How can we evaluate the success of a conference we attended or organized? Certainly not by the amount of canapés during breaks or the number of hostesses (though that matters, too!). In order to evaluate whether a conference has been successful or not, we need to know how to rate some of its key determinants.
Organizing a conference is in many ways similar to preparing a university lecture system. There are phases before, during and after the arrangements that need to be worked out and a back-up plan has to be made for each phase. The more original ideas are included in the planning phase, the better the conference will be. So we can safely say that the organization is the backbone of a successful conference.
Participants certainly like the fact that there are many interesting presentations in their area of expertise, but they also like to have a choice. It is also advisable to incorporate something different into a conference format, such as a mini-course that lasts for several days during a conference or a specialized workshop.
In the good old days, having a coffee break was the only option for hanging out during a conference. We still appreciate a well-presented coffee break with a variety of attractive snacks and drinks, but today we also expect a good array of social activities: an afternoon quiz, an evening concert, stand-up comedies, art exhibitions, excursions, etc.
One of the crucial factors for a successful conference is a friendly and efficient conference staff. They are the ones who provide answers to every question and always with a smile on their face. So, even better treatment than among family members.
We all want to see our favourite speakers and thinkers in person and in action. However, a successful conference will require an optimal number of excellent presenters. It is not enough to bring in an attractive keynote speaker, the basis of the conference are all the other lectures and panel discussions.
Comfortable rooms, high quality equipment, accessibility, transportation to and from hotel, that is, a venue are the first things that come to mind when we think of a successful conference venue. High-speed internet, IT equipment from media pointers to flipcharts, precise sound system with a wireless microphone… In two words: Hotel Katarina!
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