engages with attendees.

3. Choose your venue wisely. Make sure that the venue you select is easy for delegates to get to. A poor location can equal poor attendance. It’s important to find a venue that has the space, flow, energy, equipment, food and service that will impress and engage your audience, as well as working on a practical level.

4. When planning your event programme, schedule regular breaks throughout the day, allowing delegates to move around and network in order to keep them fresh and engaged.

5. Consider what AV equipment you need to make the event a success. For larger events, picking a venue with a ready-made stage set and the latest built-in AV equipment can end up saving you a considerable amount of money.

6. Ensure that you’ve thought carefully about the registration process at the start of your event, particularly for larger conferences and events. Consider staggering the arrival of guests and have an efficient registration process to ensure a smooth and seamless welcome. If you don’t, at worst attendees who are forced to wait in a long queue to attend an event that they are only half interested in coming to could give up and go home before they’ve even arrived.

7. Never underestimate the element of surprise. An event with a thrilling twist will ensure that it is remembered long after it took place. This will also give your delegates plenty to discuss on social media!

8. Food is extremely important. If you’re holding a simple meeting, your attendees may not expect much more than a platter of sandwiches and some fruit, but if the sandwiches are stale and the fruit isn’t ripe, they’ll remember the meeting for all the wrong reasons. For fancier events, creative and delicious food and drinks can seriously impress and add to the event’s wow factor.

9. For larger conferences and events, including a competition (with prizes), or engaging the audience in a live vote can help maintain their attention. And of course everyone likes a thoughtful or quirky giveaway to take home, from a personalised chocolate or memory stick to something much grander or more unusual.

10. Ensure that the content of your event is truly customer-focused and designed to engage your target audience, whether they are staff, customers, prospects, investors or the media, etc. Don’t just sell yourself, but make sure your content is wholly relevant to your audience or you will turn them off.

Congress Centre provides a dedicated account manager to help with every aspect of planning your event at the venue. Please don’t hesitate to ask for our help and advice at any stage in the process.

Call 020 7467 1318 or check out Congress Centre’s event spaces.

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