The topic this week is "The Speaker as Part of the Meeting Industry". Since creating the Conference Catalyst program I have come to view the role of the speaker at any event as greater than their time on stage. Speakers set the tone for conferences, trade shows, conventions, seminars and other gatherings. They are in a unique position to partner with meeting planners to help create a better conference attendee experience.
Those who present at meetings can be a valuable resource before, during and after the event. The best ones work with the planners at all stages to help have a positive impact on the conference.
Speakers should also be involved with industry organizations (not just when they are speaking). I am a big believer that those who speak to membership associations should also belong their own industry group(s). The National Speakers Association (NSA) is one, but there is also Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), etc...
In my involvement with my local MPI Chapter I have donated programs to their silent auction at the annual banquet, and I am now writing a monthly column for their e-newsletter.
There are many changes that are happening in the way meetings are being run and the expectations of how speakers engage the audience are always being discussed in industry forums. Interactive presentations are becoming more popular, and planners are looking for unique programs that challenge their attendees. Any speaker that wants to remain relevant should actively follow industry trends.
Other vendors in the Meeting Industry are very active in supporting the causes of the industry, and often attend (and sponsor) events and conferences.. Hotels, transportation companies, florists, outside meeting planning firms, printers, audio visual suppliers, meeting facilities, etc... are visible in the industry, but not as many speakers are present at the table.
Please join us on the #NSAChat if you have opinions or thoughts on the topic. Added bonus -- TweetChat.com seems to be back online....which makes participation in a chat much easier.
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