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Concurrent Sessions & Speaking

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013
I've been asked to present a concurrent session at an upcoming conference. Any ideas on how to get people to attend my session?

Let's start with a simple statement: You will get greater attendance at a plenary session vs. concurrent ... therefore you'll have more attendance by speaking at (in descending order):
  • A Keynote session
  • Any Plenary session
  • A concurrent against fewer concurrents
  • Any concurrent session
  • A concurrent against a big name
Now to answer your question.

You want people to attend your session. But do you want all kinds or a specific target audience? Start by making a GIANT PROMISE about what you will deliver ... and deliver it. Plant mystery in your session description, e.g. "Mary will tell you about the one technique for XXXX that doubled a company's profits" or "Learn 4 ways to reduce costs tomorrow" - you get the idea.

Describe yourself in terms of accomplishments important to your audience vs. for yourself. If you want a specific group of people, identify them, e.g., "Small organizations facing problems with competition will learn...." or "Owners of organizations looking for an exit strategy will discover how to...."

TIP:Write the copy yourself as most conferences (especially smaller or local ones) may not write effective copy that draws. Describe yourself and your presentation FOR the audience you want. Make and promise and deliver.

Finally, think twice about accepting a concurrent unless you know who and what you are up against.

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