Preparing a Conference? Tell Your Presenters This

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I’ve given a number of talks in the last few years. Each time I go to a new place, I have to bring this giant bag of equipment and three or four versions of my presentation. All too often, conferences don’t detail enough of the specifics for their presenters. Let me tell you, presenting and traveling can be stressful. So, to help reduce stress and anxiety, there are a few things you can share with your presenters ahead of time.

The Room What is the size of the room? Is it just chairs, or are there desks? How close will you be to the audience?

Equipment Will you be required to use a handheld mic or a lapel mic? Is there a projector? Is the projector duplicated in front of you, or is it just behind you? Where will the laptop / presenting station be in regard to the screen? Will there be a laptop/desktop or should you use your own? If so, what kind of connection is available to the projector? Will there be stable WiFi? Or should the presentation take place with an offline medium?

Location/Direction Where exactly is the convention center? Where exactly is the hotel compared to the convention center? Is there parking, public transportation, etc?

Amenities Will the speaker be taking part in the meal before/after? Will there be water/coffee provided? If it’s a multi-session talk, are there specific places for speakers only to congregate? Is there a meeting place directly after the conference to speak with the attendees (especially if there are back-to-back sessions).


I understand - you may not know the answer to everything all the time. Plus, some presenters might not even care. But, for those who do care, this information will really help them. Perhaps you could take a picture of the venue or location? Or describe each room in depth and tell the speaker where their tracks will be? You might even connect them with a previous year speaker directly so they can ask for any advice.

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