As the event world shifts to more complicated platforms and hybrid solutions, there has been an uptick in organizations hiring emcees for their events to streamline the event flow and pace, and keep audiences engaged. Choosing the right master of ceremonies for your next event or meeting — whether it’s virtual, hybrid or in person — is critical to the success of your function. Remember, this person will represent your company and your brand. You really only have one chance to get it right. Here are three tips for finding the right match:
1. Solicit Informed Referrals
As you begin your search, ask colleagues who have planned similar types of events and meetings for recommendations. When you have a short list, make sure to also ask for references from your potential speakers from previous clients who engaged them for a similar scope of work, and do the leg work of actually speaking with these references.
2. Prioritize Research
“Reading the room” is important but there is a lot of homework that must be done by your speaker (with your help) before he or she steps in front of your audience.
Make sure you find someone who is willing to put in the time to research and understand your industry and your audience. “It’s important for your speaker to understand the attendee demographics,” says EventPrep’s Executive Vice President Denise Radcliff. “If this is not a priority for them, it’s time to look elsewhere.”
3. Conduct a Comprehensive Interview
When you’re down to one or two candidates, conduct a thorough interview, as if you were planning to hire this person full-time for your team. Ask as many questions as possible about their approach, methodology and philosophy. Learn how the speaker intends to engage your audience during the event, and how they will pivot and deal with any unintended circumstances or surprises. Ask for specific examples of how they have performed in the past, so there are no surprises for you.
“My role as master of ceremonies is to not make it about me but to create an energetic connection to engage and excite your audience, in support of your brand and goals, and ready your audience for content,” said emcee/speaker Brad Weaber of Brad Weaber Consulting. Preparation is always part of his approach.
Speakers who can seamlessly set the right tone and pace will tell you it is a true art, but requires plenty of homework. Choose a speaker who understands and will respect the goals of your event and you will be glad you put in the extra time up front.
Today’s meetings demand creative, resilient and progressive thinking. EventPrep is a full-service meeting planning and management company delivering exceptional conferences, trade shows, and conventions for our clients in corporate, association and specialty markets. Learn more about our event planning services by contacting us at email@example.com