Speakers might just have the easiest job in the world: Work for one hour, have someone organise and fix everything around the conference (from conference room, to inviting delegates, to audio and visual technology, etc etc). All we have to do is show up and speak.
Compare that to the event organiser who is in charge of one million things. One million things that can go wrong I should add.
Today I was the keynote speaker at the “IATA Aeropolitical Forum” in Cairo and got to see first hand how event organisers work hard to make a conference happen.
When I arrived at 8 am in the morning and stepped up on the stage to get a “feel” for the stage I see two men sleeping (!) behind the stage.
Turns out it is the AV-guys who had worked non-stop until 6.30 in the morning to get the screens to function properly. Now they were taking a nap for 90 minutes before being in charge of the technology during the one-day-conference…
Conference delegates hardly ever notice all the chaos that goes on behind the scenes (in the case of today it was literally “Behind the scene”…)
Event organisers hardly ever get the appreciation they deserve for all the (very stressful) job that they do.
The least thing we could do for them is to make their job as easy as possible with regards to our small role in making the conference a success.
So it was with great joy that todays event organiser went up to me today and said: “I have never worked with a speaker who is so easy to work with than you.”
Thank you! One of the best feedbacks an event organiser can give a speaker if you ask me.
Lesson: Be easy to work with. That is the least you can do to help the people who are doing the heavy lifting of making a conference happen. We might be promoted as the “star” of the conference, that does NOT mean we should behave like “pop stars” and demand all kinds of crazy stuff like they have a tendency to do. (click here for 13 11 Bizarre Celebrity Backstage Demands And Concert Riders.)