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The Ultimate Conference Event Planning Checklist

For anyone responsible for curating the company event, corporate meeting, or industry conference, there’s a significant amount of pressure to get every detail right. From selecting the venue and booking the speakers to event swag and post-conference surveys, the list of to-dos is going to be massive. And if it’s your first time putting one of these New York conferences together, you’re likely feeling the pressure even more.

EMRG Media knows a thing or two about event planning for small and large-scale conferences in New York City. Our team is behind some of the area’s biggest and most experiential conferences. And we’re just a phone call away when you’re ready to bring in the pros to help curate your conference. In the meantime, we’ll share the ultimate conference planning checklist with you to help get you started.

Conference Goals & Purpose

You can’t begin to plan your conference without first establishing goals and objectives for the event. Are you looking to raise money with your conference? Or are you introducing a new company product or service? Is this an industry event intended for networking? Start any conference planning effort with a precise goal or objective in mind. And every decision you make from here should contribute to or support those objectives. 

Target Audiences & Invite Lists

The next step in your conference planning process involves developing a target audience and inviting them to your engagement. You’ll have lists of people to include. But can you expand those lists to include other key decision-makers, guests, and communities? Consider creating a target list of invitees and additional tiered lists of those who would benefit from attending your conference. 

Conference Formatting, Themes & Concepts

Not all New York conferences are created equal. And yours will call for a unique format, theme, or concept to make it the most engaging and effective. These factors will help you choose your conference vendors, including venue partners, catering partners, set-up partners, and more. Here are some other formatting considerations:

  • In-Person
  • Virtual
  • Hybrid
  • Educational
  • Networking
  • Celebratory

Timelines & Itineraries

Another stage of your conference planning process involves your timelines. You’ll want to set dates for rolling out event marketing, invitations, engagement efforts, and more. Consider timing for these elements, too:

  • Vendor Management Deadlines
  • Speaker Onboarding
  • Sponsorship Onboarding
  • Exhibitor Onboarding
  • Venue Schedules
  • Rental Equipment Schedules
  • Entertainment Schedules

Conference Speakers & Entertainers

Speaking of speakers and entertainers, you’ll want to spend a considerable amount of time deciding who’s in your lineup. Keynote speaker selections and booking can take time to plan. And choosing the right entertainers, including artists, live bands, and DJs, will set the mood for your conference environment. Don’t forget, too; it’s best to have contingency plans in place should speakers or entertainers cancel or run late. And before selecting any forms of speaking engagement, presentations, or performers, make sure they align with your conference agenda and invite list of guests.

Marketing & Promotion

When you’re looking to curate a conference, you’ll need a complete strategy for marketing, advertising, and promotional efforts. Give your event a name and determine consistent messaging that represents your conference goals. Marketing efforts often also include:

  • Logo and Event Identity Assets
  • Landing Pages and Conference Apps
  • Email Campaigns
  • Press Releases
  • Google Ads & Facebook Ads
  • Sponsorship and Exhibitor Campaigns

Conference Sponsors & Exhibitors

You’ll want to create a strategy for garnering support for your conference. This may come in the form of exhibitors and other methods of event participation. It’s going to also include a plan for creating and securing sponsorships. In addition to marketing your conference to potential attendees, you’ll need unique marketing strategies to sell sponsorships and attract exhibitors. Create tiered opt-in levels of support, each with levels of investment. Attracting sponsors and exhibitors will also call for unique value propositions. Consider promoting the following to entice both:

  • Advertising Benefits
  • Target Audience or Participant Lists
  • Prime Message Positioning
  • Lead Generation Potential
  • Brand Awareness Potential
  • Discount Tickets
  • VIP Experiences 

Assembling Teams & Delegation

You might have event planning superpowers, but no one person can curate and execute a successful conference by themselves. With your checklists in hand, assemble some of your teams and delegate tasks and responsibilities. Set up communication channels for everyone involved in planning efforts and connect routinely for discussions about progress and challenges. Your team might include the following:

  • Someone in charge of event marketing
  • Someone in charge of vendor communications
  • Someone in charge of event designs and decor
  • Someone in charge of invitations and RSVPs
  • Someone in charge of conference budget monitoring
  • Someone in charge of sales

Conference Technology

There are must-have conference and event tech tools to leverage. So as you plan your company or industry event, explore all the available tech to make attending, registering, and participating convenient and memorable for your guests. Consider some of the following:

  • Innovative Registration Options
  • Digital Name Badges
  • Event Apps
  • Digital Conference Maps & Itineraries
  • Gamification
  • AR & VR Elements
  • Audiovisual Elements
  • Presentation Screens
  • Video Messaging
  • Virtual Event Hosting

Let EMRG Media Make It Incredible!

If some or all of these insights are only causing you more anxiety about planning your conference, just bring in the pros. EMRG Media has a long and proven track record of conference and trade show planning success. Our teams already know all these insights, best practices, and emerging trends to apply with your conference. Let us elevate your conference results in a big way, so you can enjoy the show! From idea to execution and beyond, let EMRG Media be your ultimate conference planning guide!

If you’re charged with leading the efforts to plan a company conference, industry trade show, or corporate event, keep these planning efforts and suggestions handy. And if you really want to elevate your engagement with guests, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and participants, let EMRG Media take the reins and handle all the details! Contact our team of New York event planning pros today and share your conference vision with us. Let us show you how to curate the most engaging and successful conference, with all the best amenities and New York personality you need to make a huge impression!