You’ve created a killer Call for Speakers form and are excited to start receiving entries for your next conference. Before you open your Call for Speakers, you may want to think about ways to increase the number of quality submissions you receive from industry experts. Don’t get stuck calling people begging them to speak! Instead, you want to have so many quality submissions, that you have to turn people away. Set yourself up for success by planning your marketing strategy in advance.
So what are some ways to market that baby? Here are a few tips to help you knock your submissions out of the park:
Make use of your website.
- Post a small “ad” for your Call for Speakers in a prominent place on your website that links to your form so potential speakers can easily find and submit their application. They may not know it’s time to submit if you have it hidden away. Or perhaps they are an expert but didn’t even know you were looking for people because they didn’t come across it. Additionally, make sure your message is clear. Don’t just post a link - advertise what your conference is about and who you’re looking for to speak at it. Invite them to submit!
Send out an email campaign.
- Email campaigns are a great way to reach previous speakers and industry experts. And they are easy to do! Tools such as our Silicon Forest neighbors MyEmma or MailChimp, do the hard work for you. You need to come up with the list of people to send the email to and the message, but you can choose from templates or use your own branding. The tools make it easy to drag and drop info to brand it yourself. Once that is sent off, you will likely see an influx of submissions. And you can send it out multiple times throughout the duration of your Call for Speakers.
Seek out your industry’s association and partner websites.
- Seek out industry websites or partner sites to get your Call for Speakers in front of people in your industry too. Remember to include what your conference is about and who you’re looking for to speak at it and link right to your event website and Call for Speakers form.
Contact industry trade publications and press.
- Submit your event information to industry publications and publication sites and let the press in your industry know your Call for Speakers is now open. Tell them who your ideal speaker is and what your event is about.
Use social media to get the word out.
- Social Media is an excellent way to get your Call for Speakers message out! This is a repeatable marketing action too – feel free to remind people that you are looking for the best and brightest speakers for your event. Tweet about it often as tweets are occasionally overlooked and missed. Be sure to share it on to LinkedIn and Facebook too. Don’t forget to include what your event is about, who you are looking for to speak at your event and a link to your event website and Call for Speakers form.
Promote it on your Blog…and other Blogs in your industry!
- Promote your Call for Speakers on your blog—take a few minutes and be a cheerleader for your awesome conference. Tell industry speakers and leaders why they want to speak at your event. Ask your partners to do the same on their blogs for you. Don’t forget to include what your event is about, who you are looking for to speak at your event and a link to your event website and Call for Speaker form.
Make sure you page is SEO optimized.
- Make sure your Call for Speakers page contains the right target keywords, title tags and headers, and a search-friendly description to make sure you’re taking full advantage of any SEO optimization.
Post your event website on an event listing.
- Post your event website on a listing site like Lanyrd.com. Speakers are on these sites and looking for opportunities. When they reach your event site, they should easily be able to see your Call for Speakers “ad”. Just make sure you provide the right information for your target audience to be attracted to your event so you don’t receive unwanted submissions.
You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: be sure you are targeting the right type of speaker for your event. In all that you do, keep a narrow focus so you get only relevant speaker submissions.
These are all great ways to reach the people you’re looking for. As a side benefit, you're getting the word out about your great conference to people in the industry who may not be speakers but would make great attendees!
Want more? Check out our helpful whitepaper, Perfecting Your Call for Content!