Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tips for Genealogy Event Hosts

My recent post Tips for Genealogy Presenters was well received so I am reposting another oldie. I must confess that having read my tips I need to lift my game.

Tips for Genealogy Event Hosts


Over the last eighteen months I have  attended and presented at a number of seminars and talks on genealogy and related subjects. Some events have been well organised with thoughtfulness displayed by the organisers. Sadly, I have witnessed instances where speakers have not been treated with the respect one should accord a visitor. Organisers of genealogy events have a responsibility to their speakers and audiences.
These tips may help with event organisation:

Before the Event

  • Liaise with the presenter before the event to ensure that you share similar expectations for the event.
  • Confirm event details in writing, email is appropriate in the 21st century and give presenter contact details of the organiser
  • Prepare and distribute marketing/advertising materials that accurately reflect the content and level.
  • Ascertain what the speaker's technical requirements and organise prior to the event.
  • Provide a map to venue and organise a parking spot for the presenter.
  • If possible provide the speaker with details about audience - number of attendees, level of knowledge etc.
  • If there are multiple presentations on a day allow ample time for room changes and refreshment breaks.
  • Contact the presenter a few days before the event to address any questions he/she may have
  • Offer to photocopy handouts. 
  • Arrange for distribution and collection of evaluation forms with presenter.
  • Make arrangements to record or video the event.
  • Check the technology setup on the day prior to the event.

On the Day
  • Be on hand to welcome the presenter or allocate this duty to another person.
  • Have a trolley on hand to assist with the movement of bulky items.
  • Assist the presenter with setup - Each venue is unique and foreign to the presenter.
  • Have water available for the presenter.
  • Discuss time management ie windup warnings with the presenter. 
  • Nominate someone do an introduction and short bio of the presenter.
  • Allow time for housekeeping - Give details of restrooms, food availability before the presenter takes the stage.
  • Ensure that someone from the organising body remains in the room during the talk.
  • Ensure that the presenter gets the full time allocated to the presentation - A lot of effort goes into planning - Cutting a presentation short is plain bad manners.
  • Have someone propose a vote of thanks at the conclusion of the talk.
  • If the speaker is a volunteer consider a small token of appreciation eg a book, petrol voucher, flowers.

  • Assist with collection of evaluation forms.
  • Follow up with a letter of thanks - Useful for the presenter's portfolio.
  • Share the results of any evaluation with the presenter.


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