5 Strategies to Get on More Association Stages

Inflation and recession are economic realities that businesses often grapple with, and professional speakers are no exception. As these economic challenges loom, it’s essential for speakers to address price objections by demonstrating their value to meeting planners and associations. 

At the ASSC we focus on the association market. The good news for speakers is that even in tough times, associations continue to organize events. But that doesn’t mean they don’t feel the same economic pressures as everyone else. So the onus is on us to demonstrate that it is worth it to them to pay our full fee. Because let’s face it – discounting sucks. 

Define Your Value

It’s crucial for speakers to clearly articulate the value they bring to the table. Avoid picking arbitrary prices; instead, build a strong business case to justify your fee. Show potential clients the return on investment (ROI) they can expect by hiring you and the benefits their members will derive from your presence at the event.

A cybersecurity expert speaker might develop a presentation that highlights how businesses can save thousands of dollars by implementing proper security measures. By showcasing case studies of companies that have experienced significant cost savings, the speaker can justify their fee and demonstrate the tangible ROI to the audience. Associations must deliver value. Your job to help them do it!

Become a Valuable Partner

Help meeting planners create events where attendees see value at every touchpoint. Ensure your session appeals to a broad audience and presents a compelling reason for people to attend. Make your session a draw by connecting the dots between what you do and the ROI for attendees.

A speaker focusing on leadership development could collaborate with meeting planners to create a series of interactive workshops at a conference. By providing materials, group exercises, and facilitating discussions, the speaker ensures that attendees walk away with practical insights and a memorable experience, making the event more valuable for everyone involved.

Also every one of those events is an opportunity to turn those in attendance into paying clients for internal workshops, seminars or training sessions on the same topic. That’s why we love associations!

Leverage Statistics

There are statistics for everything. Use them to make the case for your presentations.  Use these statistics to make your pitch more persuasive and to build a business case for your speaking services. Government agencies are excellent sources for statistics that can resonate with meeting planners and conference attendees.

A speaker discussing the importance of employee engagement might reference a Gallup poll that shows a 21% increase in profitability for companies with engaged employees (Don’t use this –  I just made it up). With statistics, the speaker can emphasize the financial benefits of their topic and strengthen their case for being hired for the event.

Offer Additional Services

If a meeting planner isn’t convinced of your value, consider offering additional services to move them towards a “yes.” Offer a pre-conference webinar, two presentations on the same day, or promotional videos to help the organization promote the event. By being flexible and delivering more, you can demonstrate your worth and create a lasting partnership.

A motivational speaker could offer to host a post-conference follow-up session online to help attendees implement the lessons learned at the event. This added service not only provides additional value to the conference but also demonstrates the speaker’s commitment to the success of the event and its attendees.

Focus on Partnerships

Aim to become the perfect partner for meeting planners and associations. Offer support beyond the content of your speech by working closely with planners to ensure the event’s success. This approach will help seal the deal and prove that you are worth the investment.

A marketing expert speaker might collaborate with a conference organizer to create a tailored marketing plan for the event, including promotional materials, social media campaigns, and targeted email outreach. By working closely with the event organizer, the speaker demonstrates their willingness to invest in the event’s success, making them an attractive choice for future engagements.

The association market is large (over 100,000 associations in the US) – but the planning world is small. As in any industry reputations are made and lost all the time. As a speaker you always want to be building a reputation for excellence that is known far and wide. Follow these simple strategies and you will ensure your business-success independent of any economic circumstance.