Is your company planning to sponsor a conference event during the next year? A conference can provide a way to educate your vendors, suppliers, employees, and customers about your industry, and is a popular way to introduce new products, services or philosophies to the market. A competent conference planner can assure that you include the usual conference amenities such as a hospitality suite, a welcome reception, a banquet, and stimulating keynote and break-out sessions, but they seldom look for small ways to control common conference disruptions.
Think about the last conference you attended. Despite warnings to silence the cell phones in the room, you probably heard several of them ringing. Many attendees cannot seem to remain seated throughout a presentation and wander in and out throughout the course of the presentation, disrupting others in the process. Sometimes the noise from the conference room next door drowns out the sessions surrounding it. Here are some tips that will help prevent small annoyances from plaguing your next conference event.
Silent cell phones: While registering attendees, ask them to list their cell phone number on the registration form. Announce at the beginning of the conference that phones must be turned off during presentations, and that conference staff will be checking for compliance by phoning 10 people in each session. If the person answers the phone, they forfeit their prize. If the phone is shut off, a message will be left on voicemail telling winners where to claim their prize.
Stay in the room: Door attendants are stationed at each conference room door, and all attendees are issued "hall passes." If a person uses their hall pass while the presentation is being given, the door monitor will punch a hole in the card. At the end of the conference, the 10 attendees with the fewest punch holes may select a "lovely parting gift."
I Can't Hear You: Inquire of each presenter as to the noise level anticipated in his/her presentation. Make room assignments for each session by grouping them next to other sessions with the same anticipated noise level. The loudest sessions will be located at the end of the room range.