Lead time for a speaker: 3-6 months

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Shaun Rein in action

Getting a professional speaker on your meeting or conference is not everybody’s daily business. While in most cases, timing is no issue, sometimes we get requests for a meeting in one, two weeks time. We can work fast in emergencies, but in general we can go our job best when we have a lead time of three to six months.

Why do we need that time?

First, we need to figure out what would be in our opinion the best candidate speakers for your meeting. That means, we first need to understand as good as possible what your want to achieve with your meeting. Who is attending, and in our case, how familiar is your audience with China? Those are key questions, apart from the obvious: where, when and under what conditions your need a speaker to appear. Getting an idea about your budget helps us, although most clients are very reluctant to give us a figure right away. This takes at least a week.

Then, we have to figure out who of our speakers might match your needs. We want clients to have something to choose from, says three, four candidates. We do not want to overwhelm them with too many names and suggestions, so often much of our time is spent on eliminating good candidates. When the first scan has been good, we can often act fast, although sometimes we need to finetune the assignment. Then our client needs to make a choice of the people we suggest. Depending on the chain of command, that can take two to three weeks.

When that is done, we can check the availability of the preferred speaker. Most of our speakers have a life of themselves, so they prefer to know a few months ahead if an opportunity is coming up. For some it is even longer.

Again: mostly this is going pretty naturally: clients have to organize their meeting too, and they prefer to know the availability of a speaker some months ahead. Audiences often have to fly in, halls need to be hired, press-releases have to be send out.

The get all this done, three months is actually pretty short. We write this up, because we got a few requests in, allowing only a few weeks time to get speakers in. That is possible, but then you have not a lot to pick from, and – since we require business class return tickets – travel costs might also be high at short notice.

Hope this helps.