On August 22, 2018 in Atlanta, I’m destined to have my “Sex & Money: Why Women Are Better At It Than Men” Women Financial Empowerment Conference. My goal is to have 200 women attend to be empowered, become better negotiators, learn new financial strategies, and become inspired by the women who will be speaking. Women have innate abilities which many have not tapped into and don’t know how to execute to achieve their goals. Therefore, my conference will be an evening they will never forget.
I have an amazing speaker confirmed which I’m currently holding out on mentioning until the press release. I’m currently working on getting high caliber speakers and my corporate sponsorship package is in the process of being completed.
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to sit with my event planner, Jade Ladson owner of The Special Occasion, to review the first draft of the corporate sponsorship package over turtle cookies and Moscato! During our time together we discussed the venue contract, speaker contracts, speakers budget, the sponsorship package and more.
Here was my revelation…
Working with an event planner is money well spent. Simply, not enough words can describe the value, importance, peace of mind, and flexibility she brings to the process. Imagine never having to worry about finding a caterer, venue, speaker accommodations, décor, and etc. For the most part, all I have to do is show up and deliver a knock-out speech to the women.
It occurred to me, negotiation skills are key to a successful conference. While negotiating speakers’ fees is not like negotiating a lower credit card interest rate, there are similarities. When negotiating with a speaker’s fee I’ve learned that honesty is the key. My goal is to construct a win-win solution. If I’m inviting a particular speaker, there are a few reasons. Knowing how passionate I am, I make sure that it is expressed. I express the exposure these speakers would receive so they can understand the benefit of the conference and join me as I embark on this incredibly journey to empower these women lives in an intimate setting.
Most importantly, I inform what’s my budget and how I’ve come to learn about them—mutual acquaintances. Putting together a conference the goal is keep the costs as low as possible. Costs to put a conference together include PR, marketing/event promotion, venue, technology, catering, and speaker accommodation to name a few. Right now, my biggest goal is not to make money off of this conference, rather it’s to build a brand and awareness. I’m planning on developing a women financial empowerment conference annually and to take place in different states.
Because my audience will be professional women and women who are looking to get to the next level in their personal or professional lives, my speakers will be able to connect with them through their stories and strategies. By expressing my goals, financial situation, and the reason why I think a particular speaker would be a great addition to my conference and it’s a benefit for them, too, it’s opens up the negotiation discussion. Sometimes, speakers can choose to do pro bono speaking under the condition that their products/services are incorporated in the conference in some form of fashion. If they don’t do pro bono, I provide an offer with additional benefits. I favor a win-win approach. Quite possibly, I could encounter a company who will want to sponsor a particular speaker.
With the next conference, I plan on using some of the same speakers if schedule permits. The way I operate is the people that I use, I would like to continue my relationship with them for future events. I respect people’s time as I hope others do mine. As a speaker myself, I understand the tight schedule you can operate under.
Therefore, if I’m not paid my full speaking fee, then I would like to know what the budget is. I will do my best to work with the event/meeting planner, such as pre-order my book for the event, offer a reduced speaking fee, and travel arrangements to accommodate. So, I can understand the important of negotiating with speakers. Exciting, entertaining, and informative speakers are key to a successful conference.
I can’t wait to share with you more info…stay tuned!