You’re an event planner. You organize and orchestrate corporate, conference, or private events. And you’re pretty good at it, too.
But sometimes you feel as though event planning is a constant uphill battle.
You plan ahead. You plan for the worst case scenario. And you spend time making sure everyone else is prepared for the big day, weekend, or week.
When it comes down to the success of your event, however, there are a few defining factors that can make or break your events:
- The people
- The timing
- The venue
If you can get all three of these right, you will find success — even if it’s a little messy at times.
When it comes to the people involved in your event, there are some key players that you lean on in time of need. One or a group of those people are your speakers.
How Speakers and Event Planners Can Find Success Together
Let’s be forward: It’s easy to blame your speaker for being late, not delivering a great presentation, or not being willing to stay after their session for a Q&A. While these barriers to success may not happen to you a whole lot, they are certainly avoidable. Remember that:
“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
— Zig Ziglar
#1. Always Deliver On Your Promises
Whether you made a deal for a certain amount of compensation, or that you agreed to stocking orange juice in the limo that would be picking up your keynote speaker, deliver on your promises.
Go as far as doing an interview with the speaker weeks prior to the event to get a feel for them and ask what they require to actually be successful.
Make sure and tell them who they will be speaking to, as well. Make all the logistics as easy and straightforward as possible for you and the speaker before the weight of the event and performance arrives.
#2. Ask Your Speakers For Promotional Content
A great way to work together as an event planner and speaker is to request that your speakers send in 30, 60, and 90 second videos promoting their own speech upcoming at your event. Then, with permission, you can use those clips to promote your event.
In most cases, you can discuss this type of joint promotional effort during preliminary conversations, and it can pay back you and your speakers dividends in sales and exposure.
#3. Arrange The Room For Your Speakers
Do you know the most common type of seating at conferences?
Round tables. While this may be all you have, it takes away from your audience’s experience with your speaker. Yes, they can turn their chairs around. Yes, they can adjust to see the stage.
However, there are some subtle negatives to round-table seating. The audience is further away from one another per table. They are unable to get “close” with those at their table. What’s more, your audience won’t be (in most cases) using the table to fill out workbooks or answer a survey.
They are there to experience the speaker, so set up the seating to optimize that first. Then, worry about the interactive experience later.
#4. Expect High-Level Content From Your Speakers
With 20, 40, or even 60 minute time slots, speakers have little time to go in depth with their content. For most, they have a story that engages the audience. They have some personal experience that connects with the audience. And then they discuss the content at a higher level than if the speaker did one-on-one sessions with each individual at your event.
It’s important to understand that your speakers are there to spark ideas, promote new thinking, and energize. Expecting a three hour lecture on a topic is a little over zealous. Expect a high level approach to their story, expertise, and information, which leads to the next point.
#5. Plan A Q&A Session And More
Question and Answer sessions are great for people to dig into what the speaker shared a bit. While they won’t get the deepest answers they may be seeking, they can certainly discuss specific points that resonated with them.
Build in time for your speaker to be able facilitate Q&A. Not only will you engage the audience more, but you will give your speakers more opportunity to be an influence on people’s lives.
#6. Purchase Books For The Audience
You read that right. If you’re got a keynote speaker that your audience is excited to hear, buy the speaker’s books and give them away at your event. You can even tie in the speaker signing th books to engage the audience even more.
The purpose of this is to take what the speaker delivered and have it echo outside of the event. How many events have you gone to, heard something great, and then did nothing with it? A book can help your attendees dive deeper into the speaker’s world and actually use what the speaker is sharing.
#7. Avoid Last Minute Changes
You cannot avoid all last minute changes, but you can do your best to prepare your speakers for them.
A great way to work with speakers in regards to sudden shifts in agenda, timing, or speaking slots is to let them know up front that it can happen. By telling them before the event that some things change on the fly can help them prepare on their side of things for the sudden change.
What’s more, you can inform your speakers that them being on time to the event and to their speaking slots is super helpful in keeping the event on time and moving forward and a good pace. In no way do you mean to rush the speaker. You simply want to give them the best possible chance to succeed with their presentation possible.
Now you know of seven different ways that you and your speakers can work together to succeed at all of your events, it’s time you find the best speakers for your event. Platinum has a roster of some of the top speakers in the industry. From motivational, inspirational, industry-leading, and more, you will find what you’re looking for.
Here are the key takeaways:
- Always Deliver On Your Promises
- Ask Your Speakers For Promotional Content
- Arrange The Room For Your Speakers
- Expect High-Level Content From Your Speakers
- Plan A Q&A Session And More
- Purchase Books For The Audience
- Avoid Last Minute Changes