Lessons for Program Planners from Speakers’ Laments

Ken looks right.jpg

Recently I spoke in a nearby city to a group of 25 genealogists. I had had to reschedule the event from the previous month and had generously given them a "deal": my lecture for half the usual fee, no charge for travel and no meal charges. I did however stipulate that I would need to get in 30 minutes early to set up, and they needed to supply a large screen. So what happened?


No one from the Society is there to neet me. Thankfully it was held in the local library and a staff member came to my rescue. As I began to set up I noticed there was no screen. My contact had not arrived yet but another member of the executive went to find a screen.  It was about 4.5 feet wide. Too small for the room.  We managed just the same. But people at the back had difficulty seeing.

When the event ended and I packed up my gear, I looked around for that program planner to pick up my check.  She was gone.  Have I been stiffed by a senior citizen ad her genealogy cronies?  I will not likely deal with them again.
 If you are a program planner or a leader in a genealogy society, you need to learn from the mistakes of others. May I suggest you drop in on  SpeakerNetNews and read about problems speakers have had with meeting planners. Check it out at  http://www.speakernetnews.com/post/meetingplanners.html

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One response to “Lessons for Program Planners from Speakers’ Laments

  1. Ken,

    The first lesson of program planning has to be to “mind your speaker – meet, greet, help, encourage, introduce, pay, thank, feed and thank again.” The program planner at your meeting obviously failed most of those steps with you.

    We are lucky in Chula Vista to have a person who handles all library liaison activities – especially equipment and setup. We can enter before opening time if necessary to get the speaker set up. Usually, I meet the speaker at the library door just before opening time and escort them to the auditorium. It works pretty well for us…until the library decided last Monday that we couldn’t touch the equipment in the locked room…we sorted it out later with the library director who we really appreciate (and vice versa).

    Did you ever get paid?

    Cheers — Randy

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