So you’ve just spent months putting together the perfect meeting. It went off without any major catastrophes, and you can finally get a breath of air. But don’t take too long of a break. There’s still one critical task left – thanking your speakers.
Any organization that uses outside experts for meetings can benefit from building a long-term relationship. Presumably, each speaker is involved in your line of business one way or another. They’re an asset, one that now knows you and your organization well. Not only will they be more apt to speak at future events, they could help you find other speakers and provide valuable feedback about how to improve your meetings.
Thanking them is key to maintaining this relationship. Considering they probably spent about 90 hours preparing for your event, a simple Thank You card won’t do. You want them to remember you forever, so create a unique and personalized way to say thanks.
Loop it back – Speakers are passionate about their expertise. They spend loads of time researching, preparing and presenting with the express purpose of helping your team grow. So show them how you grew!
In your Thank You, tell them how your team reacted to their presentation. Quotes from attendees, changes in business practices, discussions on social media – They all work!
Send them something original – Thank You cards are nice but expected. 72U, a creative school run out of the advertising agency 72 & Sunny, recently thanked some guest speakers by 3D printing personalized thank you cards.
Find a new way to thank someone and they’ll never forget it.
Help them out – Speakers are busy busy busy. Between traveling for speaking gigs, demanding jobs, and trying to keep some semblance of a personal life, they don’t have a minute to spare. So think of a way to help them be happier on the road, at work or at home.
Do they travel constantly? Send them something that will make that easier. Did they mention a personal interest? Send them a link, book, or even a contact that could help them delve deeper. Odds are, if you’ve spent the time to book them and listened closely to their presentation, you know enough about them to find a gift that will enrich their life or career. And they won’t forget that.
Don’t miss this opportunity! Your speakers are not a one-time resource. Don’t be shy about asking for feedback. It will pay dividends. A career built on great contacts will help you plan better meetings and meet your goals for years to come.