Lots of you have sat through our conference general session keynotes before, but I’d bet that few of you have any idea of just what is involved in a creating production like these. And the word production is no exaggeration, really. The general session is created and managed like the live theatrical event it is; a headset wearing producer manages the flow and directs everything from where to enter the stage to which way to face and where to stand, lighting and audio technicians spend hours twiddling and tweaking knobs and controls, presenters make less minute changes and enhancements to their content (throwing off that well documented flow), stage hands position and reposition monitors and countdown clocks, designers pull together last minute asset changes, microphone levels are adjusted for each presenter, computers and back-up computers are tested and retested, session staff document minute by minute steps detailing slide advances and screen changes and audio video cues, and lots of speakers rehearse and rehearse and then rehearse again. Hours and hours of last-minute preparation, the culmination of months of work but hundreds of staffers, and the end result is a flawless 90 minute presentation. Or so we hope. Oops, gotta run, the stage manager is summoning me to the green room …

Leave a Reply