Participation as a speaker in conferences: pros and cons

We have already found our answers to these questions and attend conferences regularly. One of such conferences ISDEF constantly brings us not only acquaintances and clients, but also inspiration, new knowledge and ideas. ISDEF has a very high concentration of IT business owners: software developers and other related specialties.

At one ISDEF conference, we attended a presentation by Alex Johel CEO of Oxygen Software, who shared his experience of visiting foreign events. This is a very valuable experience, given that conferences have played an important role in the success of Oxygen in foreign markets.

Alex told us how to prepare for the report, why a relevant portfolio is important, how to beat Jobscan with the right resume and what is the secret of success in the modern IT market. The article will be useful both for beginners and experienced visitors of specialized events, as well as for IT business owners.

Not everyone has the skills and resources to organize their own event. Therefore, you can speak as a guest speaker at an industry conference. You will not be invited just like that: first, you will have to confirm your expertise.

How to show that you are an expert:

    • when introducing yourself, do not read the entire resume, but limit yourself to a few key sentences; be short and concise;
    • Collect a portfolio of your performances with photos and videos;
    • create a blog on the site (WordPress is fine), an account or business page on social networks, a YouTube channel;
    • start posting expert articles in your niche, personal and client cases, news, reviews, guides on the website, in social networks and on the channel;
    • when you fill your site, look for more promoted sites or portals in your industry and agree to place your articles there;
    • look for profile groups in social networks, add and show your expertise there: give comments, post useful materials (but no advertising);
    • conduct live broadcasts on social networks and on the YouTube channel;
    • learn to speak in public. Use every opportunity for this: speak at small master classes, meetings, business breakfasts;
    • look for industry conferences and offer yourself as a speaker, but have something to say to the world or keep quiet.
marketing conference

Newbie mistakes:

    • have no real practical experience. No need to try to simply retell the book you have read – retelling no longer works;
    • if the conference is paid, be sure to ask for money, at least for travel and accommodation (if you are a beginner);
    • do not require official confirmation of participation. You can be quietly removed from the conference and not told you anything. Relevant if you have already bought tickets and booked accommodation.

Tips for those invited to the conference:

    • Take courses in public speaking and presentation making. Learn to answer tricky questions;
    • rehearse the performance, but do not memorize;
    • take your personal photographer with you;
    • post a photo report of the event in the form of albums on your personal accounts in social networks and on the website;
    • prepare gifts for conference participants (online books, mini courses, etc.), post them on the pages with contact collection forms (in closed groups in social networks). Sound the gifts and give the address of the page (group) from which the participants will download them;
    • if you sell something, advertise your product, give a limited time or quantity discount only for conference participants;
    • Get feedback on your presentation from the organizers and participants. Preferably in the form of a video. You can motivate feedback from members using bonuses in exchange for feedback. Place reviews in your portfolio, website, social networks;
    • Try to genuinely share your experiences and help participants. Speakers who only praise themselves and their product are not liked;
    • don’t forget about business cards;
    • After the performance, answer all the questions of the audience, even in social networks.

After you have decided that exhibitions and conferences will be useful, it is worth deciding which of these events to take part in, and which ones you can “walk” without prejudice to business development.

The easiest way is to see what events your competitors are taking part in. The next step in choosing the necessary activities is the maximum coincidence in topics. If you are a beginner, then participate only when you are fully confident that the event is relevant to your business. Look at the list of participants, speakers, read reviews, check out the presentation of reports.

Calculate the cost of participation in the event. Be sure to include both travel and living costs in your calculations.