Monthly Media Minute Archives

Speaker Selection & Preparation 

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Select speakers that have local connections

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It is great to bring in speakers from exotic places, but your audience will also appreciate having someone in their backyard that may potentially be a resource for them once the conference is over. For agricultural conferences, consider talking to local extension agencies, universities, or even well respected producers depending on what topics you will be covering. 

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Schedule at least one call with each speaker

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Scheduling a call with each speaker prior to the event is essential to getting everyone on the same page. Sometimes we find speakers online and do a bit of research before booking them. This does not replace a personal phone call, which allows you to discuss topics, cover pertinent information like meals and lodging, and answer any questions they may have.

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Allow plenty of tech time

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Technology is great when it works, which never seems to be when the speaker is heading on stage! Help your speakers alleviate their tech fear by allowing them practice sessions before the event. If they are local and can come in a few days before, that is ideal because it also gives your crew time to practice with lighting and mics. If not, have them send slides at least two weeks in advance and schedule them for a run through at least a few hours before to minimize stress.

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Help speakers tie into the conference vision

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Everyone who speaks should somehow tie into the theme or vision you have for the conference. This can either be through the topic they select or maybe the message they share at the end of their presentation. You will want to be sure and convey this to them prior to the event and discuss how they could accomplish this within their presentation. This allows audience members a solid thread to take away with them and ensures that your message is clear. 

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Promote speakers on your website or Facebook page

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Promoting speakers prior to the event gives audience members something to look forward to. There are several ways to do this including planting information on your website or Facebook page. You should consider linking out to the speaker’s personal websites or any published materials they may have available prior to the conference. 

Productively Using To Do Lists for Event Planning

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Set Smart Goals

This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when they are event

planning. If you need to call the caterer to order food, type the caterers name email and phone number right into the to do list document so you have easy

access to it. Nothing wastes more time than having to go back and look up a phone number every time you need it and chances are you will have to call them more than once. Don't do this in another document because it is just one more thing to find in your already overloaded computer system. This

also makes it simple for others on the team if they need to get in touch with someone. Also works great for presenters.

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Share With Your Team

This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when they are event

planning. If you need to call the caterer to order food, type the caterers name email and phone number right into the to do list document so you have easy

access to it. Nothing wastes more time than having to go back and look up a phone number every time you need it and chances are you will have to call them more than once. Don't do this in another document because it is just one more thing to find in your already overloaded computer system. This

also makes it simple for others on the team if they need to get in touch with someone. Also works great for presenters.

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Save Your To Do List for Future Reference

This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when they are event

planning. If you need to call the caterer to order food, type the caterers name email and phone number right into the to do list document so you have easy

access to it. Nothing wastes more time than having to go back and look up a phone number every time you need it and chances are you will have to call them more than once. Don't do this in another document because it is just one more thing to find in your already overloaded computer system. This

also makes it simple for others on the team if they need to get in touch with someone. Also works great for presenters.

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Divide Tasks Into A Working Document

This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when they are event

planning. If you need to call the caterer to order food, type the caterers name email and phone number right into the to do list document so you have easy

access to it. Nothing wastes more time than having to go back and look up a phone number every time you need it and chances are you will have to call them more than once. Don't do this in another document because it is just one more thing to find in your already overloaded computer system. This

also makes it simple for others on the team if they need to get in touch with someone. Also works great for presenters.

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Fill in Important Information for Later Use

This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when they are event

planning. If you need to call the caterer to order food, type the caterers name email and phone number right into the to do list document so you have easy

access to it. Nothing wastes more time than having to go back and look up a phone number every time you need it and chances are you will have to call them more than once. Don't do this in another document because it is just one more thing to find in your already overloaded computer system. This

also makes it simple for others on the team if they need to get in touch with someone. Also works great for presenters.

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