By Nick Gold (pictured), managing director, Speakers Corner
The road to results is one punctuated by risk and populated with dead-ends, the clear route is often hard fought. Last autumn, inspired by our PR agency’s enthusiasm, we began the lengthy process of analysing at the large amounts of enquiry data we had accrued on our system over the last five years.
Looking at the year on year fluctuations, broken down according to categories, it became apparent that there could be some correlations between the socio-economic and political landscape and the behaviour of those who book their event speakers through Speakers Corner.
A potential campaign took shape, and we started to crunch the data to see what trends and predictions we could make about the meetings and events industry and wider society. We approached it will a certain degree of naivety, and it soon became a daunting task as we started to run through the numbers! We’re experts on speaker allocation and public speaking consultancy, not statisticians and mathematicians. Whilst we could see patterns developing, putting them into a coherent, solid structure proved far trickier.
We took a leap, publishing a short, overview booklet at a trade show (supporting it with a 30 minute seminar) which, although correct in its analysis, failed to provide enough colour to capture hearts and minds. We knew that if we wanted to make this a worthwhile exercise, producing rock-solid content, backed up by detailed process and tangible results, we would have to get a credible third party to analyse the stats.
We came to realise the, all too often overlooked importance of careful research when attempting to make claims and predictions on the past, present and future of our industry. Back in November 2015 we sat with highly respected research organisation, BDRC Continental, to hatch a plan. Three months later, and countless evenings spent re-categorising data and pouring over spreadsheets, we are proud to re-present Speakernomics.
Speakernomics will provide an ongoing series of interesting insights, carefully considered predictions and analysis of some of the key behavioural aspects of how conference organisers, marketing teams and procurement directors choose a speaker for their events. In turn we will adopt a worldly approach looking to how booking patterns relate to wider issues in society.
Over the next couple of months, we’ll be sharing our views (as well as some of our expert speakers) on Speakernomics in the hope of encouraging healthy debate on this subject!