Do Some Planning First
Before you start making calls to industry experts, you first need to think about what you're trying to achieve. For example, you may know an excellent speaker for the food industry, but they may not be ideal for an event on cryptocurrency.
Once you've established what you want to communicate to your attendees, then you can start thinking about potential speakers.
Think About the Audience
The next thing you need to consider is your audience's demographics. A younger crowd will be much more receptive to a high-energy, bold speaker than an older conservative crowd would be. If you read your attendees wrong, then you'll end up alienating them from your brand.
Go through your list of potential guest speakers and cross off those you don't think are a good fit for your event attendees. Then, move onto the next step.
What's Your Budget?
You can end up with a list of wonderful speakers, but that'll all mean nothing if you can't afford them.
Obviously, if you want to book big celebrities, that'll cost you major bucks; expect to pay over $75,000 per celebrity. But just because you can afford a celebrity speaker doesn't necessarily mean you should book them.
A big name may initially attract more attendees, but if the celebrity's niche knowledge isn't relevant, your guests may think you pulled a cheap trick by generating interest through a celebrity name.
It may be better to go the route of quality speakers who aren't as well-known. In this case, they can charge anywhere between $2,000 to $30,000. Not only is this much more affordable, but it'll also be more impressive to your attendees when you've selected guest speakers with valuable information to give.
Consider the Presentation Style
All speakers have their own preferred presentation method, which is great! But this may not always fit in with your event plans.
For instance, if you've allotted only 30 minutes per speaker but you're looking at some who are used to giving 1-hour presentations, then they may run into some problems. It's almost certain they'll go over the 30-minute time limit, even if you remind them multiple times to keep it short and sweet.
This presents several problems. One, your event schedule will run behind. And two, your attendees will get annoyed that they're stuck in a presentation that's running longer than expected.
Have a Good Flow
If you want to book multiple speakers throughout the day, then make sure you pick appropriate ones for each time slot.
For example, after lunch, people usually feel sluggish. So you want to put an energetic speaker there to perk people back up.
Also, your closing guest speaker should be someone who's good with thinking on their toes. Their presentation will depend on how the event's gone, so they may have to improvise and do some quick editing of their planned presentation to fit what's happened earlier.
How to Find Guest Speakers
Now that you know what to look for in a guest speaker, how do you go about finding them?
One place you can start is at similar events and conferences. You can usually find the programs for past events online, so take a look and see who they booked. If you see any you're interested in, look up their website and any YouTube videos to see if they're a good fit for your event.
Another place you can look is through your contacts list. You might not know someone personally who could be a good guest speaker, but maybe you know a few people who have great connections. Chat with them to see if they have any hot leads.
You can also work with agencies, which takes a lot of hard work out of the equation. However, this can cost a pretty penny, and you may not have wiggle room in your budget to hire agencies.
Make Sure You Get What You Pay For
From the beginning, you should establish what you're expecting of the guest speakers. You're a paying customer, after all.
Don't let them bully you into paying a fee and them not delivering on certain aspects you've agreed on, such as a Q&A session after their presentation. This is why it's good to discuss your expectations in the beginning. If they refuse to deliver, then you can move onto another speaker who can meet your expectations and needs.
This is your event, so make sure you don't compromise on your vision to please the guest speakers. Again, you're a paying customer, so they should be the ones willing to help you achieve your goals.
Select Delightful and Engaging Guest Speakers for Your Next Event
The ideal guest speakers for an event will vary, depending on the attendees and the event itself. So while a particular speaker would be great for one event, they may not be so engaging for another.
The important thing is you assess the situation and follow our advice above. That way, you'll guarantee that your attendees won't be falling asleep in their chairs. Instead, they'll be inspired to get out there and boost your industry!
If you'd like to get a better idea of how to plan your events, consider signing up for The Event Planner Expo 2020!