If you have a speaker(s), determine if your speaker will require audio/visual equipment, a podium, or any other specific equipment for the presentation and order what is needed. You will need to update the speaker on the event details. Make sure you provide them with the following information at least three days before the event. Go over appropriate things on this list again when the speaker arrives to refresh his/her memory.
Information to provide to speakers
- Date and Time
- Location with address and directions to the event
- Parking information
- The contact person onsite that the speaker should find when they arrive (include a cell phone number)
- Detailed itinerary including time, order of speakers and where they can rest before and after the talk
- The MC who will introduce them
- How long they are expected to present
- The cue that they need to wrap up if they are going over
- How long they need to be present at the event (the whole event or just during the presentations)
- Any special equipment or audio visual needs
- Whether or not a question and answer series is expected
- For President Crow and Engineering Dean: the contact person assigned to them for the event to makes sure they have an opportunity to meet the right people
Information for MC (Master of Ceremonies)
For the MC or a speaker from the university such as President Crow and Engineering Dean, you need to prepare talking points in addition to the directions above. These should include:
- Purpose of the event
- Bullet points that they need to address
- How much time they have
- Name of a special guest in the audience
- Who should be thanked or specially mentioned
- For Engineering Dean and President Crow, you need to prepare bios on the major people attending including the speaker. This needs to be sent to their office two to three days before the event
Request a date on President Crow’s calendar.
Requesting a Date on Engineering Dean’s Calendar by filling out this form Dean’s Event Request Form.
Sign language interpreters
If you are planning a large event with a diverse audience, you may want to consider hiring sign language interpreters or closed caption services. ASU has a sign language interpreter at the University that may be able to help you. Questions about interpreter services may be directed to the ASU Disability Resource Center– Disability Access Consultant for deaf/hard-of-hearing at 480-965-1234.
For other options you may want to contact some of these agencies require as much as one-week advance notice, so make contact early:
If you are looking for speakers within the university but don’t know where to turn, contact the Media Relations at the Office of Public Affairs, they keep a list of ASU faculty and staff members from throughout ASU that are available as speakers.
If you are looking to bring a high-profile speaker to campus (political leader, author, celebrity, sports or media figure, etc.) you will need to work directly with their agents or representatives in speaker bureau agencies. Some speakers have exclusive contracts with specific speaker bureaus, but most bureaus can work with just about anyone.
- AEI Speakers Bureau
- All-American Talent and Celebrity Network
- American Program Bureau
- Big Speak
- Great Black Speakers
- Greater Talent Network
- Keppler Speakers
- Premiere Speakers Bureau
- Washington Speakers Bureau
Contracts and Schedules
You will develop a contract with the speaker bureau or agent. Be sure to include all of the expected events that you are planning for the speaker, including lecture, receptions, any meals with deans, faculty, students, etc., student sessions, book signings, media interviews, etc. Some speakers will only give a certain amount of time, so ask the agent for this information.
Most speakers identify a speaking honorarium, but don’t be afraid to negotiate. Many speakers particularly enjoy lecturing on college campuses and may be flexible about the rate and/or schedule.
Travel Arrangements- Lodging, Transportation & Meals
Identify right from the start whether you are responsible for paying for all travel costs, including airfare, rental car or ground transportation to/from the airport in both the hometown and here in Arizona, hotel lodging, and all meals while on their trip. In some cases, these costs are included in the honorarium and coordinated by the speaker bureau/agent or they are coordinated by the speaker directly and you must reimburse them. In other cases, these costs are not included and need to be coordinated by you. Some speakers require first-class travel only, so you will need to plan for this in your budget and make the appropriate arrangements.
Ask these questions up front so there is no confusion- you particularly want to avoid confusion once the speaker arrives for the engagement.
You will need to coordinate local travel to/from the hotel, to/from meals, and around campus, so plan this out in detail in advance. Your speaker should be escorted everywhere by a knowledgeable and professional representative. Be careful not to pack their schedule too full, provide plenty of bottled water throughout the day (a re-stocked cooler in the golf cart is a good idea) and check in with them regularly to see if they need anything.