Meeting Planner Tips: The Best Advice for Choosing a Conference Theme

One of the most important jobs you have as a meeting planner is choosing a conference theme. If you’ve been planning the same event for the past 10 or 20 years, it can be challenging. Amiright?

You want to engage the audience, create a theme that will resonate with participants and get them excited to attend. 

A great event theme is a key part of a successful event.

Here’s what you need to know to get it right.

1. Details, details, details

You want to cross all your T’s and dot all your I’s.

Consider conferences and events you’ve put on in the past and go over all the details with a fine-tooth comb.

How did the color scheme work out? Were you able to meet or stay under your budget? What elements were loved/hated at the last event? Did the theme resonate with the audience? 

This is also helpful when it’s time to work with vendors.

Knowing exactly what you need – down to the smallest details – will ensure your event is well put together and you’re not mixing-and-matching between various concepts.

2. Put a new spin on an old theme

Repurposing can be a great strategy for you – and it’s one of the top meeting planner tips for choosing a conference theme.

Events that seem outdated or played out can get new life when you put a modern/relevant spin on them.

Plus, audiences love an unexpected twist, right?

For example, get the crowd engaged by choosing an app that everyone can put on their phone and use throughout the event.

Here are the latest apps to get your audience interested and involved.

  • Glisser. This presentation software with an integrated audience response system that allows you to track audience engagement.
  • CrowdCompass. This software has in-app messaging, activity feeds, live Q&A, gamification and live polling.
  • Switchit. This is actually a networking app that eliminates the need to gather and hand out actual business cards. It’s a great way for attendees to share information, videos, and contact information after an event.

3. Make it personal

A winning conference theme is one that can be personalized to your audience.

Think of ways you can add special touches that show the attendees the event was planned with them in mind.

It’s always fun to plan for some inside company jokes when you’re putting on a corporate conference.

You can also add the company’s logo into gift bags, Yeti Cups, jackets or other swag that you give away, too.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and find ways to show the audience that you were thinking of them.

4. Share your vision with your partners

As a meeting planner, you partner with a lot of different people to bring your vision to life.

Make sure you’re in communication with the lighting and AV vendors, caterers, decorators, and of course, the speaker(s) who will bring the most energy and engagement to the event. 

Be articulate and detailed as you lay out their important contribution to putting on a successful event.

5. Get help choosing a conference theme

To jump-start your brainstorming, here are some conference themes that you can take and run with.

  • All In!
  • Bigger! Faster! Stronger!
  • Be Extraordinary!
  • Make It Matter
  • Innovation Integration
  • Working Together Wins
  • Focus on Success
  • Leading the Pack
  • Together Towards Tomorrow
  • Refuse to Lose
  • Peak Performance
  • Think Big

Put these meeting planner tips into action

Your success as a meeting planner depends on your ability to put on events that provide the audience with an engaging experience and life-changing information to implement long after the conference has ended.

It all begins with choosing a great conference theme.

Be realistic, pay attention to the details, give an old theme new life, personalize it for your audience and share your vision with those partnering with you.

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