Top speakers, MCs and hosts for events are a major draw for meeting planners. Putting together a successful conference, convention, or other large event involves a tremendous amount of planning and coordination by meeting planners. Alongside booking the best speakers, MCs and hosts for events, from securing venues and vendors to managing logistics and programming, there are countless details to oversee.

Among the top most important decisions planners make is who they bring in to serve as the faces and voices for their events. They often hire three distinct roles – speakers, emcees/MCs (masters of ceremony), and hosts. While these professionals work together to elevate the audience experience, each one serves a purposeful function.

The Role of Speakers – Whether it’s a keynote presentation, breakout session, panel discussion or another format, speakers are engaged to educate, inspire and share their expertise with attendees. Experienced speakers offer tremendous value by:

  • Providing substantive content tailored to the event’s topics/themes
  • Attracting audiences interested in learning from recognized authorities
  • Facilitating impactful sessions that achieve desired takeaways
  • Raising the professional credibility and prestige of the event

Planners carefully vet and select speakers who are dynamic, insightful and aligned with the interests/needs of attendees.

The Role of Emcees/MCs – Short for “master of ceremonies” or “mic controller,” emcees are essentially the hosts and narrators who keep the overall show and programming running seamlessly. Their duties include:

  • Delivering opening/closing statements to kick off and wrap up
  • Providing commentary to transition between different segments
  • Introducing speakers, entertainers, award recipients and other participants
  • Improvising when needed to keep energy and momentum high
  • Adhering to strict run-of-show schedules and timelines

Emcees/MCs command the stage presence and speaking skills to engage audiences and ensure a cohesive, professional experience.

The Role of Hosts – While emcees are the faces of the main stage, planners also hire hosts to manage everything behind the scenes and interact one-on-one with attendees. This includes responsibilities like:

  • Greeting guests and facilitating registration/check-in
  • Providing directions, answering questions and handling any issues
  • Making announcements related to logistics and housekeeping items
  • Ensuring venues and other areas are properly staffed and running smoothly
  • Thanking guests and facilitating their exits at the end

Personable and attentive hosts allow planners to focus on higher level needs while the event is happening.

In locking down experienced professionals in these speaker, emcee/MC and host roles, planners can feel confident that all the bases for a successful, high-impact event will be covered. It’s a crucial investment that pays major dividends for the audience experience.