Back in March, I finally decided to go to Mexico City. I had been thinking about it for over a year, and it was the enthusiasm and confidence of David, a former client, that convinced me to finally book my ticket. It’s funny that it took me so long to go to Mexico City; a round-trip ticket from Austin (where I live) to Mexico City is cheaper than a ticket from Austin to NYC! Once I decided to go to Mexico City, I figured I might as well add on some more cities. What started out as a tentative trip to Mexico ended up as a full-fledged speaking tour. With the help of an awesome volunteer team of former, current, and future clients, I put on two speaking events in New York, one in Boston, two in Mexico City, and one in Austin. My first speaking tour was an amazing experience, and I loved meeting former, current, and future clients of The Art of Applying. Here’s a recap of how The Art of Applying’s “Destination: Grad School” speaking tour went, featuring some of my favorite photos from the tour.
By the numbers
8 tour organizers: Lorraine, Ritu, Renee, Kelley, Jennifer, David, Amanda, and Kanchan. Thank you, awesome people!!! 10 planning calls and 100+ Slack messages 4 cities: New York City, Boston, Mexico City, Austin 438 RSVPs: 254 future MBAs, 106 future MPP/MPAs, 25 future JDs, 12 future M.Ed.s, and 11 future MSWs
We had beautiful venues for each event.
WeWork generously donated their space to us for the New York City event and the Austin event. Microsoft NERD Center in Boston donated their space for the Boston event, and Impact Hub hosted us in Mexico City.
Our sponsors rocked!
Teamwork made the dream work.
As I said many times on the speaking tour planning calls, I could not have done this tour without the outstanding efforts of the tour organizers. I’m great at showing up and putting on a good show, but marketing, outreach, and logistics are not my strengths. I felt extremely supported in each city and deeply grateful for the help of the team.
We experimented—and it worked!
Amanda, the tour organizer for Austin, and I thought it would be a fun experiment to put on an all-women’s event for Austin. We dreamed up “Women, Beer & Business School” as the name for the Austin tour stop, and it ended up being the most well attended event of the entire tour!
We laughed a lot.
If you’ve ever met me in person, attended one of my webinars, or watched one of my videos, you know I’m a bit of a silly billy goat. I love to make people laugh, and the speaking tour was no exception.
You all learned a lot.
I distilled some of my best advice about applying to grad school into an hour-long presentation, and from the feedback I received, you all learned a lot in that hour.
I answered hundreds of questions.
After each event, I invited attendees to line up and ask questions. It was energizing to meet attendees individually and hear their stories.
Connections were made.
It was delightful to watch all these awesome, ambitious people come together to listen to me speak—and then get as equally interested in each other!
In conclusion, the speaking tour was a resounding success and I can’t wait to do it again! I’d love to visit more cities and meet more of you all in person in 2017. Some of the top of the cities on my list are Panama City, Lima, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Monterrey, São Paulo, Delhi, Mumbai, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Sydney, Accra, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Washington D.C.
How I Pick Cities for Speaking Engagements
If I could go everywhere, I would! I pick the cities for my tour stops according to the following criteria:
- Do I have 1-2 people in the city who are confident in their ability to manage logistics and outreach—and get at least 40 people at the event?
- Have I had a critical mass of inquiries from this city so that I know there is some interest in what The Art of Applying offers?
- Can I find a somewhat affordable flight to this city during a time of year when it isn’t freezing cold? (I am not a fan of freezing winters.)
- Is this a city that would interest potential sponsors? (The more expenses I can get covered, the better.)
How To Get Involved
If you’re interested in being considered for being a tour organizer for one of the stops, feel free to complete the application form. If I end up deciding to travel to your city, you’ll be one of the first people to be considered for the position.
If you are a company interested in sponsoring a city (or you know of one), please contact us.
See you soon (hopefully)!