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Finding the Best Events for Your Talk

Finding a venue to present your talk can be a challenge. You’ve prepared and researched, but with countless events taking place at any given moment, that first step may seem overwhelming. If you’re trying to decide where to start, these 3 simple tips will get the ball rolling, helping you find exciting opportunities to present your topic.

Look Locally

There are thousands of professional associations and meetups eager to have new speakers share fresh material. Successful Real Estate entrepreneur and podcast host Joe Fairless says, “No matter how mainstream or obscure your interests might be, there’s a meetup group for you.” He then states that Meetup.com, one of the nation’s largest meetup sites, “…boasts a membership of 32.3 million people participating in over 288,000 meetup groups across 182 countries.”1 Talk about opportunity!

Elizabeth Arnold, independent producer and journalism professor, University of Alaska, Anchorage, during Climate Change: Action at the Community Level at Knight Foundation’s Media Learning Seminar 2017 held at Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel.

Presenting within a local group has many additional benefits as well, such as the chance to better understand your audience, hone in your message and work your topic before a live crowd. African American historian, professor and pioneer, John Henrik Clarke once said, “A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson.” Practicing your talk will help make it perfect, so find some local organizations to attend and practice away!

Remember, you never know who you are speaking in front of. Individuals attending these gatherings may be able to introduce you to someone within their network, providing you with more opportunities to share your message. Which brings us to our next topic…

Networking!

A study conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that underestimating the willingness of others to help is a common mistake people make.2 Your network, however small, is there to help you succeed—just as you are for them. Let your connections know what you are hoping to achieve, asking which conferences or meetings they believe your topic would compliment, as well as if they would introduce you to a person of interest or provide you with a referral.

LinkedIn Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Reid Hoffman, once said that networking is often confused with making cold calls to strangers for assistance, whereas it is actually about contacting “…the people who already have strong trust relationships with you, who know you’re dedicated, smart, a team player, who can help you.”. Your network is ready to help you move forward, all you need to do is reach out to see where it leads.

Search Online

There is a world of information at your fingertips, with opportunities for you to search for various trade shows or conferences taking place anywhere. Use basic search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, as well as conference aggregators such as Eventful or AllEvents, to find an event that well suited for your topic. You can keep your searches as broad or specific as you like, listing geographical locations, dates or criteria that work well for you.

Alexander Gregg once said, “There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” By practicing with local audiences, networking within your field and performing some targeted searches, you are certain to find a forum to present your topic (and do a dynamite job).

Jiffy Events wants to help you make your next event a success. If you would like to learn more about our speaker management, call-for-papers, and committee review tools—you can do so here.

Photo Credit: (Knight Foundation)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2017/08/18/to-source-real-estate-deals-and-generate-more-wealth-start-a-monthly-meetup/#1471ff6f755c
2 https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/publications/if-you-need-help-just-ask-underestimating-compliance-direct-requests

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Adding Diversity To Your Speaker Lineup

The importance of diversity has been at the forefront of news headlines and organizational agendas over the past several years. A recent study conducted by Harvard Business School discovered that diversity is a key factor in driving innovation 1, while Forbes found that diversity is critical in “…driving the creation and execution of new products, services, and business processes.”2

With the many benefits diversity has to offer, it’s no wonder adding diversity to your speaker lineup can help your event succeed. Besides appealing to a larger audience base, diversity provides an opportunity to learn from others who process, perceive and think differently, offering attendees insight and perspective they otherwise may not have been exposed to. It also encourages people of various backgrounds to pursue careers and research in fields thought to be out of reach.

While it may seem challenging to diversify your event, these 5 simple tips can assist you in adding some diversity to your next speaker lineup.

Steven Benner, distinguished fellow at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, speaks alongside Mary Voytek, director of the Astrobiology Program at NASA.

Personal Outreach

First and foremost, in order to ensure your event has the best possible lineup, it is imperative your invitations to potential speakers have a personal touch. Avoid using ready-made templates at all costs, as they basically convey to the speaker they are just not worth your time.

Speakers want to feel as if they are integral to your event’s success, not as if they are simply being contacted to fill a time slot. Mike Myatt, Chairman of N2 Growth, eloquently states, “The message is not about the messenger; it has nothing to do with messenger; it is however 100% about meeting the needs and the expectations of those you’re communicating with.”

Consider writing an invitation that recognizes a speaker’s accomplishments, while providing specific reasons as to why their presence would enhance your event. In other words, let them know what you admire, why, and how you believe they add value.

Diverse Materials

It is important to ensure promotional materials appeal to all demographics. For example, if marketing materials only depict white, older men, younger applicants, hispanic applicants and female applicants may not feel as if they are welcome to apply.

In Diversity in Advertising, David Vinjamuri says, “to identify with a product, you must first imagine yourself using it. That’s harder when the advertising shows someone different from you.” Keeping your promotional materials diverse will invite a broader lineup to apply, as each person can relate to and envision themselves as a part of your program.

Code of Conduct

The Ethics & Compliance Initiative states that a Code of Conduct, “…serves as a public statement of what the company stands for and its commitment to high standards and right conduct.” Prepare a Code of Conduct in collaboration with your Board stating your event celebrates diversity and promotes inclusion. Refer to it in your marketing materials and provide access to it online for all to view. People from various backgrounds will feel comfortable participating when they know discriminatory behavior will not be tolerated.

Search Online

Sites such as LinkedIn allow you to find individuals from countless industries, along with recommendations of their work, direct contact information and links to their own personal marketing materials. By getting outside of your usual channels, you can find speakers that target a wider audience base, appealing to individuals you may not have otherwise thought to be interested in your event.

Remember, diversity isn’t just about Race. Liz Bingham, head of Ernst & Young’s UK leadership team says, “…diversity isn’t just an issue of sexual orientation, race or gender; it’s a term that is evolving… companies will need to ensure that they have people with a range of experience and insight into… new markets. So when we talk of boardroom representation in the future, we aren’t just going to be talking about the number of women with a seat at the table, it’s going to be much wider than that. Diversity encompasses all aspects of the human experience, from age, culture, skills and life experience.”

Ask Your Audience

Besides yourself and your Board, who is your target audience interested in hearing? Think outside of your typical invitation list, and approach speakers from varying backgrounds and demographics. If possible, contact attendees from previous events and ask if there are particular speakers they would like to hear from.

In understanding what your audience wants, Ahmad Kareh states on Forbes, “…you need to ask the right questions. Where’s the overlap in what they want and what you have to offer? Knowing this will help you stand out… If you understand what people are looking for, you’re better equipped to position yourself well.”

When creating a survey, it is vital to encourage people to share what they are looking for, as well as receive honest feedback from events past. Ensure your questions are objective and not biased so that the data you obtain is accurate.

By recognizing your audience, setting your goals and being mindful of inclusion, you are sure to add diversity to your speaker lineup that will attract, engage and enrich audiences for years to come.

“Diversity: The art of thinking independently, together.” —Malcolm Forbes

Jiffy Events wants to help you promote diversity at your next event. If you would like to learn more about our speaker management, call-for-papers, and committee review tools—you can do so here.

Photo Credit: (Official GDC)
Photo Credit: (NASA/Paul E. Alers)

https://hbr.org/2013/12/how-diversity-can-drive-innovation
2 https://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/innovation_diversity/index.html

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Attracting The Best Speakers To Your Conference

How to Attract the Best Speakers to Your Conference

Finding a keynote speaker that will create buzz and excitement around your upcoming event is no easy task. Big names are a challenge to book, and locating other qualified individuals is far too time consuming. With various details needing your attention and much planning and prepping to do, deciding where to begin may have you at a loss. Never fear, these 4 simple tips will help you attract top-notch talent to your next conference.

Focus on Ideas Rather than Individuals

Bestselling motivational author Seth Godin once said, “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” It is important to make sure you are providing the people who attend your event with speakers that will be of interest to them, not just to you or your board, so be sure you’re doing just that.

Besides industry experts, there are celebrities, business moguls, former politicians, military leaders, etc. that are dedicated to various specific causes. A simple search online (including social media) can help you locate different persons of interest that may not have been on your radar, yet are an attractive draw to your guests.

For example, if your event focus is renewable energy, search for users on LinkedIn who list renewable energy, global warming and climate change as a cause they care about. You can easily review their profile recommendations, published works, and find links to related websites that contain footage of presentations they provided at other similar events.

Prominent Maltese physician Edward de Bono once said, “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” By thinking outside of the box, you can find highly qualified, energized, enticing speakers that are passionate to be a part your program, even if they weren’t the first to come to mind.

News Conference following the test of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) technical capability Level 2 (TCL2) at Reno-Stead Airport, Nevada.

Provide Advance Notice

Inviting with advanced notice (up to a year beforehand), while keeping the itinerary flexible to meet a speaker’s unique needs is of the utmost importance, especially if you are focused on attracting a prominent name. If you are rigid in your request, speakers—especially those with a following—may not be able to accommodate, even if they are interested in presenting at your event.

Make the Submissions Process Simple and Informative

While using an online submissions form can help streamline your search process, it is important to keep these things in mind:

Forms should be short and simple. Be sure forms are easy to understand and follow from the submitters standpoint, not just yours. Complicated, lengthy forms can confuse candidates, leaving many errors for your committees to sort through. If you keep the process simple for those submitting, the process will remain easy for those reviewing.

Candidates should always receive a copy of their submission. It is important the candidate receives a replica of their submission as receipt, not only as proof of entry, but as an opportunity to review should a technical error have occurred.

Keep candidates informed. Candidates should know where you are in the selection process as well as where they stand. Provide key dates for closing submissions and selections up front, while appropriately following up throughout the process. Once selections have been made, candidates should be notified.

Don’t be Generic. Please. Just Don’t.

Ensure speaker invitations are personalized rather than generic. With so many formatted email and correspondence templates, “Dear Professional Speaker,” is not going to cut it.

In Recommended for You: The Power of Personalization, Forbes states that, “Virtually all (96%) marketers agree that personalization advances customer relationships,” with eighty-eight percent saying, “…they’ve realized a measurable lift in business results from their personalization campaigns.”

Use social media to determine a speaker’s specific interests and professional history, recognizing their various accomplishments while making note of some fun-facts you may have learned. Let them know why you believe they will add value to your event, and follow up appropriately if you do not receive a response.

By thinking outside of the box and some efficient, personalized planning techniques, finding a speaker that will help enrich your next event will be a breeze.

In the words of Paul J. Meyer, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”

To a successful conference!

Jiffy Events wants to help you find the best speakers for your event. If you would like to learn more about our speaker management, call-for-papers, and committee review tools—you can do so here.

(Photo Credit: NASA/Paul E.  Alers)
(Photo Credit: NASA/Dominic Hart)

q-digital

Getting Started with Jiffy Events

signup1. Create An Account

With Jiffy Events, you can start collecting submissions right now! Simply sign up for our trial account, and a simple submissions form will be automatically created for you. You can adjust the form if you like, or just start using it.

2. Collect Submissions

Yes, it really is that simple.  You may wish to upload a logo or change your form a little, or set up an extra email notification, but you don’t have to.  You’ve got a personalized, secure submissions form that’s ready to go.  Just share the URL and start collecting submissions right now.  Wait, you say your current submissions process is a bit complicated and you’d rather have someone set that up for you?  No problem.  We offer a FREE concierge setup service to get you going.  All you have to do is ask.

online submissions formNext Steps

When you’re ready, you can add your reviewer accounts, set up your scoring criteria, and all the rest.   Take it as slow or as fast as you like.  Have a look at the “How It Works” links on the right, for more detail on the submission and review process.

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How It Works: Call For Papers

Jiffy Events provides feature-rich, online submission forms for conferences, film festivals, award nominations, and more.  Our cloud-based form builder gets you up and running quickly, with a form that matches your workflow perfectly.  The Jiffy Events submissions process is outlined on this page.  If you have questions or encounter any uncertainty along the way, we are always happy to help.  Simply reach out to us using the contact form, or take advantage of our complimentary concierge setup.

1 – Review Your Default Submissions Form

When you create your account with Jiffy Events, a basic online submissions form is created for you.  Take a look at the questions on the form, by navigating to Sessions -> Fields.  If the default fields are sufficient, you’re ready to go!  Simply enable the form using the button on the main Submissions page, and follow the nearby “see them here” link to view the form.

web-based submissions form builder2 – Add or Change Fields

If you’d like to collect additional information with your submissions form, you can add fields on the Sessions -> Fields screen.  Simply click the “add session field” link at the top of the fields list.  You can drag fields on this page, to re-order your form.  To modify a field, just click the name of the field and you will be presented with a screen for editing that field.  You can control required fields and visibility from this screen.  To see the form as your users will see it, use the link on the Sessions screen that says “see them [here]”.

3 – Group Fields

You may wish to organize your form into sections.  To create field groups, use the “add field group” link at the top of the fields list.  You can add one or more field groups, to arrange your form in sections.  For example, “Speaker Information”, “Proposed Topic”, and “Agreements”.  You can drag form fields between groups, and reorder them within a group.  If you don’t want to use the grouping feature, simply leave the fields in the default group.

4 – Enable Your Form

Your submissions form is enabled by default, when you create your account.  You can enable and disable your form on the Sessions screen, using the Enable/Disable button.  If you want to enforce a precise schedule for opening and closing submissions, simply use the Enable/Disable feature to control when submissions are accepted.

custom form builder for web submissions

5 – Collect Submissions

Once you have updated and enabled your form, you’re ready to start collecting submissions.  Use the “see them [here]” link on the Sessions form to visit your public submissions form.  Make a note of the URL, as it is unique to your form.  Share this URL with your audience so they can use the form.  Link to it from your website, send it in emails, and share it via social media.  You will be notified by email whenever a new submission is received.

Next Steps

After collecting your online submissions, you will typically wish to review and select the best ones. Jiffy Events provides a full-featured review and selection system for your selection committee will love.  Your submissions are already available in the review database.  To get started, all you need to do is configure a few items in the review section.  For a detailed look at this process, see:

How It Works: Review