After booking a speaking engagement it makes sense for authors to consider, “What are the other revenue opportunities with this client?” For example, would the meeting planner be interested in ordering books for all the participants? Are they having a board of directors meeting the night or morning before where you could lead a round-table discussion? And so on.
Have you corresponded with the organization’s publication editor? Whether it’s an association, government agency, or corporation, nearly all such entities have their own monthly publications, online or off. At the least, you could offer PR info to the editor to alert more members or staff about your presentation. You could also offer one or more articles for a fee or at no cost to further increase your visibility within the organization, and, of course, to serve their editorial needs.
Are there other association or industry journals, not published by the host organization, to which it might make sense for you to submit PR materials or publishable articles? If you’re working within a chosen niche, then undoubtedly you’re aware of most of the major magazines that serve the niche. If you’re not aware of them, 10 to 15 minutes searching online is all it takes to find the top publications.
Check the conference or program announcement as soon as you can. If you’re speaking on the same bill with a well-known politician, media personality, or other household name, then on the day of your presentation, see if you can line up a photographer. Also ask the luminary if you could get a picture of the two of you. Most will readily say yes.
Also, if you’re listed in the conference brochure with a celebrity author, review it for the possible PR value of reprinting a page or two that casts you in a favorable light.
Two Birds, One Stone
If you’re speaking in Chicago to a medical supplier on September 19th, find out who is meeting in Chicago on September 18th and September 20th, especially if your calendar is free. I spoke to a banking association in Texas on July 30, and months in advance I was fortunate enough to discover that the Texas Chamber of Commerce was meeting an hour away on July 29th.
As luck would have it, the Chamber of Commerce hired me to speak as well; hence, I was able to create a tight circular route. This greatly benefits the meeting planner as well, because now you can apportion your plane expense among two or more clients, thus lowering everyone’s overall travel costs.
Making contact with groups similar to the group to which you’ll be speaking is always a good idea. For example, if you’re speaking to the Kentucky Trial Lawyers Association, obviously it would be beneficial to share that information before and after your presentation with the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and others.
You don’t necessarily have to wait until you’ve made the presentation. The fact that you’ve been retained by one group is often of interest to other similar groups. After the presentation, and particularly if you scored well, by all means alert the other vertical groups.
The same process works if you’re speaking to a branch, a plant, or a division of a company. Many times, even if you’ve been brilliant, no one within the company thinks to alert the other branches. Therefore, it behooves you to ask for a list or roster, referral names, and supporting letters so that you can book talks with the other divisions.
Walk the Halls
When speaking at a national convention, regional meeting, or state meeting, visit the exhibit hall. Invite those at the trade booths to attend your session. I was speaking to a medical association and was fortunate enough to have an insurance agent who was exhibiting at the convention attend my session.
He corralled me in the hall afterward, asked for my card and fee, and told me that he was the planning coordinator for his state insurance association. In this case, I lucked out. I hadn’t thought of inviting people from the exhibit hall into the session. Once I realized that everyone in the exhibit hall and everyone at the convention, in general, belonged to other organizations and associations, I knew that I should get as many of them into my session as I could.
Invite others who live in the city where you’ll be speaking to your presentation. For instance, if you’re speaking in Denver, invite any prospects you can from the Denver area to your session in advance, provided that you get permission from your meeting planner.
Thus far, in 22 years of seeking to invite guests to my sessions, no meeting planner has ever nixed the request. Even a presentation I made to the Internal Revenue Service in Philadelphia was cordial to a guest of mine who sat quietly in the back row: the IRS meeting planner graciously allowed an association meeting planner to sit in on my morning session.
Sometimes a complete roster of attendees, including exhibitors, is provided for you, with names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. In that case, you could call five or six prospects in advance and attempt to grease the skids before the time of the event.
The number of people who actually take you up on your invitation versus the number of invitations you offer is going to be small. That’s all part of marketing. People are busy, and it’s hard to get anybody to go anywhere. If you induce even one or two key people to attend your session, your leveraging efforts will pay off.
Jeff Davidson Bio
Jeff Davidson, aka The Work-Life Balance Expert®, offers keynote presentations and workshops on creating work-life balance, managing the pace with grace, and thriving in a hyper-accelerated world. Jeff is the leading personal brand in speaking, writing, and reflecting on work-life balance issues, and he has a passion for speaking to organizations who want to help their employees make rapid progress in this arena. He has spoken to Fortune 50 companies such as IBM, Cardinal Health Group, Lockheed, American Express, Wells Fargo, and Westinghouse.
Jeff is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living,and The 60-Second Organizer. Jeff’s books have been published in 19 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Turkish, and Russian; have been featured in 68 of the top 75 American newspapers; and promoted in Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.