Newsflash, May 2013: We are on the verge of running a new round of the survey for this report. To be notified of the survey and the new edition of the report, be sure to sign up for the Tagoras Leading Learning monthly newsletter.
Today, in collaboration with Dave Lutz and Jeff Hurt over at Velvet Chainsaw, we’re releasing a report on the use of professional and industry speakers by trade and professional associations. We’ve dubbed it simply The Speaker Report, and it’s based on a survey Tagoras and Velvet Chainsaw did earlier this year in which 247 organization’s participated. Additional comments follow, but first I’ll cut to the chase and give you the download link:
As many readers here know, we normally charge for our more in-depth reports like this (though we also give a lot away through our resources center and our free monthly newsletter. In this case, however, Dave, Jeff, Celisa, and I felt it was important to get this information out as broadly as possible, and we also felt it was a way to give back to the community. Hopefully you will find the information in the report of value, and if so, we encourage you to share it with others.
Here is a brief guide to some areas of the report that I find of particular interest:
- Top Take-Aways
Starting on Page 8 you will find a brief discussion of eight key points from the report. I won’t spoil your reading by enumerating them here, but I will highlight the first one, which is close to my heart: Education deserves some respect.
- Professional Speakers and Learning
Speaking of education, on page 14 in the section on professional speakers, we highlight that “Organizations that measure whether learning occurs at their meetings are more likely to have a larger professional speaker budget than those that don’t.” Something for speakers to keep in mind. We also cover average speaker budgets, sponsorships, and other details of hiring and paying for speakers in this section.
- Decision Making for Speakers
As far as hiring professional speakers go, on page 20 we point out that final decisions for professional speakers are most frequently made not by the education or professional development department but by the head of the organization (25.8 percent) or a board or volunteer committee (20.2 percent). Hmm.
- 15 Ways Professional Speakers Really Annoy
Rightly or wrongly, this list on page 25 seems sure to be a popular part of the report. Here we categorize and catalog some of the feedback we got from survey respondents. The word “prima donna” came up more than a few times.
- 7 Changes to Come
By page 26, we’re into the section of the report on industry speakers and one of the topics we hit on is changes organizations are making in the number of sessions or speakers at their meetings. For starters, it looks like neither number will be growing.
- Call for Proposals
I’ve already mentioned this one – as have Dave and Jeff – in previous writings: page 28 is where we talk about the fact that most organizations shut down their calls for proposals 8 months or more in advance of their meetings. Not exactly a recipe for timeliness.
- Measuring Educational Impact
While nearly all organizations collect evaluations for their meetings and/or speakers, we report on page 32 that well under half are measuring educational impact. Seems like it may be time for that to change.
There is plenty more to the report, but I’ll stop there. Again, you can download the whole thing for free. (If for any reason that link isn’t working, just paste http://bit.ly/speaker-report into your browser.)
It was a pleasure working with Dave and Jeff over at Velvet Chainsaw on this one – I view them as the definitive experts in the world of meetings. Celisa also deserves huge props on this one, as she did the vast majority of the work to pull all of the data together and shape it into the report it is. Again, we hope you enjoy it – and please spread the word.