Silicon Prairie News

We’re hiring: Speaker Manager

August 13, 2012 by Dusty Davidson & Jeff Slobotski

Over the next year, we'll double the number of speakers we bring in for events like Big Omaha (above).

Community builder? We're also currently hiring a community builder in Kansas City. Learn more.

At Silicon Prairie News, we believe events are more than what happens on the stage. They're an experience, and from the moment attendees purchase a ticket to the time they depart the venue, our aim is to deliver a unique and engaging experience. We take that same approach when it comes to working with the innovators and entrepreneurs who speak at our events – we want to be exceptional hosts.

As we establish our Silicon Prairie Series (Big Omaha, Thinc Iowa and a future Kansas City event), doubling the number of speakers over the next year, we're adding a full-time speaker manager to our team. This position will work on all aspects of our speaker relationship management and curation and will play an important role in the success of our upcoming events.

If you're someone who loves watching TED talks and immediately clicks on Inc.'s story revealing its annual "30 Under 30" list, this position may be for you. Each year we have the privilege to work with an incredible group of speakers, and the speaker manager will be at the center of the action.

Speaker Manager (full time)

Silicon Prairie News is a digital media company dedicated to highlighting and supporting entrepreneurs, creatives and investors through an emerging model for grassroots entrepreneurial ecosystem development in and around Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City. Founded in 2008, SPN also produces events, such as the Silicon Prairie Series (Big Omaha, Thinc Iowa and a to-be-named Kansas City event), the Silicon Prairie Awards and the Startup Job Crawl.

The speaker manager works closely with our chief community builder, Jeff Slobotski, and event coordinator, Brittany Mascio. The position is based in our Omaha, Des Moines or Kansas City office and has two primary responsibilities:

1. Facilitate speaker selection process - Our events require a year-round effort to discover, research, connect with and secure speakers. Critical to this position is an eye for up-and-coming innovators and entrepreneurs along with strong communication skills. Responsibilities include:

  • Research events, media recognition lists (e.g. Inc.'s "30 Under 30") and personal recommendations for potential speakers
  • Oversee communication, such as email and social media interactions, with potential speakers
  • Schedule future interactions, including phone calls and meetings, with potential speakers
  • Cultivate relationships with potential speakers and key contacts

2. Oversee speaker preparation and hospitality - Entrepreneurs from across the country speak at our events. This position coordinates speaker travel and accommodations, working closely with our event production team to ensure our speaker's experience is smooth and enjoyable. Responsibilities include:

  • Arrange speaker travel and accommodations
  • Coordinate speaker hospitality before, during and after the event
  • Prepare speakers for presentation and event schedule
  • Maintain year-round relationships with speakers

The right person for the job is:

  • Genuinely interested in innovators and entrepreneurs, especially in the tech industry
  • Outgoing and energized to connect with ambitious individuals
  • Organized and detail-oriented
  • Dedicated to accomplishing tasks in an efficient, reliable and timely fashion
  • Proficient in using Gmail, Google Calendar and customer relationship management software

Why work at Silicon Prairie News?

The SPN team celebrates the company's fourth birthday.

Since launching four years ago, we've been on an amazing journey to build, inspire and shape the region into an area known for its startup and entrepreneurial culture. Our work to highlight and support the community has been featured by TIME, Inc. magazine, The Next Web, Fast Company and others, but we look at what we've accomplished so far as just the tip of the iceberg – there's much work left to do. We need great team members to help us achieve our goals.

A few things that make working at SPN special:

  • You'll get to collaborate with some of the region and nation's top names in technology and entrepreneurship
  • We work extremely hard, and at the same time we manage to have our share of fun
  • Every day will be different than the last. No two days bring the same challenges.
  • Analog the Prairie Dog is our mascot and is an all-around great guy

What people have to say about SPN and our events:

“Single-handedly and with his team, [Jeff Slobotski] is transforming Omaha and this region in a way that I haven't seen anyone do." - Shervin Pishevar, Menlo Ventures

"Big Omaha is, in a few words, what would happen if TED were in the business of technology conferences." - Brad McCarty, The Next Web

"#bigomaha felt like summer camp. In just a few days I felt like I formed unique bonds and relationships that I will be learning and benefiting from for literally decades to come." - Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad

"SPN rocks … it's that simple." - Bo Fishback, Zaarly

Sound intriguing? If this position sounds like something you're interested in and are qualified for, please complete the application linked below.

apply to be the SPN Speaker Manager

Know someone that would be perfect for this position? Refer them to us!


Credits: Photo of speakers by Malone & Company / Big Omaha. Photo of SPN team by Tony Noecker.

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