How to Contact an Expert for Your Gathering
An Ellementa Gathering is a Conversation. You can bring in Experts as needed. These are NOT paid speakers. Experts should NOT make PowerPoint presentations. Most people who are experts are NOT compelling speakers. Moderate the conversation with a Q&A.
NOTE: Professional speakers expect to be paid. We are NOT hiring professional speakers for Gatherings. If someone is traveling a long distance to be a part of your Gathering, we can discuss a travel stipend on a case-by-case basis. We provide weeks of digital marketing to promote them. Note that Level 1 Sponsors may send a rep as speaker.
You can find female experts in a variety of ways in addition to word of mouth:
- On the Ellementa Expert Spreadsheet (email firstname.lastname@example.org for access).
- Ask other leaders in the Ellementa Lead Facebook Group for ideas and introductions.
- Search local news media for stories about cannabis and see who is featured or quoted.
- Put calls out in local cannabis forums such as Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups.
- Search Google, Facebook and Twitter for “women cannabis YOUR CITY.”
- Attend cannabis events locally and network, network, network.Does the guest expert have to be female?
In short, it is recommended that your guest experts should identify as female. Why? There are so many places where men are the experts, and they make up the majority of panels. This is a chance to showcase women and position them as experts and role models to inspire your attendees. Having female experts at your Gatherings encourages women to speak more openly about personal health and life issues. Ellementa is about women supporting women.
In the case of sponsors who want to send male representatives, we offer them 2-3 minutes at the start of the program to welcome the women and explain what their company does or demonstrate their product. Then we ask that they respect women’s privacy by departing before the conversation begins. So far, all of the men we have worked with respect what we’re building and depart prior to the program. The majority send female reps.
If you know a fantastic male expert, ask him to recommend a female colleague. More often than not, he will be more than happy to do so.
Best Program Formats for Gatherings
Moderated Open Conversation (The Women’s Circle format is preferred) – This doesn’t require an outside expert IF you have expertise in cannabis and CBD. You are the moderator and you lead an open conversation with attendees. Works really well in a circle format and for smaller groups. Can also work with large groups but requires a lot more moderation.
Expert On Hand – This is similar to the Moderated Conversation. You invite a subject matter expert to attend for free to be on hand in case there are technical questions you are unable to answer. For example, this could be someone who can explain the process for getting a medical marijuana card or someone in a cannabis testing lab to speak about cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis. They sit in the audience and participate as needed.
Featured Expert – You moderate a Q&A with a single expert, guiding the conversation and bringing attendees into the conversation soon after once the main points are established. Like a fireside chat.
Expert Panel – This is helpful when you need more expertise on a topic or when you have sponsors who want to provide reps as experts (see Sponsorship details pg. 13). You moderate and make sure each panelist gets a chance to speak then open it up to questions and comments from attendees
Inviting Your Experts
Getting someone to sit in as an expert is as easy as identifying the expert and emailing to ask if they’d like to join the conversation about the topic at your monthly Gathering. You’re offering them exposure, access to potential customers, and the chance to empower women.
Here’s an example of an email invitation:
I read about you and the work you are doing around women’s health and cannabis.
I organize a women’s wellness get-together in town and would love to invite you to talk about your work at our next gathering on December 19th.
Our topic will be “Cannabis and CBD for Women’s Health.”
Meeting details can be found here: LINK
Would you like to be part of the conversation? We use a Q&A format so no notes or PowerPoint needed! Plus you can bring promotional materials to distribute at the women in attendance. We’re happy to market you and your company!
Looking forward to hearing from you.”
Another common way to get experts for your Gathering is through a Sponsor. When we approach a Sponsor, we offer them the chance to send someone to participate as a guest expert at Level 1. This is different from the 2-3 minute introduction at the start of a meeting where a sponsor can talk about their company, product or service. Expert selection can be guided by your topic. We ask sponsors to provide female reps who can address our topic of the month. If you’re featuring a different topic, make sure your experts fit.
Conversely, a Sponsor may guide the program for your Gathering because of their expertise. Example: Foria may send a sexpert and ask that the topic be something like “Cannabis, Women and Sex” – brought to you by Foria. We do our best to work with sponsors while maintaining the integrity of your Gathering. Please remember that Sponsorships can potentially generate significant revenue for all of us.
We do not let a Sponsor control the program. We encourage co-creating a program with a sponsor, often for an additional fee. Our sponsors need to respect our programming and be supportive of it, not take it over or turn the conversations into a blatant commercial. There needs to be a balance between education and empowerment and promotions. We all should be sensitive to this.
In some cases, we will present you with a pre-packaged topic and program including a guest expert. This would be something we negotiated with a Sponsor and something we discuss with you to invite your participation. In this situation, all the program development work will be done by us to make it easy for you. You will receive a commission on this sponsorship even if you didn’t participate in the sales process. We are always open to discuss these special situations with you.