Associations Change Expectations of Speakers

According to The Speaker Report:  The Use of Professional and Industry Speakers in the Meetings Market, organizations have increased their speaker budgets over the last two years.  And, they expect speakers to participate beyond the presentation.  They expect them to participate in the conferences, publish articles and participate in interviews.

Of the 175 survey participants, 46% were professional societies.  14.6% responded that they hired more speakers in 2013 than in 2011.  The budgets of more than 50% of the respondents were $30,000; less than half had a comparable budget in 2011.

Some organizations report they are eliminating proposals.  A third accept at least 60% of their speakers’ proposal submissions.  According to Jeff Cobb, cofounder of Tagoras, who conducted the study with Velvet Chainsaw: “That makes us wonder whether there’s enough of a filter for the proposals or whether they’re setting the bar high enough.  If you’re accepting more than half of those proposals right off the bat you’ve got to wonder, are you really getting the quality of content and experience that you want in your meetings?  Make it known that you want to raise the bar and really work with speakers to collaborate and meet those higher expectations.  Give them as much support as possible, and prepare them for the event.”

Excerpted from Katie Bascus, “Organizations Want Speakers to Do More than Speak,” Associations Now, November 12, 2013.  

About Glenda Sharp

I am a Certified Association Executive with more than 25 years of association management experience. I am principal of Sharper Associations, a full service association management and consulting firm. My clients include the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing, National Speakers Association-IL Chapter, SIETAR USA, West Suburban Bar Association, Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, PR consultant Deborah Weixl, and author Harry Sharp.

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