Consider including speaking engagements as a part of your financial PR plan
Similar to financial media coverage, speaking engagements have the ability to raise awareness and credibility of your company’s products and solutions and is a critical ingredient for selling to banks. Securing speaking engagements at industry conferences and tradeshows is a great advantage, but it also requires a great deal of time and effort as well as a little luck, to secure a single speaking engagement. Unlike media coverage, these engagements allow immediate follow up on sales leads on the tradeshow floor, often making them more valuable to clients.
Keep in mind, speaking engagements are highly competitive and sought after by hundreds of technology vendors, financial institutions, analysts and consultants each year. Pursuing speaking opportunities can consume a significant amount time from your PR team and must be carefully integrated as a part of a PR plan.
Your best opportunities to market to banks and credit unions
You can find speaking opportunities through associations, independent publication conferences, vendor conferences as well as small to large financial tradeshows. Each conference features several guest speakers to discuss relevant trends and topics. To determine these speakers, most of the associations announce a “call for proposals” to invite companies, financial institutions and individuals to submit for a speaking session. These sessions will also indicate the amount of time given for the presentation (e.g., 60 minutes) and the format (e.g., best practice, panel, etc.).
Benefits of speaking at industry tradeshows
Speaking at a well-respected trade show represents an exceptional opportunity for marketing to banks and credit unions. Speaking engagements enable clients to:
- Strengthen visibility and awareness of the company and product or service
- Enhance image/build your reputation
- Attract more visitors to your booth
- Increase sales results and leads, especially when used in conjunction with new product launches
When are submissions due and when are decisions made?
You must plan well in advance to secure a speaking engagement. To achieve the best results, place it on your PR Plan and calendar. Deadlines to submit are typically 8-12 months before the conference date and decisions are typically made 4-6 months before the conference date.
What should speakers expect?
While speaking at conferences and events produces great results in public relations and for potential sales leads, it also requires a significant time commitment on your part. For those selected, the association will spend several months leading up to the show to coordinate, organize and finalize the presentation. This may include the development and review of a PowerPoint presentation, handouts, session descriptions, photos and biographies to include in conference agendas, registration, etc. Speakers should be promptly available to discuss these items with conference directors. Additionally, delays in communication can lead to the elimination of a session. However, positive experiences for conference directors can lead to more speaking engagements in the future.