Working in events is not always easy, especially when you decide to become an event host. This work requires a certain discipline and a good dose of improvisation. Although the event host remains the master of the orchestra, the host is largely responsible for the success of the event, as he or she is responsible for keeping guests occupied and hosting the event during crucial moments when the energy is running low.
But what are the real missions of a facilitator and what skills can enable him/her to succeed successfully in his/her task? Eventdrive gives you all its little tips to help you become the best event host.
THE EVENT FACILITATOR: WHAT IS EXPECTED OF HIM/HER?
The role of an event facilitator is simple: to facilitate your event. But you didn’t need us to come to that conclusion, did you? In reality, the somewhat more hidden objectives of a facilitator are more complex.
To succeed in completing his mission, a good facilitator must be able to spread your company’s products, promote them in a disguised way and ensure effective communication with energy and warmth. Nothing worse than a host who doesn’t smile! And yes, another talent required and not the least: always be in a good mood. The facilitator must be able to improve your brand image and to achieve this, there is nothing better than working with a smile on your face.
There are different types of facilitators. The first, the most common, is often called a microphone presenter. He is the one who has to do the show and he often walks around with a microphone in his hands, hence the nickname he is given.
The facilitator can also be a presenter. In these cases, he must be able to captivate the audience and seduce your participants to spread the message entrusted to him. At professional events, his job is also to distribute the word and help speakers who do not necessarily like to speak in public. Its purpose is then to promote everyone’s speech.
Its role, in a way, is to create a common thread throughout the event. There is a lot of talk about storytelling in marketing (the art of telling a story to captivate your audience). It’s the same for a facilitator. A good professional will know how to start a story at the beginning of the event and continue it as the day progresses. To do this, they can make jokes, use their personal experience or tell stories. The final objective is to link the different interventions together in a fluid and interesting way for the audience.
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THE NECESSARY SKILLS TO BECOME AN EVENT FACILITATOR
Each facilitator is unique and depending on the events in which they are required to participate, the skills required may vary. However, a good number of qualities are required, regardless of the mission entrusted.
A good facilitator must be full of energy. But most importantly, it must be able to keep up the pace. Days are often long in events and the role of the facilitator is to keep the guests busy throughout the event, so he or she must be able to withstand fatigue. A good night’s sleep before an event is strongly recommended! And if you have a doubt, don’t hesitate to watch some Ted lectures. You will see how stakeholders are active, and use dynamism to captivate their audience.
Knowing how to socialize
It may seem obvious, but don’t get me wrong, too many times we’ve come across hosts who didn’t have a sense of contact. And yet, this quality is more than essential. The facilitator is often challenged by guests who ask questions. It is then necessary to be able to engage in conversation and help participants to get comfortable. To make this easier, you can go to events yourself, as clients, and observe how the facilitators on site are doing. Then take the opportunity to discuss with the various stakeholders to put your talents into practice!
Being a good actor
Yes, you read it right. The host must be able to play. It is not always easy to carry out one’s mission by remaining oneself, a good facilitator will then be able to make the right balance and play the role that is required of him for a few hours. Moreover, future animators are always advised to take some drama lessons to help them in their future. A few hours of training can teach you the basics of the job and the right techniques to react quickly and above all, to improvise!
The facilitator often has to carry out different tasks. They may be asked to present a product, announce a conference or welcome guests. Sometimes these 3 tasks are requested during the same day. The facilitator must then be able to change the tone of his or her speech. The same applies if the facilitator is called upon to work during a professional conference for lawyers one day and a trade fair on pet toys the next, for example.
THE DETAILS THAT MAKE YOU A GOOD EVENT FACILITATOR
Being a good facilitator is not for everyone. In addition to having the necessary skills, many details will make the difference.
For example, a facilitator who does not know how to remember his or her text and remains silent, will never be called back. On the other hand, a facilitator who has a memory lapse, but who is able to make a meaningful improvisation, will know how to make a difference. All presenters have blanks, that’s normal. But you have to be able to manage them. Most people use humour to get away with telling a joke. You can also choose this time to interact with the audience, ask them questions. And if the situation really doesn’t lend itself to it, look in the future and tease out an activity that will take place later in the event. Double benefit: you fill in a gap and promote another conference.
Also note that a facilitator is allowed to come with notes. Of course, we don’t want you to read a sheet all day long, but you are obviously allowed to take a few cards. Some people opt instead for notes in electronic format by taking a tablet or computer with them on stage. Regarding the content of these sheets, you can choose to write only a few keywords or whole sentences, ideas to help you make the transition between the different parts or an entire script. Whatever your choice, the method chosen must be the most effective.
Same thing, we know how much the event industry is a sector that has to deal with unforeseen events. As a facilitator, you need to be able to react quickly while managing stress. Imagine the situation, a facilitator is in charge of demonstrating a food processor and a power outage prevents it from working. Any host will wait for the power to come back on. On the other hand, a good facilitator will use this time wisely to present all the other technical characteristics of the robot.
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Be careful not to be too spontaneous, however. You have to be able to react in case of unforeseen circumstances, but you shouldn’t say or do nonsense. Keep in mind the theme of the event you are hosting, the audience and the objectives you have been assigned to. For example, don’t say that you’re going to offer a break to eat a good steak to a 100% vegan audience. Do you see the idea?
Preparation is the key. If you want to succeed in your mission, you must be prepared to face several scenarios depending on the hazards of the job. Remember to prepare yourself physically. Perhaps you can wear a special outfit if none has been imposed on you? A bit like an actor, you must live in the role you have been given. Enter the role of the speaker by styling, dressing, and putting make-up on. In short, paying particular attention to your outfit.
It is also essential to prepare mentally. Even for someone whose job it is, talking in front of an audience is not easy. Different techniques exist, it is up to you to choose the most effective one. You can talk to yourself in front of a mirror to give you advice, do a meditation or sophrology session just before the event begins, or use yoga to help you focus.
A good facilitator will be able to carry out his or her mission by setting up entertaining activities, while being both discreet, so as not to frighten guests, and participatory, so as to invite them to take an active part in the event.
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We often expect a lot from a facilitator, and for good reason! The event facilitator is often the key to the success of a project. We all went to a wedding that “would have been really great” if the DJ hadn’t ruined the evening. It’s a bit the same kind of thinking for the event facilitator. No pressure, if you follow all our advice, you should complete your mission with flying colours! Be attentive to details, far-sighted and proactive, not to mention a good dose of creativity, originality has always helped. In short, to become the best in your category, keep all these elements in mind and stay focused on your mission. Everything should be fine!