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Speaker Management for Virtual Events

  • 1.  Speaker Management for Virtual Events

    Posted 10-22-2020 08:04
    Hi Cvent Community, we are running our 2021 association conference as a digital event and wanted to know pick your brains on speaker management for virtual events.

    We'll be doing a traditional call for speakers mixed with speaker invites, as an association it's a fine line to tread between the two. I have heard from a couple of associations that they found that speakers were more inclined to drop out in a virtual environment than in previous live events. Have your experience this? 

    If yes, how did you manage it? Would you suggest we recruit more 'back up' speakers and content or is this a case of tightening up and managing speakers from the time of acceptance? Did you get any feedback as to why people dropped out - time commitments, production became overwhelming?

    We plan on a mix of simu-live, on-demand and live sessions. So there are demands on time, for anything that they do.

    I'd appreciate any tips to avoid this being an issue as we get into the real depths of the event.

    Many thanks Cventers :)

    Georgina Clelland
    Association for Intelligent Information Management

  • 2.  RE: Speaker Management for Virtual Events

    Posted 11-02-2020 10:47
    Hi Georgina,
    I would think that if you tighten up and are clear on expectations for your speakers, you should not have this issue. In a virtual environment, it's also easy to utilize one of those on-demand presentations as filler in the rare case where you have someone cancel on you. Even in the real world... it happens! One year, with my previous company, we had a no-show at our annual conference in Orlando - he lived on the east coast and it was completely socked in with snow and ice. Flights were canceled. There was no way he would be in person, so we had to quickly pivot and work with the on-site AV company to patch him in by phone (now, we could do a quick Zoom meeting to patch him in by video!). It wasn't ideal, but we made it work!

    Lori Wildman
    Senior Marketing Manager
    DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, Inc.

  • 3.  RE: Speaker Management for Virtual Events

    Posted 27 days ago
    I'll echo a lot of what Lori said - clear expectations for all seems to be the ticket. Maybe you give each speaker the option to tell you which format they most prefer so that they are more in control of their schedules. I'd plan, for the sake of your budget and sanity, for some last minute a/v productions fees to convert speakers over to pre-recorded or live as they will inevitably try to change their minds or have scheduling issues as Lori mentioned below.

    Stacy Wright, CMP
    Senior Manager, US Congresses & Events
    Galderma Laboratories, L.P..