Sure, in some situations and with traditional, mainstream industry conferences, keynotes and select opportunities are often tied to levels of sponsorship. However, more often than not the opportunity may be staring you in the face and you don’t even know it.
Take last week’s Microsoft TechEd conference. As part of Virtual TechEd, they hosted a slam of sorts or what some attendees would describe as a technical version of American Idol. They have four of five competitors in a series of opening round heats where each contestant has five minutes to talk about any technical topic they want to talk about, emphasis placed on relevant Microsoft technologies. Contestants are then critiqued by four-five judges, usually Microsoft developers. Winners of each heat then compete in the finals and the winner of the final round is guaranteed a speaking slot at next year’s TechEd Conference.
So, while you continue to work with the conference coordinators who handle traditional speaking nominations, don’t lose sight of the non-traditional ways to share your executives’ expertise and insight.
If you know of other conferences doing similar types of activities, let us know. We’d love to hear about them.