Why Everyone Wants to Be a Wedding Speaker
Posted by wis-team
More than ever, we’re seeing an incredible increase in the number of wedding and event professionals that are eager to take to the regional and national stage to share their expertise. Not only does this give them an excellent footing to make some contacts in the industry and spread the wealth when it comes to continuing education, but it can open the door to several other benefits as well.
So, why are more people taking the leap? And should you consider breaking into speaking?
They want to leverage their expertise
Many pros have made the jump to become wedding speakers simply because they’re looking to share some educational insight on their experiences in working with clients, fellow vendors, and managing their own business.
If you consider the incredible number of niches within the wedding world itself, then you can understand the necessity for educators from all walks of life. The ever-growing saturation in a high-demand industry is calling for more people willing to teach their peers – specifically those that have successfully been in business for years.
They want to diversify
In addition to passing on their knowledge, the idea of branching out to create a secondary stream of revenue is also appealing for many aspiring wedding industry speakers. This is a major win-win if you’re searching for another creative outlet and hoping to find another income-generating opportunity. Maybe you’re even in the midst of cutting back on the physicality of weddings (and aiming to free up your weekends), in which case, this could be the right path for you.
They want to offset the costs of attending conferences
From firsthand experience, I can tell you that attending a conference is very rarely inexpensive unless you already happen to live near the location. That said, it can be a significant investment for most, and the ROI has to be high for them even to consider traveling.
However, going to a conference as a speaker (or even an association event) typically means that not only will many groups pay you a fee, but they’ll also likely cover your expenses. This can be a great way to offset those costs since many of the national event industry conferences will waive the education registration for speakers.
They want to be part of a community
More and more brands are popping up that specifically serve the wedding world, meaning that industry pros are their primary target audience. Being included in these B2B organizations can have major perks, and becoming a wedding speaker is a one-way ticket to shaping yourself as a trusted member. Aligning yourself with brands can open opportunities for sponsorships, increased connections within the community, and more.
On the B2C side, although there are limited options to speak directly to engaged couples, this is a fantastic way to get in front of an audience that’s in a position to hire you (or refer you). You can then build trust and credibility early on, which is essential for couples.
In competitive markets, it’s a great way to stand out from the competition. Discerning couples will see that these speakers are being sought after for their expertise, and that means something.
Benefits of being a wedding industry speaker
Aside from compensation for taking on the role of an educator, there are plenty of other bonuses as well.
For starters, speaking regularly can help build brand awareness for your company, which could lead to more business. According to the 2020 Global Wedding Report by Splendid Insights, accruing referrals from other wedding pros are still a top way to get new business. By putting yourself out there in front of your peers, it allows other people to get to know you – from your expertise, personality, and maybe even your portfolio. This paves the way for mutually beneficial relationships to be forged.
It’s also great for building your email list, especially if you’re able to supply something to download after the speaking engagement (even if it’s as simple as the slides you presented). From there, you can continue the conversation, even building a community of followers. You may not know exactly what it could lead to, but when the time comes, it will be handy.
Let’s say you’ve booked that engagement you’ve been after. When you are promoted for upcoming speaking, you will be linked back to your site, which is always great for SEO and your rankings on Google.
Steps for success
So, you’re on the way to making a name for yourself as an industry leader, but a crucial first question to ask before you start pitching yourself – what’s my strategy?
Many conference organizations and associations have a checklist to follow, specifically starting with identifying your platform. You must have three or four topics that not only appeal to their audience but ones that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Make sure that you’re comfortable enough to speak for a minimum of 45 minutes and flesh out your talking points to ensure that what you’re bringing to the table is intentional, actionable, and unique.
Once you’ve put together topics (complete with descriptions and three to four eye-catching takeaways), you want to research where you’ll be pitching yourself. A common misconception is that wedding speakers have to book top national conferences to be successful, but in reality, those aren’t always a great fit for everyone and their individual needs. By all means, set your sights high, but don’t be afraid to pitch to local workshops, association meetings, or retreats as well. Sometimes, your ROI can be even higher for ‘smaller’ engagements where you may know someone in a position to refer business to you.
Then there’s the pitch itself. Keep it short and sweet, but make an impression! Include your description and takeaways along with a title that stands out, and don’t stress about going too in-depth. Conferences and associations receive endless pitches, so anything too long-winded may be overlooked as opposed to something that’s clear, concise, and strong.
If you’ve thought about how your expertise can help others and you’re looking to expand your offerings as a wedding speaker, consider making this your goal for the upcoming year!