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When you see a business hosting a speaking event, you come to the snap conclusion that they must be an industry authority. If you saw Apple hosting an event, whereby multiple industry experts were invited to give speeches and interviews in front of a live audience, you wouldn’t be surprised. You’d agree that they are one of the leading figures in the technology industry. But is industry event hosting exclusively to only the big names? Of course not. Which is why you should begin to host your own annual speaking event for your particular industry. Not only will you garner attention from within your industry, but you would also turn some heads in the media too. It’s a great way to make new contacts, mingle with other businesses and potentially use it as a springboard to create partnerships with other businesses.
The aim and theme
This may sound like an overly simple question but it’s not. What is your aim and theme for the event? Are you just doing it for the publicity? Are you trying to project an image of professionalism? Is it a meeting of minds whereby you volunteer to be a platform of free-thinking within your industry? What is the theme? You will need to decide what the question and overarching issues you want to address and tackle at your event. It’s very important you know exactly what the main topic is so smaller topics can gather around your main event. The theme will become your rallying cry for the event, it will let everyone know what’s on your mind and why you’ve hosted the event. If you feel you need to inform the media so the right kind of tone is being broadcast, then contact each confirmed journalist with this message.
Planning your event
Who’s going to plan your event? Most companies will delegate the marketing department to get everything together. They will invite your guests via email and by other means. The marketing department will do its usual thing of spreading the word online, just to achieve public awareness of the event itself. They should also invite members of the media, let them know what the contact procedure is if they wish to attend the event. Allow cameras to record the event as gaining popularity through the media is perhaps the most solid strategy to becoming a recognized face within the industry as well. Decide on a venue that is right for the number of people you want to attend the event. The location shouldn’t be too exclusive, so most if not everyone can travel to the event with ease.
Your personal marketing
Don’t rely on the media to give you the type of exposure you want. Hire a professional corporate photographer that knows how to stay out of the way but capture the best moments. A company like headshotlondon.co.uk is a recognized name in the corporate world with notable clients such as the BBC, Microsoft, General Electric, HSBC and Shell to name a few. Their professional photographers will travel to wherever the event is held. They have experience shooting speaking events and dinner parties. They know how to move throughout the event without disturbing it and planning every type of shot that would shine the best light on your event.
The great crescendo
What will be the meat and potatoes of your event? The final speech and or presentation is the cherry on top. It has a strike at the heart of the issue, the reason for hosting the event. Tackling a tough subject either within your industry or outside affects is, of course, the right kind of thinking. Just because you’re the CEO, doesn’t mean you have to perform this alone. A final interview with a known industry journalist would be a great way to end. Getting asked tough questions, giving your thoughts and insights, providing solutions and answering the big questions about the future is a great approach. Don’t forget to have a question and answer period in the end. Have a couple of mics ready to share among the crowd and take on all comers. Allows your guests to pose their own questions to you and interact with the audience. Don’t make it into a one-person performance, show that you want everyone to get involved in your event.
You don’t have to be a large business to host your own event. Have the confidence to speak up and share your opinion on the most challenging subjects in your industry. Make sure you are inviting notable voices so it’s not a shallow one-voice-only type of gathering.