How to Book the Best Speaker for Your Next Big Conference
How to Book the Best Speaker for Your Next Big Conference
If you’re planning a big conference, one of the most significant aspects of the event you’ll need to plan are the people you invite to speak.
Speakers often set the tone for the entire event, so you want to make sure you book the best speaker who’s the best fit. If you have phenomenal speakers, your event attendees will leave feel empowered, informed and inspired and will rave about your event. This creates great word-of-mouth publicity and results in repeat attendees.
But where do you find these great speakers?
There are so many out there, it’s hard to find someone who is a perfect fit for your group. Here are some tips that you can use to find the best possible speaker for your next big conference.
Tips to Help You Book the Best Speaker
Define What You Want
Jot down the characteristics that you want in a speaker and know exactly what you are looking for. Do you want them to be an authority on a particular subject? Are you looking for someone with a characteristic presentation style? Do you want someone with a particular background?
Make a list of all of the things you are looking for in a conference speaker. Then identify what’s most important to you – and what you’re willing to compromise in order to book the best speaker for your needs.
The most important part of this process? Asking your attendees what they want to hear! You can send out a survey to your following and ask them about the types of speakers they would like to see at your event.
The system allows you to collaborate with caterers, venue providers and other event planners too. Plus, you can really impress your attendees with a virtual check-in system, easy ways to manage VIPs and more.
Figure Out Your Budget
While some speakers may be willing to speak at your event for free as a way of getting their name out there, most professional speakers will charge for their appearance. After all, they are putting effort into their talk and spending hours researching and preparing.
So, before getting too much further the next step will be to determine how much you are willing to pay for your event speaker. Remember, you may have to pay them for their talk as well as cover their travel and lodging at the conference.
TIP: Try bringing a hotel on board as a sponsor for your event. They might offer you cheaper lodging for your speakers and guests this way!
It is also possible to use DoubleDutch as a lead management tool to convert leads from events. You can analyze interactions across all of your events to understand the needs and interests of your attendees as well.
Be Clear When You Reach Out
When you reach out to the speakers you’re interested in, explain what you want very clearly. When you message them, let them know about the topic of your conference. They should know exactly what you want them to speak about and the time commitment involved.
You should also include information about the size of the audience. Venue details are important too. So is how much you are offering to pay them. If you’re clear about all of this information upfront, it will save any confusion and questions down the road and help you to book the best speaker for your event.
Look For Authors With Recent Book Launches
A great way to find speakers in your niche is through researching authors. Look for people in your industry who have recently published books. They’ll likely be interested in promotional opportunities. Plus, authors are great public speakers a lot of the time. They’re more likely to be interested in speaking at conferences and events than some industry experts.
Filter a search on Amazon for books that have been published in the last few months. Once you find a book published by an author who seems like they would have some good insights for your industry, click on the profile to see their publisher details. This will allow you to find a contact email to reach out to them. (Or, do a Google search to find the author’s website.)
Use LinkedIn to Connect with Speakers
LinkedIn can be a great place to book the best speaker for your next big conference.
Try posting a status update to announce that you are looking for recommendations for speakers. When you ask for help, describe what it is you are looking for) and let your network offer their recommendations. You’ll be amazed by the power of your personal network!
You can also use the search feature on LinkedIn to help you book the best speaker. Make a search to look for experts in your niche who might be interested in speaking at your event.
Check Out the National Speakers Association
The National Speakers Association is an organization that trains professional speakers. It’s a great place to connect with speakers and book the perfect one for your conference. Check out the search page where you can specify the type of speaker you want using keywords and topics. Then, filter by the dates they are available.
Another helpful website is SpeakerMatch. They are a website that matches professional speakers and subject-matter experts with those who are planning an event. Their service is always free to event organizers and meeting planners. It takes around 5 minutes to post a job so that you can book the best speaker, or you can browse through the directory.
Remember: A Good Speaker is Just the First Step
Booking a fantastic speaker for your event is a great step, but it’s not necessarily a guarantee of success. Just because you have a popular speaker, that doesn’t mean they’re going to generate a lot of ticket sales on their own.
After you book the best speaker, you’ll still need to have a plan to market your conference, as well as handling all of the other aspects of the event such as choosing the right venue, catering good food, arranging security and more.
Do you have questions about how to book the best speaker for your conference, or need help planning an upcoming conference or event? Book a free 15-minute consult where we can walk you through the process & provide guidance to help make your event a success!