A General Session has different lighting needs than a Dinner Gala or an Awards Event, however all should have proper lighting. Why bother holding the meeting or event if noone can be seen. If you intend to have a video recording of the meeting or event you must have good lighting.
I'm not going to explain how to create good effective lighting, because that's what my lighting designer does for me. But, what i want to explain is for a General Session that is going to be vidoe taped, you must tell your lighting designer that the session will be video taped so he can create the right lighting for you.Yes, there is a cost to it, but wouldn't it be a waste of money to have a video that is dark and you wouldn't want to use? Penny wise and pound foolish.
Have one or several conversations with your producer and lighting designer and discuss what will be happening on stage. Have this conversation early on, even if everything is completely planned. Surely you'll know essentially what will be on stage as you have an objective and a vision. Explain the objective and your vision and discuss your budget. With several good conversations you and your producer will come up with a plan that allows for the most creative and effective lighting at a price that is within your budget.
Working on staging on lighting early on, rather than just putting in an order for equipment, will get much much more in the long run, with less stress.
I'm not sure why some planners are afraid to have such conversations, but they will be way ahead if they do.
Event Prodcucers and Designers truly love what they do and would love to work with a planner to create an outstanding event rather than just blindly answering an RFP . I realize that many companies have a procurment process and that's fine, but the procurement process can be made much better by having a dialogue and then working as a partnership.