In order for you conference or convention to go off without a hitch you need the right people. Choosing the right speakers can make or break your event so learn to choose wisely.
Many things go into the planning and execution of your event but it’s important to remember that the speakers are what your attendees are there to see/hear. Here are 5 tips on choosing the right speakers to make your conference or convention a hit:
Make Smart Choices
it may sound simple but the best thing you can do is choose the “right” speakers. This means that once you’ve established the point of your conference, i.e. “Investing in Chicago Real Estate,” your goal should be to find the best-suited candidate to speak on the subject, regardless of their star power.
Furthermore, you should focus on finding the best candidate on the subject who’s also most suited towards speaking to your target attendees.
Try Before You Buy
The list of things you’re willing to buy sight unseen is pretty small. Don’t make your speaker one of them! In order to make sure this individual is the right fit for your event, make plans to attend one of their speaking engagements and see for yourself.
Scouting out and listening to your prospective speaker is the best way to gain firsthand knowledge of their style and substance. And you might learn something too!
Make sure they stick around
In order to make sure you provide the best bang for your attendee’s buck, you want to make sure you provide them with a friendly, knowledgeable, and approachable speaker.
Many “professional speakers” show up to events, do their 40-minute spiel, and then beat a hasty retreat. If you’re dealing with a “star” you might have to deal with a certain amount of this. Otherwise, make sure you discuss your expectations with your speaker/their management prior to the event.
Some of the best speakers want to engage with your attendees. They’ll make themselves available before their talk or stay later to answer questions, run follow-up sessions, etc. This can add a great deal of value to your event, but don’t assume this is part of the deal unless it is discussed ahead of time.
What’s their agenda?
Your speaker would not agree to speak at your event unless it provided some type of value to them. The same way you wouldn’t be hosting it without a reason, your speaker is motivated by something as well and odds are it isn’t 100% “because they want to help educate people.”
Will they want to sell their own services or products? Showcase their upcoming business? Sell their book?
Any, or all, of these may be 100% fine with you as the event organizer however you’ll want to know what their plans are ahead of time. This is especially true if you have multiple speakers who may not like the idea of setting up a table or booth to sell their book after the event right next to their competition who is doing the same.
Be way or speakers who want to sell their wares
If you’re working on a budget, you may be tempted to book a speaker who’s willing to take a pay cut in exchange for selling their products before or after the event. This is a tricky area so tread lightly.
Best case scenario your speaker has some star power and is willing to do you a solid by speaking at your event so long as he can sell a few copies of his book before and after his talk. Worst case scenario: All your speaker cares about is selling their wares and will make their entire talk a lead-in to asking your attendees to buy.
This can be especially troublesome if the point of your event was to help raise your own business’ profile or further your own cause. It can also present problems if the subject matter or nature of their products doesn’t mesh incredibly well with the tone or point of your event.
In any case, if your speaker pulls a “hard sell” to your captive audience of attendees they may resent it and be less likely to attend your next event.
There are all types of events and all types of speakers. Picking the right one for your event can make or break the day so choose wisely and enjoy!