As the year begins people are scanning the convention calendar to see what events to attend. Simultaneously, many people are planning to host conventions, making decisions on every detail. One of the key tasks of any convention planner is to find speakers for their event. From the big name keynote, down to the breakout sessions, the convention planner wants top notch presentations from experts in their field so their attendees will get the most out of their time.
Since most conventions only have the budget to compensate their invited keynote speakers (if that), it can be difficult to attract interesting, relevant presentations. The conventions with a reputation for taking care of their speakers are usually the ones that attract the best presenters. With that in mind, here are 7 ways to take care of convention speakers.
Give them a chance to walk through before the event
While the main exhibit hall is usually easy to find, the break out rooms are often more difficult. Provide an opportunity for all of your speakers and presenters to walk through the facility before the event begins. This will give them “the lay of the land” and will also afford them the opportunity to rehearse.
Make sure their A/V needs are carried out flawlessly
In the age of slide decks and multi-media presentations, having the A/V equipment tested before the presentation is vital. The speaker who runs into A/V problems will often walk away with a negative attitude toward the convention as a whole.
Give them access to every other session
Most break out presenters and speakers are involved in the industry that the convention is based around. Waiving conference fees and providing access to the rest of the convention allows them to learn while they teach. It also provides the added benefit of familiarizing themselves with the full event should any other attendees have questions.
Introduce each speaker for each session
This can be difficult to do as most conventions don’t have enough volunteers to be in every room. But, having someone from your team introduce every speaker serves two purposes. First, it lets the speaker know you value their expertise. Secondly, the introduction gives the audience a glimpse into the level of authority of the speaker, raising the value of your convention.
Present them with a token of gratitude during their presentation
This can be handled during the introduction, or after they given their presentation. It is a good idea to acknowledge how much you value every speaker by presenting them with a small plaque or acrylic award that thanks them for sharing what they know.
Praise them publicly via social media
Any speaker who isn’t being paid is there to market themselves. They want to grow their level of authority in their field. So help them. Share their contributions to your convention via social media. While this has the potential to grow their audience, it has the side benefit of demonstrating what kind of reach your convention has to those who may not have attended.
Get their feedback
Nothing tells someone you value what they do like asking them how you can serve them better. Follow up with a questionnaire after the fact so they can give their opinion on how to help you improve your event.
The number of details that go into planning a convention can seem endless. Budgets are always stretched, problems arise from nowhere, and it can be chaos behind the scenes. But, by adopting these tips, you can help keep one facet of your convention running smoothly. If you would like to learn more about what type of awards or plaques are appropriate for convention speakers, please call our team at The Trophy House and we’ll be happy to help.