By Susan Coates, The Speaker Studio
Every year meeting and conference planners are required to grow their conferences. They are expected to draw more attendees and/or generate more revenue. But how? Especially when the budget hasn’t increased? Obviously costs need to be cut. But where?
Increasing attendance requires exciting and educational programs. Most conferences seek a high-profile speaker or celebrity to be the draw. But does that really work? Celebrities are expensive and if they’re not professional speakers or have quality platform skills, can be a real disappointment for your group. Then, next year, it will be even more difficult to attract attendees. Finding a speaker with excellent delivery skills that has quality material suitable for your audience’s needs can still be a big draw for your conference. How?
Folks need to get excited about your event. Your best form of advertising is to get others talking about the speakers, and that starts with your committee and/or board of directors. Find out where your speakers are going to be presenting between the time when you hire them and when they will be presenting for your group. Invite those board members or committee members see “live” presentations of your speakers. The speaker, the bureau, or The Speaker Studio has resources to help you find where these speakers will be – at a location near you. For example, World Champion Speaker, Ed Tate, will be speaking in Blue Ash, Ohio on April 26, 2008. If you want to see him “live,” give us a call. Watch a short video of Ed Tate HERE.
Another way to promote your speaker is to survey your attendees prior to the event to find out exactly what they’d like to hear or learn. Then have The Speaker Studio conduct a customized interview with the speaker addressing some of the issues discovered in the survey. Then post this interview on your website or use in your marketing materials. The interview will not only energize your potential attendees to register for your event, but will pique their interest to hear the answers to the other survey questions as well. Check out other promotional interviews conducted by The Speaker Studio at www.TheSpeakerStudio.com/podcast.
Many conventions have giveaways such as mugs, ink pens, stress balls, etc. I don’t know about other conference attendees, but I avoid picking these up because I already have too many at home and certainly don’t need another keychain. What I need is solid information that I can take home and use in my business, my career, my job. Negotiating with a speaker on product is the most beneficial bonus you can offer your attendees. Most speakers have them – books, CD’s, DVD’s, etc. I will actually pay more for a conference or seminar if I know I’m taking home quality materials that will help me in my everyday life. There are multiple ways to negotiate product. We can help.
With the rising cost in hotel sleeping rooms, conference space, and air travel, it is getting more and more difficult to create a memorable meeting without breaking the bank. Creativity is the tool and The Speaker Studio is here to help.