Conferences present significant opportunities for networking, client pipeline nurturing, partnership discussions, industry education and more as the in person forum drives stronger connections.
Similarly, speaking at conferences has a greater impact on attendees than presenting via webinars or phone conversations. As a result, vying for speaking opportunities at key trade shows or conferences can be extremely effective for elevating your business’ marketplace visibility and stature.
To increase your chances of being accepted as a conference speaker (not tied to a paid sponsorship) and to maximize secured speaking opportunities, here are a few tips for success.
• Target Topics: Know the conference’s audience before suggesting possible presentation topics. Use this information as a basis for developing a solid abstract that speaks directly to their challenges and how your presentation or panelist perspective addresses them with specific takeaways.
• Avoid Self Promotion: While it makes sense that your thought leadership is rooted in your experience selling/delivering your company’s products and services, this is not the time for a sales pitch. Offering advice and guidance will effectively position you as an industry expert and therefore paint your company in a positive light.
• Note Panel Participants: To help gauge how your industry perspectives will fit within a particular panel, take the time to research the other panelists’ backgrounds and their businesses’ value propositions. This step will help you prepare for the possibility of any competitive discussions or sensitive topic angles.
• Understand the Format: It is critical to have a sense of the flow of any speaking engagement prior to delivery. Ask questions about the format, including whether there will be a Q&A session at the end of the prepared discussion. This applies to keynotes, fireside chats and panel discussions.