Tips for Genealogy Event Hosts
Over the last eighteen months I have attended and presented at a number of seminars and talks on genealogy and related subjects. Some events have been well organised with thoughtfulness displayed by the organisers. Sadly, I have witnessed instances where speakers have not been treated with the respect one should accord a visitor. Organisers of genealogy events have a responsibility to their speakers and audiences.
These tips may help with event organisation:
Before the Event
- Liaise with the presenter before the event to ensure that you share similar expectations for the event.
- Confirm event details in writing, email is appropriate in the 21st century and give presenter contact details of the organiser
- Prepare and distribute marketing/advertising materials that accurately reflect the content and level.
- Ascertain what the speaker's technical requirements and organise prior to the event.
- Provide a map to venue and organise a parking spot for the presenter.
- If possible provide the speaker with details about audience - number of attendees, level of knowledge etc.
- If there are multiple presentations on a day allow ample time for room changes and refreshment breaks.
- Contact the presenter a few days before the event to address any questions he/she may have
- Offer to photocopy handouts.
- Arrange for distribution and collection of evaluation forms with presenter.
- Make arrangements to record or video the event.
- Check the technology setup on the day prior to the event.
On the Day
- Be on hand to welcome the presenter or allocate this duty to another person.
- Have a trolley on hand to assist with the movement of bulky items.
- Assist the presenter with setup - Each venue is unique and foreign to the presenter.
- Have water available for the presenter.
- Discuss time management ie windup warnings with the presenter.
- Nominate someone do an introduction and short bio of the presenter.
- Allow time for housekeeping - Give details of restrooms, food availability before the presenter takes the stage.
- Ensure that someone from the organising body remains in the room during the talk.
- Ensure that the presenter gets the full time allocated to the presentation - A lot of effort goes into planning - Cutting a presentation short is plain bad manners.
- Have someone propose a vote of thanks at the conclusion of the talk.
- If the speaker is a volunteer consider a small token of appreciation eg a book, petrol voucher, flowers.
- Assist with collection of evaluation forms.
- Follow up with a letter of thanks - Useful for the presenter's portfolio.
- Share the results of any evaluation with the presenter.