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The first
important introduction to a conference is when someone registers and/or
in on site, but the next important introduction to your conference is
opening session. That celebrity speaker is probably out of the question
year, as is the celebrity entertainer. Actually those sorts of openings
necessarily mean a great opening.
Yes, we all
must be very careful  with meeting
spend. Yes, we all have tight budgets. However, we must and I emphasize must
make our conferences and events worthwhile and engaging for attendees.


event production does not necessarily mean over the top or out of sight


The opening
of a conference can be grand and meaningful to the message of the conference.
Staying on message is vital.  Try
local entertainment as an opening. No matter where your conference is being
held, there is something unique that you can find. Try local college drama
and/or music departments for leads to great opening entertainment.

Your favorite Speaker's Bureau no doubt has resources for less renowned but great entertainers or speakers whose fees are very reasonable and within a conservative budget.

Look for talent from within your own organization.  That could create a fun and
meaningful opening act. They certainly would know your organization’s culture!


A local university professor or teacher who has the right message for your
group is another resource.


Whether you
choose entertainment or a speaker, whether amateur, semi-professional or
professional be sure to qualify each speaker or performer. Find out if they are
truly up to the job. The last
thing that you need is a lack luster speaker or musician who is tone deaf.


With good
strategic planning and research on your part you can have a well produced
conference opening session that will truly welcome the attendees and begin the conference on the right track.