There is so much I can share on the topic of meeting planners’ needs and desires, but for today, I am going to give you the top 5 actions you can make as a professional speaker to be the kind of speaker a meeting planner will want to work with:
- Keep your marketing materials clear of “requirements”. Be open to working with meeting planners depending on their needs. It is THEIR event for which they hire you. Examples: If included in your marketing materials, remove things such as required length of talk, audio / visual requests, and pricing. Instead leave it open, and work with each meeting planner individually to create a win/win.
- Reply to meeting planner requests within 24 hours. This should be a standard for all your business e-mails and voice mails.
- Keep your questions to one call or e-mail. This is especially important for meeting planners who are managing a multi-speaker event. Imagine an event with 20 speakers, and each one is calling and e-mailing them with several questions a day. Write down all your questions, and then either put them all into one e-mail or schedule one phone call to discuss everything. Also request that meeting planners fill out a booking form for their event. This one-stop shopping document will more than likely answer all the questions you have, plus it will ensure all details are in writing.
- Don’t make it all about you. Speakers do this so often I find. Again remember this is not your event but rather an event for which you are invited to speak. It is always advised for you to have boundaries set and to look after your own needs, but refrain from getting into “ego-mode” by making it all about you rather than the delivery of a high-content presentation. For example, do you really need to ask a meeting planner to supply you with a bottle of water? Just bring your own. Must you really ask a meeting planner to adjust a schedule because you don’t want to speak too early in the morning? Can you hold off on asking for a reference / testimonial until AFTER your presentation? There are so many examples I am sad to say I have seen.
- Be gracious. Gratitude always goes a long way. Think of how many speakers are out there in the field, and then know this meeting planner has chosen you to speak. Show your gratitude! You are being given this opportunity to share your message.
Jennifer Ellis can show you the path to success if you get out of your own way. For information on consulting and training sessions for speakers, click HERE.