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Planning a conference or any kind of special event is a time-consuming, detail-loaded job! Having a checklist of to-do’s will help you manage all the tasks involved in planning and running your event:


Setting Up Your Location


Map out your event room based on the type of speaking presentation you are planning:

  • If you are planning a small, intimate dinner event, a podium with microphone and small spot light may suffice.
  • If the event involves hundreds of people, a well-lit riser is a must, and should be placed in a position that will accommodate the majority of the attendees.
  • All venues, work tables, chairs and display tables must be supplied by you. Pat Bohse does not supply or arrange for venues and equipment.

Audio-Visual Equipment


Each type of speaking engagement will require different types of equipment. The most common types of equipment are:

  • A podium (or riser with podium) with microphone and pitcher of water and glass for the speaker.
  • Good lighting—do a sound and light check an hour prior to your event.
  • Flip charts and markers, used when audience participation is requested. Charts are most often used in workshops and seminars.
  • Overhead projectors, when simple transparencies are used to punctuate a speaker’s presentation.
  • LCD projectors, used more and more for laptop computer-assisted presentations of PowerPoint slides or other visual materials.
  •  A large projection screen should be available when overhead projectors or LCDs are in use.


Refreshments help create a pleasant, social mood during breaks. Consider refreshments that match the event:

  • If your event lasts more than two hours, you should consider having one break with light refreshments such as coffee, tea and cookies.
  • If your event runs for several hours and crosses the noon hour, you may want to consider a lunch break halfway through. While a formal lunch service is a nicety, in reality, work sessions will be better run if attendees can take sandwiches and bottled drinks back to their tables.
  • If your event is held in the evening, you must specify if it is a formal event, buffet, or reception. Attendees will dress accordingly and will know what to expect.
  • If your event involves a meal, do not place your speaker near the kitchen.
  • Never schedule a speaker during dinner service. The noise from service plus audience distractions will result in a poorly-remembered presentation, no matter how good your speaker is!

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