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Basic Guidelines for Speakers/Societies

What societies should do:
  • Try to contact any speaker well in advance of the date you wish for them to speak - planning a year in advance is not uncommon.
  • Specify the date(s) and time(s) you want them to speak and any secondary considerations you are interested in (additional talks with beginner groups, judging, entire conference attendance, luncheon or dinner meals, etc), if known at the time.
  • Determine costs involved - speakers expenses, honorarium, etc. If speaker is bringing plants to sell, how does this affect costs, etc., or clubs policy on reimbursement.
  • Determine the topic(s) to be presented and what equipment is needed. The society will be responsible for providing it, in general. Speakers often bring slides already in carousels but do not usually bring the projector. If special equipment is needed, determine how it is to be handled and by whom. Many speakers are doing PowerPoint presentations and will need additional equipment.
  • Specify the individual who will be the society contact person, their name, address, phone, etc.
  • Determine if anyone else will be accompanying the speaker (spouse, for instance) and what arrangements are requested for them. (Though not required, societies often include meals with society members, registration, and entrance fees for spouse if they accompany the speaker. However, they normally do not pay travel expenses for the spouse.)
  • Indicate the overnight arrangements available (hotel, stay with members) and determine the speaker's preference. Make certain local arrangements are made prior to the speakers arrival and verified at least one week prior to the speakers arrival.
  • Indicate transportation arrangements to/from airport and while in the location, if applicable. If the speaker is to be picked up, indicate how the pickup person is to be recognized. If the speaker is coming by personal vehicle, make certain appropriate instruction on getting to meeting site, members home or hotel and parking arrangements are clear. Area maps are most helpful. Provide them at least two weeks in advance.
  • If the speaker must fly in, and the meeting is not on the weekend, is there an expectation for the speaker to come in over a Saturday for less expensive flights? If so, make certain arrangements to entertain the speaker, as necessary, are in place and understood by all.
  • The society should put in writing an acknowledgement of the above information and send it to the speaker. Any differences of understanding should be straightened out shortly thereafter.
What speakers should do:
  • Verify the dates with the society and the times you are expected to be available. If you have other interests aside from your responsibilities to the society, make certain the society is aware of them and of your plans while in the area, as appropriate. Determine contact person for society and get their particulars.
  • Agree on the topic of the presentation, approximate time length, equipment needs, etc. Any special equipment should also be recognized and responsibility for it determined.
  • Let the society know exactly what your financial expectations are - meals, lodging, transportation, honorarium, plant sales, etc. Also indicate your means of transportation. If your spouse is accompanying you, the society needs to know what, if any, of their expenses are to be included.
  • If traveling by plane, make reservations well in advance to get the best rates. Making plane reservations at the last minute can double their costs. Speakers usually arrange their own flight schedule. Speakers usually pay for their transportation and get reimbursed, though some societies will purchase the tickets and get billed directly.
  • Shortly before leaving for the trip, verify everything with the society contact person. On arrival, make certain the contact person is aware you have arrived and where you can be contacted, as appropriate. Also, provide them with any emergency and/or medical information which might be appropriate. Should an emergency, medical or otherwise, befall you, they will have information to provide some assistance and guidance to those responding to the emergency in case you are not able to do so.
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Design and Orchid photography © IM Vibat of Beautiful Orchids, used with permission.
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Page Updated: 2017