Daily Buzz: Event Moderating 101

What good moderators do to add value to an event. Also: Believe it or not, an inefficient meeting can be an effective one.

As an event moderator, your job is to introduce speakers, facilitate discussion, and make sure everything runs smoothly. Sound intimidating? It can be, especially if you have little or no experience in the role. If you want to be a successful moderator, there are a few key things to remember, says a recent post on the Eventbrite blog.

Before the big day, get your hands on the agenda so you know what the structure of the event will be. “This will help you to plan your time, for example how early you’ll need to arrive, and will give you an idea of what’s expected on the day,” the Eventbrite team says. “Memorizing the agenda will also help you to keep your eye on the clock to make sure sessions don’t overrun.” Also make sure you’re familiar with the content to be covered.

During the event, remember that the speakers are the center of attention, not the moderator. Limit how much you talk, and use your time to advance the discussion instead of monologuing. “Try to stick to short topic introductions, repeating audience questions for clarity as needed, and summarizing the speaker’s key points at the end,” the team suggests.

If the speaker is not grabbing the audience, you’ll need to get things back on track. Be prepared to ask follow-up questions that are open-ended and add value for the audience.

the value of inefficient Meetings

In the professional world, it’s easy to become obsessed with efficiency. But Adrian Segar of Conferences That Work recommends resisting the urge to shorten or speed up meetings in the name of efficiency. Instead, give attendees time to learn and connect.

“Effectively figuring out what people want and need to learn and giving them the time and space to learn it is inefficient, because learning is messy,” Segar says. “Making valuable connections at meetings is also inefficient, because we do not know who might be valuable to meet until we are given opportunities and good process to find out about the people we’re with.”

Other Links of Note

Are you offering a good digital customer experience? Higher Logic’s Elizabeth Bell has seven questions to ask yourself to assess your organization’s performance.

Rest assured. Nonprofits should adopt a sabbatical policy for all staff, argues a recent post in Nonprofit AF.

Event hashtags can help your event reach new audiences. BizBash identifies 16 smart ways to promote your own hashtag.

(Tero Vesalainen/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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