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My questions for event organizers.

I would love to speak at your event! I just have a few questions to make the whole process a bit simpler. This is a set of questions which help me figure out which events to go to. Before committing to an event I gather information and start by asking a couple of questions. I included most of these questions in my speaking request form. These questions change and I will continue to tweak them.

Practical questions

  1. How many people do you expect to show up?
  2. What is the target audience of the event? (size, industry etc.)
  3. Is this a commercial event? (commercial, educational)
  4. Is this a public or private (business) event?
  5. What language would you like to me give the talk in?
  6. Will I be able to present from my own computer and use my own slides?
  7. Are the talks recorded? Are they available to all?
  8. How long should the talk be?
  9. What are the dates of the event?
  10. Are you covering my travel expenses?

Open questions

What do you hope my participation will add to the event?

If an organizer reaches out to me this is one of the best questions to ask.

What kind of talk would be most relevant? (“Big picture”, practical, etc.)

Some talks are more story driven, other's are more live demo type of talks. It helps me figure out if the audience is technical so I can do a more hands-on approach or more of a bigger picture talk.

What does the location and stage look like?

I rely on speaker notes and next slides when I'm presenting. I need a reference monitor.

Will I be expected to answer questions from the audience?

I love to answer questions after the talk, but I would like a moderator to pick the questions and repeat them.

My own research

There are a couple things I don't ask the organizer directly and research on my own.

  1. How diverse is the lineup of speakers?
  2. Does the event have a code of conduct and how they enforce it?
  3. Does the event have a good track record?
  4. Is the website accessible and friendly?
  5. Have there been incidents of harassment at the event previously?

After I did my own research an am still unsure, I'll often ask friends and reach out to people who attended the same or similar events.

These questions from Ethan Marcotte, Karen McGrane, Leslie Jensen-Inman and Bruce Lawson helped me shape mine, thanks!