Just over a week ago, I was honored to speak at DisruptHR Brookings. This was my first ‘official’ speaking engagement since adding the skill to my LinkedIn® profile and I was excited to explore this new experience.
DISRUPT is an event made to ‘shake up’ the HR community by exchanging information which is informational, energizing, and empowering. Think TedX on speed. DISRUPT’s presentations are short and focused, with presenters allowed 20 slides, advancing every 15 seconds, giving the audience a five minute, succinct concept.
Based on my past HR experiences and current work, I presented Endeavor 2B Experiential my concept of providing employees with individualized experiences and career paths to induce buy-in to corporate culture and employment longevity.
Like many events, sponsorships were gained from local companies for everything from food to printed materials. The event was hosted in Club 71, inside Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium at South Dakota State University. This new space, which I had not been in before, was open with great natural light.
The agenda I was given for ‘day of’ outlined to arrive between 4:30 and 5:00 pm to check in. I arrived at the registration desk at exactly 4:30 pm. The hosts were very helpful in letting me know my cues for the evening and answering my questions. Speakers were then treated to food and beverage with an enjoyable ‘networking happy hour,’ prior to attendees arriving at 5:30 pm in anticipation for the speakers to begin at 6:00 pm.
Attendees were able to mingle with vendors along the concourse and even step outside onto the upper decks of the stadium for great photo opportunities provided with the game field, Jackrabbit logo, and HUGE Daktronics scoreboard.
The room was set up well and flowed easily in and around the food and beverage stations. The stage was set up with a large screen flanked by two, large, flatscreen TVs. Due to this facility space being used for football games, multiple flatscreen TVs hung through the entire space, one strategically located directly across from the stage, about halfway across the room. These TVs were used throughout the event, scrolling speaker bios, images, and social media contacts for the 102 attendees to read and follow for online engagement.
This was also, by far, one of the best accommodations for speakers in this format. Five minutes flies by. Being able to engage your audience with direct eye contact without having to look back over your shoulder to double check a slide means a lot to both the speaker and the audience.
I found out later, from one of the event organizing team members, the stage had originally been set up differently and someone from the team had requested the change of set up to provide speakers with the TV amenity. Well done!
The program ran well without being overly strict or running long. The AV equipment worked without requiring further assistance throughout the night. All in all, the experience was an absolute rush! I was nervicited (nervous and excited) but once I took the stage, everything I needed was in place, cued up, and ready to go.
My experience was fairly ideal, I know. Only one speaker was unable to make it at the last minute, easy to work around. As planners, we don’t always get lucky enough to have microphones that work the entire time…properly or conveniently placed AV and tons of natural light. Planners are wizards of events, making magic happen in any space they are given.
The next time you work with a speaker, take a few minutes to see the room from their perspective too. The forethought of one event organizer truly helped the successfulness of each speaker at this event, and I, for one, am extremely thankful.