WELCOME TO MY WORLD
A snapshot into the lives of people who hire speakers
he International Association
of Venue Managers (IAVM)
serves managers and exec-
utives who run public
assembly facilities ranging
from convention centers to
arenas. As IAVM’s Director of Content
& Professional Development, Rodney
Williams, DBA, hires speakers for face-to-
face conferences and webinars.
Rehearsal isn’t just reviewing the slides, it’s also making sure the connection is great...
Janet Bailey: How often does
your association hire professional
speakers from outside the venue
Rodney Williams: A lot of our speakers
are industry subject-matter experts, but
we hire 20 to 30 outside speakers a year.
We hold conferences for our four different sectors—stadiums, arenas, convention
centers, and performing arts centers—and
an annual conference that brings all those
sectors together. We also hire speakers for
eight webinars during the year. More and
more, if we are booking you as a speaker,
we will include a webinar in the contract.
What topics do you look for?
Teamwork, leadership, guest services,
and change management all resonate
with venue managers, and topics that
help them maximize revenue and sales
same equipment and from the same location you will be using for the webinar.
I’ve seen webinars get canceled because
speakers didn’t know until the last minute
that there was a firewall at their location. Many speakers insist, “I know my
materials, I don’t have to rehearse.” But
rehearsal isn’t just reviewing the slides,
it’s also making sure the connection is
great, that the audio is synched to the
PowerPoint correctly, that the embedded
video works on the platform.
Giving a webinar from a mobile
phone is not a best practice. If the call
drops, it take you at least two minutes
to dial back in and get situated. Use a
hard line or VOIP.
What else would you like speakers
I look for speakers who are willing to
customize their messages to our audience. I can tell if a speaker is using a
Speakers should send a follow-up
email to confirm I have received their
information and update me on things,
such as a new video.
What advice would you give
speakers about successful web
Do a rehearsal at least a week ahead of
time to make sure you are familiar with
the webinar platform and have the most
up-to-date software for that platform. If
possible, do the run-through using the
How should speakers contact you?
Send a one-sheet in PDF format as
an electronic attachment. We are
approached by 1,000 speakers a year. All
I need to see are your bio, photo, succinct
bullet points on your top three speaking
topics, and a link to your website that has
a current video, your client list, some testimonials, detailed information on your
topics, and pricing information.
Rodney Williams, DBA, is Director of Content & Professional Development for the International Association of Venue Managers, Inc. He
orchestrates e-learning strategies and assists
in the development of conference programming and professional development
initiatives for IAVM’s conferences and
webinars. Visit www.iavm.org.
Janet Bailey helps organizations improve focus and engagement hrough Precision Questioning & Answering, clear communi- cation, and mindfulness
training. Learn more at www.janetbailey.com.