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6 Keys To Speaker Management For Your Next Event

Watch two industry experts share their war stories and practical solutions to revolutionize your speaker management process.

Our recent webinar brought together industry experts Huong Nguyen, CEO of Shiloh Events, and our very own CEO Chris Carver. The discussion revolved around exploring valuable insights into the ever-evolving landscape of event management. With a focus on the challenges and solutions in speaker management, the discussion centered around having a clear process and harnessing technology to enhance efficiency and value creation in the industry.

The Highlights

Evolution of Event Management and Speaker Challenges

Huong, drawing on her journey since 2013, provided insights into the evolution of event management. She highlighted how the landscape had transformed from manual processes to a world with over 800 event tech solutions, including groundbreaking tools like Sessionboard. This shift marked a turning point in the efficiency and effectiveness of managing events, especially in handling speakers.

"The unique thing about Sessionboard is that we were able to implement it into our own speaker managed management process and eliminate a lot of that cumbersome process and steps."

Navigating Pain Points

The challenges of managing speakers, from keynotes to panelists, were laid bare. Huong succinctly captured the sentiment: "In every event there's always speakers, whether your managing five or fifty is a real headache." The pain points encompassed everything from diverse speaker types to intricate content management.

"Then there's keynote speakers versus breakout speakers. Panelists and side chat and remote... then for each of those speakers you have to create unique know before you go for every one of them..."

Effective Speaker Vetting

Effective Speaker Vetting: Huong emphasized the significance of meeting potential speakers in person. She explained that while past recordings matter, assessing a speaker's energy and charisma during in-person meetings could often uncover hidden potential. Additionally, investing in speaker coaching could transform inexperienced yet promising speakers into dynamic presenters.

"For an example, Stanford, the content was very dry, great speaker content with sales, but the speaker coach helped reduce their session into 50 minutes by practicing with them."

Involvement of Other Departments

Interdepartmental Involvement: Chris discussed leveraging collaboration with various departments such as customer success, marketing, and product as a game-changer in speaker procurement strategy. These collaborations enable the identification of relevant speakers and content, providing a holistic approach to speaker selection.

"But the only way you're really going to be effective is if you get all of those departments involved early on, not just with speakers, but the type of content that you're trying to portray at your event."

Speaker Management Process Phases

Huong emphasized the importance of building your call for papers around your event objective, including the style of sessions you will be featuring. She pointed out that "you may have a keynote, you may have a facilitator session, you may have a gamified session or a workshop or a panelist or fireside chat", all of which you need to build the agenda and your speaker expecation around.

"Develop a process for call for speakers that's going to be unique and tailored to your agenda."

Communication and Expectations

Huong and the Shiloh Events team have a very thoroughly developed strategy for communicating expectations with their speakers. "We do this thing called a show flow, it's basically a spreadsheet that like has the time, the speaker names, and the stage furniture that needs to go on and then like every single minute mapped out..."

"We have multiple touch points... every week we do a check in... remind them... calendar holds... we do a pre-event rehearsal call... fill in these gaps as much as we can... communicate the instructions pre event... leverage event apps for communication and venue mapping functionalities..."

Adapting to Changing Content Formats

Huong addressed the times and how they have changed regarding content formats. It is another layer of preparedness that planners and organizers need to be concious of as they build their agenda and strategize with their speakers to create engaging sessions that have an impact. "Now, with the change in content formats, it also has to change the way that we manage our speakers as well."

"So it's not just a typical of let me get your presentation, your bio abstracts and you're done, but there's materials now, there's, you know, notepad, there's handouts, there's, you know, giveaways and activities that you have to do on site."

Conclusion: Paving the Way to Efficient Speaker Management

This insightful webinar highlighted the profound changes in speaker management over the years and how technology has revolutionized the industry. By focusing on effective speaker management strategies, such as strategic vetting, cross-departmental collaboration, and having a well developed strategy, event organizers can unlock enhanced efficiency and elevate the attendee experience.

As the industry continues to evolve, harnessing these insights will be crucial in achieving successful, impactful events.

Get 10 Tips For An Effective Speaker Management Process

About Shiloh Event Management

Shiloh Event Management, Inc. is a premier provider of full-service experiential event solutions that bring peace of mind to our clients. Our comprehensive services include expert logistics, innovative event marketing strategies, and successful event execution. With a focus on crafting unique and engaging experiences for corporate brands, our team works closely with clients to understand goals and bring vision to life. Our talented experts, precision, and passion result in exceptional events that deliver value and make lasting impressions. https://shiloh-events.com/

Contact events@shiloh-events.com or by phone at 408-899-5464

About Sessionboard

Sessionboard is a next generation speaker & content management platform that simplifies the complex workflows and disjointed communications that exist around speaker and content management. From call for papers, abstract evaluation, awards, applications, agenda building, speaker onboarding and communication, Sessionboard helps event organizers work smarter, move faster, and improve their ROI.The results? A faster-growing event, more productive staff, seamless collaboration with speakers and more time back to do what you do best—building epic experiences.

If you're not a Sessionboard user but you'd like to learn more, schedule a free demo with us today!

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