Prepping Speakers for Your Next Association Event

In-person events are nearing pre-pandemic levels and are more important for your association than ever. The networking that takes place at in-person events is invaluable and essential to an association’s success. Another critical component to an event’s success are its speakers. Lining up great speakers can be a daunting task but can make or break an event. These four tips can help keep your speakers prepared and ready to do their best at your events.

Speaker Resources

Having one area speakers can come to for resources will save you time from answering the same question over and over and save your speakers time by easily being able to find what they need. To create a speaker resource area, think of common questions you are asked and start from there. Ideas of what else to include:

· An FAQ page with answers to common questions

· Event fact sheet with information such as location, date, time and hotel recommendations

· Marketing materials they can use to promote them speaking at the event

· PPT template

· Presentation guidelines

· Deadlines and deliverables

Housing all this information in one place will make your job easier and keep everyone organized. Each year you can add to the content additional questions or comments that have come up in prior years.

What Works Best and Who Is the Crowd

Now that speakers have all the physical and digital items necessary to begin drafting their presentations, one key piece is still needed. They need to know what type of presentation has worked best in the past and who their presentation is for. Should their presentation be built around audience interaction and question/answer style or more of a lecture style? Are they speaking to C-level attendees, municipalities, engineers, contractors, etc? This type of information can be collected on your attendee registration form. Speakers will appreciate receiving this feedback as they develop a presentation to best suit the audience.

“Day-Of” Checklist

Prior to the event, you want speakers to feel as prepared as possible not only for their presentations but for anything else they may need while they’re onsite. It can be hectic onsite especially if you have a last minute change or question. Create a checklist with:

· The onsite contact

· AV technician contact

· Location of speaker ready room

· Where to meet prior to their presentation

· Location of presentation rooms

· Food and beverage area

This may seem like common knowledge but as a speaker, if you can print out a one-page sheet to carry with you it makes all the difference. Being able to quickly look up a contact’s phone number and reach out them to directly helps your event look more organized and professional.

As you now know, there’s more to just booking a speaker for your event. Take the extra time to prepare them and you, them, and your attendees will see the success that comes from it.