KCI Management Inc.

Humanizing speaker management – navigating a new digital experience

Client

Technology Services Company

Event Type

Invite-only partner summit within a larger digital experience

Challenge

Due to COVID-19, our client’s entire in-person user conference shifted to a dynamic digital experience, with a very short turnaround until launch. Within the larger program, our team was managing a partner engagement that had over fifty speakers who swiftly needed to transition to an entirely new digital process. We wanted to make sure that all the presenters had to focus on was their content and made it our mission to reduce their stress in every other aspect of delivery.

The move to digital had a lot of unknowns. With our strong background in speaker management and our unwavering attendee experience approach, we recognized that these speakers would need additional support adapting to all of the changes they were about to experience.

Solution

It was important to us to approach this transition with empathy. Many of these speakers had never delivered content in a digital format before, and likely would be feeling out of their comfort zone. In that moment, a lot of things in their lives were uncertain and so we worked very hard to create a calm, easy process amidst the day to day chaos.

Jumping into action, we wrapped our arms around these speakers. We built a solid support network of experts to create simple processes, as well as clear communication touchpoints so that when speakers had questions, they knew we were there with them.

We took our years of speaker management experience and using our foundation of essential best-practices, we identified new areas where this group would need some additional help. From suggestions on how to optimize bandwidth (not always easy when quarantined with kids) to tips on speaking directly to the camera (use low-tech solutions like post-its), we put ourselves in their shoes and stayed one step ahead by offering solutions to difficulties they often hadn’t yet encountered. We knew that presenters who are typically natural on stage in front of a live audience sometimes need additional coaching when delivering digital content.

Results

A noticeable outcome was that the level of engagement coming from speakers was much higher than we typically see. We found that speakers were much more likely to reach out and let us help them – whether they were excited, frustrated or nervous about the process. Our team received texts and emails about clothing choices, background setups, even worries about their kids interrupting filming. With live events the amount of speaker-initiated engagement is generally low – most are very comfortable with the process – but for this program they really looked to us to help guide them. Speakers felt very prepared, and our client was pleased with the high quality of the final presentations.