I hope you’re well and don’t mind me looking for some guidance. I’m interested in applying to speak at the Digital Dealer conference in the fall. Any insight? I’ve reviewed the guidelines and the pitch due date is just around the corner. I’m trying to figure out if I have an angle and a chance LOL! I’d welcome any anecdotes or experiences you might have had.
Thank you in advance.
Happy to help. I’ve spoken at 28 Digital Dealer Conferences, and keynoted one of the earliest ones.
Tip 1: The earlier you get in the submission, the better. (I know they’re taking submissions as I was reached out to asking if I’d moderate a panel, but I declined because I can’t even think beyond our DealerKnows Summer Camp this month (and because any chance to avoid Vegas, I take).
Tip 2: Construct your session title in one of three ways. Either like a Buzzfeed article (“4 Ways to ….” or “The 10 Critical BLAH that you Must Do to Win at BLAH”) or use a really cool, catchy concept, often involving something in pop culture (“What Mean Girls Teaches Us About Championing Salespeople to Success”) or go with something specific and bleeding edge (“Using ChatGPT to Respond to Customer Reviews and Inquiries”)
Tip 3: Submit a joint, 2-hander session with a dealership representative. This almost guarantees you will be accepted.
Tip 4: Become a commodity. Once you’ve developed a following and get to the point where attendees come to (not just your session to see you, but to) the conference to see you, then you’ll be called and invited to speak. You won’t need to submit. I got into the game early enough where a very few of us were speaking on our topics, so a built-in audience and following was easy to attain.
So definitely, submit to speak, make it fun and interactive, over-prepare for your session, attack it with enthusiasm, and you’ll not only be accepted to speak, you’ll be rewarded.