General Session Guide for Great Events
Oct 11, 2010 by DeDe Mulligan

General Session General Session is a general assembly of all persons actively involved in a meeting. This session usually starts or ends the event and serves either to motivate or entertain your attendees. The General Session is the pinnacle of the event and needs to be considered first before any breakout sessions are planned.

How many participants are going to attend the general session? As a general rule, event planning companies need to assume that ALL your attendees are going to attend this session. If you have been holding this association event for quite sometime, you can look over the history for the last 3 years to determine what percentage of the attendees went and plan on that percentage as a minimum for your upcoming event.

How are attendees going to be seated? This is going to determine your room size and venue selection. Do you need seating in theater, rounds, or crescent rounds style? Are the audience members going to be asking questions? If so, will they need a wireless audience response system? Important to think through this prior to site selection.

What presentation services audio visual equipment is needed for the general session? Some of this is going to depend on the speaker, but as a minimum you will need:

  • Projector and Screen rental – make sure the screen is appropriately sized
  • Podium
  • Microphone

Some other items you may need to consider when renting audio visual equipment:

  • Laptop (if the speaker is not bringing their own)
  • Audience Microphones with stands placed throughout the room if the attendees are allowed to ask questions or make statements
  • Wireless Audience Response System if the attendees are voting or surveyed
  • Sound and Lighting rental to create a ‘feel’ to your general session
  • Videoconferencing equipment if the session is going to be available for a webinar
  • Recording devices if it going to be available on a CD.

General Sessions are intended to bring your attendees together and create a buzz about the event. AV Event Solutions, a California event equipment company, is available to make your next conference, event, or meeting memorable! Call or contact us today!

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