Planning a Successful Event


heidi-on-boardwalkCongratulations! You’ve started the process of creating one of the most powerful ways to “connect people to God and to each other.” I believe our greatest joy, fulfillment and fun comes when we intentionally create a place where we pour God’s love out on each other.

As a speaker and organizer, I have been involved in retreats, conferences, community events, workshops, and banquets for over twenty years. I believe I have some insights that can help us plan one of the best events you have ever experienced. Let’s get started:

1. Start with Prayer

An event that is grounded in prayer has joy, fun, and an energy among the women that is generated through the love and power of the Holy Spirit.

2. Book Heidi

Complete the Speaker Request Form and I will respond within 48 hours or sooner. If your dates are available, I will ask you to send me a $100 non-refundable deposit.  That locks in the date for me and nothing else will interfere with my commitment to you.

I do not ask you to sign a contract. I expect both of us to enforce and uphold our mutual commitment for a successful event.

3. Speaker Fees

There is no schedule of fees on this website because I work with each event on an individual basis.  Depending on the size of your event and your budget, I will work out a fair fee for your event. I am happy to provide you with suggested guidelines based on fees for similar events.

When working out a suitable fee, please remember what goes on behind the scenes before I actually arrive at your event.  Please consider all the hours I spend preparing for your event, and the hidden expenses such as meals, photocopying, parking, printing costs – including being away from my family for the weekend.

4. Expenses

You group is responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses. I prefer to book my own airline tickets and will send a copy of the itinerary and invoice as soon as the expense is incurred. I wish to be reimbursed as soon as possible so that I do not incur interest expenses on my credit card.  I always watch for seat sales and fly the most economical way possible. If I am able to travel by car, I need to be reimbursed for my gas.

5. What Happens If We Have To Cancel?

I am very thankful that I have never had to cancel a speaking event due to illness or other emergency. If I should need to cancel because of an emergency, I will return your deposit and try to find another date or help you find another suitable speaker.

If you cancel, please reimburse any out of pocket expenses that I have incurred to that date.

6. Communicating with Heidi

This is one of my favorite parts of preparing for an event. As we e-mail and talk on the phone, our event planning develops into a relationship.

7. Let’s Talk About My Books

I have books that I sell at most of my speaking events. When your speaker is also an author, it gives the attendees the opportunity to buy an autographed book for themselves or as gifts.

8. Marketing And Publicity For Your Event

As soon as we agree that I will be your speaker, I will provide you with a picture of myself, a suitable bio, a picture of my book and anything else you need in order to prepare an attractive and inviting brochure. Your brochure and posters should be designed so that the person who looks at it is captivated by its title or design within the first 3-5 seconds.

9. Technical Requirements

My wish list is that I would have my hands free while I am speaking.  My second choice is a wireless mike.
I use PowerPoint to drive home some illustrations, and give visuals wherever possible.  I also like to use a DVD now and then for movie clips or songs. I need someone at the event to help me set up my laptop (or yours) so that someone can run PowerPoint and a DVD simultaneously.

I prepare an extra set of notes for the person who runs the PowerPoint for me.
It is very important that I meet with a technical person at least 1 to 1-1/2 hours before the event to ensure that all technical equipment is working properly.

10. Accommodations

If the event is at a Retreat or Conference Centre, it is important that I have my own room.  I do preparation and prayer time before I speak and I need a quiet, secluded space to prepare my heart and soul for each session.
If the event is in a city, I prefer a hotel room, but I will be more than happy to be billeted to someone’s home.

11. Preparing An Inviting Place

Make the women feel that you have prepared a special place for them and you are expecting them. This takes some extra time and effort but the results are worth it. Some suggestions for overnight events:

12. Preparing A Place For “Heart Connections”

Many women come to weekend Retreats or Conferences to get away from regular routine, to relax, for spiritual refreshment and to connect with new friends.

Heart Connections with God

 Heart Connections with each other

I have found one of the most meaningful portions of a weekend is right after the final session. This is when women “share their two words” or give short testimonies as to what God has done in their hearts over the weekend.

13. Balloons

One of my “signature endings” at retreats is the release of balloons.  This is only an option and here is how it works:

Check out my photo album page for some of these pictures.

I am passionate about women knowing their full potential in Jesus Christ. It is these types of events that give women a safe, inviting place to explore and grow in their spiritual journey. I give you my commitment that I will give you all that God is able to do in and through me to ensure that this event is successful in growing God’s Kingdom.