Running out of speakers

(Bill) #1

The toughest challenge that we had so far in MoT Atlanta is finding speakers for our events.

We exhausted the local pool of speakers
We piggy bank from local conferences. Qualitest has an event once a year so we’re always to steal some of their speakers
We even contacted local vendors and had them do workshops of their tools (keeping sales pitches at a minimum)
We can have some remote speakers but I really think there is not alot of value there, if the speaker is remote attendance can be remote as well

Any other ideas?

(Ali) #2

Have you tried reaching out to people (attendees) individually? Sometimes people need a little push to do a talk - even people who have given talks before at different conferences.

We’re going to start introducing lightning talks to our Edinburgh Meetup. You could host a Meetup focused on lightning talks? Less intimidating for first time speakers and they may decide that they enjoyed it and want to deliver a full talk in the future.

Outside of your usual attendee list, do you know of any testers in Atlanta who might not have attended your Meetup before? LinkedIn is sometimes a good place to check for people posting blogs etc in your local area.

(craig) #3

What about consultancies? We have a few consultancies who are looking to promote themselves as “thought leaders” so its good exposure for them

(Lee) #4

I’ve been having similar concerns, as I haven’t got any speakers after February yet, and whilst I’m hoping I can encourage more locals to speak, I’m also hoping I can encourage bigger names to travel (though time and cost of travel for them might be a problem).

I do like you idea of doing lightning talks @alihill - Were you thinking 99 seconds ala TestBash? Let us know when you do start doing them, and how they went, as I’m thinking of giving it a go too.

(Bill) #5

@nufenix @alihill I was always very sceptic on introducing lightning talks. I see alot of meetups that have similar events scheduled around broader topics eg. agile and the attendance is down to single digits.

(Bill) #6

Talked with a few consultant, no luck with bigger groups like Capgemini etc. We managed to get a few of the smaller local folks to speak though.

(Ali) #7

We’re going for 10 minutes maximum length. We’ve had 2 responses from attendees who haven’t spoken so far. Will let you know how they go.

(craig) #8

One thing we’re looking to do is a webcast with a speaker as they are based in the US. I’ve never tried it yet but we’re going to do a series of meetups based on this finalising with the talk.

(Bill) #9

Never was a huge fun of doing webcasts, If the attendees have the option to watch the event from home they will do so

(craig) #10

yeah sorry i was thinking more point to point casting, so not giving the attendees the ability to watch but allowing for group discussion.