conferencing is an indispensable tool in the worlds of business and project management. Through hosting conferences (conferencing), team members can connect with each other and move a project or idea forward with effectiveness. With the available technologies today, conferences continue to evolve in how they are conducted and facilitated. We explore these and other conference-related concepts in greater detail below.

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What is a conference?

A conference is a formal meeting where those of similar minds and ideas concerning a central topic gather together to ventilate the same. A conference can, and usually does, take place over the course of a few days.

Who attends conferences?

Conferences can be attended by those interested in the topic of discussion or who are otherwise stakeholders. Conferences can sometimes be open to attendance through the purchase of a ticket, or through invitations. It all depends on the scope and purpose of the conference.

Who hosts conferences?

Conferences are generally held by an entity or entities of common interest. As such, they can be hosted by organisations and individuals alike - be it a single organisation or a partnership of organisations or by a single individual or team of individuals. Similarly, conferences can be hosted by profit-making, as well as, non-profit entities.

Where are conferences?

Conferences can be hosted in a variety of locations. There are corporate buildings in many cities and towns that have conference rooms specially designed to host conferences. These specially designed conference rooms can be particularly helpful in those situations where special equipment may be needed to facilitate speakers of different languages like at international conferences, for example.

Importantly, conferences can also be hosted from anywhere in the world and can be virtually facilitated thanks to video-conferencing and teleconferencing technologies available to us today. As such, conference attendees need not be in the same room, or even in the same country or time zone. Instead, all they need is internet-ready devices and a secure and reliable internet connection and the software that will facilitate this virtual conferencing connection.

Due to the diverse nature of conferencing today (as evident in the many forms a conference can take), it is important that the format is decided upon from the beginning. Factors such as budget, necessary activities, attendees and stakeholders, and so forth, will all help determine the format and features of the conference. For example, features and format will be determined by whether or not attendees and stakeholders will need to gather in one physical place versus being able to attend via teleconferencing. The availablility to facilitate either option would also be a consideration.

Why do people have conferences?

People have conferences to create an atmosphere where they can share their ideas openly and, in some cases, come to a conclusion where there was none before. It is important that an agenda is set before embarking on a conference. This way, the aims, and objectives are clearly laid out and the focus is maintained. Once the focus is clear, the conference's success can be properly or more accurately measured.