The Speaking Markets are Opening Again! What You Need to Know.
With COVID-19 restrictions loosening, event organizers are scrambling to set event dates. Many events which used to require six months of planning are now being open for July and August!
Wise professional speakers will benefit from this resurgence of in-person events, but you’ll need to be ready to ask the right questions and be aware of certain limitations.
On Last night’s “Make Money Speaking Club” on Clubhouse, the opening of the speaking markets was our main theme. For two hours, many experiences were shared about what to expect as you seek speaker bookings for the remainder of the year.
Here’s a recap of just some of the highlights that were covered during our Clubhouse session:
The NSA National Convention is in Las Vegas in July 2021 and already has 500 attendees registered. We talked a lot about the NSA Convention because it’s a good example of what all events will be going through in the very near future.
- They will be live streaming the event, but there is a significant cost in producing a good hybrid event.
- Almost all speakers attending NSA Convention will be vaccinated by that time.
- The problem isn’t getting a venue location but getting enough help to staff the event.
- We expect 6-12 months of it being a challenge to find help.
Other events might start out thinking they’ll be hybrid but go in-person only due to cost and budget.
Masters of Ceremonies (or Emcees depending on who you follow) are being low-balled by event planners so you will have to choose if you are going to stick to pricing or not.
Most MCs work 12 hour days during conferences. So be careful how much you’re willing to discount, if at all.
Lois pointed out that we should have in our contracts how the client wants you to handle emergencies if you’re on stage when something happens.
Get noticed and win speaking gigs by getting your potential and existing clients to think of you as a resource more than a speaker.
During negotiation, ask, “Do you already have an internal professional mechanism for training? I’ll be happy to license my course for you to add into your system.”
Be watchful of speaker budgets being split. For example: 75% goes to a keynoter and 25% would go to a workshop facilitator, instead of having the keynoter lead the workshop too.
We talked quite a bit about liability as a speaker. The consensus was that you should register your business as an LLC so that you are at least partly protected in the event that you are accused of bringing Covid to an event and spreading it.
Frank Kitchen suggested a lot of coverage can be handled if you get General Liability Business Insurance.
Lois suggested sending emails out to people you’ve spoken to before and announce: “I’d like to let you know what I’m doing now and see if you might have a need for a speaker in this area.”
There is a backlog of speakers. Meaning, even though events are scheduling like crazy trying to open up, they’re going through backlogs using the speakers they had booked to speak a year ago. So, you may find a lot of speaking opportunities they’ll be booking you for are still a year out.
There are no standard lead times right now and there are no one-size-fits-all events. Show empathy and understanding when talking to people who hire speakers. They are going through a very challenging time and you could become a hero for them by simply being responsive and easy to work with.