PRESENTATION DURATIONS & AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT complement one another, as the longer the presentation, the higher the risk there will be of losing the engagement of the audience. Speakers Bureau of Canada’s speakers are dynamic and able to accommodate the session format and duration set out by the organization for workshop, keynote & virtual presentations. That said there are some important best practices we encourage you to consider for the time slot and duration of the speakers’ session for each event and presentation format.
VIRTUAL KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS are usually 45-60 minutes in length plus Q&A or 90 minutes including Q&A. There are some speakers that can extend the duration to exceed 90 minutes effectively depending on the speaker, the number of attendees, and how interactive the session can be. Sessions that exceed 90 minutes have higher dropout rates for virtual attendees, therefore they are usually capped at 90 minutes. The recording is an added bonus for this type of session. Each speaker has a different approach to recordings & virtual sessions to engage audience members, however, the speakers we work with for virtual events have been selected carefully as we focus on content and usable information along with their creative process to drive engagement in the session. Some speakers can exceed 90 minutes however we try to keep consistency with each session since the data we have collected is directly from production companies and monitor these statistics for virtual sessions.
SPEAKER VIRTUAL/HYBRID KEYNOTE PRESENTATION SESSIONS follow the same durations as virtual keynote presentations in most cases. 45-60 minutes plus Q&A. Hybrid/Virtual has the speaker delivering the virtual session with a live stream to virtual attendees and/or a room of attendees with the speaker on a large screen. If you do opt for a hybrid session, this has been the most efficient and cost-effective way with the highest level of engagement from attendees. The recording is an added bonus for this format.
SPEAKER IN PERSON/HYBRID PRESENTATION SESSIONS follow the same durations as Keynotes/Workshops in most cases, 45-60 minutes plus Q&A. Hybrid In-Person is described as a speaker in person, the audience in person with some attendees virtual with a live stream connecting them to the room and session. Depending on the production level on-site, hybrid In-Person sessions may risk the virtual attendees being less engaged vs a hybrid virtual Session since they are not in the room directly and the camera is treated the same as an individual attending the session. This can risk virtual attendees feeling like they are not included the same way as in-person attendees and miss out on the energy of the event. For this reason, it is recommended to invest in a production company in order to do these sessions effectively.
WORKSHOP FACILITATIONS & PRESENTATIONS are usually 90-120 minutes in length and are highly interactive as the audience members can often pose questions throughout the session. The speaker will facilitate the workshop which will often contain individual and group exercises to be completed during the session.
TRAINING SESSIONS are half, or full-day workshops broken between 2 to 4 workshop sessions depending on the program. Much like a workshop they are highly interactive and contain individual and group exercises to be completed during the session. Training sessions often contain handouts, workbooks, and group activities throughout the program.
MODERATORS, EMCEE & HOSTS Conference hosts usually have a daily rate or a conference package deal. Event hosts can be anywhere from 2 hours to the full duration of a 4-day conference. Each event that requires a host will have a different duration requirement as gala’s are usually 2-4 hours and conferences usually 2-4 days. They also may have an evening rate for additional galas or commitments. These hosts are there to keep the programming on track, introduce speakers, and help attendees with any updates/notable mentions from the organization. They also may do award ceremonies, facilitate debates, and so on.
PANEL DISCUSSIONS that do not require the speaker to research or prepare for the session usually access a discounted fees for speakers. Speakers are also more accommodating of video recording and repurposing the content after the session. Panel discussions usually tend to be 1-2 hours and have audience participation and a moderator with 3-5 panelists.
GUIDED INTERVIEWS OR FACILITATED Q&A sessions have the speaker and the organizing team closely work with one another to script curated questions through a briefing session well before the event. They also add some surprising questions in the session keep authenticity and fluidity of each question and answer. Good, facilitated Q&A sessions have the moderator asking, the speaker responding and the moderator adding to the answer or asking another question about the same topic before moving on to the next major question. These sessions usually run 30-75 minutes with one speaker and 60-90 minutes if there are two speakers or if there is audience Q&A offered after the interview.
MEET & GREET SESSIONS have the speaker at a booth, table, or exclusive location to allow audience members the change to meet and greet with the speaker. These sessions usually last between 30-90 minutes in length and will give the opportunity for delegates and attendees to meet with the speaker and ask a personal question to them directly. It is important that there is a facilitator supplied by the host organization to keep the attendees in a line and keep the moving smoothly. Best practices are to limit the participants to one minute with the speaker and have their telephones ready to take a picture with the speaker. If the speaker has a book, another great way to engage participants is to purchase books for the attendees and have the speaker sign each copy during the meet and greet session.