Tuesday, March 08, 2011

6 Critical Questions to Ask When Preparing Your Program Agenda

Critical Questions to ask to avoid disastrous Program Events. When creating your Program Agenda, there are several elements that you need to know about, whether it’s a simple Event or a more complex Program involving several presenters. Here are some critical questions you will need to resolve before creating your Program Agenda:

  1. How much time will be allotted for the Event? What are the start and ending times?
  2. What type of function is it? Is it an awards banquet with several recipients? Is it a reception honoring a person or persons? A dinner program highlighting a Keynote speaker’s expertise or simply to entertain? Or is it an extended Event with various presenters throughout the day in a Conference setting? The type will determine not only time related issues but also the logistics of sequencing and grouping of presenters.
  3. Who are your primary sponsors? Usually there are one or two “top” funders of your Event with others involved at a second or third tier level. Primary sponsors usually are recognized and asked to say a few words at the opening and second tier sponsors are recognized at the closing portion of the Event. Key sponsor representatives who are seated in the audience are sometimes asked to stand up for recognition and applause. In more sophisticated Events, sponsors are highlighted via pre-recorded videos on screens shown at strategic times during the Event.
  4. Who is the CEO, Director or President of the organization hosting this program? Will he/she be present at the Event? What is his/her correct title? Is he/she planning to be on the Program?
  5. Will there be a Keynote speaker? He/she is usually the highlight of the Event. Make sure this speaker doesn’t steal the limelight from the purpose of the Event and celebrated persons (like award recipients) in the program. Correct placement on the Agenda is everything here.
  6. Will there be a special mention of someone or some thing?

The answers to these questions are going to determine the structure and timing of the events in your Agenda.

Irene P. Zucker
VerbaCom® Executive Development

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