June 26, 2008, Vol. 6 Issue 10
You may have heard it – “stay-cation” – this summer’s term for vacation. There’s no escaping the rising price of fuel, the hassles of airline travel, and generally rising prices of everything, which are forcing us to change our habits. In the meeting business, I’ve noticed an increase in the requests for speakers who are local. This is becoming, in fact, a major selection criterion. How does an agent in Oregon (that’s me!) help you hire a local speaker in Wisconsin, Texas or wherever you are? As many of you know, we do it all the time, and I’d like to share some ideas about that in today’s issue.
And what about some “Me” time this summer for you and friends? The kids go to camp, the family gets together for the big reunion, you herd everybody together for the annual camping trip and on and on. And when Labor Day comes, you say, “What happened to MY summer?” Was it ever your summer? Our friend and self-care expert Jennifer Louden has a better idea and the tools to help you claim time for you and your girlfriends.
Close to Home
Finding local speakers is not new. For some of our clients, we’ve been doing it year after year. Recently, however, I’ve noticed an increase in interest in local speakers, both in inquiries from our website and conversations with clients. Meeting planners are being asked more often to look closer to home for their keynote and special event speakers. The goal is usually to save money both on travel costs and fees, but I’d like to think there is also some social responsibility involved, as well, as in “Think Global, Buy Local.” Regional sensitivities can also be an issue – especially for someone like a retreat leader where a priority may be that the speaker is someone who will relate to your audience.
Let’s start by defining “local” speaker. Well, maybe not define, but give it some parameters – after all, there’s a lot of latitude (pun intended!) involved. Are we talking about a big state like Texas or California or short distances between states in New England? When I was talking to a client in the Boston area the other day, the speaker I was recommending lived in Rhode Island, just a two-hour drive away. Different states – local job. I recently proposed local (Texas) speakers for a client in the southern tip of Texas. One from Dallas, was an eight-hour drive (would choose to fly), and another was within a comfortable three-hour driving distance. Latitude makes a difference!
Most speakers are individuals who set their own fees, and so they decide what local means to them. In my experience, they usually define local as meaning there’s no overnight stay – they get to sleep in their own beds. This usually means driving within a reasonable 1-3 hour radius the same day of the event. The savings on airfare have always been obvious – it will be interesting to see how the mileage fee calculates out as gas prices climb; then again, airline fees are going up as well. Meantime, the speaking fee may be 15 – 50% less than their national speaking fees. Speakers may also offer regional rates. For example, a West Coast speaker may be happier to have more business in her own time zone than fly cross country which can easily tie up three days — as well as corrupting her own time clock. So she might offer a lower rate than her national fee.
When it comes to finding a speaker for your event, we’re always listening to ALL of your desires, and if local is one of them, we honor that and will do our best to make that connection. Although we have stronger networks in some parts of the country than others, we are always building our network. We have connections with many more speakers than are on the website, and we are constantly reviewing materials and following recommendation trails. We’re in the midst of website revisions that will include the speakers’ home states. Playing detective is especially fun when it turns into a fruitful connection for everyone involved.
Those of you who have been with us awhile, know that I am originally from Michigan, having moved to Oregon ten years ago (this month!). One of the joys of moving (yes, there are many beyond the packing and un-packing) is exploring new territory, and, while exploring, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know some fabulous speakers here in the Northwest. Meantime, I have lots of connections in the Midwest, and through speaker and client relations, and involvement in professional organizations, I continue to cultivate relationships nationwide.
So, when you think local, think The Speak Well Being Group. Experts in health, wellness, and women’s events are our specialty and sometimes that nationally recognized speaker is right in your backyard – your very own local speaker. You may have to go to an agent in Oregon to find her (this has happened!), so thank goodness for the internet and our inter-connectedness. We are grateful.
P.S. Your thoughts, reflections and ideas on this topic or any others are always welcome. Simply reply to this email or send them to Barbara@speakwellbeing.com
A Girl’s Got to Retreat
And speaking of close to home, here’s an idea. Jennifer Louden (author of the wonderful Comfort Queen books, and the Life Organizer) is holding a Tele-Retreat on July 10, 5 p.m. Pacific/ 8 p.m. Eastern time, to help you plan a summertime retreat with your girlfriends.
Is everybody getting her vacation this summer except you? Summer is supposed to be a time of long days and loose schedules — a time to play, recharge, touch base with ourselves and gather with friends. Instead of letting loose, many of us find ourselves over-scheduling (usually for the rest of the family) and not making and taking time for creative or soul inspiring self-care. Well-meant intentions to gather with special friends get put off and never realized. Suddenly, we find ourselves sitting at our Labor Day picnics wondering: “Where did my summer go? Where was the time for me?”
Yet your soul–and your friendships–are not little extras for you to turn to only at the end of a bad day. Nor are your friends dispensable, something to fit in when all your work is done. Your friendships offer you the safety, the acceptance, the gentle guidance that you must have to thrive. This Tele-Retreat is an easy way to learn how to make time for light, fun and soulful connections.
Jen will cover:
* Make the time–no more excuses
* Create the environment to truly recharge and connect
* Guidelines to avoid anyone monopolizing the retreat and to prevent you from taking care of everybody
* Key retreat activities and supplies
* The 3 things that kill a retreat and zap energy and connection
* The importance of ritual
* How to create a clean clear ending
Of course, if you’re interested in having Jennifer lead a retreat or keynote your women’s event, give us a call at 503-699-5031 or emaii:firstname.lastname@example.org
You deserve to create a wonderful creative girlfriend retreat simply because you are alive, breathing, and needing, as we all do, time to laugh, reflect, rest, and listen — for your well being and those you love.
PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help