My most recent venture is our upcoming conference/workshop on Listening to the “Voice of the Customer” in the Medical Laboratory [ http://conference2016.polqm.ca ]
There are 4 good months and 12 bad months. If possible aim for April, May, October, or November, but understand those are the same months when the level of conference competition is greatest. December-January and June-August are poison.
Sponsors are a tremendous asset because they help build up a bankroll. But sponsorship does NOT work as the more the merrier. Keep the group small and close.
For smaller conferences, you are probably looking at a select audience. In my situation, I focus on the group of laboratorians with an interest in matters Quality. Physicians, Scientists, Technologists, Administrators, Ministry workers and students. We understand that the audience is going to be fairly “close to home”, with perhaps 2-3 percent being from away. Knowing this helps us sort out how we can promote the meeting