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6 Ways Meeting Planners Can Get More Value from Their Speakers


This guest post is from speaker, thinker, and author Kare Anderson.

There are lots of ways meeting planners can bring more value and visibility to their speakers, enhancing the experience for both attendees and presenters. Here are six:

1. After you hire a speaker, ask him or her to submit three actionable tips (less than 100 words each, with embedded links) that they will offer in their presentation, plus a two-sentence bio along with a link to a site where attendees can learn more tips from that speaker. Then create a valuable conference souvenir that you email to attendees as they are leaving the conference: an e-booklet of all speakers’ tips plus a list of “who else contributed to the success of our conference”—a list of the conference committee members and others you feel should be noted.

2. Strengthen the connective thematic thread of your conference by sending all speakers the full list of your speakers' tips, and ask them to find at least one tip from another speaker that relates to their topic and refer to it in their presentation.

3. During the conference, ask each speaker to create one-minute video tips with explanatory text titles, using the free app Gloopt. Ask them to include the hashtag for the conference in each video, and suggest that they share them on social media while at the conference. This will boost the value and visibility of the conference itself, the ideas explored at the conference, and the speakers.

4. In advance of the conference, invite attendees to download the free app so that during the conference they can use their phone to video themselves asking other attendees for a tip they heard at the conference, and who they heard it from. Attendees might cite a speaker or exhibitor or other attendee from whom they learned something helpful. This gives four people bragging rights that can spur them to share these videos: the interviewee, the person interviewed, the person cited, and the meeting planner.

5. Act like a movie director and storyboard the sequence of meaningful moments that attendees experience at a conference, to increase the positive elements and reduce or eliminate the boring ones. See how here.

6. When attendees sign up, ask them to send you by a certain date the name of a book that helped them in their work last year, even if it does not seem to directly relate to their work. Then you can display at the conference the five most-cited books, along with the names of the people who cited them.

After you receive responses, email those folks a list of all books submitted, followed by the name of the attendee(s) who submitted them. Then get 10 copies of the five most-cited books from the book publishers for free—by telling them that you will display them throughout the conference then give them away, from the stage, to attendees you want to honor.

Kare Anderson is an Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal reporter, now connective behavior speaker and columnist for Forbes and Huffington Post. Anderson's TED talk on The Web of Humanity: Becoming an Opportunity Maker, has attracted more than 1.9 million views. She’s the author of Mutuality Matters, Mutuality Matters More, Moving From Me to We, Resolving Conflict Sooner, and Getting What You Want, along with other books. Discover more at her blog, Moving From Me To We.

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