How To Work With Event Planners So They’ll Call you Back
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.~ Colossians 3:23-24
Having worked in women’s ministry for over 18 years and attended numerous womens’ conferences, I’ve learned a few things about what type of speakers I’m looking for when planning an event. Some experiences I look back on and cringe with regret, while others have brought accolades for years to come (like Vonda!). Below is a list of do’s and don’ts that will have event planners calling you back again and again.
Be Unique: Women today are very protective of their time and don’t want to attend just another dinner with a speaker who has a vague topic. Some of the best ones I’ve been to or coordinated included:
- A Christmas event where the speaker, Lysa TerKuerst, combined practical tips on Christmas as well as an inspirational talk. The combination of practicality and meaning of the holiday were topics women wanted to hear.
- A retreat at The Cove Camp where Donna Otto came and spoke about organization. We had women sign up in droves for this event. She obviously hit a nerve there.
- Vonda Skelton doing her impression of the Song of Solomon. Hilarious! If you haven’t seen it, you must look it up. We had women literally rolling out of their seats from laughing so hard.
Take a personal interest in their event: I always felt more at ease when I felt the speaker was as devoted to the event as me. Take time to answer their questions and maybe even brainstorm ideas. Some of the best events I’ve coordinated were because the speaker was willing to get involved.
Have multiple topics available: There were many speakers I would have invited back, but I wasn’t aware of any other topics they were able to speak on. Three topics gives at least two other options to choose from and reason to have you back.
Deliver a message without hope: We once had a speaker come and share about all of the tragedy in her life, including the loss of a son. It was the most depressing event I’ve been to and left me, and others, in a black mood for days. Always give hope, even if you’re message includes tragedy.
Deliver a different message than discussed: I’ve had this happen on several occasions and felt completely ignored by the speaker. Event coordinators put much thought and planning into their themes, so it’s critical the speaker’s message fits.
There are also other, more obvious, things you can do such as:
- Be on time
- Let them know if you’re planning on bringing a guest
- Display a servant’s heart. Even though you’re the speaker, be willing to help out if needed.
- Be flexible. You never know what unforeseen circumstances may pop up and the event planner will be grateful when you can seamlessly go with the flow.
Event coordinators will be more than grateful when you follow these guidelines and that will go a long way toward having them invite you back.
Carol Roper is an architect and writer who freelances from her home in South Carolina. Building strong, godly homes, one story at a time is the theme God has entrusted to her as she aspires to encourage and inspire women, both young and old, to courageously pursue the victorious life God has for them and their families. She and her husband, John, live on a farm with their two children. Visit her blog at www.carolroper.org.