Because there are so many conferences held each year, you must go above and beyond to make your event distinctive. It should have a great value of return in investment if you’re putting plenty of time, money, and resources into its planning.

The essentials to a successful conference are a stellar lineup of speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors, as well as a large number of participants. The simple part is making the invitation list; recruiting A-list speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors? That’s the tricky part.

Here are seven steps on getting the best of the best to attend your conference.

1. Offer an Incentive

Giving a speaker, exhibitor or sponsor an incentive is the quickest way to get them to say yes. For example, if you are a smaller company having a conference, offer a free booth at your conference in exchange for their chance to speak to your attendants.

2. Use Social Media and Go Virtual

Consider advertising your event on various social media sites if you have a larger event. There are plenty of social media marketing sites to help you get your message out. 

You can also consider going virtual on your live event. Many businesses take advantage of the conference call feature on various platforms to host live virtual conferences. It’s a great way to bring in speakers remotely and allows people to dial in and attend the conference from anywhere.

3. Play to Your Network’s Strengths

If you have an extensive network, then leverage it. Tell your network of advertisers, friends, Facebook fans, and followers that you have a fantastic lineup of speakers and sponsors, and you would like to know what they think of the list. 

If you have a big company, you may have a lot of resources to play with. For example, you can get a lot of big names to speak at your event by offering them a talent fee or an X-deal you both can benefit from, like cross-promotions in your event.

4. Pick the Right Location

The venue you select can make or break your event. If you have a conference and want to attract the best, pick a conference centre. Consider another option if you are a smaller business and cannot afford a big venue.

If you are having a mid-sized conference, call up a few hotels and other similar venues in your area and see what kinds of packages you can afford.

5. Consider the Lure of the Freebie

If you are looking for sponsors, present them and speak with them about the possibility of giving away a free pass to their employees to attend. You are on the hook to do a lot of the work, but it is worth it if you get a few extra people to attend.

6. Give A-Listers a Reason to Speak

Often the best speakers are not the most naturally gifted because they have something to promote. For example, if you are an advertising company, have them speak about their campaign relating to your ad efforts. On the other hand, if you are a technology company, have them talk about the product.

7. Work with your Sponsor

If you are having a conference, chances are you have sponsors. Work with your sponsor to get the A-list speakers to your event. Your sponsor may have contacts you don’t, and you may not even need to offer an incentive.


A conference is hard to plan, but you are bound to have a memorable event if you follow these steps. If you are a smaller company, you should be able to pull it off without too much of a hassle. However, if you have more resources to spare, you can be more extravagant with your options. Just make sure you consider your budget and plan according to your event’s goals.

At Unidus, we have a conference space in Brisbane that is modern, flexible, and multi-purpose. We host various events of all sizes plus run community activities throughout the year. We empower PEOPLE to build stronger and vibrant communities. Book our venue for your event today!