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.

Visit the Conference Policies for speaker definitions before proceeding.

Suggested order of responsibility for keynote and plenary 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. Topics are sourced from the membership survey (the Executive Director will provide a list), as well as committee members. Speakers can be sourced in numerous ways, such as:
    1. Speakers' bureaus (check with the Executive Director for organizations we typically work with)
    2. Recommendations from committee members
  2. Review the options among the committee, and narrow down the list based on interest. A shared document will be created by the Executive Director to track ideas.
  3. Reach out to the top keynote speakers to inquire about fees (plenary speakers/panels don't usually incur a fee). This step is important to eliminate those that are outside of our budget before spending additional time on the vetting process. 
  4. Send the short list of keynotes that meet our budget and plenary speaker/panel ideas to the Executive Director and Board Liaison to review. The list should inlude the following for keynotes:
    • Speaker name
    • Fee (or fee range)
    • Topic options (specific details)
    • Web site
    • Sample video
And the following for plenary speakers/panels:‚Äč
  • Topic
  • Possible speakers/panels and their organizations
  1. Depending on the make-up of the committee, additional members might be brought in for quick review. For example, if there aren't any employers on the Programs Committee, the employer board members might review the list to ensure they are applicable for that audience. It's important to have a wide variety of members review the speakers to ensure diversity and wide-range interest, and this review helps ensure that. 
  2. Once the speaker lists are approved, reach out to speakers to inquire about interest and availability. Speaker outreach best practices:
    • Templates are provided in the MBA CSEA shared file directly to assist with outreach.
    • Make sure it's clear what type of obligation we are asking the speaker for (are they the primary presenter, a panelist, etc.).
    • Discuss the registration arrangements with the Executive Director in advance to ensure there is agreement about whether the speaker will be paid or if they will be expected to register.
    • Generally, only one ask is made of a potential speaker at a time, with a deadline for the requested response. This helps maintain a positive reputation for the organization and avoids an uncomfortable situation if more than one speaker confirms for the same spot.
  3. Once the speaker is confirmed, discuss the organization’s needs and desired topic with the speaker. Request a draft contract, and send it to the Executive Director for review. See the Conference Policies for when contracts are required, vs. MOU's.
  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 and send it to the ED for the the web site and in the printed program. Be sure all information is edited and final before submitting.
  5. If working with a panel, select a moderator who will 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.