Lanyrd is one of the few services in the event space (granted, with a strong focus on tech conferences but not only) that keeps innovating and launching new features for event organizers, speakers and attendees alike. They recently introduced two new features:
- Speaker Directory, helps find speakers via several filters
- Enhanced Speaker Profile, allows speakers to show the events they take part in, topics they speak about and the coverage from past presentations and more
According to Simon Willison, Lanyrd’s co-founder:
“This new feature is mainly aimed at helping to expose the excellent data we already have. It supports our commercial efforts by making Lanyrd an even more useful tool for speakers, organisers and attendees – the larger our user-base in those categories, the more useful our Lanyrd Pro tools becomes to our paying customers: http://lanyrd.com/pro/“
Why it’s important: Discoverability In A World of Over-Abundance
There are more events than ever taking place (physical and digital) and discovering them has become a big issue either for people that want to attend an event or for organisers that want to promote their own. In cities like London there are so many events on a particular topic taking place that successfully marketing an event has become very difficult.
Several services have tried tackling the issue on how people discover which events to attend, but most of them have failed (meaning closed) or they haven’t scaled to be relevant for a big enough audience. Ticketing services have also tried to create their own discoverability services, from market incumbent Ticketmaster to self-service solution provides like Eventbrite, with the main limitation being that they only allow you to discover events hosted in their own platforms. Lanyrd, while having a strong presence among tech events, is slowly but effectively growing out to other industries and types of events. It also has the advantage that it aggregates other services like the aforementioned Eventbrite. In a very fragmented sector (that of providing event discoverability), Lanyrd has a good chance of becoming your first stop.
Together with Lanyrd Pro and the new speaker-centered features it becomes yet more relevant as a place where you can organize which events you want to attend during the year or as a platform to expose your own event to a broader audience, with the added benefit of it’s embedded social features (tracking events, checking out which events your friends and contacts are attending, sharing the events on various social media and integrating the events you attend/track in your own calendar). The “Guide” feature also allows anyone to curate a set of events by gathering them in one page. All of this with the added advantage of being crowdsourcing-friendly, which means that anyone can add an event and its details, even if she’s not the organizer (organizers can claim their own events though). It also allows attendees to send meeting requests to other participants (it only works if both are active on the service).
If You’re a Speaker
If you’re a speaker and want to get more speaking opportunities or increase the visibility on your activities, it’s a good idea to claim and complete your profile as much as possible, as it increases the chance of “being found”. Willison advices speakers to raise their awareness on the platform by taking the following steps:
“Firstly, make sure your Lanyrd profile reflects as many of the events you have presented at as possible. Adding sessions with the videos and slides will help enhance your profile and show organisers what you can do. Don’t forget to include a speaker bio and high quality photograph as well, since organisers will always need those to help put together their programmes.”
If You’re An Event Organizer
The new features are a great tool for discovering new names to add to your event, either because you’re looking for experienced speakers or fresh new talent. By browsing by topic, you can find who are the speakers that better fit your own event. (For more tips on how to find new speakers for your event, read this: 10 Ways To Find New Speakers For Your Events).
From a participant’s point of view it would be useful to rate speakers (this feature is currently offered by other online services like Speaker Score which lack all the other features that Lanyrd offers).
If you’re a speaker bureau or a speaker agent, you can use Lanyrd’s speaker features to promote those in your portfolio, curate a guide of the events where they are speaking and highlight the material of there presentations. You can also use the Pro version of lanyrd to track where everyone is speaking, though the service is optimized for company use (hopefully Lanyrd will offer a service better tailored for agents’ needs, which would be a niche business opportunity).
Regarding speaker agencies, Willison comments:
“We’re interested in talking to more speaker bureaus about this. Our Pro account is already useful for promoting a selected group of speakers (see Rosenfeld Media for an example – http://lanyrd.com/rosenfeld-media/) but we’re keen on exploring ways of making it more relevant to bureaus in particular. For the moment, just ensuring their clients have a comprehensive Lanyrd profile will help increase their exposure in both our speaker directory and the rest of the site, and listing slides and video can also help when pitching speakers to conferences or for private engagements.”
For more details, read the Lanyrd Speaker Directory Press Release
Now that we’re at it, you can find my (partial) speaker and organizer profile here 😉 .