Here are some notes specifically for conference speakers. A lot of this information may already be part of your planned conference preparation.

Due August 8 – Slides

The only item we ask for in advance is a copy of your slides and any other relevant materials. We provide the attendees with downloads of supplemental materials from the speakers. We also pre-load these on our backup laptop in case you encounter a technical problem.

Even if you plan on “tweaking” the slides after that, we would like to get a copy on the due date. You can always send us an updated copy after your presentation. A reminder will go out about this two weeks before the deadline.

Fill out the Attendee Profile

It would be helpful if you could fill out the Speaker Profile ticket for the conference. It should just take a few minutes. This will make sure we have all the correct profile info for you and it will also connect you to the conference app and attendee notifications.

The Conference Venue

Our host hotel is the Renaissance Waterfront Hotel and all of the details are on the Venue and Travel page.


Pre-conference Prep

Try to be at your assigned room at the conclusion of the previous session. Or if it is right after lunch, get there fifteen minutes early. There are only three adjacent rooms, so it is a pretty compact area. If you are scheduled first thing in the morning or after lunch, please arrive 15 minutes before your start time. Our AV techs will be there to get you set up.

The assumption is that you will be doing your presentation from your own laptop computer. A technician will be available to hook you up to our projector. If you will NOT have your own laptop, please contact Joe Welinske so that we can make the necessary arrangements. [email protected]

We will have a variety of laptop video adapters. However, if you have one that has worked with your laptop, please bring it with you. That is the best way to ensure that we can connect you quickly and correctly. Consider bringing a copy of your materials on a flash stick as a backup.

Each room has a podium and a choice of a podium microphone or lavaliere.

We will have wifi available in the conference rooms. You will receive a logon at the Conference Check-in.

Even though there will be wifi, there can often be unpredictable connectivity problems at conferences. You may want to store as much content as possible on your laptop. Reserve cloud services and demonstrations for things that can’t effectively be shown from a screen capture. Have a backup plan if the service goes down for some reason. Consider bringing a backup copy of your slides or other materials on a flash stick.

Accessibility

We believe that inclusive design includes conference preparations. You may find the following article helpful.


Help Getting Out the Word

We welcome anything you can do to get the word out about the event. If you think some of your colleagues might be interested in attending, we can I can put together a custom code for you to give out with a $200 discount.

Here are social media destinations:


Your Session

All conference session and speaker info is posted on the web site:

Your session time and room assignment will be listed in a printed Guide and also in the conference app. Please arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to your session start time. Proceed directly to the stage. A technician will arrive to assist you in connecting to the projector. All rooms will have a projector and microphone. If you have any special audiovisual needs, please contact Joe Welinske before the conference begins. You may want to bring the latest copy of your presentation on a flash stick in case you need to use one of our laptops in an emergency.

Except for the workshops, the time slots are fairly short in length. You may want to consider doing a practice run to make sure your material fits. There is just enough time to jump right into your main points. We will keep on a tight schedule. You may want to take questions off-stage after the presentation to give the next presenter an opportunity to set up.

We will be recording the sessions. For audience questions, please repeat questions if they are made without a microphone. That will make sure everyone in the room hears it and it becomes part of the recording.


Presentation Tips for Our Audience

Keeping Everyone Engaged

Much like a newspaper headline or opening minutes of a film, it helps to grab your audience’s attention early on. Give them a quick list of the juicy bits of information that you will present to them during the presentation.

Attendees really enjoy personal anecdotes, experiences from the field, and what you really think. Don’t get hung up reading your slides or from notes. You know the material. Talk to the audience like they are a bunch of friends. Granted, it may be a big bunch. But you will get enthusiastic support from just about everybody if you speak to them instead of at them.

Challenging the Audience

We have a lot of very experienced and knowledgeable attendees. Unless your session is designed to be a beginner presentation, feel free to challenge the audience, to use in-depth examples, to push the envelope of your topic area. Also, don’t feel like you need to have thirty minutes of introductory material before you get into the meat of your presentation. Five minutes and a couple of slides about you and your company is more than enough.

Taking questions

If you have a large audience, fielding questions can be problematic. Always repeat a question before answering it. The audience members will not be able to hear what is said if the room is large or the questioner is facing away from them. Also, many questions are only of interest to the person asking it. Usually the best approach is to take a couple of questions from the floor. Then adjourn and suggest that others with questions come and see you after the session where you can deal with them in depth. That way those without questions can feel free to leave the room. If it is a relatively small room you will find you can have a more back forth discussion with attendees during the session without a problem. However, the session durations are short. Don’t get caught up in a complex answer that takes away from your session plan.

Inappropriate Comments

Please refrain from divisive comments. One of the hot-button areas is anything related to politics. Certainly, this is an important area of interest to many of us. But this event is designed for collegial education and networking. Also, there have been instances where comments related to gender and gender roles are not in keeping with our event’s Code of Conduct.  Please reflect on how to present a fully inclusive and respectful session.

Networking/Socializing

There will be a number of social and networking activities throughout the event. It would be great if you could attend as many of those as possible. The attendees will enjoy the opportunity to meet with you outside of the educational