An Event Planner’s Guide to Speaker Management

One of the big logistics we have to deal with as event planners is speaker management. For an average conference, we could be dealing with 20 speakers or more and this can all be a bit confusing. However, most planners have this logistic down pat so I have just a few suggestions for taking it to the next level.

I don’t believe the first thought in our minds should be to get free speakers. Why? Because speakers are a huge reason people attend events and are critical to the success of our event. If they do a good job, people learn a lot and appreciate the event. If they don’t, well, we all know what happens. So – consider your compensation plan. If you can, always pay your speakers. If it’s not in the budget, you must find mutual benefit. This could be introductions to potential clients, exhibiting space or other perks. And always, always, cover their registration for the event.

When you request a presentation deck due by a set date, follow up as needed to keep to that date. Many speakers will only stick to deadlines if they think that you will. So – make sure the expectations are clear in the beginning and that you follow up regularly.

Inspire your speakers to take their session to the next level – share videos from your favorite sessions, encourage them to use pictures and videos and give your speakers everything they need to be inventive. Make sure the technology is up-to-date and easy to use.


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