Organizing a Successful Academic Conference
If you want to spice up your academic CV, organizing a kickass academic conference is an excellent way to do that. You’ll get to enjoy numerous benefits, such as:
- Being a significant part of the direction which your field of study takes now and in future.
- Seeing papers in their early development stages and watching them mature into sensible presentations.
- Interacting with respected keynote speakers.
- Taking the credit for a successful event which your peers will remember forever.
Organizing an academic conference is not an easy task, though, and requires a lot of your time, effort, and attention.
Tips for organizing a memorable academic conference.
If you’re confident that you can pull off hosting a successful academic conference, then the following tips will help guide you in doing so.
- Select an excellent location.
You should choose a convenient location for the conference, which is easily accessible to your target audience. You don’t want to pick a place which’s so nice that nobody ends up attending the conference because they’re too captivated by the surroundings & locale.
Holding your conference on campus is probably the best bet because it already has the learning atmosphere going. Students who’re likely to be the larger part of your target audience are already readily available, while keynote speakers will have no problem availing themselves.
- Be highly organized.
Holding a successful conference will take a long time, so you’ll need to be on top of your game and be very organized. Manage your time and resources appropriately, communicate efficiently with your line manager and budget for more resources than you think you’ll require. Ensure everything you do is officially recognized for extra points.
- Seek professional assistance.
There are so many professional conference organizers who can help you handle the practical bits of the planning. As an academic, you may not have the management and organizational skills required to plan an event. You may want to stick to the academic bits such as selecting special papers, communicating with keynote speakers and planning the presentation sessions.
- Allow enough time for networking.
If you’re honest with yourself, you know that people attend conferences more for the networking opportunities than for the paper sessions. When planning the time slotted for various activities, try to strike a balance between these two. Allow more time for the audience to meet and interact with delegates, experts, and keynote speakers. Coffee breaks also count.
Nothing good comes cheap. Charge your target audience a reasonable registration fee for attendance. Doing this will help you estimate the number of delegates who’ll be attending the academic conference. Let this fee cover each attendee’s food & drinks as well as the professional help they’ll get from experts.
Ensure that all delegates pay their registration/entrance fees. Don’t book anyone in until they pay up. You’ll be surprised at the number of people who try to sneak in for free. Be strict so that you’re able to manage your budget and contingencies.
An academic conference only needs proper planning to be successful. Be realistic about everything and pay close attention to every little detail. If you follow these tips, you’ll most definitely achieve success.