You Got That Speaking Gig, Awesome! Now What!?
By Tim Johnson
You developed a thoughtful, compelling abstract, pulled together some customers to present with you, submitted your submission on time and bingo! The conference manager emailed you this morning to let you know you’ve been accepted. Awesome!
Now the real work begins.
How to Maximize Speaking Opportunities
You’re going to fly across the country to talk to an audience for 40 minutes; you’d better make the most of it. Here are some tips to do just that.
Set Up Media Meetings
Ask the conference manager to provide the list of registered media and make time to meet them. A burst of media coverage during and after the conference will help make the time investment worthwhile. Make sure to ask each editor what he/she would like to cover, read their past articles, and make it clear you’ve done your homework.
Also, if the conference will take place in a venue where other media are located but are not attending the conference, take an extra day and try to meet with them as well.
Announce Something New Just Before the Conference
If you have a new product, service, app you plan to announce in the timeframe of the conference, consider announcing it the week before the conference. This will boost attendance at your presentation and give media a reason to meet with you. And, remember to mention your presentation in the press release announcing the new product, service or app. And, when your PR team distributes a media alert announcing your presentation, make sure it hints at the announcement the company plans to make.
Coordinating promotion of your presentation and promotion of a new product, service or app will improve the coverage and response rate of both activities, and is well worth the effort.
Let Your Network Know
Contact your network of customers, partners, investors, business friends and others to let them know you are presenting, and invite them to attend. Some conferences will provide free or discounted passes to guests of speakers.
Place Content in the Conference Association’s Publication
Many conferences are sponsored by industry associations, so there can be opportunities to provide a contributed article to the association’s publication or blog. This is an often-overlooked tactic. Ideally, this content would appear just before the conference. If the content appears, it’s likely to significantly boost attendance to your presentation.
Promote Your Presentation on Social
Put together 1-2 blogs, a few Twitter posts and 1-2 LinkedIn posts to promote your presentation.
Work with your marketing/PR team to have someone live tweet your presentation. If there won’t be a marketing/PR person at the presentation, they can do this remotely. Just make sure to get the timing right!
Turn Your Presentation into Content
Turn your presentation into a blog or series of blogs to post either on your own blog, or as a guest on the sponsoring association’s blog. Slideshare is also a great place to post your content for other industry professionals. You can also convert the presentation into a contributed article that your marketing/PR team can place in a relevant publication.
Presenting at a conference is a powerful way to reach many target decision makers quickly and effectively. Keep these tips in mind to make the most of your presentation!