A Speaker’s Rolodex Speaks Volumes
The last thing any event producer wants is a speaker who has bad ROI. What I mean by that are speakers who are overly enthusiastic to be involved in the development of a program. These are the people who are quick to open their Rolodex and network to an organizer. Such individuals claim that they have an “in” to choice organizations and other speakers. While they certainly have access to subject matter experts of caliber, their contacts don’t convert. How do you tell? Simple. When you mention their name as a referral the contacts either don’t respond or wait an extended amount of time before replying back to you. When they do communicate with the organizer the contacts don’t pan out because they are not a fit for the program or are hardly knowledgeable or much of a draw to your audience.
So what constitutes a gold mine Rolodex? The paradoxical scenario that showcases the best form of irony. How? These are the speakers who agree to make a presentation in your conference. Once they are confirmed and your marketing collateral reflects their participation, their network calls you, even without being prompted by your top speaker. It’s as if this speaker is a blessing to your recruitment strategies. Sort of like the Oprah Effect. Once Oprah endorses a book or product it becomes a bestseller. This is what a speaker with a real Rolodex looks like. Their network follows their lead and/or just do as they say. Hence why one premium speaker can literally speak volumes into a conference agenda by the value of their name.
A good name is more than just PR and press coverage. A good name is a track record, like a brand, and represents a level of value and quality. Usually these are individuals who have had recent activity in their industry that people want to hear from. An analogy is like UC, Berkeley or Stanford. Not only does the name alone carry weight but recent and current research by faculty continues to reinforce the reputation. Perhaps when it comes to speakers it is beyond mere reputation but rather character. Legendary American basketball player and coach John Wooden once said “Your reputation is who people think you are, your character is who you really are.” Wooden certainly knew a thing or two about success.
Blog post guest: Rheba Estante