Having hosted over 400 events since The Star Event Centre opened in January 2013, The Star Sydney’s team of diversely experienced event professionals delved into their collaborative brains trust to extract their top 5 tips and tricks to engage attendees and host a successful mid-sized conference.
The Star’s team used their knowledge from hosting some of the most successful conferences in Sydney over the past 12 months, including the World Business Forum for 2,047 pax, the Hair Expo for 5,400 pax and the Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium attracting over 1,200 local and intrastate delegates to The Star.
- CONTENT IS KING
As Paula Capasso, Business Development Manager MICE believes, content is king and it’s vital that the content selected for the conference is relevant for the delegates.
“It’s imperative that the content is thought provoking – no one likes a hard sell! Conferences provide a unique opportunity to share knowledge, strengthen networks and inspire people so use the time you have with your audience wisely.
“Technology can assist in communicating your content, especially when it’s used creatively with interactive elements,” said Ms Capasso.
- DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Are your guests getting bored? Have they attended the same conference at the same venue for the past few years?
Jayson Heron, Director of Sales knows what it takes to wow an audience and selecting a venue that will support you on your mission to invigorate your audience is the first step.
“It’s true what they say, variety is the spice of life! At The Star we are privileged to operate The Star Event Centre, as well as a number of breakout spaces across Sydney’s only integrated resort. For a unique networking lunch, try a Fork and Walk style of event and lead your attendees on a culinary journey,” said Mr Heron.
- IT’S NOT THE SAME FOR EVERYONE
Shake up the schedule. Wendy Byrne, Business Development Manager MICE suggests having two (or more) concurrent sessions tailored to your audience’s needs.
“Consider having managers in one space listening to a speaker relevant to them, whilst staff are in a different space engaging in an interactive workshop. The best conferences offer diversity of content. You’ll know it’s worked if both teams then come together and share what they’ve learnt with the others!” said Ms Byrne.
- IT’S THE ‘B’ WORD
Yes, the budget. If the budget is limited, focus on one key speaker who can ensure the conference is memorable.
Amanda Lovett, Assistant Director of Sales at The Star believes one highlight speaker is more engaging than multiple average speakers.
“If budget is limited, spend wisely on one key speaker who will produce a topical, even controversial conversation rather than multiple general speakers. Remember that in-house staff and managers can run sessions and provide excellent discussion for your conference,” said Ms Lovett.
- EVERYONE’S A FOODIE
Food is at the heart of great experiences and fantastic food and beverage options are key to ensuring your conference delegates are happy.
Andy North, General Manager of Food and Beverage believes event cuisine is critical to the overall event experience which is reflected in his inspiring selection of menus available.
“An amazing culinary selection will do more than just draw your guests out of the office and into the conference venue. It will inspire conversations, encourage networking and most importantly leave a lasting impression.
“We love to see food and beverage smartly merged into the theme and ambiance of the conference, bringing attendees closer to the action and leading them on a sensory journey with the Chef,” said Mr North.