Who has the final decision making power to hire a professional speaker for an organization?
The answer may surprise you. And it may cause you to drop your jaw, raise your eyebrows and shout, “Huh?”
Recently, Velvet Chainsaw partnered with Tagoras, Inc., a leading continuing education company, to survey conference professionals about their use of speakers. Here are three findings from The Speaker Report: The Use Of Professional And Industry Speakers In The Meetings Market. (Free PDF download. No contact information required.)
Who Makes The Final Call
So who has the final decision making power to hire a professional speaker for an organization?
Not an education or learning professional! That’s one thing that’s obvious from the survey. And that’s one thing that alarms us the most.
Organizations don’t entrust the power to choose the right professional speaker into the hands of the education department. They distrust the very people that have the experience and training in education, learning and presentations.
According to survey respondents, the final decision to hire a professional speaker for a conference of 500 or more is most frequently made by:
- The head of the organization (25.8%)
- The board or volunteer committee (20.2%)
- Vice president or director of meetings (15.3%)
- Vice president or director of professional development (13.5%)
- Staff committees (8.6%)
Well no wonder many of us suffer through so many terrible speaker presentations. The wrong people are selecting them!
The Conference Content Is Outdated
62.5% of the respondents use a call for proposal process to secure speakers for their meeting of 500 or more. Those organizations close that process eight months or more before the actual event.
How can organizations state they are offering cutting edge information and content within the context of the current economy when it’s already eight months outdated? Would you read the news, much less pay for it, if it was eight months old?
Our Conference Success Is Bad
- 97.9% of the respondents state that they were somewhat or very satisfied with their event overall.
- 97.2% rated their meeting as very or somewhat successful.
Yet only 41.9% measure whether attendee learning occurs at their meeting. Most do that with a post-conference survey.
What’s very frightening is that only 7.6% conduct post session evaluations of speakers.
However learning and retention are clearly the purpose of the meeting.
What’s up with that? How can we say our meetings are so successful when we don’t even assess each breakout, session or speaker? How do we know if learning occurred?
Perhaps our conference success is all an illusion designed to make us feel good.
Want more of the findings? Download The Speaker Report: The Use Of Professional And Industry Speakers In The Meetings Market. No login information required.
Which of these three processes alarm you the most and why? Why have attendees continued to pay registration fees for outdated conference content?