There are so many cultural norms that we don’t question anymore.
Like the one where people hide their speaker lists and agendas for conferences and retreats. It’s become so normal that most events won’t tell you anything beyond a theme like “Revolutionize Your Business!” or “Get Rich Fast!”
I’m sure you’ve seen them.
And working with Stephanie for the last five years I’ve learned a thing or two about events like that…
Here’s why they hide their agendas and speaker lists.
Even They Don’t Know
One easy way to hide the fact that you don’t know what is going on is to say that you’re “keeping it a secret to surprise people!”
But let’s be honest; all marketing people know that “secret knowledge” of an agenda is often a way to cover up ignorance on the part of the marketer. Sure, sometimes people really are keeping things secret to surprise their audience! But if a retreat won’t even give you a general agenda or speaker list, they probably don’t even know what’s going to be happening and are looking to hide their lack of planning.
Another reason to hide an agenda is when you know your content isn’t great. Most marketers will help their clients to cover up bad content by keeping it a ‘mystery’ that only the people who attend will ever find out.
But like I said before… Keeping “secrets” in marketing is used more and more often to disguise something shady. In cases like this, it’s their way of preventing you from realizing that the content is either something you could learn online or just plain bad!
Everyone can use the internet now. Which means that anyone and everyone can google a name and gather some information about the speakers being presented.
Which means that if you publish your speaker list, you’re inviting people to look up your speakers -- which says a lot about the quality of your event! The easiest way to avoid people finding out that your speakers stink, have no experience or just don’t know what they are talking about? Don’t publish their names…
Something Stephanie learned early on in putting together events (that I learned at the first Grow Retreat I worked for her) is that a lot of events will get you in the room for five minutes of content and then pitch at you for another hour and twenty five. People have started getting smart to these kinds of events, and event organizers are realizing that!
So the solution that’s often presented? You guessed it! Hide the content agenda so people can’t figure out that you’re putting out the tiniest bit of content with huge pitchfests taking up the rest of the event. Because who wants to pay $500 to get pitched at for a day?
Why We Don’t…
We don’t hide the speaker list or agenda for the Grow Retreat. The agenda and speaker list you see on the website? That’s actually the agenda that we are using for planning and organizing things! And there’s a couple reasons why…
You should know what you’re getting into!
We believe that if you are going to invest in our event, you should know what you’re getting into! It’s a complete waste and actually a liability for you if you drop change and arrive to discover that nothing is applicable to your business. We want every single person in the room psyched to be there, so we don’t want you dropping money on attending if you won’t be getting applicable content to help you grow your business. So we made the choice to publish our agendas and speaker lists for every single Grow Retreat.
Speakers and content are carefully screened!
We put a lot of work into screening our speakers and content. Stephanie begins her search for the next year’s speakers often within a week of completing the Grow Retreat, and she often spends six months (or more) making sure that they are exactly what we want to bring to the next one. She works to find the best quality speakers who can bring the best quality content to our attendees. Speakers who know what they are talking about, and have implemented it in their own lives to create growth.
So you can bet we’re downright proud of the speakers we have coming to the Grow Retreat!
We publish our speaker list and agenda because we have nothing to hide.
Next time you’re considering an event and they won’t show you any agenda or speaker list, take a minute and think twice about why they might be hiding that information! Perhaps it’s a good reason, but if so they probably won’t have a problem sharing that information if you reach out to the event manager.
About the Author:
Susannah Scheller has been part of the workforce since childhood filling a verity of part-time jobs until she found the world of Social Media, content creation and marketing strategy execution in 2015 and fell in love. Susannah grew up surrounded by successful entrepreneurs and dedicated herself to learning from Stephanie by watching and listening and was rewarded by becoming one of the first permanent hires for Grow Disrupt in 2016 to work directly under Stephanie's coaching & training. Susannah is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Music in Fort Worth, Texas while managing the Social Media & content creation and distribution for Grow Disrupt. Beyond her degree and tutelage under Stephanie, Susannah regularly educates herself with business blogs, books, and by using her sparse moments of free time while running the AV for Grow Disrupt events to learn from the speakers!