Speakers Management

What Are the Responsibilities?

The Speakers Management acts as the primary point of contact for speakers once they are confirmed by the program team. The Speakers Management director emails confirmed speakers to let them know what they need to do (in terms of making a profile on Sched, buying their speaker ticket etc). The Speakers Management director also answers any questions that speakers may have about the event, as well as arranging for travel and accommodations for some of the speakers.

Speaker invitation process

We started with a master document of all the speakers from the suggestion list and call for proposals. We then mapped them out by gender, nationality, background and topic of discussion. We did this to ensure a certain amount of diversity in each of these areas.

Speaker types

2 Types of Speakers:
  • Invited Speakers
  • Call for Proposals
After being confirmed as speakers, both Invited and Call for Proposals speakers should be sent a link to the Speaker Ticket on Eventbrite. Once speakers have purchased their speaker tickets, a profile will automatically be created for them on Sched, an online event management tool that is linked to the OuiShare website.
Make sure to ask speakers to add a photo of themselves and fill in (at least partially) their bios when they make their profiles. Since Sched automatically classifies all profies created as "attendee" profiles, after their profile is created it is the responsibility of the Speaker Management team to edit their profile to classify them as a speaker (and not just an attendee). Inlcuding a picture on speaker profiles is important because by categorizing themselves as speakers on Sched, they will automatically appear on the OuiShare website, which should only feature speakers completed profile (including their picture).
Speaker Profile on Sched
A sample speaker profile on Sched
1) Invited speakers
Once a speaker has been confirmed by a curator a follow up email can should be sent by the speakers management director to register speakers and sort out accommodation/travel. Each individual speaker should receive an email outlining the next steps they need to take. We cover travel and accommodation costs for invited speakers on a case by case basis.
  • Note that the communication flow between the curators and speakers management about which speakers' travel and accomodation costs were being covered should be improved for next year
We want to treat speakers professionally and cover as much as we can, but are obviously limited by budget. It is important that going forward the process of who is and is not covered by our budget for travel and accommodations becomes more organized.
Template here
2) Call for proposal Speakers
Accepted speakers form the Call for Proposals lists are sent out one large email outlining the next steps they need to take. We do not cover travel or accommodations for Call for Proposal speakers, as is outlined in the original Call for Proposals form.

Management of confirmed speakers

Registration & Speaker Profile

Travel & Accommodation

The first consideration in covering Travel and Accommodation costs is the budget. This will help the speaker team get a better idea of how much of these costs they can cover.
Once you have preliminary budget, all the information regarding speaker travel information should be put into a spreadsheet, including:
  • arrival/ departure day and time
  • accommodation needs
  • if we are covering their expenses or not
When you have this information you can start another spreadsheet with all the speakers for whom we need to find an accommodation and match it with the budget.
Next, the speaker management director should collaborate with the program director to figure out which accomodations previously outlines could be assigned to different speakers who's accommodations we are covering.

Presentation Slides

For the sake of including speaker slides in the livesteam, we asked speakers to send in their presentation slides two weeks prior to the fest. This was so that we could add the cover and end slides and put their slides along side the film from their talks in the livestream.
However, it is important to note that this proved very difficult. Most speakers did not send in their slides in a timely manner. For this reason, it is important to emphasize the importance of getting the slides in advance for the sake of the livesteam when communicating with speakers.
We used dropbox, sorted by day, space, and speaker, to compile each speaker's cover slide, presentation slides, and end slides, as well as the banner (syntés) that appeared online and in the videos when speakers were on screen.

End Goals

By the end of the process:
  • All speakers we are covering should have travel and accommodations taken care of
  • All speakers should be registered on Eventbrite
  • All speakers should have a photo and a profile on Sched
  • All speakers should have sent their slides in by the deadline

During the Fest

During the Fest this year, Bianca (the Speakers Management director) spent most of her time resolving issues with tech and speaker slides (see tech page on this here)
Ideally, this would not be the primary job of speakers management. Instead, the speakers management director should be in charge of checking in with the speakers throughout the event, making sure that they are in the right place at the right time for their talks/panels, and checking that speaker slides are correct with the speakers before they go on.

A few notes on Fest Responsibilities:

while dropbox is a good resource for pooling resources before the fest, it is important to note that there was some trouble with dropbox not syncing fast enough on every computer and therefore certain files that were edited or added during the fest not being available soon enough.
If we wish continue using dropbox as a tool, then for the days of the fest and immediately before any essential slides that may need to be changed and put on the master computers should be transfered via USB Flash drive.

Program contribution & briefing