In less than one month! Sometimes, we are unaware of our own strength, and do not acknowledge how resourceful creativity can be!
Last May, I organized an entire successful conference for 150 people in less than one month, without knowing even where it was going to be. And organizing means: speakers, reservations, media, communications, marketing, website, posts, catering, and most important people! I have organized events before, like a TEDx Women, also without much time, resources, neither experience. But this time it was different, it had to make a change, the topic was really important.
How I came up with all that? Here the 5 things I learned from organizing a conference:
1. Find resourceful and efficient people
This means, I knew I have a team of people finding speakers. All I had to do was confirm them. Sounds easy, but that requires a whole new approach to busy, very busy people, to respond to things like “you are assigned to 1pm, but it may change” and still have them respond. Persist. As you work and fill with things to do, you will surround without notice, of the most resourceful and responsive and efficient people.
2. Keeping a list of everything
And that’s exactly what I mean, everything. Eventually, you will have so many things on your plate, that you better know the status of each one of those things. And this information will be so resourceful later.
3. Be creative
People are too busy, and your may not be the first thing on their priority list. So, create a newsletter, send them videos, photos and show them how important is this conference is. Create a cause, and prove it’s worth attending. I created from a Facebook event, flyer, newsletters, and blog posts. I also worked with the community in creating a
4. Be patient
I tend to be such a perfectionist, this is an important lesson learned. People don’t necessary know what to expect, they only know what’s on the agenda, so if the food is 10 minutes late than your 30 minutes in advance, nobody will notice it, just enjoy the party.
5. Be grateful, report, and share
Contact back the people you worked with. After this exhausting experience, I reached out to every single person who helped putting all together. Which brings the other important point, report. Make a report, it may be used by your boss, but in fact, it will be more useful for you. Knowing how it went is very important, and you will be able to improve things at any upcoming event. And add that to all the resources that you have, from newsletters, videos, stories…