It is common to have an event emcee for in-person events, and if I have learned anything this past year in the world of virtual, it is that a virtual emcee makes a world of difference for your attendees.
In my opinion, an event emcee is a MUST HAVE regardless if the event is in person, virtual, or hybrid. Incorporating a skilled emcee increases the level of professionalism, keeps the program on-track (without the attendees knowing even if it isn't) and will turn a good event experience into an exceptional event experience.
The emcee will ensure that your event flows seamlessly with all of its components – hosts, content, speakers, and attendees - all woven together into a cohesive narrative. This is why we like to refer to this role as a “Content Weaver”.
What is an event emcee?
An emcee is ultimately there to serve the audience a cohesive experience - handling intros, outros, and transitions while maintaining a high energy, encouraging engagement, and the ability to “fill space” should the need arise. The right emcee can collaborate with the event planners and hosts to assist with meeting’s design, preparing speakers, and attendee engagement.
The event’s energy is in the hands of the emcee. They are responsible for ensuring that the audience is engaged from beginning to end.
How an emcee integrates with and enhances the various components of your event
Before the event: Your emcee will research your audience’s unique cultural norms so they can include customized references throughout your event. They will become familiar with your business, your audience, your industry, and it's unique energy.
With your planning committee: Your planning committee members will meet with your emcee to clarify the purpose of the event and its desired outcomes, plan for the unexpected, and discuss event logistics.
With your presenters: Your emcee will discuss opportunities to support, complement, and reinforce the messages your speakers present.
With the audience: This is your emcee’s time to shine. They will introduce events, speakers and activities, provide transitions, moderate Q&A sessions, encourage audience participation, conduct interviews, and have the ability to seamlessly fill time and cover delays, summarize key points to remember and use callbacks to reinforce and build on key messages, and so much more!
How to choose the perfect emcee for your event
Your event planner will be your right hand in helping you choose the perfect emcee for your event.
Your emcee will be:
A great emcee will schedule any necessary meetings with the event planner and host beforehand to educate themselves about the organization and subject matter of the event. Your emcee will know the event itinerary inside and out, have perfected name pronunciation, and will have expert knowledge of the audience.
Keep to the program
One of the main responsibilities of an emcee is to keep to the program. He or she will be able to make up time or even fill in time if required day-of.
Adaptive to last-minute changes
Your emcee will be adaptive to any last-minute changes. A sick speaker, tech hiccups pushing the schedule, a chatty event attendee - Your emcee will be visible to the audience the majority of the event and will cater to the situation without the audience ever knowing a hiccup occurred.
Entertaining & High Energy
Bottom line here - your emcee is responsible for the ongoing energy of the event. The emcee is the energy and flow of the event. Your emcee will be able to read the room. They know when to lighten the environment with laughter, boost the energy (especially helpful after meals) and when to ground the audience for deeper, more serious topics.