September 14, 2015
Trade associations and professional societies are constantly looking for inexpensive ways to promote, grow and build credibility for their organization. One of the most effective ways to do this is by establishing members and staff as experts in their field. If your association is only thinking about promoting itself through social and conventional media, sponsorship or external branding, you’re missing a key avenue that can build value for your members, enhance the credibility of your organization and bring in new members.
There are literally thousands of groups out there that hold symposia, tradeshows, panel discussions, seminars and other events. Organizers of these events recruit expert speakers, but may find it difficult to fill all their speaking slots, especially when it comes to technical or complex topics. Being selected to fill these slots is an opportunity for your members and staff to demonstrate their expertise, share relevant knowledge, and promote the benefits of the organization at little or no cost. In fact, event organizers often cover travel expenses and in some cases may offer an honorarium.
If your organization is interested in making the most of these opportunities, here are some tips to get you started.
No one wants to sit through a marketing proposal, but don’t be afraid to include a few slides about your organization, the benefits of membership, and your expertise.
Securing speaking opportunities for your staff and members will benefit your organization by building credibility, adding value and driving membership.
I was recently invited to Taiwan to speak at a symposium about trade and harmonization of international regulations. My talk resulted in an invitation to meet with the Taiwanese government, who requested additional training from one of our client associations. The talk, and subsequent meeting with the Taiwanese government, also raised the potential for the group to develop a certification program in the region. A huge win for our clients, these opportunities would have never been possible without the invitation to speak and travel to Taiwan at almost no cost to the association.