The conference you organized is over. The keynote speakers have shared their key notes. The presenters have presented. The breakout groups have broken up. The Q’s have been A’d in the Q&A. The Gala Dinner has been fully digested.
Everyone seems to be patting you on the back and telling you it was a highly successful conference. Even the VP Marketing comes over and shakes you by the hand.
“You did a great job,” she says with a broad smile. You feel yourself glowing, until she adds:
“When will the Conference Report be ready? Send it over as soon as it is. I’m looking forward to an overview of the main findings, a summary of all the breakout groups, all the Q&A’s in full, and I hope you captured all those comments during the roundtable session; they were invaluable.”
At this point, you could reply: “It should be ready next week. I hired a professional conference reporter and he promised me the first draft within three days.”
Or you might mumble something, change the subject and then turn away and silently swear. Yes, the conference report! Did you forget to plan it? If so, then weeks of frenetic activity are in front of you as you struggle to find colleagues who might have made notes, decipher them, or spend ages going through the audio and video recordings of the event – if they were made!
I sincerely hope, for your sake, that you chose the former option.
But apart from impressing your VP Marketing, what are the main reasons why a Conference Report is essential? Here are five:
1. It reminds delegates of the event
With so much information being communicated in the course of the event, no-one can possibly remember every key point from every speaker. The Conference Report will refresh the memories of delegates. Also, if your conference had parallel sessions, then half of the delegates are probably unaware of what took place in the sessions they were unable to attend. A Conference Report will therefore bring them up-to-date with the sessions they missed. This also refers to sessions they couldn’t attend because they had an urgent telephone call to make, or needed a short after-lunch powernap.
2. A Conference Report can improve corporate morale
Are the employees who were “left behind” feeling “left out” because they couldn’t attend? Are they wondering what they might have missed? Sending them the Conference Report will keep them fully up-to-date? It will clearly signal that they are valued just as highly as those who were able to attend the event.
3. It’s a reminder of actions to be taken
During Q&A sessions at the end of presentations, it’s easy for speakers and presenters to make commitments that they then forget to honor. Or during an open discussion forum, decisions may be made but may not be noted down. A Conference Report gives everyone a clear, gentle and impersonal reminder of actions they need to take.
4. It’s a valuable promotional tool
The material in a Conference Report could be used to send to other stakeholders such as partner companies or policymakers to bring them up-to-date with your company’s activities. It could be used for multiple post-event blog posts, or a press release. You could use it to encourage participation at future events by providing a more informative snapshot than “View these photos of last year’s event.”
5. It provides closure
A Conference Report ties up the loose ends. It provides a written, reviewed and approved record of the event, the discussions, the decisions, the agreements and the action points.
Convinced of the importance of a Conference Report?
In a following blog post I will explain the benefits of using a professional conference reporter to make a Conference Report.
In the meantime, if you are needing a Conference Report for an upcoming event, feel free to contact me. I have written numerous Conference Reports for all kinds of events, workshops, symposia, congresses etc. and would be delighted to help you in this area.