Posts Tagged ‘Rocky Bleier’

In our inaugural post “Speaker Recovery Options in First Tier Markets”, we pointed out that despite the most careful and detail-oriented preparations and planning, speakers do get sick, or have family emergencies or travel problems that can cause them cancel. The Speaker Experts strongly recommend you have a speaker recovery plan in place before traveling to your meeting. While the resources in “Second Tier Convention Markets” can be scarcer than their larger counterparts, they are out there and available to the forward-thinking event planner. Here are 3 pre-event precautionary procedures you can undertake to help deal with a last-minute speaker cancellation:

  • Mine the local universities and television networks for talent. Often you will find a well-known, local celebrity who knows their way around the speaker stage. (A local or regional speaker bureau might be worth a call as they typically have a handle on this type of talent).
  • Hire a speaker to attend your event and be on stand-by. We recently worked with a major insurance company who was concerned about the logistics of getting their speakers to an obscure location. The solution was to hire a well-known NBA broadcaster to attend the entire meeting and be there on stand-by. While his skills were never needed, his presence provided a nice insurance policy for the event planning team.
  • Have a handle on professional speakers who live in the area or are a short drive away. Below is a list of popular second tier convention cities and a selection of high impact speakers who reside nearby:
Mobile, AL
Fred Haise
Apollo 13 Astronaut

Mesa, AZ
Captain Mark Kelly
Commander of Space Shuttle Endeavour

Vail, CO
Aron Ralston
subject of 127 Hours

West Palm Beach,FL
Jim Knight
frmr. Director of Training at Hard Rock Int.
Mike Abrashoff
frmr. Commander of the USS Benfold

Shreveport, LA
General Russel L. Honore
Commander of Joint Task Force Katrina

Baltimore, MD
Commander Kirk Lippold
Commander of the USS Cole

Jackson, MS
General Russel L. Honore
Commander of Joint Task Force Katrina

Indianapolis, IN
Derek Daly
Author and international racing champion
Scott McKain
customer experience expert, best-selling business author
Wildwood, NJ
Stuart Varney
FOX Business News Host of Varney & Co.

Albuquerque, NM
Mike Mullane
career NASA astronaut and author

Cleveland, OH
Jim Gilmore
author and sought-after consultant

Pittsburgh, PA
Rocky Bleier
frmr. Super Bowl champion

Columbia, SC
Frank Abagnale
subject of the film Catch Me If You Can

Salt Lake City, UT
Adrian Gostick
best-selling author of The Carrot Principle

Virginia Beach, VA
You are on your own!

Milwaukee, WI
Dan Burrus
best-selling author, business strategist and technology futurist

Providence, RI
Michelle Stacy
frmr. Green Mountain Keurig President
Mike Eruzione
Captain of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team and subject of Miracle


These preparations can be initiated with just a few hours of internet research or by reaching out to the IASB-member speaker bureau of your choice. On a closing note, congratulations to Elaine Howard of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. Her name was drawn from over 100 entries for the signed Billie Jean King tennis racquet!

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

This evening the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks will kick off the 2014 NFL schedule. The season will culminate in Phoenix on February 1, 2015, with Super Bowl XLIX. Coincidentally, the first quarter of the year is also a popular time for National Sales Kick Off and “all-hands” events, as well as annual meetings. If you have an event that falls into one of these categories, a high-impact NFL player or coach is a natural consideration as speaker.

The Speaker Experts have fired up their Commodore 64 in an effort to determine the ten most popular NFL speakers, and have developed a complex algorithm that analyzes NFL speakers in the following four areas:

  • Visibility – Must have name recognition
  • Ability – Must be a world-class orator
  • Dependability – Must abide by contractual obligations
  • Availability – Must be someone who is on the speaking circuit and consistently accepting engagements



Archie Manning
Manning_imageMVP player, Hall of Fame Dad

Herm Edwards
Edwards_imageYour team will learn how to “Play to Win the Game”

Joe Theismann
Theismann_imageA Washington player has to make the list, right?

Rocky Bleier
Bleier_imageFour Super Bowl Rings and a timeless message

Terry Bradshaw
Bradshaw_imageSomebody had to hand off to Rocky Bleier

Merril Hoge
Hoge_imagePlayer, cancer survivor and hardest working man on ESPN

Mike Ditka
Ditka_imageTough on the field but his restaurant makes a tender steak

Lou Holtz
Holtz_imageCup of tea in the NFL but may be the best sports speaker ever

Emmit Smith
Emmitt Smith Visits FOX BusinessHe is a Cowboy, but definitely belongs on the list

Tom Flick
Flick_imageKotter management theory meets the NFL

*By clicking on the photographs above, you will be directed to the speaker’s website or their representative. You can also contact your favorite speakers bureau for help determining if one of these personalities is a good fit for your meeting.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin