Designing speaker programs
This is something which I really enjoy and have gained substantial experience in over the last two years. The subject is known but perhaps the themes and topics are not yet decided. I get to work, preferably with you and an international advisory committee to develop a draft program where the goals are clearly described. Following this, I then work to organise and invite speakers for each topic with or without help from the advisory committee.
For a two day international conference, you should expect approximately five months of preparation. If you come in September with an idea for December then I can outline for you why this is not possible to achieve.
Promoting your event via social media
Social media is a fantastic way to spread the message of your event to reach a much broader audience. I invite the sponsors, stakeholders and speakers to cooperate with me on the social media plan.
I have substantial experience with promoting conferences via LinkedIn and Twitter and I would be pleased to do this for you too. I can join relevant groups, add posts from speakers, programs etc. It is also possible to create a Facebook page and use it to invite participants, fill it with content etc. Furthermore, I can write articles that can be posted on LinkedIn or Facebook. I have undertaken this kind of work already for other clients: FHI, Vedotec, FreeFromFood, Houten entrepreneurs day and Rail Technology Conferences.
A review from a client
"You are a strong communicator: the seemingly automatic transfer to promote via LinkedIn and Twitter works really well." Birgit Albersen, Branch Manager Laboratorium Technology, FHI
Organising your conference
You have found a niche or subject where you know there is already a lot happening but there is presently no platform for people working in the field to come together and collaborate. This is an excellent starting point for me to begin. Together with you, we can make a plan, gather the important stakeholders and with these people we can build an event. An ideal combination is to include opportunities for knowledge transfer, discussion panels, business visits, matchmaking sessions and informal activities such as dinners or excursions. Guaranteed to generate interest. Businesses, experts, institutes, government, students and universities can all meet each other. This event should form a community for people on a regular basis, perhaps annually, to come together.
I gather the people, organise the communication, approach speakers, sponsors, the location and organise the registration. Naturally you can be involved as a participant, chair or host of a pre-conference meeting on the day itself. You may also wish to play a role in approaching sponsors, or enlisting support of associations, a region or city council because you know the network!
Together it is the intention to set up something which people look forward to every year. If things go well perhaps it will even generate spin offs.
Areas where I myself have an excellent network is in the agriculture and food sector, aquaculture and rail technology. But these areas are not preconditions for us to work together.
- International seeweed conference
- Free From Food Expo
- FodMap Around the World conference
- Goys Gebeuren
- Algen Congress
- Rail Technology Conferences/Rail Expert Series
- Novel Food
Other events currently being considered:
- Sustainable land and horticulture
- Brackish Cultivation
- Spanish business event
- Export event focused on Spain
Match making session
It is interesting and useful to organise a short introduction between participants, especially if it is an international meeting with many individual attendees. A short session at the commencement of the opening e.g. a breakfast session, is a nice way for entrepreneurs to find their way amongst the crowd and get to know a couple of people. To write a small plan and execute it is not a great deal of work to perform.
I am currently being trained and certified in operating matchmaking software which allows conference participants to find other participants with similar business interests. Appointments can be scheduled with stake holders or sponsors. You can thereafter arrange for tables to be available for appointments of 20 minutes or so, longer or shorter as appropriate. It is always necessary that both parties approve of the appointment and confirm it using the software system. I can set this system up, load the data and act as matchmaker. There is a monthly subscription cost associated with this software but it delivers a lot of satisfaction for businesses. After all, creating new business is the objective.
Sponsors can also add a banner advertisement into the system and participate in the matchmaking process. This will offset the subscription costs and the matchmaking process can even create a profit. Acting as the matchmaker should not be underestimated, as there is substantial contact with the participants required as participants need to be stimulated to get involved.
Feasibility study or business plan
A. Feasibility study
Many organisations that operate exhibitions are on the lookout for new subjects, niches that can attract attention where there is currently no exhibition in their region. You should not wait too long with an idea, because there is always competition on the horizon. In two months it is possible to assess the situation, the concept, the competitors, the feasibility and the most important stakeholders. Furthermore, advice on whether to proceed or not is provided. Do you have a project manager to perform the coordination? If not, I can readily do this for you, as I have already investigated the concept and I have a complete overview of the relevant issues and stakeholders.
In 2011, I completed a feasibility study for ExpoCommunications for the expo FreeFromFood. Now it has been organised for the fourth time in Amsterdam and every year it grows. What a great niche! I have also been involved in this trade show and have set up a conference program, engaged with the German market, set up a social media campaign and have set up a VIP visitor program.
So if you have the question: is there a market for this idea and where is it? I can investigate the situation and provide advice on the matter.
B. Business Plan/ Project Plan
The follow-up of a feasibility study is typically the creation of a project plan. This can be completed as a single A4 page or as an extensive report with budgets, a communication plan etc.
Currently I am writing a project plan for the Rail Expert Series from Promedia.
Organised visits to exhibitions abroad
A new product from Building on Events is Meetin(g)Spain. Meetin(g)Spain allows you to travel to Spain to promote your concept at international Spanish exhibitions. We travel in a group, what creates synergy, business meeting are arranged and your hotel, transfers and diners are booked for you. Meeting people and doing business is the aim. We try to find the right matches for you. Your host speaks Spanish and can help to translate or to arrange things.
Furthermore, if exhibition organisers would like to have a specific country as a focus for the show in The Netherlands, that can be also achieved. Whatever your requirements are, I would be pleased to discuss the possibilities with you further.
Meetin(g)Spain has its own website, click on the logo below to access it.