Speakers and event managers have a tough relationship - speakers are scrambling to ready their bios, headshots, and presentation drafts, while event managers are pulling out their hair trying to get their many speakers to confirm information and meet deadlines. Between constant email exchanges and frantic phone calls, it’s easy to forget that speakers and event staff share the same goal of creating a great event!
Fortunately, technology is making it easier for event managers to create and oversee a smooth speaker management process that helps speakers stay on schedule and event managers keep to their schedules. With a few simple best practices, managing your speakers can go from a major pain to the easiest item on your (extensive) to-do list.
Tip 1: Make sure your team is prepared
It’s important that everyone on your team understands their role in the speaker management process, whether that’s grading abstracts and evaluating potential speakers or copy editing bios for your website. Making sure your internal process runs smoothly will prevent delays that compress the demands on speakers further.
If you’re using a content management platform like Hubb, you can assign members of your team to different roles. This controls their access to content and help them stay on top of their immediate action items. That way, you can easily identify which team members you need to follow-up with to keep the process moving.
Tip 2: Automate everything you can
Sending reminders is a necessary part of the speaker management process - as much as you hope your speakers will remember their own deadlines, sometimes they need a little nudge! Rather than cluttering your to-do list, use systems that let you automate those reminders to keep your speakers on task.
Hubb’s automation system lets you schedule reminders by deadline (for example, reminding every speaker who has not submitted their bio to do so a week before the deadline closes) or periodically (such as once a week to every person who has not submitted their bio). Hubb can also automatically update public facing content as speakers submit their latest info, ensuring that things like your event website constantly have the latest information for your attendees.
Tip 3: Anticipate delays and appreciate timeliness
At the end of the day, even the best-laid plans will go awry and some speakers will deliver their materials late. If you can anticipate some amount of last-minute shuffling, you’ll be better prepared to handle late content while maintaining the relationship with the speaker. On the flip side, always be as appreciative as you can for speakers who submit their materials on time - they are busy, too!
If anything highlights the need for a powerful content management solution, the flexibility to handle unexpected delays is it. Not only will Hubb save you time that affords you that flexibility, but you won’t have to double check every place that content lives to ensure everything is up to date.
Ultimately, building a personal, positive relationship with your speakers well help make the speaker management experience considerably easier. With the right technology at your disposal, you can simplify the manual tasks and focus on working productively with your speakers to help make their presentations - and your event - a success. Remember, speakers are not your enemy! By taking the time to organize your internal team, automating as many processes as possible, and leaving time in your schedule to be flexible with late-arriving content, you can make managing your speakers a far less stressful part of putting together your event.
Want more on managing speakers? Get our Speaker Management Best Practices., below.