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Writing for conferences and live events
Conferences, and other live events, require theming. Presenters need scripts and slide text. Often, you want a video to welcome delegates to their seats and set the scene. The environment needs banner headlines and other communications materials to improve the delegate experience. Events need promotion with email campaigns to encourage attendance. There's usually a guide for delegates. Post-event, organisers want to extend the value by continuing communications with the audience over the year. There's a lot to write.
Why have a live event
Global companies need to bring their people together to share progress and plans, and introduce new ways of working. There are events to motivate sales forces, to prepare marketing teams for new campaigns, and to reward employees – and that's just internal. There are plenty of events put on to build closer connections with customers and prospective clients, or with suppliers or dealers. The term ‘live event’, though often used as a synonym for ‘conference’, can also suggest to a show or ceremony of some kind – with more of a focus on entertainment.
The value of a good conference
Although teams can now work internationally through Skype and video conferencing, bringing people together face-to-face is still important. Meeting someone always creates the more powerful connection. Being somewhere for a specific purpose lends an event importance and invokes all the allure of anticipation. The opportunity to socialise and make chance connections builds networks and encourages the sharing of ideas and values. Annual events are essential to building truly global teams.
Once you have your audience together, conferences inform and motivate. A great speech will build confidence in a leader, helping team members understand changes and galvanise support for them. Being immersed in the conference theme for the duration of the conference can make a lasting impression so that the message enters the culture of the organisation, influencing behaviour from then on.
The Barnaby Benson approach to writing for live events
‘He's upstairs, preparing his impromptu remarks’, someone once quipped about Winston Churchill. Writing is usually essential if you want an effective speech. We bring experience of theatre and screenwriting to ensure speeches are as engrossing as a compelling drama:
Narrative structure - by placing questions in the audience’s mind you encourage them to remain attentive until they get answers.
In-character - audiences listen and respond to a speaker better if they understand who they are, their values and how these were formed.
Compelling content - by drawing upon the speaker’s personal history, we illustrate abstract points through real life experiences: this drives key messages home and grants the speaker authenticity.
On message - we have the experience to understand and convey the business objectives of a speech.
Get the tone right - we know how - and when - to adapt the tone to suit both the audience and the speaker. Humour is a powerful way of winning over an audience but poignancy can work well too.
How do clients benefit from our approach?
Motivate audiences - a well written speech gives the speaker confidence to be their best and wow an audience.
The right tone and language for the speaker – every speaker is different. We’ll capture that so the speech sounds like it comes from them, making the most of their strengths.
Save time - speakers could spend a lot of time preparing a speech, when under an hour spent with one of our copywriters will usually provide the information we need to draft a twenty minute speech. We’re used to working with people who are pushed for time, so we know how to elicit the most useful details through the briefest questioning.
Reliability – trust an agency who has done it many times before for an array of major brands, including: O2, Telefonica, Boehringer Ingelheim, Deloitte, Network Rail and Jaguar Land Rover.
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