A Call for Speakers: Announcing @BrandsConf

Entrepreneur and all around mensch Jeff Pulver has announced a new conference:

@BrandsConf, a conference taking place in early December 2010 that will explore the “Humanization of Brands” and the underlying effects this is having on business.

If you are interested in speaking at: @BrandsConf, please submit your speaking proposals over at: http://brandsconf.com. The deadline for speaking proposals is: Friday, November 5th but the first to submit will be the first I consider for the event.  You can also feel free to please tweet speaker nominations/suggestions to #BrandsConf.

From his announcement:

After watching thousands of brands become alive on twitter, rather than just being an observer of such trends I thought the time was right to invite up to people to come forward and participate in the discussion.

With today’s “Call for Speakers” I am looking for creative, out-of-the-box thinkers to come forward and pitch me something relevant they would like to discuss from inside the respective worlds of the business segment they are operating in. Brands transcend business sectors and my hope is to have a variety of industries represented at our first event.

In the tradition of the #140Conf events, individual presentations will be 10 minutes long and panels will run 15 to 20 minutes.

The conference will explore a range of topics from best practices to the legal issues to the natural conflict of personal and corporate branding. Plus a wide range of related topics that I hope to hear from the people who come forward to speak at this conference. I’m looking for first-hand accounts of how the humanization of branding is being applied and the impact it is happening in across the business world. My goal is to bring together a great group of Characters to both lead and contribute to the discussions.

The take-aways from this event will provide the attending delegates knowledge, perspectives and insights to the next wave of effects the real-time Internet will have on brands and business.

CALL TO ACTION:

Think about what YOU could contribute to the dialog, and who you may know who would be interested in being part of this exciting event.

If you are interested in speaking at: @BrandsConf, please submit your speaking proposals over at: http://brandsconf.com. The deadline for speaking proposals is: Friday, November 5th but the first to submit will be the first I consider for the event.  You can also feel free to please tweet speaker nominations/suggestions to #BrandsConf.

#BrandsConf is the twitter hashtag for the event. Help spread awareness of this new conference.

Advertisements

I’ll Take Chris Brogan’s Cast Offs

Chris Brogan recently announced that he’s cutting back on speaking engagements. He blogged:

In 2011, I’m cutting back my amount of time on the road. My family has been lovely at letting me get out there as often as I have been, but with new company obligations and with my family wanting me home a little more often, I’m going to pull back some of my availability on the road. Here’s how that will work.

Every month, I will be available for a total of three (3) paid speaking engagements, and (1) industry event (meaning something that pertains to my industry – like BlogWorld Expo). Thus, if you’re holding an event in January, and you’re interested in getting me there, I currently have 2 slots left, as I’ve booked one already. These will be handled first-come, first serve. My fees aren’t very negotiable.

I sent in a comment that I know many speakers – especially female ones – who would gladly take his speaking engagement cast-offs (including me).

Chris has been speaking publicly since 2006 and gets primo engagements, and not just the tech industry events but business and corporate as well. Many female speakers with comparable or even longer speaking resumes still struggle to get booked. I’ve been speaking professionally – and represented by agencies such as Greater Talent Network and more recently The Speakers Group (although I just noticed I’m still not listed on their site. Hmmm…)- since 1995.

In the 90s, I was blessed to be invited to speak globally including for an NGO gathering at De Haag; at an educational technology conference in Stockholm; at a women’s leadership conference in Wellington; and a women’s business summit in Buenos Aires. That was on top of corporate appearances such as symposiums at Arthur Anderson (now called Accenture), internal events at Kraft, and an array of national conferences for organizations such as the Association of Small Business Development Centers and the University Continuing Education Association.

I continue to work diligently to build my professional profile, publish widely (including my 8th book coming out Spring 2011 about crowdsourcing), social network with the best of them, and try to translate that into more paid speaking engagements. But the engagements that are well-suited to my background – and especially those that pay – are predominantly covered by male speakers.

This is not an attack on male speakers – and certainly not on Chris Brogan who is a lovely human being and an engaging presenter. This is just to state a reality that many female speakers face: even after years presentation experience at the keynote level with high ratings and reviews, we still have to fight tooth and nail to get a gig, and most often are offered a fraction of our male counterparts. I’ve had speaking agents tell me flat out that there are very few women on the professional speaking circuit today who can “break $10,000,” but getting $10,000 or more for even a novice male speaker is an easier sell than a seasoned female one. I kid you not.

In the spirit of full disclaimer, I haven’t yet broken $10,000, but I’m close. However, speaking gigs at that level are rarely found in the social or new media industries so my main focus of opportunities are outside of technology. There are many verticals where an expertise like mine in Internet marketing that spans 20 years can bring valuable insights to anyone regardless of if they are selling widgets, booking travel, building green buildings, or manufacturing toilets. (Yes, I’d be honored to speak at the Japan Toilet Association‘s annual conference or the World Toilet Summit in Philadelphia.)

So I’m willing to put myself out there and say to Chris Brogan “I will take your speaking cast-offs,” and if I am not qualified or available, I will gladly share the opportunities with other dynamic, experienced speakers. And yes, I’ll probably refer a lot of awesome female speakers I know who are in the same boat as me. Because we have to stick together. And if I have something to share, I will share the wealth. That’s just the way I roll.

What have been your experiences getting booked as a speaker or finding and booking speakers?