I was surprised when on a rehearsal call with a client’s speaker for their upcoming online event to hear them say that no one had ever asked if she would like to meet and rehearse before the event. To us it is a no brainer to run through the format for a speakers session, ensure everything is working and to put a back up plan in place in case of internet difficulty on the day.
Whether your event is live or virtual isn’t it obvious that taking care of your speakers is incredibly important?
Simple things like knowing when your speaker likes to take questions; do they like them throughout the session or all together at the end. If a speaker knows they will lose their thread by being interrupted, ask the delegates to save their questions to the end. If the speaker likes the session to take the direction of delegates questions ensure delegates know to ask questions throughout.
There are a number of things you can do to ensure your speakers are relaxed. For example upon arrival at a live event we will always ask our speakers if they would like to see the room in which they will present so they are not taken aback just before speaking with the size, layout, lighting, stage set etc. We also always ensure even if they have sent their presentation in advance that they visit the speaker preview lounge, meet with the AV technician and check everything is as they are expecting. Meeting the technician also ensures any less experienced speakers are reassured and feel confident that they will be in a safe pair of hands.
A conference is no longer just about the actual event. There are so many opportunities to engage with your delegates both before and after the event and to raise their interest. Apps and social media can get the conversations going well in advance, allow delegates to see who they know and connect with them before the event. Gone are the days of having to ask at registration if someone has arrived and being able to read more about a speaker, their session and the format of the event really helps with delegate engagement. People still love a competition and these are a great way to get people connected, visit stands and build relationships. There are many more inventive ways to do this now through apps and social media, so be imaginative.
Whether your event is big or small, a day or a week, just be sure to invest time in both your speakers and your delegates. You will get a great return on this investment with loyal, raving fans. Who spread the word about your event, and return time and time again.
If you don’t have the time to invest in this, give us a call, the value far outweighs the cost, and we will ensure everyone has exactly what they need whether it is support or information to enjoy your event to the full.
We look forward to hearing from you.