I have been a speaker at numerous events as well as bought my tickets for a fair share of them. They all seem to have the same program:
Someone opens the event for 15 minutes. Two or three others also have something to say. Some dance group or artist delivers a few items and eventually food is served and the main speaker gets his/her chance. The speaker is sometimes famous, but isn’t a professional. They tell a nice story, but tomorrow your guests have forgotten all about it. After two hours you finally get your chance of chatting with your friends and eating away. But no-one does an event differently because this is the status quo.
Here’s a few pointers that will make your event successful and memorable:
- Facilities should have good lighting, sound, comfortable seating and be easy to find.
- Give your audience enough time to visit the stalls beforehand, but start your event punctually. It shows respect of others schedules.
- Have the food and drinks on the table for guests to enjoy from the get-go. Most are starving because they fed the kids and the pets, but not themselves.
- Ask the MC to keep the opening short.
- Have activities where your guests can interact, take part and have fun, like a photo booth with instant pictures they can take home.
- Book a really good artist or none at all.
- Then play nice background music and give your guests some time to take a comfort break, stretch legs and chat (that’s what they came for).
- Then introduce your main speaker. When booking a speaker, keep the following in mind:
- They should be a professional in their field.
- They should offer sound, practical advice.
- They should be able to teach your audience about a specific challenge in their lives.
- People take advice from others who are just normal people that have to work and manage a family.
- Keep the thank you’s short and sweet.
- End off with good music and time to shop and chat.
Good luck and blessings with your event.