While preparing my presentation set-up for a keynote at a recent conference, the meeting planner ran toward me in a panic, apologizing for being pulled in ten different directions, simultaneously. She explained that there were several items demanding her immediate attention. Her committee were in a time crunch, trying to locate the whereabouts of one of the panelists due to appear in a morning breakout session. In addition, tensions were building amongst attendees as the registration software was inexplicably malfunctioning, resulting in lengthy line-ups and delays at the welcome booths. Boxes containing sponsors’ promotional materials were missing and presumed lost en route, as the conference facility’s shipping and receiving department and the planner frenetically exchanged text messages. Meanwhile, the banquet manager was waiting for her at the back of the room, needing approval to add seating for the luncheon, in order to accommodate a number of special guests who confirmed their attendance that morning.
Last week at IMEX America (one of the largest meetings-related events in the world), I attended three different sessions on the “state of the union for meetings”. I was curious if my speaker friends could look forward to more engagements, or if I should tell them to start tightening their belt.
Want to know what the outlook is?
Many new speakers agree that it feels like an uphill battle to get their speaking career off the ground. Can you relate? Some speakers assume that the only way to get bookings is with a big budget to market themselves or do a crazy publicity stunt, because those things will make them stand out from the competition.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to spend a ton of money or do something crazy, because the truth is that you just need to show meeting planners the value you provide before the event, through your presentation, and after the event. Once you’ve built a strong reputation, it becomes much easier to get noticed and start booking speaking engagements.