Hosting a conference: Pt. 2 – the Toolkit!
In my previous post I looked at some of the considerations that go into my pre-event planning for hosting a conference. Before looking at the event itself there is another consideration – the equipment necessary to make the job easier!
So here is a list of the essential equipment I always have with me:
a) Record cards – both small (5″x3″) and large (6″x4″). WHSmith sell these in casebound packs – both white and multi-coloured (for different types of info). Although I learn my intros I always have the comfort blanket of having the important information on a card – each speaker having their own – and stacking these in order – numbered at the top in case you drop them! I use them to “learn my lines” the night before! I also include the timing – and which is their final slide (if using PowerPoint) so I know when they are “wrapping up”!
b) Marker and Highlighter pens in different colours: I write intros in BOLD using a permanent marker for ease of visibility (Sharpies being the best). I also have several highlighters to mark scripts and programme items like speaker sessions, breakouts and lunch/coffee breaks – the different colours make keeping tabs on the programme much easier.
c) Clipboards: usually 2 or 3 in different colours – one for speaker intros, one for agenda items, one for company details. I also carry a smart black leather document folder – in case I have a script to read (e.g. awards) and do not wish to be tied to the lectern. (Tip: if reading from a clipboard – only write in the top half of the page – it makes it easier to maintain eye contact by looking up from the text in the top half – rather than at the bottom of the page!).
d) Sinex! Yes I know this seems trivial – yet a sniff of Sinex will make sure your nose is clear so you speak better and stop you from sounding “blocked up”! I always carry a bottle!
e) Home Office Equipment: the following office equipment is also essential (though I do not carry these with me): A laminator (to protect and preserve any document that will get heavy use); a comb binder (to hold together all conference related documents – in order!)
Here’s a photo of my Toolkit for a hosting job in Paris – with electric socket converters added to the list! (and note the Sinex!)
In my next post – it’s Showtime!
If you are looking for a conference host to ensure the success of your next event – please get in touch!
Are you an event host? Any tips on what you always carry in your tool kit? I’d love to hear them – and maybe adopt them! Please send me an email – or post a comment below!