Tag: mobile

How to prepare for these 4 common speaker hiccups

How to prepare for these 4 common speaker hiccups

No matter how ready you think you are, rest assured at your next meeting or conference, there will be a few blips along the way. Here are four common speaker-related challenges that can pop up just when you think it’s smooth sailing—and here’s how to be ready for them:


The presentation pitfall

Yes, sometimes, laptops fail, and it is a heart-stopping moment for all, particularly the A/V guy. Obviously rehearsals help curtail problems, but when speakers are especially high-level, often they can’t spare the time. For those guests, it’s best to have their presentations loaded onto two laptops (at least), cued up and ready to go in the A/V booth so an almost seamless switch can be made should a major issue arise.

The see-you-later speaker

You’ve allotted 45 minutes for the conference’s opening speaker to share her wisdom.  Unexpectedly, she wraps her speech up in 20 (including Q & A) and is off to her next command performance. Great for her schedule, but not so great for yours. How to manage a workaround?

To start, expect big names, especially those who are speaking gratis, to be on the brief side. Not ideal, but it does happen more than we’d like to admit, so don’t be taken by surprise.

When building the conference schedule, try putting in a coffee break immediately following the opening speaker so whether they go long or short, it won’t mess up the rest of the day’s schedule. Also let your banquet manager know they may need to be flexible on the break’s start time, should the opening session let out earlier than planned.


The forgetful speaker

It always amusing to see what speakers will forget to bring along for their conference sessions—things like laptops, handouts, their actual presentations (!) and any number of items directly related to why they’ve been invited to speak in the first place.

How to prepare? Start by remaining calm, especially when the speaker is on the verge of a meltdown, and:

  • Have extra, backup laptops on-site and immediately available, preferably PC and Mac
  • Make sure you’ve boosted the storage capacity of your Dropbox account so you can quickly deal with large file shares (PowerPoint presentations can be enormous, you know).
  • Spare thumb drives to swap files when Wi-Fi is dicey
  • Fast access to a printer for the handouts the assistant forgot to send, FedEx didn’t deliver, or their dog ate. Ideally, a printer in the conference workroom is best, particularly when the hotel’s business center is an eight-ballroom sprint away.

The clumsy keynote

A dollop of marinara sauce or cup of coffee spilled on the speaker’s white shirt moments before taking the stage is the stuff of nightmares – and they happen all the time.

Here are the basics of how to get a stain out, or at least tamp it down ‘til they can get to the dry cleaners:

  • Blot, don’t scrub – scrubbing damages fabric fibers and drives the stain further in
  • Put hot water on grease stains – to help dissolve it
  • Put cold water on a wet stain – or any spot that contains water (like fruit juice)
  • Lighten up on club soda – no need to hose guests down with club soda – it’s not a miracle cure – water is almost as effective, so no need to break out the Perrier.
Why Your Attendees are No Longer “Just” Attendees

Why Your Attendees are No Longer “Just” Attendees

How would you describe your average attendee? While your answer can vary depending on the type of event or conference you’re planning, there’s one big thing that has changed over the last several years. Your attendees are no longer “just” attendees.

With all of the interactive technology that’s emerged in the last decade, your attendees – more than ever before – are taking charge of their event experience. If you have your attendees boxed in as bystanders, it’s time to start changing how you view the typical attendee.

So what are they doing differently?

Don’t Wait for Information


Smartphones and tablets have made it easier to seek out the information we want. Because of this, attendees don’t wait for you to give them event information. They look up your website, your social platforms, and your mobile event app. And they expect their mobile experience to be fast – every second of delay could result in a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

Prefer Mobile Apps


When you see attendees looking at their smartphones, they’re probably using a mobile app. And by probably, I mean definitely. Apps continue to dominate the mobile web with 86% of time going to apps and the other 14% going to the web. Studies by Compuware have shown that people find apps faster, more convenient, and easier to browse.

Appreciate Custom Content


Did you know that 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content? Each person who goes to your event has his or her own reasons for attending. Delivering custom content to attendees shows them you care about their specific interests. If it’s relevant and timely, it’ll further enhance your attendee’s experience.

Use Multiple Devices


A recent survey by Deloitte showed that nearly 40% of consumers are digital omnivores – they own a smartphone, tablet, and a laptop. Have you ever experienced more app downloads than there are attendees? It’s because 77% of people who have three devices switch between them to complete tasks or activities.

Interact with Your Brand through Mobile and Social


Mobile app use is increasing worldwide, and social apps are leading that growth. A survey by ExactTarget revealed that 53% of people have liked or followed a brand on social media from a mobile device. Having a social presence gives you the chance to deliver great content, engage your attendees, and connect with them in real time on a more personal level. Social platforms have also encouraged attendees to take more active roles in sharing their event experiences, generating more content for events, and building a stronger event community.

These are just a few examples of how technology has changed the attendee you used to know. What changes have you noticed over the years?