I found ‘How to run a better conference using math’ a great read and highly recommend it to all eventprofs dealing with conferences of all sizes. It is a detailed case study of Web Summit where organisers embedded maths to the very core of event management. Furthermore, I can second every word about how every small detail of an event in fact shows the true approach of its organisers to the event in whole. It is a long read, but I am sure you’ll find a lot of useful staff there.
I would make two conclusions which seem most important to me:
1) using mathematical techniques and various metrics as their output should not be fashion statement. It works, and it is crucial to not just learn about it in theory, but try and apply it in practice. It does not matter if that would be just on a beginner level. By the way, the author reasonably mentions that if for some reason you are not ready to use the set of mathematical methods described, there are many other solutions, less complex but optimised and effective.
My main point here is that using maths in conference management should be a deliberate way forward for every event planner, no matter at which level.
2) that one:
‘In my view, if a conference organiser is not regularly reading academic papers on topics related to network science in particular, as well as crowd psychology and dynamics, way-finding, anthropometry and related areas; running controlled experiments at their conferences and conducting rigorous surveys of attendees of all types, I believe it’s challenging to improve each iteration of your conference’.
This in my view is a very important idea. We used to see calls for practical skills of eventprofs these days. And although I don’t mean to downplay the importance of practice, I fully agree with the idea. The above highlights that the conference organiser should not be a sole practitioner. They should also be an academician and learn from as many fields of knowledge as possible.
Truly – what a complex and amazing profession it is.