When hosting a conference, you need to provide an agenda to your guests when they enter the venue. The conference agenda template details the activities you will present during the conference so that all participants will know what to expect from it.

Conference Agenda Templates

What is an agenda template?

When hosting a conference, you need to chart the activities and write them down in a conference agenda template. Before the start of the conference, you circulate the agenda amongst the participants to make them aware of what they’re attending, the purpose of your conference, and what to expect.

You can consider this template as a list of chronological events in the conference, with each activity having a time limit. For instance, if there is a guest speaker, specify the time when they will talk. If you plan to serve dinner, this will also have its own time slot. The conference agenda an essential element as it ensures a successful and informative event.

Event Agenda Templates

The purpose of a conference agenda

Generally, you would use an event agenda template for official meetings and its purpose is to provide an outline or list of the order of business that will happen. Agendas usually have the following purposes to accomplish:

  • To list the main topics with the most importance. This should be at the top of the list so that participating members get to prepare beforehand.
  • To let everyone know all about the topics to discuss. This gives them time to prepare and gather everything they need to contribute to the topics at the conference.
  • To keep everyone informed of the goals and tasks that you need to accomplish to ensure the success of your conference.

The absence of these renders the conference useless and you might not accomplish much in it. This means that all of the resources, efforts, and time would go to waste. You can prevent all of this chaos from happening by creating a conference agenda template.

How do you write a conference agenda?

One of the main reasons why people organize conferences is to resolve issues affecting their company. But hosting a conference that lacks a clear direction in terms of how you will conduct it will only lead to everyone getting off the track.

The most effective solution to avoid such scenarios is the provision of a conference agenda template as this lays the framework of how you will conduct the meeting. Following are the most important aspects to consider when formatting a conference program template:

  • Identify what you have to discuss
    You should include all of the agenda items under the main topic and you should also provide the estimated time for discussing these items. Moreover, it should capture the topic item’s purpose item and it must also identify the one responsible for each item.
  • What the participants must prepare
    A well-formatted conference agenda should also prepare the participants by informing them about the meeting’s purpose. That way, they have ample time to understand what they have to do and prepare themselves by doing research.
  • The proposed process
    Each item on the agenda should define a proposed process of how to tackle it. This ensures that all of the participants understand how you will handle the topics from start to finish. The format helps them remain focused too.

Conference Program Templates

How do I create an agenda template in Word?

It doesn’t matter if you create your conference itinerary yourself or by using a template. Either way, the agenda is an excellent organizational tool to keep your conference and its participants in focus.

Here are some pointers to consider when designing and using your agenda. These tips will ensure that you meet your goals without creating confusion or wasting time:

  • Create it ahead of time
    Starting on your conference agenda template early gives you enough time to come up with a professional document while allowing you to make any changes based on any feedback given by the participants.
  • Define the objective of the conference clearly
    You can look at the objective of an agenda as a short summary of what you will discuss in the meeting. You should place this at the top of the template, below the agenda header or title.
  • Prioritize the items accordingly
    Make sure that when you outline the items to discuss in the meeting, they should be in the order of their importance. Many meetings have become notorious for exceeding allotted times and you don’t want to miss a crucial topic because you have run out of time.
  • Break the agenda topics down into the most important points
    If you can create a more comprehensive outline by breaking down agenda topics into several items, it will help the participants understand the key issues and as such, this results in a more productive discussion.
  • Make sure that each item in your agenda gets enough time
    This part is very important but it’s not always easy. When deciding on this, you may require a bit of flexibility. To ensure that the most important issues will get covered, you have to prioritize these on the agenda. Still, allotting enough time for each of the agenda topics helps the participants deal with issues effectively.
  • Indicate the items in your agenda that require decisions
    There can be two types of topics that you cover during a conference. First, those that are mainly for discussion. Second, the issues that need to get voted on or resolved. Make this clear in your template so that the participants can determine if they will have to take part in the process of decision-making.
  • Inform your participants how they can prepare for the conference
    If you can share your agenda with the participants beforehand, you can inform them of what to expect during the conference while allowing them to prepare for the meeting.
  • Include the people responsible for presenting each topic
    Those attending the meetings should know their responsibilities and roles to ensure that your conference runs smoothly.
  • Leave time for a review
    The design of your agenda should include time in the end for evaluating the conference so that you can improve the process for future conferences. The participants can also use this time to get clarification on any issues or propose topics for the next conference.