What you need to know.
How are speakers sourced?
Most B2B conferences source speakers via:
Call for speakers. Potential speakers complete a form and provide a bio, summary of talk. Submit by deadline for consideration.
Open call. Organizers accept speaker inquiries and submissions year-round.
Invited. Many smaller, higher level conferences cull their own speakers. However, if you think you would make a great speaker, reach out to the organizer as they will never advertise that they are looking for speakers! If you are invited, you may be able to secure a small fee or travel reimbursement.
Professionals only! Many event organizers use professional Speaker’s Bureaus to source their speakers. These are for conferences who will pay for top speakers such as celebrities, authors, public officials and other high-profile speakers.
Pay to Play! Yes, the industry has gone the way of sponsorship in exchange for speaking. The speaker’s company pays a fee for a speaking slot. Usually other sponsorship benefits are included.
Exhibitor talks or demos on the show floor. Often, shows with exhibitions will have a demo theater, educational pavilion where exhibitors can present ideas and showcase products.
- Your topic should be interesting, new and leave attendees with real take-aways that they can use on the job.
- Don’t submit a commercial pitch! Keep product or brand mentions few–focus on your audience and not you! A submission that is a product pitch will be rejected. (there are exceptions of course–such as you are invited to discuss how you built a brand, etc.)
- Include learning objectives in your submission–this forces you to make sure that your content is informative and educational and not commercial.
- Conference agendas are often set a year in advance, so you need to submit your speaker inquiry early–so make sure you track the deadlines of the show you are interested in at least 6 mos in advance.
- Miss a deadline but really want to participate? Ask the organizer if there are any slots available on a panel, suggest a new panel or ask to moderate an existing panel. Put together your own panel of speakers who you have vetted yourself–organizer might appreciate having a ready-made panel.
How do you keep on top of all of the conferences to know who is accepting speakers, by what deadline and how to secure a paid or uncompensated slot? Ask me! I can help.
I have more than 30 years of experience working with top events planners, major convention centers and have organized hundreds of events for many companies and secured speaking slots at most every major conference for individuals as well as company executives. I secure paid, compensated and uncompensated speaking slots, from keynotes to panels or breakouts. I represent CEO’s, product managers, authors, chefs, and average Joe’s or Jane’s with inspirational stories to tell.
Do you have a truly unique story to tell? A product or service you want to increase awareness about? Let’s talk.