Here are five ways planners can work with speakers to extend the life of their speeches or presentations.
- Collect detailed information including demographics, age, experience/roles, and education about the audience to enable detailed customization of memorable and value-packed speeches or presentations.
- Set up informal networking pre/post the actual event with speaker and/or other attendees.
- Send out diagnostics and polls ahead of time to engage the audience as well as identify challenges and top of mind issues that they want to have highlighted in the keynote
- Include a live Twitter feed during the event showing the tweets and comments from attendees
- Arrange for pre-keynote interviews between the speaker and various stakeholders/audience members
Planners working with speakers to leverage technology during presentations can enhance the attendee experience at every level – before, during, and after the main event.
Before the event, there is a multitude of ways speakers and planners can work together to use technology to engage audiences before the actual event. As a speaker, technology can help you collect detailed information about the audience to be able to custom craft a memorable and value-packed speech that feels intuitively customized for the audience. Event planners today are more frequently using technology to connect attendees and speakers before the actual event, creating pages to send in questions for the speaker ahead of time or even set up informal networking pre/post the actual event.
During the event or presentation, technology can be used to activate and engage audience members in a keynote presentation. It allows speakers today to talk with an audience, as opposed to merely talking at them.
The physical and digital experiences of events are merging. Just look at audience shots in baseball stadiums. As the ball flies into the audience, you often see fans looking at their phones. They are not necessarily ignoring the game; they may be checking stats, watching re-plays, or messaging with other fans.
The same kind of digital-physical experience is emerging in conferences. Live polling and voting of questions asked by the speaker in their presentation, or the ability to submit questions for the Q&A are relatively easy to implement, providing high engagement ROI for the effort expended. Including a live twitter feed showing the tweets and comments from attendees is also a great way to entertain and make people feel they are part of the community/event.
After the event, if you are an event planner or involved with selecting entertainment, be sure to ask speakers what they can do to encourage learning and create impact after their keynote. One of the most common ways of doing this is sharing materials and tools that attendees can take back with them. A copy of the slide deck, books, accompanying workbooks, and diagnostic tests are examples. Events that have invested heavily in engaging audiences beforehand in online platforms/community discussions should look to continue those conversations and ask the speaker if they can be available to provide some final thoughts or answer some of the top questions following their speech.
Attendees rate networking with peers as one of the most important reasons they attend conferences and events. Technology gives meeting planners a plethora of tools and ways to enable networking and engagement after the actual event. Providing fast access to online photo albums of the event (and people there) gives attendees what they need to post on their personal and professional social media accounts – showing their colleagues and extended network what they learned and are up to.
Be sure to ask your keynote speaker as well if they would be willing to attend networking events before or after their keynote. Setting up coffee or a meal with key clients, attendees, or executives is a request I receive often and am happy to oblige if possible.
There a multitude of ways that planners can work with speakers to extend the life of their presentation and lead to a more successful event. Technology is raising the bar for event planners and keynote speakers alike. More than ever before, both event planners and speakers need to stay connected, work closely together, and continue to push the limits in creating impactful events. New ways to engage audiences and provide a fresh, entertaining experience that before, during, and after the main event will soon be the new norm and expectation.
Kaihan Krippendorff is a top-rated speaker on the topic of business strategy, innovation, growth, and transformation. He is the author of five books, most recently, Driving Innovation from Within: A Guide for Internal Entrepreneurs and Leaders. Learn more at Kaihan.net