Academic conferences are often considered to be a break from the daily routine life we lead which is accompanied by valuable experiences and knowledge gain which will further help us on the path of the betterment of our careers. Apart from studies, these conferences also accommodate recreational activities which are enjoyed by the attendees. It is also a hub where excellent ideas are presented or showcased in form of posters, presentations and workshop models which often prove to be a breakthrough in the field which serves as the topic of the said conference.
Attending a conference might be a lot of fun, however, organizing one surely isn’t. The idea of organizing a conference is often mixed with emotions such as fear, anxiety and dread and it is perfectly normal as it calls for very deft organizational skills as well as administrative skills. There is a lot at stake which needs to be taken care of in order to make the event a successful one and at the same time interesting and as informative as possible. We have tried to provide you with certain tips as to how to plan an academic conference so that it becomes hugely popular.
- Topic: The first and foremost task that you need to get done is deciding on a topic which will be covered in the conference that you are planning. This will in turn decide up on the theme of the conference on which will be based the various events and the chronological order in which the events are to happen. It will also help you decide on the speakers who might be invited in order to provide the key note.
- Budget: Once your theme or topic is selected and you have a fair idea of the events that will be included in the conference, it is now time for you to sit down and draw up a budget plan so that you know which section of the conference will be requiring what kind of money. This budget plan will help you to draw up funds from the prospective sponsors who are willing to contribute to make the academic conference happen.
- Funding: Once the budget plan is drawn up, it is time to search for individuals or organizations who might be interested in funding the academic conference. There are various sources of money when it comes to academic conferences. You college or institution will be providing you with certain amount of money, apart from which there are various grants from research councils, publishers, business organizations etc, who will be willing to invest.
- Promotion: Next step is to make people aware of the event that you are conducting. The promotional activities of the event can be conducted with the help of various social media sites that are available these days. You can also use the likes of pamphlets or hoardings or other forms of advertisement to create a buzz about the academic conference created by you.
- Call for Papers: No academic conference is complete without the submission of various papers which have been written by prospective researchers on fields related to the topic of your conference. Make sure that the papers are of coherent nature so that you can stick to the topic of your conference. Also, you need to specify the rules, such as number of words, amount of data, length of paper, which are o be followed while the paper is to be submitted for the ease of the participants.
- Abstract Selection & Programme Draft: Once you have received all the papers, it is now time for you to select which ones to accept. Prior to this you need to have a rough draft about the duration of the whole conference as well as the individual ones so that you do not have problems later in allotting slots to the number of papers you have selected to be presented at your conference.
- Speakers: One of the main attractions of any academic conference is the keynote speaker who has been invited to the event. A good speaker often ends p attracting more crowds who are interested in hearing the speaker and getting inspired by his speech. However, you also need to keep your budget in mind while you are inviting a speaker over. Try not to go too over board in order of inviting the speaker of your dreams.
- Accommodation: When you are inviting the various participants and guests over to your conference, it is your responsibility to offer them the favourable and comfortable accommodations which will be easily accessible from both the transportations hubs as well as the venue of the conference that is being conducted. Make special arrangements for the delegates and you also might want to clarify the accommodation criteria in the registration form itself (in case of attendees).
- Catering: Academic conferences usually have a duration of the whole day which is why you need to provide the attendees with food and drinks in order to sustain them through the whole event. Try considering the various delegates while planning the food supply. However, you would also want to avoid too unusual food choices as they would often be wasted.
- Get Help: Make sure that you have enough volunteers in the spot on the day of the event or during the whole duration of the academic conference who will be providing help to or assisting the attendees as well as the delegates in their whereabouts and also for clarifying their queries. Also check every arrangement of the conference in advance in order to avoid any kind of disaster while the event is being held.
We hope that the pointers will help you to plan an academic conference with ease and gain as much success as possible. Although these pointers are not all that you need and there are other areas of concern yet the procedure is likely to be eased if you are willing to follow them. Best of luck!