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Once you have found the perfect speaker for your event, you can focus on creating the right setting. If possible, begin your planning early – especially if you want to book a famous or popular speaker for your event. A speaker’s calendar can be fully booked for a long time and have a limited number of available dates.
Check your calendar early and make sure your event does not coincide with any festivals, holidays, sports events or other large events in your local area if you plan on selling tickets or inviting clients. It will sometimes happen that you later find out the event actually coincides with the Champions League Final or something similar. It could cost you focus and participants.
“Don’t forget time – How much time do you want to spend on the different elements? And don’t forget breaks – whether it’s before, during or after.”
Bear in mind that the audience members are more likely to be engaged and listen if they have a clear mind. Additionally, people often participate because of the social aspect of the event. Give them time to socialize with each other and prepare to listen and be present – whether it is an internal event in a company or an open event.
Also, do not underestimate the time it takes to empty and fill a room in case of a large attendance.
#1 Plan early as the speaker may have a limited number of available dates
#2 Check the calendar for festivals, holidays, sports events and local events
#3 Schedule the different elements of your event and don’t forget breaks
#4 Do not make the breaks too short – this happens more than the opposite
Dialogue with the speaker before the event
Ensure good communication with the speaker before the event. This is one of the most important points in this guide and our most important advice as a provider of thousands of keynote presentations. Alternatively, this could go through a speakers’ bureau or manager, but make sure that they actually know something about the product and speaker!
Make use of the knowledge and experience of the speaker or speakers’ bureau to create the ideal foundation for your event. It is just as important for the speaker to know exactly what he/she is going to talk about, as it is for you to have a clear aim of your event. Make sure to arrange dialogues with the speaker before your event. It puts the mind to rest for both of you, and it makes it possible to beat potential
Make your expectations clear to the speaker and provide any information about the organization that might be useful to him/her. Prepare the speaker for the size of the audience and, if possible, their job positions and roles. If the audience consists of a certain department, professional group, age group or industry, it could be valuable information for the speaker’s preparation. You can also inform the speaker about the remaining program for the day.
It is important that the speaker and organizer have exchanged contact information before the actual day of the event. As the organizer you should keep your phone on you so the speaker can get in touch with you if something unforeseen happens on the way to the event. It could concern different problems such as which entrance to use or delay because of traffic problems, illness etc.
#1 Plan initial dialogues with the speaker to ensure the right message comes across
#2 Make it clear what you expect from the speaker
#3 Provide the speaker with any relevant information about your organization
#4 Prepare the speaker for the size and type of audience
#5 Make sure to exchange contact information before the event
#6 Keep your phone on you on the day of the event
Create the perfect surroundings
On the day of the event, it is important that the setting is perfect. You should think about the placement of tables and chairs to make it match the purpose of the event.
Does everyone in the audience have an unobstructed view of the speaker? Is it possible to have group chats during the event if required? Will the audience members need to turn the chairs around themselves etc. If possible, you should adjust the number of chairs to the actual number of participants. It could affect the speaker and the audience if there are empty chairs etc. We have outlined some possible arrangements on the next page.
#1 Choose the most ideal arrangement of tables and chairs that matches your event in the best possible way
Make lighting and sound match the event
It is important that the lighting and sound matches the keynote presentation in the best way. Take a walk around the room and try the different seats to see if you need to make any changes. Try some of the poorer seats; see and listen. If you as the organizer sit in the front row during the entire event you might not know of any problems in the back.
Check the AV equipment to confirm that it works properly. It can be stressful for both the speaker and the organizer if it has to be fixed just before the talk. Moreover, it can take away focus from the audience if technical problems cause any delay. Be aware that some speakers may have specific AV requirements written in their contract.
1# Make sure the lighting and sound is functional so all audience members can keep up with the presentation
#2 Try the end seats before or during the event to experience sound and view
#3 Check the AV equipment to avoid technical problems just before the presentation
This chapter is a part of our e-book 40 tips for the perfect event. Sign up for our newsletter and get the complete book for free here.