How to organise a successful International Research Conference? Hala Mansour @halamansour

  • Decide the main theme of the conference. Try to select a current debate and link it to interests of your university or your research community. For the main theme of the conference, I have chose 'Dilemmas in managing change' because the University of Northampton is going through changes. It also matches the research interests of the Dilemmas participants.
  • Budget: It is important to determine the conference budget, otherwise it could be a nightmare. You have to calculate the breaking even. You need to calculate costs for catering, room hiring and then estimate number of participants.
  • Try and get sponsorship: You can seek funding from sponsors. Professional bodies and our Business partners can support the conference if you send them a good case. I approached the CMI and asked for funding. I also offered them some options to sponsor the conference and negotiate about the cost. As a result, the conference was successfully supported and sponsored by them.
  • Logistics: It is important when deciding the conference location and logistics to estimate how many candidates will be interested, where the conference will be allocated and how many rooms to book. For Dilemmas, I decided to use Cottesbrook to reduce the cost of booking other places.
  • Call for papers: Ensure you send the call for papers early to give time for participants to plan their research activity. Send more reminders and encourage your colleagues to share with their contacts.
  • Use Events students to support your organisation for the conference, I had two students help me design the conference poster, collect information about accommodation and travelling to Northampton. This could also be beneficial for them as it could be part of their study experience. Contact our event management colleagues because they are very helpful!
  • Organising committee: Their support in reviewing the papers for the conference is essential. They can also help in promoting the conference in their institutions. In Dilemmas, we had an external international organising committee in order to help promote the conference in Sweden.
  • Marketing and promotion: To get the estimated number for the conference, you must publisice the conference to different audiences. Our marketing and events team are experts in supporting you and inspiring you with new ideas. send the call for papers and information about the conference to different research forums. try the BAM, LFHE, CMS and other research communities.
  • Social Media: It is important to use social media to send Call for Papers and to communicate with potential candidates. LinkedIn, Research Gate, and Twitter are examples of how social media can make the event more public and interactive.
  • Finance and Admission : You need support in this if it is a big conference. To set up an online shopping point, arrange financial aspects in booking, catering, dinner and accommodation for keynot speakers and more.
  • Reflect and learn: It is a learning experience. You learn by managing and leading different teams and working together in order to become successful. It may not be perfect but we also learn from failure.
  • Continue networking: The conference is not just to exchange research ideas and experience in a certain time. It is also involves creating a research network that you can use in publication or bidding.
  • Publication and research collaboration: Conference proceeding or a proposal for a special issue could be a good output for the conference. Plan this beforehand and make a case for your publication.

All Tweets about the conference in this Storify. Enjoy!

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