At the end of the day, the success of an event or meeting depends largely on the delicate relationship between event planners and speakers. A lot like dating, both are looking for a connection.
At first, an event planner and a speaker get to know each other to see if there is any interest. Then, if there’s a connection, time to swipe right and get serious about audience interests and a potential topic. And if that goes well, next stop is meeting up in in real life at your event where you hope all those initial feelings don’t fizzle.
How can planners make it easier for event speakers to love them? Consider these DOs and DON’Ts for making the event planner/speaker relationship work.
DO: Provide them with Background Information
Imagine if you had to walk into a meeting room, knowing nothing about the audience, why the group was gathered, or what you should talk about. More than likely, you’d break out in a cold sweat or turn right back around and walk off the stage.
Don’t put your speakers in the same position. Make it easy for speakers by providing background information about your event. Give a synopsis of your audience and what they care about. Are attendees an easy-going group who like to have fun and participate in highly engaging discussions? Or are they quiet, reserved, avid note-takers?
Do tell them what’s unique about your event too. For example, is the event known to push the boundaries with new ideas and thought-provoking topics? A little background makes a speaker feel comfortable and prepared.
DON’T: Forget to Give them an Intro
Often, speakers agree to participate in an event or conference to increase their personal and professional visibility. Help them achieve that goal by introducing interesting speaker details in your pre-event promotions.
For example, profile the speaker in your event app with their pics and links to social channels. It’s simple to do but goes a long way in building rapport between you, the speaker and attendees.
On-site, many speakers fear no one will show up to listen to their presentation. Eliminate the worry by sending out notifications through your event app. Drive maximum attendance by reminding attendees which speaker is ready to take the stage.
And of course, don’t force your speaker to jump right into their talk. Have someone physically deliver a warm welcome as they take the stage.
DO: Make Interacting with Attendees Easy
Even for professionals, public speaking can be stressful. Don’t add extra stress by asking speakers to use complicated AV or event technology that requires a lot of extra work from them.
Do make it easy for speakers to create and launch polls directly from the event app attendees are using instead of layering on other elements. Incorporating a comment wall with top questions on displays also makes it easier for speakers to address Q&A throughout.
And of course, speakers want feedback. In addition to typical session evaluation questions, include questions that will directly benefit your speakers too, such as, “what was the single most important thing you heard today that you’ll put into practice?”
DON’T: Overlook a Thank You
Many speakers travel a long way and are away from loved ones to be at your event. Simple little touches like a favorite goodie delivered to their room or a fun dinner out with other speakers makes them feel at home.
And of course, taking time to handwrite a thank you note is a personal touch that stands out—and helps them remember you approach them to speak again.
Following these DOs and DON’Ts go a long way to build a successful event planner/speaker relationship. If you’re ready to show your speakers a little more love, schedule a demo to learn more how speakers benefit from Evenium.