Avoiding the Blank Stare: Getting Great Speakers for Events
A great speaker can really make an event. Alternately, the not-so-great speaker might bring on the blank stare and daresay a sea of empty seats. Here to get your speaker program in motion are our tried and true tips. Decades of planning conferences and meetings have given us the professional bag of tricks that contains all the ways of securing only the best, and most exciting, guest speakers. Here is how to get your next great guest speaker, worthy of the TED Talks stage and beyond.
Keep it Current:
A great guest speaker ties current events and trends to your event. Try scouring the media to see what stories and news pops out at you. Next, take a peek at LinkedIn, as there is no shortage of professionals there who would be more than happy to speak at your next event. If LinkedIn falls short, there is the National Speakers Association, Speaker Match and your local Chamber of Commerce.
Know Your Budget:
If you are aiming for a celebrity or other high-profile figure, make sure that you are clear with your client about the price tag and plan that into the budget even before approaching the potential speaker. Event speaker costs can run into the $5,000 range and up when including travel, lodging and per diem. You don’t want to make empty promises to anyone. On the other hand, if your event is in-line with a small-time celeb or local legend, the budget won’t be stretched as much. Some speakers may even agree to speak for free or a small travel stipend if they have a product or service that they are offering. Regardless, you should have a clear plan of approach in place with the numbers to back it up as you conduct your speaker search.
Great speakers are popular and their schedules fill up quickly. Some may be booked out as far as six months to one year. Plan as far ahead as you can to ensure you get the best speaker possible. If there is a hefty price tag for the speaker, bring in a corporate sponsor to cover the cost.
Have a Back-up Plan:
Oftentimes, strong guest speakers are very busy people and even when well planned in advance, a situation might arise when they cannot attend your event. Travel snafus, personal illnesses and more can hold up a guest speaker. It is a good idea to have a solid back-up plan in place, one that is easier to execute and will keep your attendees engaged.
Follow these tips to secure your next awesome event speaker. For more advice on what to look for in a speaker contact us at Strategic Event Design.