Guest Post: Michael Hickey, Associations Now
Creating a pool of subject matter experts that your organization can pull from will improve and accelerate your search for quality speakers for learning programs and other events.
Sourcing a speaker for your association’s events—including chapter events—can be a headache. But put together a speaker database, and your organization will have a vetted list of reliable speakers to choose from.
“It’s so much easier if you already have a list you’ve curated,” said Sylvia Gonner, CEO of the consulting firm CultureWiz and former vice president of global relations and development at The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), where she helped develop a speaker database.
Use these tips to create your own speaker database.
GATHER SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS
Start by leveraging your event management team’s contacts and resources. Ask the team to round up a list of speakers they know of or have worked with at previous events.
Also consider tapping into your chapter network and asking chapter leaders to recommend any subject matter experts who have spoken at their events. Soon enough, you’ll have a pool of credible experts whom your chapter leaders trust to deliver a presentation. When IIA did this, Gonner says, quality local speakers were suddenly exposed to the entire organization.