Without thinking too much on the horrors of public speaking, pre-conference anxiety, travel woes, and laptop adapters, I set out on an ambitious safety speaking schedule for 2016. As my submitted proposals were accepted in late 2015, I figured I’d better make a spreadsheet to track deadlines, travel accommodations, and other notes. I knew it would be busy, but I had no idea how crazy, productive, and fun it would turn out to be!
Now that I’ve completed 9 of the 10 events for this year, I’m going to write a few posts for aspiring conference speakers. In today’s post, I’ll just summarize where I’ve been the past few months.
The first week of March kicked off my “safety tour” virtually with my first webinar for ASSE. Before March ended, I spoke at three ASSE PDCs and one state safety conference, including two events that were within 24 hours of each other. MSP-ORD-IND-LAX-MSP for those keeping score.
April started with four sessions in three days at the BLR Safety Summit in Austin, Texas. Let me just stop here to say that Austin is an amazing place to have a conference and I hope BLR invites me back when they return there for next year’s Summit! April ended with one more ASSE PDC, this time in PHX.
The first week of May (yes, just last week), wrapped my safety conference season. I was able to stay local by speaking at four hours worth of sessions in two days to safety professionals from all over MN and the upper Midwest. Immediately upon completion of the last MN session, I set out for Philly to speak in the first ever safety track of the Craft Brewers Conference. What an amazing experience! I had zero expectations that any brewers of craft beer would be interested in my safety talk…I ended up with just over 50 attendees at my post-lunch session. Some even stuck around after for more.
One of my new brewing industry contacts took this picture of me as a reminder to contact me since I do not have business cards. I thought it was funny to see what I look like to others at a conference. Note the tea in hand, not beer! Lesson learned for next year’s CBC, try to speak earlier in the day so I can taste beer at the expo!
So that’s it. I made it through. Now all that’s left is Safety 2016, the big show, ASSE’s annual PDC and huge safety expo. I’ll bring business cards this time!
The next post in this mini-series will take you through the speaking process, from proposal to delivery. Another post will focus on tips for conference attendees.