During the event


If you don’t find ways to communicate important information to your attendees during the event, you and the other organisers will find yourselves having to repeat it to people over and over again, sucking up vast amounts of your time.

You need to have a plan for communication, which includes people with designated responsibilities (for things like making anouncements or signs) and ways of ensuring that things that need to be announced get to the right person in time and are not forgotten.

It doesn’t need to be an elaborate plan, but simple things like making sure that appropriate people have access to the website or Twitter account and know that they are expected to use them can help a great deal.

The programme booklet

Your Programme booklet should contain most of the information that people will need to refer to during the event - and they should be told that it does; you would be surprised how many people don’t even open it.

At registration

It’s worth also having a handout that is literally placed into attendees’ hands when they register, mentioning things that you want everyone to know, or that you think everyone is likely to ask about, for example:

  • Code of Conduct
  • emergency contact information
  • information on how to access the wireless network

You also need to let people know how they will be informed over the course of the event of important news updates. If you’re going to use a Twitter account for example, they need to know what it is and that you will use it.

You cannot assume that everyone is a user of Twitter or any other platform or service.

Announcements from the stage

Any important announcements need to be made multiple times. People won’t be in the room, or won’t be listening, or won’t hear. These announcements should also be backed up in other forms (on the website, via email or a Twitter feed for example).

Communications tools

Communications during the event is generally more critical and time-sensitive than before it, especially if it concerns things like changed venues, different dinner arrangements or the like.

  • if everybody knows that this is where they should look, the website’s ideal for announcements
  • Twitter is excellent for messages about the event, but not good for important ones
  • email - if you are sure you have everyone’s email address - is best for important announcements, but keep it for important ones

Either way, it’s best not to rely on a single mode of communication for important messages, and the key thing is that people must know how to keep up with them.