Questions for conference organizers

I've been a frequent guest at seminars and conferences recently. My preparation consists of reading the answers to questions I send to the organizers a couple of weeks before the event. Read them and try to answer them.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been a frequent guest at various seminars and conferences. Usually because I gladly respond to invitations to talk to the audience about the benefits and challenges of a digital analyst job. I see my performances as an opportunity to spread knowledge, generate new business opportunities and also recruit new colleagues.

When someone invites me to be their lecturer at a conference, I usually send them a list of questions first. These questions initially cause panic and fear among the organizers, who soon realize that these questions can help prepare themselves to organize the better conference. The organizers always answer these questions, take my performance very seriously, and often thank me because they realize I helped them get to know their conference from the lecturer’s perspective. Their answers help me to prepare myself better, in order to provide the audience with a unique experience of an interesting lecture on a relatively boring topic.

If you are a conference organizer and if you ever invite me to give a lecture at your conference, here is a list of questions you will get from me. Hope these questions will help you create a marvelous conference experience for both your audience and your speakers.

Questions about the lecture

Questions about the venue

  • How many venues / halls do you plan?
  • How many people in the audience (venue) do you expect?
    • How far away from the speaker will the audience be?
  • What is the size of the venue?
    • Will there be a stage and how high above the audience?
  • What will be the light setup in the hall?
  • What are dominant colors?
  • How about the microphone?
  • Will there be any clicker/remote available?
  • How about the screen(s)?
    • On how many screens / projectors will our presentation be presented at the same time?
  • Is there a monitor?
  • What about the time?
  • How about some rehearsal?
  • Is there a dressing room?

Other questions

  • How about transportation?
    • How far is the venue from the hotel or any other type of accommodation?
    • How’s the transport from the hotel to the venue organized?
  • How about a speakers’ trip?
    • Is there some speakers’ dinner/trip/gathering planned the day before or hopefully the day after the conference?
    • Who are other participants?
  • Any other speaker’s obligations?
    • What are some other obligations us speakers have for the organizer?
  • How about the fee?
    • Are you covering travel expenses?
    • Are you covering accommodation expenses?
    • What is the speaker’s fee? Should I send you my price list?

In addition to answers to these questions, I am always guided by the criteria Dave Birss once shared with me, and with which I fully agree. Here’s the order in which Dave chooses the conferences he will speak at:

  1. Who are other presenters? (can I learn something from them or have a great time with them?)
  2. Is there a field trip the day after the conference?
  3. How much you’re gonna pay me?

So, if fellow lecturers are interesting and there is an unforgettable trip being prepared, apart from the travel and accommodation costs, no generous fee is required 😉

“Robert has excellent taste in wine and footwear. He’s a good hugger – get a hug if you can. Petko is wise. Listen to him. He’ll listen to you for sure.”Doug HallSenior Director of Analytics EMEA ConversionWorks, part of MightyHive Ltd.

“Robert has the knowledge and the experience – but he also has the stage presence and the enthusiasm to hold an audience’s attention while he educates them. A clear communicator and a joy to watch. But his presentations in Croatian are terrible – I never understand a word!”Jim SterneThe Legend of Digital Analytics

“Robert is one of the few people who thrives in the intersect between web analytics, business transformation, and development. He truly gets it, in a way which helps him to tell compelling stories, get stuff done, and change the world. He’s a charismatic expert, and a rockstar on stage.”Jono AldersonDigital strategist. Marketing technologist. Full stack developer. Keynote speaker. Special Ops at Yoast

“I have yet to find an analytics or analytics-adjacent topic that Robert hasn’t pondered deeply and developed keen observations about. More often than not, he’s actually organized his thoughts and presented on the topic! I don’t know why a conference has not yet invited him to do a ‘stump Robert’ session where the organizers simply surprise him with various Big Questions. He would answer all of them eloquently and with wit.”Tim WilsonThe quintessential analyst

“Robert is not only an excellent analyst, but a brilliant transferer of knowledge, as well as an experienced presenter. The focus of audience during his workshops slowly builds and doesn’t let up until the very end of the presentation. Most important: regardless of the complexity of the presented subject, Petković succeeds in explaining it using vocabulary understandable to all. Kudos!”Saša PetkovićDirector of Sales and Marketing at KG Media

“You cannot have a digital strategy in place without knowing your customers and their habits. Petko will show you the light. He will put you in a stronger position, give you the clarity you need and help you establish principles for future digital activities.”Dino OreškiDigital Marketing Consultant & Strategist

“Every time I get stuck and the numbers make no sense, I call Robert for help. He has an answer for everything – even Analytics. :)”Bojan BernikCEO at Morgan Grey digital agency

“Robert is able to adapt and renew his topics and you know it’s going to be down to earth, interesting, entertaining and you will get away with new insights. I would trade 10 so called “professional speakers” for one Robert any time!”Stéphane HamelDigital marketing and analytics consultant, innovator, teacher, speaker and startup & agency advisor