Creating an onsite speakers’ room

oThe Speakers’ Room is one of the most important areas at any multi-speaker event. The Speakers’ Room, which can also be known as the Green Room, a term which is rooted in theatre terminology, as the waiting rooms of performers prior to, during and after their performances on stage are historically painted green.

I can only assume that this is due to the calming nature of the colour green… and the potential histrionics that could happen backstage?

Speakers’ Rooms should be located away from direct public access, and if there are a number of high-level speakers, it should ideally have security at the door. Very large speaker events sometimes have the luxury of allowing each speaker his or her own room, whereas speakers sharing one communal room is more common at smaller events.

Speaker’s rooms should generally contain the following:

  • Comfortable furniture (couches, coffee table etc.)
  • Desk space to work on final presentation changes
  • Power supply for computers and for charging various appliances
  • Healthy snacks
  • Tea/Coffee and Water Station
  • Flowers (another calming energy for the highly strung)

Food and drinks for high level speakers will be included in their “Rider” – a document that outlines the requirements for their speaking appearances. This is not only limited to food, but also includes stage set-up and audiovisual equipment. We all know the stories of only green M&M’s and 20 bottles of chilled Moët don’t we?

For smaller events, make sure that there is plenty of room temperature water available, as well as a supply of healthy snacks, like fruit and nuts. Try to avoid too many high-sugar items like biscuits and chocolates, as the sugar causes an energy spike, usually followed by a crash – not so much fun while one is on stage!

Speakers’ Rooms must be kept tidy and well-stocked at all times. Speakers should not be disturbed unless they are being fetched to go on stage – this is their “chill” place – a place to do last-minute rehearsals and calm their nerves before facing the crowd.

Behind the stage, you will also find a small area where the speakers are prepared to go on stage. Here, they are mic’d up, and are often found pacing up and down, hands in pockets, before they climb the stairs. Remember to also have water available in this area, for those last minute dry throats and mouths.

Keeping your speakers happy is crucial. A relaxed and prepared speaker wows the crowd, which in turn will affect your audience, the product sales if it is that type of event and the overall perceived impression of your event.