Thinking back to conferences that I’ve attended I’ve often felt awkward. There’s nothing worse than being one of the first delegates to arrive into a silent room and that’s why having background music at your conference is so important. The second thing that I hate is not knowing what I should be doing. Whether its waiting to go into the main conference room or knowing how long until the end of lunch knowing where I’m up to and where I need to be next allows me to be fully engaged in the event.
That’s where Voice of God announcements come in. Although many conference organisers don’t even think of this aspect of their event Voice of God announcements can have a huge positive impact on their delegate’s conference experienced.
When to use Voice of God announcements
Voice of God announcements at conferences are generally used for three main reasons:
1. Providing information to delegates
For example, during the pre-conference networking or a coffee break, the Voice of God can be used to let delegates know how long they have left before the next session starts (usually a 20 minute warning, 10 minute warning, 5 minute warning and 2 minute warning). This same system is also popular during workshop sessions or breakouts letting delegates know how long they have before they need to rejoin the main conference.
2. Directing delegates
At the end of a networking session, workshop session or even a coffee break, the Voice of God can provide a clear, loud announcement to direct delegates to their next sessions.
Whether it’s signalling the beginning of a section of the conference or welcoming a presenter to stage a Voice of God announcement is a great way to get your delegates to bring their conversations to a close and focus on what’s happening on stage. These types of introductions are often combined with a music sting.
Should Voice of God announcements be pre-recorded?
As part of your conference planning you should work out where and when you are going to need Voice of God announcements. The next stage is to script and record them. It’s important to pre-record as many of your Voice of God announcements as possible as this gives you audio visual company the ability to play them on cue rather than having to find the person who is making the announcement each time.
How do I go a about recording a Voice of God announcement?
Your conference's audio visual company should be able to help you script and record your Voice of God announcements for a small cost. They should also be able to co-ordinate with good voiceover artists who can provide announcements in a wide range of styles, languages and accents. And the cost doesn’t have to be prohibitive. A good voiceover artist may be able to record a short announcement for as little as £10.
Do you have delegates coming from more than one country? It may be worth considering recording your Voice of God announcements in more than one language (especially if you’re using them to provide information to your conference delegates or directing them around your conference venue).
Example Voice of God Scripts
Pre-conference networking and breaks
Welcome to <conference name>. <session> will begin <room name> in <how long>. Please <activity currently being undertaken e.g. continue to enjoy your coffee in <current room> and we’ll let you know when it’s time to begin.
Ladies and Gentlemen the <conference name> <session> is beginning in<how long>. Please make your way to <room name>.
On arrival into the conference room
Ladies and Gentlemen please take your seats. The <conference name> <session> will begin in <how long> minutes time.
Ladies and Gentlemen the <conference_name> <session> is about to begin. Please take your seat. <any housekeeping messages e.g. turn off your mobile phone>
Start of conference
Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to <conference_name> <session>. Please welcome to the stage <first presenter’s role e.g. your CEO or your host for today’s conference> <first presenter name>.
This announcement is usually followed by a music sting and some movement from the lighting system as the person walks up to their position on stage.