6 Tips for Planning a Great Conference

The Midwest Writers’ Workshop is a conference that has been around for over 4 decades. They had a sellout crowd in 2014, and for good reason.  The team that organizes this event has an incredible eye for detail, from the registration process to the finale. Here are 6 examples of little things that make a huge difference:

1. Website

MWW 2014 Registration- SmallThe organizers of the MWW have learned a lot in their decades of planning the event. This is most evident when you navigate their website to register for the event and research the details.  They anticipate every question you could possibly have about fees, speakers, session options, transportation, lodging options, you name it!

2. Daily Newsletter

The daily “Shop Talk” is distributed as attendees arrive.  It includes schedule highlights, reminders, announcements and anything else that needs to be communicated.



3.Twitter Feed

IMG_1258As writers, those who attend MWW are very active on social media, and the conference hashtag gets heavy use year-round.  During the event, Tweets are on display on monitors in the common areas of the venue.

4. One-on-One Sessions

This conference is held on a college campus, and many of the volunteers are college students.  One of the highlights of the event is a chance to schedule an appointment with social media experts from the university. Those who take advantage of this opportunity walk away with some great tips and advice for maximizing their social media presence.


5. Buttonhole the Experts

These 20-minute roundtable sessions allow attendees to speak in small groups with agents, publishers, published authors and other writing-industry experts on a variety of topics.  These sessions alone are worth the price of admission!

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6. Temperature Control (or, If You Can’t Beat ’em, Join ’em)

IMG_1261The venue for the MWW conference has an HVAC system that keeps rooms pretty cool.  The event planners are told in advance that the temperature cannot be adjusted, and they make it very clear in their advance information that attendees should dress in layers.  For those who don’t heed the warnings, they have a table of MWW logo fleece jackets for sale at the venue.

The organizers of the Midwest Writers Workshop know that sweating the small stuff is the difference between a good and great conference.


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  1. Pingback: Plan a Conference With Purpose - Linda Joyce Jones

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