Global Conference: Programs Keynote & Plenary Speakers

There are numerous logistical details involved with management of the sessions, and therefore it is recommended that each committee member take on the responsibility of one or two sessions and handle the responsibility for those sessions from start to finish. Suggested order of responsibility for speaker and session management is as follows:

  1. Receive a recommendation for a speaker and/or session topic from a committee member or other source. If the speaker is a keynote (see definitions), include the speaker’s name and topic in the list of suggested speakers that is sent to the board for vetting. The Executive Director and Board Liaison will vet the list before it's sent to the board. The board review provides additional assurance that our high level speakers are able to meet the needs of our diverse membership base. Board members often have additional feedback that's important for the committee to consider, such as the level of appeal to employers. Important: ALL speakers that will be considered should be on the list when it is sent to the board, so that the board can conduct one thorough review. This saves time and affords the committee more flexibility and efficiency in the process. 
  2. Once the committee determines the topic/speaker should be pursued (and the board has vetted the speaker if it’s a keynote), reach out to the speaker(s) to determine availability and fees (if applicable – note that fees mostly apply to high level keynotes. Most panelists do not require a fee). Contact the conference co-chairs to see if the fee is within budget. If needed, negotiate the fee. 
  3. Once the speaker is confirmed, discuss the organization’s needs and desired topic with the speaker. Coordinate the contract and payment process with the speaker (if needed) and send to the Executive Director for review and approval. See the Conference Policies for when contracts are required, vs. MOU's. See the Conference Contacts document for items needed in a contract. Note that MOU's should include everything that is being provided for the speaker (including specific travel items, such as car service, meal reimbursement, etc.). 
  4. Obtain the speaker’s bio and picture (for keynotes), job title and organization, and write the session description for marketing purposes Enter the information into the conference schedule in Smartsheet for use on the web site and in the printed program. Be sure all information is edited and final before submitting. 
  5. If working with a panel, schedule a phone call with panelists in advance to discuss the specifics and questions that will be asked.
  6. Obtain the speaker’s A/V needs and travel schedule, and enter the information into the schedule in Smartsheet. 
  7. Make sure the speaker registers for the conference. Keynote speakers and others who receive a complimentary pass will be registered administratively by the Executive Director. See the Conference Policies for specific information about speaker registration policies.
  8. Work with speaker on-site to make sure they arrive on time and that needs are met.