Your speakers can make or break your event, but often they’re the element we give the least attention to. Here are some of my essentials for ensuring a good speaker experience.
As an event organiser it can be easy to only see one side of the coin, believe it or not, your speakers do actually want to do a good job too. It’s important to communicate the overall objective of the event, this helps your speakers to understand their role and how they fit into the bigger picture. Also, sharing the audience demographic and set up will help them to tailor their content and format.
Involve them early & often
This is an add on to my previous point, but giving speakers as much lead time as possible and checking in to keep them updated on event details will ensure a smoother operation on the day.
Encourage Interactions: Interviews, panel sessions, fireside chats, however you choose to do it, allowing two way discussions can help to open up conversations and give the audience the chance to ask questions in the moment. It always helps to introduce the interviewer and interviewee ahead of the event so they can gather some background and context for their questions.
It’s a two way street
Your speakers are often your audiences catalyst for booking, they’re the experts after all, so how do you go about getting their promotional support in the run up to the event? Understanding their motivation for speaking is the first step (do they have a new book out/are they looking to hire/have they just launched a new product) you can use this to build an offering in exchange for promotion. Step two, make it as easy as possible. Produce a content bank with social messages, images and hashtags. Once you’ve come to an agreement keep the dialogue going so you’re in the forefront of their mind.