I heard from a meeting professional today who was interested in having me speak at an association conference in the fall. We had a delightful conversation and it looks like I will keynote her event and serve as the "Conference Catalyst". I asked her how she heard about me (I always want to know what sparked the initial conversation) and she replied that she had seen me speak five years earlier (and she knew the event and the exact date!).
It turns out she continuously compiles a detailed file on speakers. Every time she sits through a presentation she fills out a form about the speaker and makes notes on what she liked and the type of event where the speaker would be a fit for her organization. Same thing if she hears of a presenter through a referral. Her information is not digital, but sheets of physical paper in a file. She prefers to have handwritten notes and any of the speaker's printed materials on hand for easy access. She believes it makes it more tangible when she reviews the information in the future.
I was interested in how she had selected me from this obviously jam-packed file. She shared of how she went through notes, and keeps an open mind for her current needs. Then she goes online to research several speaker's current resumes, etc....
She said that she now has over 100 possible speakers in the file, and when her association has any events they go through the pages to see who catches their collective eyes. She has been collecting names for ten years, and says that when the time is right the correct speaker is never forgotten. Without the file she would be starting over every time.
I was fascinated by her long-term vision about speaker selections, as I had not heard of anyone looking backwards to find the right speaker in this manner. She confidently shared that this method keeps her from hiring "flash in the pan" speakers, but instead ones who have longevity in the business.
I like this idea, and hope that if others have a similar system that I am in the mix waiting to jump out and catch their eye in the not too distant future!
Have A Great Day
Thom Singer is known as "The Conference Catalyst". He works with meeting planners and conference organizers to set the tone for a meeting. His presentations educate, inspire and motivate attendees to engage deeper in the event and make meaningful connections. http://www.conferencecatalyst.com