Teresa Greener, head of events at The Royal British Legion spoke at length about the importance of securing the right celebrity to match an audience’s interest and how to manage them onsite.
"Always be precise about what it is you’re offering and what’s expected in return," she said. "Don’t for example offer to pay expenses when your celebrity’s expenses include a first-class flight ticket from New York.
"Someone has to be in charge of the celebrity onsite at all times and that person must be aware that celebrities suffer from nerves too so they may need moments of isolation to prepare. If the person looking after the celebrity discovers things they’re passionate about or things they dislike, it’s useful to keep notes for future bookings."
Greener was followed on stage at the two-day C&IT magazine-hosted event by Deirdre Boyd, chief executive of The Addiction Recovery Foundation.
Boyd took delegates on a step-by-step account of how the foundation has been organising a successful conference in London for the past decade on a shoestring budget.
Other conference highlights from the opening day of the forum included Christopher Raudonat, director of the European Society of Association Executives discussing social media and reputation management for associations and Michael Foreman, managing partner of Michael Foreman LLP who helped delegates to drive their association sponsorship strategy forward.