Coordinating a Talk
Mary Beth is often invited to speak in a city because a group of concerned parents or one organization wants her to come. If they can't afford the entire cost of the trip, they contact other local schools, churches or other organizations to co-sponsor the trip. That co-sponsorship can either take the form of separate talks for each organization or one big event for all of the sponsors. Either way, this is an excellent way to bring the message to as many people as possible for a relatively low cost per organization.
It really isn't difficult to coordinate a trip like this. All it requires is a little organization, time and persistence. Some of the coordinators of previous trips suggest the following steps:
1) Calculate the entire cost of the trip. Figure in Mary Beth's airfare, hotel, meals and stipend for the number of days you're planning, plus any expenses you may incur. You can call Real Love's office for help in figuring trip expenses.
2) Divide the total by the number of organizations you plan to have participate (remember not to schedule more than three talks in any one day).
3) Begin to contact the organizations. If you know anyone on the staff, try to work through them first. Otherwise, find out who would make the decision in each place, and send that person a letter outlining the nature of the presentation, the time slots available and the cost to them.
4) Follow up the letter with a phone call to gauge their interest. Offer to answer any questions. BE PERSISTENT. It may take several tries to get through, and more to convince them to book a presentation. Don't give up.
Note: Most areas have one school which is a "leader"; the one that all the others follow. If you are contacting schools, find out which school in your area is the leader, and work hard to schedule a talk there first. Once the others hear that school has signed on, the others will follow much more easily.
5) As you begin to get commitments, collect checks immediately so that you can send the Real Love office a retainer check to reserve the dates. Be sure to arrange with the schools to pay you before the talks, so that you can then give Real Love a check for the balance that you owe us before Mary Beth leaves. (Note: Please don't have the schools pay her directly. It's very difficult to try to track them down from my office.)
6) Make hotel reservations and contact the Real Love office about flight arrangements.
7) As the time gets closer, contact each organization either by letter or phone to confirm times, facility arrangements, etc.
If you would like to speak to someone who has set up a similar trip, please call contact the Real Love office and we will put you in contact with someone.
TYPES OF CO-SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS
When looking for organizations to co-sponsor a speaking trip, you should consider any of the following which exist in your area:
- Public, Private, and Religious High Schools
- Public Private, and Religious Junior High Schools
- Churches, Church youth groups, and Church young adult groups
- PTA's and local parent groups
- Campus Crusade for Christ
- Young Life
- Religious Colleges and Universities (Campus Ministries)
- Public Colleges and Universities (Newman Centers)
- Youth Camps and Retreats