By Odin’s Raven—do we have an event happening?
If so—hurrah. Now, I’m a thoroughly adaptable and affable chap, but if you want to get the best value from my contribution (while providing an ace experience for your participants) it’ll be important to adopt the recommendations listed below.
tl;dr // I run my MacBook from the stage and require direct HDMI input* along with a wireless headset° or lapel mic.
* Unfortunately a VGA adapter won’t work.
° Ideally not the single ear-loop version (two ear-loops is better).
I run my MacBook from the stage (via HDMI)
I bring my own MacBook to every presentation and require direct HDMI input from the front of the room (no adapters please).* By running the MacBook from the stage, there are no issues with my fancy fonts or videos, and it also allows me to dynamically adjust the presentation as needed. It is worth advising AV technicians of this requirement ahead of time, so that they have the necessary set up. Also, I do not provide presentation slides before or after the engagement.
* Some older/cheaper venues like to pretend they can do direct HDMI—but what they actually have is a VGA connection with an adapter. If that’s the case, I’ll roll without slides.
Note: if the audience consists of less than 50 people, I’ll use 2 x flip charts on stage instead of running slides from my MacBook. Please check the quality of the venue flip charts—most are atrocious. Please also ensure that ultra-thick working markers are provided (not just the regular thin, dry and ornamental ones).
I need a wireless (double ear-loop) headset or a lapel mic
I use my hands, move around, and interact with every audience. It’s therefore essential to have a madonna mic available, with fresh batteries. These are the thin ones that loop over both ears. The single ear ones don’t seem to work for me (they fall off, which can be awkward).
If a madonna mic is unavailable, a wireless lapel microphone will do—but please: no hand-held or lectern mic. An audio technician should be available prior to the presentation to ensure all is in working order.
Let there be light, water, a table and a raised bar stool
Good lighting on stage and in the room, a tall table for Jason’s laptop and a carafe of water (with no ice) and a simple raised bar stool are all appreciated.
For interactive sessions, round tables are ideal, as participants will have easy access to pens and paper, and the ability to talk with each other. Please err towards ‘organic coziness’ and have tables placed close together, rather than neatly spaced out to fill the room. Avoid rigid rows where possible.
There’s plenty we can do
I’ve had the fortune of working with many event producers, in a diverse mix of countries and contexts. We’ve also produced a bunch of high-level leadership events ourselves. If you have any questions about the above, or would like to explore opportunities to enhance participant experience (across every touchpoint), or how we can ensure the event serves the meta-strategy and meaningful progress—let’s chat. It may be that we can spark new thinking, connect you with some incredible characters, or cook up something even greater.
As ever, we are here for you. If you have any questions, or if there’s anything we can do—please get in touch.