by Lisa Grimaldi | March 01, 2007
The following checklist was compiled with the assistance of Esther Eagles, president of South Orange, N.J.-based Eagles Talent Connection Inc. (973) 313-9800;

Travel Arrangements
  • Confirm speakers’ arrival and departure times.
  • Confirm speakers’ airport pick-ups and ground transportation.
  • Arrange for a greeter to meet presenters upon their arrival at the hotel.

  • Hotel Arrangements
  • Be sure speakers’ room reservations are in order.
  • Confirm that speakers’ rooms are ready; have their keys and room assignments set aside for their arrival.
  • Check the master account to be sure speakers’ room and meal charges will be centrally billed to the organization.
  • Confirm that welcome gifts and amenities (i.e., fruit basket, cheese platter, bottle of wine, mineral water) have been placed in the presenters’ rooms in advance.

  • Preconference Details
  • Introduce speakers to other key people at the meeting.
  • Compile a list of meals and social/recreational/business functions to which speakers are invited.
  • Include speakers’ spouses or traveling companions in the invitations.
  • Assign a staff member to escort presenters to and from meals as well as social/recreational/business functions.
  • Give speakers appropriate tickets, coupons and passes to these events.
  • Provide speakers with a handy contact list for planning staff. (Include event planners, A/V technicians, banquet and convention services managers, security, etc.)

  • Room Setup
  • Be sure A/V and any other technical needs have been taken care of.
  • If presenters will be using handouts, be sure the planning staff knows where they will be stored and when and how they will be distributed.
  • If speakers are offering products for sale (books, tapes, etc.), be sure arrangements have been made for order-taking and fulfillment.
  • Will evaluation forms be used at the presenters’ sessions? If so, determine how these forms will be handled and by whom.

  • Speakers’ Prep
  • Brief speakers on key aspects of the meeting, such as its purpose, theme, audience, etc.
  • Inform presenters of the starting times of their programs, as well as when they are expected to finish.
  • Schedule a convenient time for the presenters to see the meeting room and stage setups.
  • Encourage presenters to do a sound check and test all other technical equipment in advance.
  • Do presenters need a rehearsal room? If so, arrange the time and place.
  • If there is a speakers’ ready room, be sure presenters have been told its location.

  • Post-Conference Tips
  • Have the balance of the presenters’ fees (checks in envelopes) ready for distribution right after their program.
  • Determine who is responsible for the checks and who will give them to the presenters.
  • Arrange and confirm presenters’ transportation back to the airport.