An open letter from a (frustrated) event organiser

*** RANT ALERT ***

One of the most frustrating things about creating something big, awesome and powerful that attracts a lot of attention and press (in my case running my own conference) is the amount of unsolicited sales emails and messages I get. Be it from people selling themselves as speakers, photographers, event planners or any other service to PAs speaking on behalf of their A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. CEO speaker (whom I’ve never heard of before).

I don’t know about you, but this is not how I work!

I’ve been spending hours and days travelling around the country, visiting many conferences, panel talks and meetups, listening to tens of talks and getting to know many experts and speakers to make sure that I’ll bring the best of the best to my event. At the same time, I want to make sure that people coming to my event really understand the mission, values and vibe of it and really care about supporting the community.

The same goes for people that we’re collaborating with – from designers and photographers to catering, admin and AV support. All the people who are involved with our events are people I’ve known for a long time (or have been recommended by a trusted source). I know their standards and I’m 100% sure they will be the right fit for our community.

Mistakes to avoid when trying to book more speaking gigs/get work from events:

  • Misspelling a person’s name in your email/message
  • Not doing your research and not understanding the audience of the event
  • Pitch completely irrelevant topic (see the previous point)
  • Thinking about what YOU want to get out of it instead of considering what the organiser might need
  • Trying to be like everyone else and copying other successful speakers
  • Sending an unsolicited message/email out of nowhere with no prior conversation/relationship (the online alternative of cold calling)

What to do differently to have a chance of speaking/working at one of our future events?

  • Show you’re interested in getting to know me, my event and my community.
  • Spend some time to comment, share, engage with my content online (make sure I know who you are before you send me an email/DM)
  • Attend one of my events or invite me to see you speak somewhere else

Maybe it’s just me? Maybe I’m too sensitive? Do you agree with my thoughts and points?

I’d love to know what YOUR process to get more speaking gigs (on more work from event organisers) involves!