We’re still reeling from the experiences at TBEX 13 in Toronto, still amazed at the A-game our speakers brought to the stage, and now it’s time to knuckle down and make sure that we deliver a consistent quality educational program for TBEX Europe in Dublin.
First, a little background about the speaking lineup of our Toronto event:
- We had 54 speakers for our breakout educational sessions.
- 42% of our speakers were women.
- We had 46 speakers from North America (10 of those from Canada), 7 from Europe, and one from Asia.
- Approximately 58% of our speakers had not spoken at TBEX before.
I think our Toronto event raised the bar for excellence in speakers and sessions, and I know that Dublin will do the same.
So how do you get a speaker spot on the TBEX Europe speaker program?
The very first thing you should do – and I mean the VERY FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO – is read this post about what we are looking for in speakers at TBEX. I’ll reiterate a few of the tips here, the ones that seemed the biggest challenge to potential speakers:
Write a solid speaker submission form. This will take some thought and time, but we won’t know what your session promises to deliver to attendees if you dash something off in a hurry. Refine your topic to an appropriate length for the one hour session, allowing time for questions and answers, and make sure your description and takeaways demonstrate what the session would be about. Poorly written (or explained) sessions are probably the top reason that submissions are declined.
Your session should not be self promotional. Talking about your product or how to use it, promoting a new service you’re offering, or talking about your business are not good topics for an ed session. We know that you’ll rely on your experience, which does incorporate all of the above, but attendees want to know “what’s in it for them” – so make sure you can answer that question. And if you have a great product or service that you’re ready to showcase and market to the world, you’re welcome to become a sponsor at TBEX. Just let us know and we’ll connect you with someone on our business development team.
Remain flexible. Selecting and organizing the speakers is an always moving process, and one that is not as easy as I used to think it was. It is not simply a matter of saying yes or no, it’s a constantly evolving process of making sure that we have a good variety of topics, a mix of returning and new speakers, and diversity of gender, nationality, and more. If your session is a take it or leave it one regarding topic, speaking partners, or timing, we’ll probably have to decline. We have lots of moving parts to the program, so remaining flexible and easy to work with helps us say yes.
Are you part of the TBEX community or are you only interested in being there to be on stage. Our community is wise to those who are genuinely a part of the travel and travel blogger community; they are equally wise to those who merely want to be there solely for personal aggrandizement or gain. Our attendees recognize the difference and tell us in their evaluations and comments, so ask yourself why you want to be at TBEX Dublin. Would you want to be there if you weren’t a speaker?
Our sessions fall into four categories: Content, Community, Commerce, and TBEX Business (for the travel industry).
OK, I’ve read the link, what do I do now?
Remember that we want you to be successful and for attendees to love your session. With the above guidelines in mind, if you have questions about the process or what we’re looking for, just send me an email. I’m happy to answer your questions or jump on Skype to chat about it.
The submission process opens today and will close on July 5th, 2013 at midnight, Pacific Time. Go to the speaker submission form for TBEX Dublin and send us your very best idea.
We will attempt to put the program together and notify speakers by August 5th, one month after closing. Again, we try very hard to meet those deadlines, and if everything falls into place precisely, we can do it. We appreciate your patience if it takes a little bit longer.
Okay now, re-read that link above, put your thinking cap on, and send us your very best idea for an educational breakout session at TBEX Dublin.