Craig-it seems like you can't win! How anyone manages to speak at anything is beyond me. When you are employed (private sector) you can't breath without letting out vital secrets that will bring down the world as we know it-and then when you're doing a job you like-you're a leper because you may want to subliminally 'push' your product! Good luck with the gig anyway! Let us know how it goes! D
@Dames20 Hi @Dames20 Thanks for reading and commenting. I can see why some conference organisers would be reluctant to offer a vendor a speaking slot, however if they were to be read the riot act prior to any session about avoiding product promotions, sales pitches etc then surely some of the concerns could be alleviated?
One of the benefits of asking a vendor to speak is that they are likely to have LOTS of very different experiences to talk about, from lots of different clients, in lots of of different sectors, with lots of different successes and challenges, whereas as employee from within a client organisation is less likely to have that breadth of exposure.
I'm certainly not saying that vendors should be in the majority of speaking slots, but perhaps more so than they are at the moment.