Hosting Your Speakers And Worship Leaders, Part Two

In our last post we discussed the importance of communication between the host group and conference speakers and worship leaders. Communication before, during and even after the event is vital.

In talking with a few worship leaders and speakers recently, they shared a few other important factors that make a better conference experience for them. Here are a few general suggestions:

  • “Make them feel at home. The road can be tiring. A nice green room can help the band relax. Ask them their favorite snack foods/drinks, and set up an atmosphere that is relaxing. A well-rested worship leader/band will be more focused to lead. Enlist those who have the gift of hospitality to serve in this area. – Chris, Worship Leader
  • “One thing that is nice as a speaker is to have a private place to stay. While it is nice to visit with folks, there is an unspoken expectation to visit for a long time when staying as a guest in someone’s home. This really applies when the event is more than just overnight.” – Sam, Conference Speaker
  • Great speakers/Great worship! If you have those two things people will come again for sure! – Gerald, Worship Leader

In addition, looking specifically at the technical side of the conference, here are a few tips from seasoned worship leaders:

  1. “Whether big or small events, I always send out a rider and stage plot for the band. Many times I’ve shown up to lead a weekend and the stage is nowhere near set the way I’ve planned. Either there aren’t enough microphones, monitor mixes, power supplies, etc. It’s not the best way to kick off the weekend when a simple phone call or email from those hosting could have been sent suggesting other ways to set things up or just saying ‘we can’t accommodate you in this certain way but here’s what we can do’.” – Jordon, Worship Leader
  2. “Have a knowledgeable production staff. First, it starts with making sure sound, lighting and video elements are the best you can provide. Spend the time and money in bringing in great production if your church or event venue is not equipped for a band. People are aware of band sound, and it can be a distraction to worship if not done right. The people running these elements should be knowledgeable of running sound for a band and desire to serve the band and Jesus through that position.” – Chris, Worship Leader

By hosting your platform guests well, you can give them a more relaxed environment, thus providing them more opportunities to interact with conference attendants, feel more confident on stage and possibly help them want to return for future events!

Hosting Your Speakers And Worship Leaders, Part One

You may have heard stories of celebrities with crazy requests when they come to a venue.  A bowl of M&M’s with all of the brown ones taken out.  Only white flowers in the hotel room.   A refrigerator in the dressing room with a glass door.  While these requests are on the extreme side, certain high-profile talent require things of this nature when they perform.

It’s highly doubtful you have had to deal with requests on this scale, but as an event planner, you should strive to host your speakers and worship leaders with excellence.  I recently spoke with various worship leaders and speakers and asked them to share three things a host (church, conference, organization, etc.) could do to make their experience the best possible one.  Their answers were surprisingly very similar.

The one thing each person I spoke with listed was good communication.  They offered great suggestions on what types of things they like to receive in advance.

  • “Communication prior to the event is huge.  I love being able to connect with the pastor/speaker beforehand.  This helps me form my worship sets and allows us to be on the same page walking into the event rather than scrambling to move pieces around last minute.  It’s also great to hear the vision of the event and what we’re trying to accomplish so I can begin to wrap my heart around it.” – Jarrod, worship leader
  • “A complete schedule of the event day(s) is very helpful, directions to the event venue, how long you want the music to be each service, a list of songs that your church is used to singing and may know…all are important.  In addition, take time to verify all hotels are paid for in advance, rental cars are paid for, etc.” – Chris, worship leader
  • “It is very helpful for me to plan my trip by knowing exactly when I need to be there and when the event is concluded.  It is also very helpful to know the subject matter pretty far out. If there is a general topic and you will allow me great freedom on what I will speak on that is good.  But, if someone wants to give more specific guidance (certain scripture passages, highlighting the theme, etc.) then communicate that as soon as possible.  If you have certain expectations for evangelistic appeal, then share that also.” – Sam, conference speaker
  • “Have clear, simple and easy communication available not only before the event but also during the event!” – Gerald, worship leader

It is evident excellent communication is a very important part of preparation for everyone involved with the event.  Stay tuned for part two of this discussion with worship leaders and speakers as they share other important things they desire from their conference hosts.