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Tips for a Successful Conference Facilitation

June 1, 2023

Conferences can be busy events, therefore it is important to have a strict schedule during the conference to ensure the smooth running of the event, which will benefit not only the attendees, but also the speakers themselves. This can make the difference between your event being memorable and forgotten. 

Keep on reading to find out some of the best tips for a successful conference facilitation.

What is a Conference Facilitator? 

If you haven’t heard of a conference facilitator before, keep on reading to find out what it is.  A conference facilitator is a specialist event speaker booked to moderate a corporate industry or public conference, therefore is an important figure to ensure the smooth running of a conference, as well as reinforcing the conference message.

Understand the purpose of the conference

Before undertaking the conference facilitation process, considering the purpose of the conference can be beneficial to get the tone of voice right, which will be beneficial for learning the purpose of the conference. This can be achieved by understanding the specific topic of the conference, which will be relatable to all attendees.

For example, if it was an academic conference, it’s important to approach the event in a way that’s going to be engaging for a younger audience, and help them stay engaged and retain the information. 

Encourage discussions

As a conference facilitator, one of the main roles is to guide and moderate discussions effectively. Therefore, one of the ways to encourage a successful conference could be to give everybody the opportunity to collaborate. 

It is important however to ensure the discussions are short and stick to a schedule, to reduce the likelihood of running over, which could lead to areas of confusion.

Encourage participation from the start of the conference

Encouraging participation from attendees from the start of the conference will help set the all-inclusive atmosphere from the beginning. For example, simple small talk questions at the start of the conference can help set the tone, as well as give the speaker time to settle into their presentation. It’s also important that all attendees are heard, which helps for an all inclusive atmosphere at the conference. 

This will also improve the rapport between attendees and speakers, which could help push networking and working relationships in the future. 

Using visual aids

The use of visual aids can help the smooth running of the event. This can range from presentation slides and microphones, to ensure everybody can digest information and hear the speakers well, all the way to an agenda sent by email beforehand. 

The use of signage at a conference can be very useful for the smooth running of the event, which will reduce the chances of a late start due to attendees not knowing where they going. The use of signage can also allow attendees to leave in different directions, to reduce the chance of crowds going for one exit. 

The use of technology in combination with live interaction can also help engage audiences no matter where they are, from an in-person conference to online, across the world.

Overall, these tips hope to allow for a successful conference facilitation which will help the smooth running of the conference, as well as reinforcing the message from the event.

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