How to Build an Event Agenda

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When planning an event, creating an event agenda is a crucial step. An agenda ensures that your content and event schedule are organized and easily accessed by guests and attendees. 

As an event organizer, an agenda acts as your roadmap. It will help you keep track of all the moving parts while monitoring audience engagement and feedback.

Some conferences and events still hand out print agendas. But, mobile apps have become an indispensable tool, making it easier than ever to connect with attendees. 

Building an event agenda doesn’t have to be complicated. Use an online event software to highlight different sessions and speakers in an intuitive way while allowing attendees to register for breakout and keynote sessions. This will allow both attendees and organizers to reference the agenda at any time. 

Creating an engaging event agenda is the key to the success of your conference or event.

To that end, here are some important steps and best practices to help you create an event agenda that makes people feel like they need to attend your event! 

Determine Event Content

Before building an event agenda, you must first determine the information and content that will be included. 

One of the best ways to determine what your audience is interested in is to ask them directly. Once your theme has been established and you begin selling tickets, you can add a short questionnaire to the ticket purchase/event registration page. Or, if it makes more sense for your event and your audience, you can start an email marketing campaign that asks for interests and objectives. 

If you host education sessions or conferences on a regular basis, distribute a questionnaire or survey to participants that can be collected at the end of the event. Ask attendees what topics they would like to see addressed in the future. Collect the responses at the end of the event and use these insights to take a deep dive into future possibilities. 

Use the Right Agenda-Building Tool

First, decide on the sessions and types of content. Second, build an event agenda. The key to doing this quickly and easily is to find a tool that meets your event goals and needs. 

Look for a tool that syncs with your agenda with your event app and allows you to collect data. This will make for a more streamlined and valuable experience for both you and your attendees. 

Some agenda tools also allow attendees to pre-register or mark specific sessions as a “favorite.” This will give you a better idea of which sessions are getting the most interest. You can then use this information to make arrangements at the venue to accommodate the sessions in higher demand.

Your attendees do not want to create a separate account to register for your event and then again to register for the sessions that they are interested in. You might also have diffent tiers of sessions based on the level of ticket that someone purchased. Eg. an ‘All Access Pass’ might get someone into every breakout session but a ‘General Admission’ pass is only good for your Keynote presentations. A ticketing and registration system such as Accelevents that also has an agenda builder will make it easy for you to keep track of the session registration while configuring proper access based on the ticket type purchased.

If you would like to allow attendees to register for specific breakout sessions or workshops then picking the right tool is the first step in maintaining your sanity as the event approaches.

Integrate an Event App

When using an online ticketing software, you’ll have the option to sync your event schedule to your dedicated event app. 

This integration provides a seamless user experience for attendees. It allows you to not only sync the schedule but sync other information like speaker bios and networking tools. 

An event app creates the opportunity to concentrate information in one spot so guests can navigate the event efficiently. 

It is a good idea to go live with your app several weeks before the event. It will create excitement and allow attendees to start planning which sessions they would like to attend.

Try to finalize your event agenda in advance. Any last-minute change will confuse and frustrate guests who have already planned their participation. 

Organize Your Sessions

Depending on the size of your conference and the number of meetings that will take place, it can be helpful to organize sessions by topics. This will allow attendees to easily find the sessions and meetings that most interest them. From the main stage keynote presentation to networking opportunities, the agenda can act as a central resource.  

How you choose to organize these sessions will depend on what the event needs. Add filters to your conference agenda so attendees can sort sessions by topic but also by location and time. This solution enables individuals to easily find the information they need without being overwhelmed.  A solid session management system will prevent someone from registering for two sessions at the same time ensuring that no seat goes to waste.

Using the Accelevents software, you can create session “tracks” and “tags” to help attendees find which sessions will be most valuable to them. Attendees can use this feature to build their own, personal, agenda. If applicable to your event, you can also assign certain sessions to specific ticket types so that only those ticket holders are able to access the registration.

Tracks allow you to designate sessions specifically for different focuses at your event, sort of like an umbrella of topics. For example, if your event has sessions for marketing, sales, and customer success professionals, you’ll be able to label events so everyone knows specifically which sessions to attend. When designing a track it is best practice to only have one session suggested per time slot. The goal of a track is to make it easy for your participants to identify which sessions will be of the highest value for what they’re looking to learn.

Tags allow you to add specific keywords to your session that relate to specific topics or interests. These are a great way to group similar content and make it easy for guests to find the most valuable sessions for them to attend.

Brand Your Agenda

It’s essential to keep your event agenda on-brand. It should be consistent with your other event materials like your branded website and the overall look and feel of your event. 

When someone looks at your agenda, they should be able to associate it with your brand or your event. Maintain color scheme, logos, and any design features that are unique to the event. 

Using an agenda-building tool that is customizable is key. After all, a strong branding strategy is one of the most important aspects of any event

Support your Sponsors

Your conference agenda provides a great opportunity to include your sponsors. Always mention sponsored sessions and include the relevant logos. You can also use a UTM code to track the number of clicks each sponsor gets in your post event sponsor thank you letters.  Attendees will be accessing the agenda repeatedly, giving plenty of exposure to sponsors. 

Adding a sponsored poll to your agenda can be another way to offer added value to your sponsors. 

Finally, make sure there is a complete list of event sponsors somewhere on the event website.

Incorporate Interactivity

Engaging audiences and encouraging interactivity are central to the success of any event. By engaging people, you increase the likelihood that they will share your event with others. 

To provide an interactive event agenda for attendees, try to include a feature that allows them to like and rate sessions. Doing so will engage participants while providing you with valuable data and analytics. This data can offer solutions in the planning process. By showing you which topics and sessions are most popular, you can build upon those interests. 

Social media is another valuable tool for interactivity. If possible, link the event agenda to your social media pages so that attendees can like and share. By sharing it on their own feeds,  both before and during the event, attendees can help organically market your event. 

Building an event agenda is an important part of the event planning process. A solid agenda can impact the experience of both event planners and attendees. Agendas make it easier for guests to navigate the event. And, they can provide you with useful data and methods for engaging your audience.

An agenda is essential to planning any corporate event, education seminar, or industry leadership conference. 

With these helpful steps, and a tool like Accelevents, you’ll be more than ready to create a killer event agenda!

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Updated

2019-10-03T18:40:48-04:00August 6th, 2019|
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