Event Planning Tools

From conference call to curtain call, our mission at Speakers Bureau of Canada is to make your job easier, do all the heavy lifting and make you the hero. As partners in helping you elevate your event to the next level by providing world-class motivational and keynote speakers and creating dynamic, unforgettable presentations, we welcome the opportunity to share our expertise with you. To that end, we have provided the following tips and tools to help get you there. As always, we encourage you to contact us if you have questions about any aspect of hiring or working with professional speakers. We look forward to working with you to plan your next meeting, conference, convention or retreat.


Technical requirements for keynote speakers and virtual speakers vary and depend on the various conditions available to the speaker for each event. Whether an in-person event requires an Audio/Visual (A/V) setup or a virtual platform with online attendees, each speaker, organization/venue will have limitations in supporting speakers and organizations for a successful presentation.

To assist you and your team to acknowledge some of the requirements speakers will be asking about or that your venue may require to supply, we have provided a list of different items that you and your team can review as the most frequent questions, points of discussion or technical items related to each category. The list below covers all the different components of the technical setup, and each item within each category will be something to consider when researching the technical setup and availability.

PROJECTORS – Video Port, Audio Port, Hook Ups, Converters, Works with Mac, and Windows?

  • Projector brand
  • Projector built-in or special order
  • Video resolution
  • HDMI cord
  • USB-C cord
  • Mac or windows projector hook up

PROJECTOR SCREENS – How many, what size, what type, what resolution, what

  • Projector screen brand
  • Projector screen size
  • Distance between screen and projector
  • What resolution the display will be
  • Do the slides fit onto the screen?
  • Can the audience see the screen with the slide from the back of the room?
  • Lighting to display slide presentations
  • Color and display settings meets the speakers’ requirements

LAPTOP COMPUTERS AND USB FLASH DRIVE STICKS – Windows or Apple, how many laptops or USB sticks? works with projector, does it have the right ports, right hookups, and connectors for the projector?

  • Laptop stands
  • HDMI/USBC converters
  • HDMI/VGA converters
  • HDMI USB-A converters
  • HDMI/HDMI MINI Converters
  • USB direct to laptop
  • USB direct to projector
  • Memory stick direct to laptop
  • Memory stick direct to projector
  • Display ports if multiple displays
  • HDMI, USBC, VGA, USB-A cords

MICROPHONES- Wired or wireless, lavaliere vs handheld, podium vs floor stands?

  • Lapel or Lavaliere microphone
  • Over-the-ear microphone
  • Desktop gooseneck-type of microphone
  • Handheld microphone
  • Handheld microphone for audience Q&A
  • Podium with mic?
  • Digital accessibility and speech recognition microphone

IN HOUSE LIGHTING – Adjustable in every room or supplemental lighting required, darker room or light room, dimmers for slide presentation, controls to adjust lighting quickly?

  • Stage lighting
  • Speaker spotlight
  • Audience lighting
  • Camera lighting
  • Natural lighting

SOUND SYSTEM – Portable sound system required, or is in-house system sufficient?

  • How will the speaker hear themselves?
  • How will the audience hear the speaker?
  • Surround sound
  • Stage speakers
  • Video sound
  • Sound echo’s
  • Music vs voice settings
  • Mic hook ups to sound system
  • Are you recording the audio?
  • Smaller room and no speakers or mic required?

STAGE SET UP – how does the speaker walk on/off stage, platform stage, no stage, concert stage? Podium with or without mic? Table? Where will the stage be in front of the audience? Common performance stages:

  • Platform stages
  • Center performance stage
  • Found stages
  • Proscenium stages
  • Thrust stages
  • Arena stages
  • End stages
  • Flexible theatres
  • Theatres in the round
  • Traditional or ceremonial stages
  • Outdoor stage and open-air theatres
  • Hippodromes
  • Runway stage

ROOM SET UP – How big is the room, how will the speaker see audience members, can the back of the room hear the speaker, how to attendees arrive in their seats, maximize use of space, does the audience need to take notes or work in groups? Common Room Set ups:

  • Conference Center/Main Room
  • Theatre
  • Classroom
  • Boardroom
  • U-Shaped
  • Crescent/Half Moon/Half Round
  • Banquet
  • Imperial Ballroom
  • Reception or Cocktail Room

VIDEO CAMERAS – Set up on different angles, quality of video, captures the speaker, captures the audience? What you should consider:

  • In-House cameras supplied or need third-party
  • Quality of Camera Brands
  • Manned Camera vs stand-alone
  • Cameras with audio or video feed only
  • Recording option on camera
  • How many cameras will you need?
  • Camera angles for audience
  • Camera angles for speaker
  • Camera angles for speaker with audience

ELECTRICAL SUPPLY – Sufficient or additional needed? Fire safety codes met. What you should consider:

  • 120V vs 240V
  • Hook ups and supply is to safety standards
  • Stage hook ups
  • Production hook ups
  • Cords hidden for audience members
  • Backup generator
  • Kill Switch

MIXER BOARD AND CONTROL ROOM – How many, room for multiple producers, two-way radios, controls audio, visual, lighting etc.

  • What brand is it
  • Does it have access to video
  • Does it have access to control audio
  • Does it have access to control lighting
  • Can you pre-set it to certain settings before the presentation?
  • Back up electrical supply
  • Visual to the room or only visible from video feed

AUDIO VISUAL TECHNICIANS AND PRODUCTION COMPANIES – Who are the main contacts for speaker, av test run set up technician, technician for slides and presentation fluidity, camera, lights, sound, projection? What you should consider:

  • Is there are third party production company
  • Will they be recording the event?
  • Who is the production manager?
  • Who is the speakers AV contact?
  • What time and when will the speaker connect with AV team
  • Is the AV in house or hired as a third party?
  • What technology do they access to control?
  • What technology does the speaker need
  • Is going to be a livestream broadcasted or available for virtual attendees?
  • Production company responsibilities vs in house

SOFTWARE PLATFORM – Invitation Link for Virtual Events. What you should consider:

  • Recording the event
  • Livestreaming the event
  • Locations of livestream and how they will access the session
  • What software platform is going to be used to deliver the event? (ZOOM, MS TEAMS, GO TO MEETING)
  • When to create and send the link to the speaker
  • How to password protect the link
  • How to control the participants in a room before admitting them into the session.
  • Test run of the software with the speaker before the event
  • Room set up of the speaker
  • Time of day of the presentation and lighting for the speaker
  • Microphones with accessibility functions
  • Virtual test run on the day of the event
  • Bandwidth and internet speed based on attendees & locations
  • How to control the distribution and access to the session after the event
  • Transcription of the slides or the presentation before or after the event
  • Translation of the recording with subtitles