Managing speakers is a whole new experience in the virtual event space. The technical hurdles are greater and speakers’ expectations will be subtly different too. Here are a few quick hints to ensure your speakers have a positive experience of your event.
- Block out the timing of each speaker’s presentation/panel in their calendars, and start the calendar appointment 15 minutes before they are due to go live so they have enough time to get on to the platform and get ready before their presentation. Include clear, concise instructions in the calendar invitation if they need to do anything other than just clicking on the link.
- Soon after you confirm their participation, ask your speakers to test whether they have any corporate firewalls that may block them from accessing your virtual event platform or streaming service.
- Pre-record presentations wherever possible to avoid the risk of technical drop-out on the day but provide your speakers with a guide for recording their presentation videos and tips for making their videos look professional.
- Allow additional time in your workflow to support speakers through the experience of creating their presentation videos and sharing their video files with you.
- Communicate with your speakers at least two weeks before the event if they will need to download any apps or browser extensions as they may need their IT department’s permission to install them.
- Rehearse each panel in the week leading up to your virtual event using your webinar/streaming tool. Ensure that everyone knows how to access and use: the speaker-only chat, delegates’ questions and any interactive tools they are planning to use.
- You can never guarantee your speakers’ or moderators’ internet connections so always have a backup moderator on your panel (even if this is you) and provide them with a simple step-by-step script to follow so they can step up with confidence if needed.
- There is often no opportunity to thank your speakers in a green room after their session so be especially diligent about sending off prompt and meaningful thank you emails after the event.