When meetings came to a screeching halt last year, professional speakers suddenly had some spare time on their hands. Some organizations cancelled meetings in fear of the AIG effect, and others brought their meetings “under the radar” – holding meetings on property while using internal, industry speakers. A few months later, when companies started to climb out of the foxhole, they started to call speakers with a drastically reduced lead time. Many of us were getting calls a few months or even weeks before the program! Although this is hard to understand from a marketing perspective, this trend is going to continue.
Why are lead times going to stay shorter? Because the company has more at stake and leadership looks harder at the bottom line impact of each meeting. So meeting planners are spending more time strategizing “success”, getting approvals from leadership and working to get better deals from the meeting venues. And, if they wait long enough, they can try to get a better deal from the professional speaker!