Under suggestions to posters, give them guidance on timelines

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Oct 13 (3 months ago)
Rob Vieira wrote
One shortcoming of jobs posted here is that it is VERY common for jobs to be left open until very, very close to the event date. Given how many posters here are new to trying to get a speaker for an event, it would be good to give them some guidance, and one area to be helpful would be to recommend they make decisions relatively early. Keeping the listing open another few weeks might get you one or two more applications, but it costs you applications too. For example, I can't pass on significant travel savings to someone due to adding them to an existing itinerary if the cost of the change is outrageous because it's a short notice ticket. Any ticket bought inside 3 weeks from travel date has a rapidly increasing price on it - worse if the flight is booking up. Figure that they would need to make a decision at least 1 month from event in order to have time to contract and be ready to purchase travel.
An additional factor is speaker availability. Typical booking is 2-13 months. Most quality speakers (those not desperate for *anything* have a significant chance of already being booked by decision time of gigs posted here, and I'm certainly not going to hold a date for a gig I *might* get if it costs me a gig I *did* get.

Your take may be different, but I am increasingly unlikely to submit for events here because the event is far out, but won't decide until as little as one week pre-event. Doing a quality proposal takes a lot of time, and it isn't worth it.
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3 Answers
Oct 21 (2 months ago)
Bryan agent wrote
i understand the frustration of meeting planners not being responsive, and we do all we can to encourage action. We use SMS, phone calls, and email to reach out to them. It's an automated system so nothing falls through the cracks.

We often get last minute requests, for a variety of reasons (speaker replacement, crisis speakers, last-minute events, etc.), so we can't put a restriction on postings. In situations like this, travel expenses are generally not a big concern to the planner. Many speakers are ready to go at a moment's notice. I'd put a tentative hold on your calendar, which means that you're open for another guaranteed event. You can always offer a planner the right of first refusal.
Oct 21 (2 months ago)
Rob Vieira wrote
I'm not talking "I just realized I need a speaker NOW" cases. I'm talking about the cases where they are making the rather poor strategy choice of actually choosing at the last minute - in many cases for a speaker request that they've had open for many months if not a year. Many of them posted here are for sites with little to no budget. They have enough of a struggle getting a solid speaker at those rates, but they are doing themselves a disservice by waiting until the last minute to make a choice, as it not only means speakers will withdraw for a known offer (a bird in the hand and all that), but also that a higher percentage of an already small budget is consumed by travel.
Here's an example: A posting from the last week or so is for a program to be delivered on October 11th of next year. They have an expected decision date of September 26th - two weeks prior to the event. Allowing for even fast contracting, airfares are likely 30-40% higher than they would have been just 10 days earlier. Hotels and rental cars (if the latter is needed) have also gone up in price.
I'm not saying to force them into anythjing, but, rather, to be proactive in advising what is quite often an inexperienced event planner - often someone who actually isn't an event planner, but a group committee member doing this for the first time or just the one time and year he'she does it. It would, at least in my opinion, make the site more valuable to someone planning an event if they can get some steering if they are inexperienced.
Oct 22 (2 months ago)
Bryan agent wrote
Great suggestions! I'll add this to our messaging to meeting planners.