For many event planners, speaker management alone can be a full time job, especially if they have 40 or more that they are juggling at one time. But this daunting task doesn’t have to be as time consuming as you might think. In this blog post we share our speaker checklist, on how to make managing them one step easier.
- Determine whether you would like to invite your speakers or publish a call for abstracts.
- If you choose a combination, invite keynote speakers before opening the call for abstracts for the general session.
- Launch call for abstracts through an online platform to sort through responses easily and allow 6 weeks for submissions.
- Speaker Onboarding Appreciation Email: After verbal confirmation from keynotes or abstract submissions, confirm speakers acceptance via email and thank them for their participation!
- Speaker Agreement: This should include an overview of all outlined expectations for them. At minimum this should include:
- General event info about the audience, demographic, other speakers involved, and sponsors supporting.
- Bio submission deadline date
- Headshot deadline and formatting expectations
- Presentation content description
- What virtual platform the event is using (if any) and who their main points of contact are for questions as they arise)
- Presentation Deadline
- When and where speaker program run though will be held
- Whether or not you will need them to register for the event or you will doing that for them
- Permission to record or share their presentations (if applicable)
- Include what AV is provided and what additional needs they may request
- Travel accommodations information (if applicable)
- Information regarding speaker fees/honorarium on what they need to submit and when they should expect payment
- Who their main point of contact is for any event questions
- Upcoming Deadline Reminder Emails: 1-2 weeks prior to every speaker deadline a reminder email should go out to them as a courtesy to minimize delays in the project. These emails are also a great time to include any updates about the event.
- What to expect for rehearsals and day of event emails: These should include easy to digest info about how to log in and or get to the speaker green room and stage.
- Networking opportunities: Your event may have a VIP reception, or other exclusive opportunities for your speakers to network with other like minded professionals, this can be really valuable to your speakers and will add to the weight of the events they attend.
- Post-event thank you email: Showing appreciation is important in this email and we usually like to include any recorded presentations, feedback from attendees on their presentation, and a questionnaire that asks how the overall experience was for them.
Virtual Event Considerations
- Always make sure to develop and outline a day of communications plan.
- If they have not attended one of the pre-scheduled group rehearsal then contact them directly for a one-on-one run through to ensure day of comfort for the speaker and a good experience for your attendees.
This may seem like a lot but the truth is that most of it can be done far in advance, making your job day-of that much easier! As we know in the events world things happen and we have to be able to put out fires fast. Don’t let managing your speakers become a stressor. Like everything else you do, go in with a plan!
Like what you see but need a little help? Contact us today!