Master of Ceremonies: USD Robotics Contest, part 1 (Before the Event)

In April, I acted as Master of Ceremonies at the University of South Dakota (USD) High School Robotics Contest. It was a great experience. This blog post is the first of a series exploring what an EMcee can bring to an event through the example of the competition.

When most people think of an emcee, they think of someone who keeps the event moving while interjecting a quick quip or joke. As far as it goes, this is a great job description. But an Emcee can do much more.

The USD event was a series of robot runs through a maze. The best times from the early rounds competed in a semifinal and final playoff. I worked closely with the event planners to develop a checklist of items to enhance the event. A key aspect of this preparation step is to seamlessly work with the event planners to streamline the progess on day of the event, while freeing them to execute on the other aspects of the day.

  • I created a PowerPoint to control the progress of the event. To that end, before the contest date, the school provided:
    • Team list,
    • Mascots/logos for each team,
    • USD spirit videos,
    • Prize list,
    • Names of presenters,
    • General Agenda,
    • Rules and Rule explanations,
    • Tournament format,
    • List of other activities.
    • FAQs
  • We also determined the audio-visual and logistics of the event and determined that we needed:
    • A Sound System (with hand-held and stationary microphones),
    • Projection method to attach to a Laptop Personal Computer,
    • Stage.

Next week, I will discuss my behind the scenes planning and preparation for the event.

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