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Keep your conference organisation stress free!

Inspired by Stress Awareness Week, here’s how to keep your conference organisation stress free!

Conferences are important events in the year. For many organisations and companies, these annual events are the best place to network, create lasting business partnerships and build on expertise. However, events don’t just come together in one day. They require time, effort, planning and precision. Inspired by stress awareness week (4th - 8th Nov), and with mental health and wellbeing becoming increasingly prevalent not just in work settings, but in everyday life, we’ve got some top tips to share with organisers ahead of conferences to ensure they have the most stress-free experience possible:

Set clear goals
A conference takes time to plan and requires a lot of organisation. There are a number of components that organisers have to consider during the planning process, From the venue, the guest speaker list, the catering menu, the conference timetable, the perfect accommodation and any relevant travel arrangements - and that’s just to name a few it’s essential that organisers give themselves plenty of time to ensure nothing in the planning process is rushed and can be organised right from the opening plenary session, down to the last giveaway item.

One of the best ways to do this is to break down your to-do list into small, achievable tasks which will help you effectively manage your workload and reduce stress. These could be along the lines of securing achievable keynote speakers, ensuring all dietary requirements are catered for with the caterers, choosing budget friendly items for any goody bags and creating an online booking system for accommodation in good time to allow delegates to book easily.

Choose the right venue
The location of your event can make or break your event, and can also alter your stress level Venues truly should be partners in a conference or event, and so you need to ensure that your venue is best placed to help you with everything you need. Speak to your venue about the seating, catering, lighting, WiFi, onsite tech and accompanying IT support. If they can offer all of these things for you, whilst also being the right size and in the perfect location, it will hugely simplify your planning and can greatly reduce your to-do list before the event.

Leeds has a wide variety of venues that can work with conference organisers to meet their bespoke requirements, and our team can help advise on the best ones for your event as part of our popular venue finding service.

Minimise last-minute changes
This one seems fairly self-explanatory, but it is probably one of the most stress-inducing elements of event planning. When it comes to creating an event, you will undoubtedly be working with a range of stakeholders, sponsors, consultants and speakers, and this means that there are a lot of people who may not work to the plan that you have set. It’s essential that you set expectations upfront with each of these people, and create an acceptable cut-off point for any changes.

For instance, make sure you make it clear with venues and speakers that they can’t back out after a certain date, and also you could consider introducing penalties for any that do. Whilst it’s true that you won’t always be able to avoid last-minute changes altogether, you can certainly discourage them with the right upfront planning and clear expectation setting.

Get a good night’s sleep
This one might seem like the most simple, but it’s probably the most important one. The night before the event, it’s important that you take time to wind down and relax - with the aim of reducing any stress or anxiety you may have. Studies have shown that the bright lights emitted by handheld devices can disrupt our sleep patterns, which can go on to have a negative impact on productivity levels and engagement when we are awake. So, if you are guilty of a late-night scroll before going to bed, or feel obliged to keep your mobile on you at all times in the run-up to a conference to make sure nothing has been missed, try out a new evening routine and leave your phone in another room. This will help keep your screen time to a minimum and will increase the chances of you having that all-important rest before the conference begins.

Use the ConferenceLeeds team
The final and perhaps most effective way to reduce stress when event planning is to ensure that you are using the resources you have available to you. For instance, our organisation provides a dedicated planning team, which will work through every detail to deliver an event like no other, helping you every step of the way to make sure everything is covered. Through an extensive list of partners, the ConferenceLeeds team provides unrivalled access to key people across the city, including thought leaders and industry bodies – opening endless doors to create exciting opportunities. The team are able to help with venue selection, accommodation booking, event marketing, delegate welcomes, expert city knowledge and more.

Leeds is a friendly city, bursting with culture and unique experiences to create an unforgettable experience for delegates. The city has an abundance of exciting event spaces which provide a unique backdrop for an inspiring conference destination. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help create your perfect event in the wonderful city of Leeds.