Posted by Meg Soper, 14-08-2015

As a professional speaker who has delivered hundreds of keynote presentations and workshops over the years, I have had many opportunities to listen to audience feedback about what contributed to the success of an event. 

While it may be difficult to please absolutely everyone, I believe that there are five key ingredients that will help make yours an out of the park success!

1.     Build Your Team

Having a committee you can rely on when the going gets tough will make your job easier.

And remember: Not too big. Not too small. Too big and it is hard to make decisions. Too small won’t let you delegate properly, risking burnout. Striking the right balance will ensure the team has energy left for the event day!

2.     Nail Your Theme

What is it you want the audience to experience? Is it professional development or specific training? Is it team building or inspiration?

When you are clear about the event’s objectives, the speaker or trainer will be much better equipped to help meet your goals.

3.     Plan Way Ahead

You will have more choices of speakers or trainers who are the perfect fit for your audience if you allow for 9 to 12 months lead time. If you have to throw together an event and only have 6 or 8 weeks to do so, it is likely you’ll end up with a speaker who is available but may not be the right person for your event. 

4.     Vet the Venue

Think about what venue will best serve the needs and interests of your attendees.

Negotiate discounted room rates and other perks to ensure people stay at the venue hotel rather than spreading out. Having people in one place ensures the event will have that extra boost of energy from the time people check in!

Logistics are also a big variable, and help set the right mood. If people are travelling from out of town, make it easy for them to get to or from the airport. Investing the few extra dollars to make transport seamless will help boost attendance numbers.

5.     Scope the Meeting Room

From the speaker’s perspective, this is the most important variable. As I see it, there are 4 key elements:

  • Spacious but Not Vacuous: I have watched phenomenal speakers have the life sucked out of their presentation because they are presenting in a room that could double as an airplane hangar. Ask yourself – does the room allow the right amount of intimacy for the message?
  • Good Lighting: You are going to the expense to bring in an excellent speaker, so make sure people in the back can see them. Absent proper lighting, the person on the stage can be mistaken for someone attempting to conduct a séance.
  • Great Sound: If the presentation sounds like it is emanating from a Campbell’s Soup Can, or if feedback has the audience stuffing napkins in their ears, the message will get lost no matter how powerful it may be.
  • Clear Sightlines: I once performed in a room where support pillars were made out of tree trunks … I wish I was kidding. The audience needed muscle relaxants for neck strain following my after dinner presentation!

You want your event to be the one people look forward to the most. If it is done right, they will leave feeling empowered, energized and ready to bring that positive energy back to the workplace or home!!

>> Meg Soper is a motivational humorist speaker who performs her hit keynote presentations and workshops for organizations across North America. Get in touch with her to discuss your next event!

About Meg Soper

Meg Soper is a leading motivational humorist for organizations in North America. Her unique perspective combines the insights and experiences of her last thirty years spent as a Registered Nurse, stand-up comedian, and ultimately a motivational speaker. Meg has co-authored two books and appeared on the CBC Television network, Women’s Television network, and Prime TV as well as on radio and at comedy festivals.