When money is the delimiting factor

April 5, 2006 at 5:01 pm (IQPC)

From time to time you’ll get speakers who ask you to reimburse their costs to participate at your conference. In fact, some speakers are very insistent that we even pay for their time spent on preparing on the conference material and at the conference itself.

While it makes perfect sense that some speakers are indeed taking time away from their charge-able hours to prepare for the event, this is however not a training course. In a conference, industry leaders and practictioners come together to exchange ideas and best practices.

So what does speaker get?

The value of speaking at a conference cannot be underestimated. Can you imagine how many people get to see the conference brochure with the speaker’s name and abstract on it? How engaged are the delegates whom have paid for the conference to see you in action? How close are you to the rest of the conference population whom will eventually be your clients, employers, partners?

Speakers are now spoilt for choice when it comes to conferences. The differentiating factor is then the level of your conference – the speaker line up, the delegates, the sponsors. Each group bring in a different sets of value to the event. When you have the right people in the room, everyone walks away with something.

Imagine if there is no conferences? What will the industry people do without companies like ours? How else can they freely exchange ideas, knowledge and expertise in an independent environment, with no fear of competitive threats?

At times when I have to negotiate with speakers on how much I can reimburse them, I can’t help but to think with a twang of resentment on other producers who paid unjustifiable money for their speakers, and hence creating a no-win perception in the market.

A conference value cannot be measured in mere dollars and cents.

Enough rambling for tonight. I pray to God that my speaker will accept my proposal and come onboard. Yes, I want to close out the programme, but I also really want this guy to be here. He is good no doubt. He will meet the right people, the right people will want to meet him.

I hope he’ll see it that way. It is hopeless when money is the delimiting factor.

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