19 Jul 2016

When it comes to gaining visibility for your company, some things are optional, like PR stunts, which have the potential to come under scrutiny as cheesy and ridiculous.  While that result may be fine, and even desirable, for consumer electronics inventions in far-flung places, it might not be appropriate as you build up your status as a thought leader.  A PR tactic that isn’t optional is securing speaking engagements, which I consider to be an essential effort.

Appearing and being anticipated by name at an important industry event, standing at the front of a room or on a well-lit stage, espousing knowledge to eager listeners who hang on your every word…well…it’s awesome.  And it bestows upon your company extraordinary power—the power of reputation.

In addition to having the floor for 45 minutes to share your expertise, is the underlying third-party credibility gained from the fact that a committee of influential people hand-selected you as smart enough to speak to their valued event attendees, who likely paid thousands of dollars and suffered TSA lines to be there.

Now that is saying something.

A secured speaking engagement is significant on three levels:

  1. For your company

Securing a coveted speaking slot at an on-site industry event, virtual tradeshow or within a roundtable of authorities provides excellent promotional opportunity for your company.  Not only can your organization share the win within a press release, on its website and over social media platforms, but the event organizers will also promote your session for you, providing expert-focused visibility for your company unlike anything a sponsorship alone can yield. Event organizers want attendees to be at your session as much as you do. They will stand by your company to get them there.

  1. For your industry

Industry events are anticipated all year long.  Deals are made there, partnerships are formed and the future is discussed—and sometimes decided upon.  Taking part in this process by being more than a casual visitor to the show puts you at the heart of your industry’s inner-workings.  You and your company can help shape where the industry is heading, which can put your organization in a position of market leadership—and it can lead to more sales.

  1. For you

Being a speaker gives you automatic VIP cred—and being a VIP at an industry event places you in a position of power unlike the “regular” attendee.  A speaking engagement is your chance to show how knowledgeable, forward-thinking, professional and passionate you are in a way impossible to achieve just by trolling an expo hall.  Use this power for good, not as a grandstanding opportunity, however.  Give a well-planned, attendee-focused presentation that produces at least one ah-ha moment to be remembered positively, which will cause your personal reputation to bloom as a trusted industry resource to be called on again to fill a speaking slot. In a nutshell, speaking engagements are great for your career, both at your current company and for your future.

For help identifying the right events that are ripe for your brand of expertise and support your company’s messaging, call on the experts. We can help you embrace the power of the speaking engagement.  No cheesy stunts required (but a good opening joke wouldn’t hurt).