Choosing the Right Speaker for Your Event

Guest Speaker Event PlanningPlanning a successful business event takes time, determination, and a rigorous attention to detail. You must set an appropriate date, and then review and book a suitable venue.

You need to book a catering service that can meet your budget, and then work with them to create a menu that will wow your guests without breaking the bank. And then there’s the nitty gritty of advertising your event and sending out personal invitations, finalizing the day’s agenda, and preparing your event staff for the event itself and assigning them their on site duties.

It’s a veritable litany of laborious tasks. But amid all this planning and attention to detail, it’s all too easy to forget one of the major focal points of your event – the guest speakers.

Your guest speakers will command the most attention, and even a well staged business event can fail if the featured speakers don’t deliver the goods. So, how can you be sure you have booked the right speaker for your event?

Let’s look at a few simple tips to keep in mind when choosing a guest speaker for your next business function.

1. Consider Your Budget

It may seem tedious, but every decision you make when planning a corporate event or business function starts with your budget. Look at the funds available, and be realistic about what you can spend on hiring your guest speakers.

Remember to figure in any possible extra costs, like travel allowances and accommodations. If you are using a third party booking service to secure your speakers, be sure to make your budget limitations clear from the outset.

This will help to avoid any confusion down the line, and will ensure that you are only offered those speaker whose cost is within your budget.

2. Understand What You Want From Your Guest Speaker

After budgetary concerns, this is the most important consideration when hiring a guest speaker. Consider the purpose of your guest speaker, and what you expect them to bring to your event. Are they expected to motivate and educate your attendees, or simply to entertain?

If it is the former, be sure to review their resume to see if they have experience speaking at similar events. If they are being booked merely as entertainers, be sure that their performance style is suitable for your business and event.

For example, a speaker that is know for their controversy or working ‘blue’ may be suitable for a young and hip business, but may mot be a good match for a staid and conservative group of bankers.

3. Double Check Availability

It is not unusual for event planners to set their hearts on a particular guest speaker, only to find that they are not available on the day. When booking a guest speaker, it is important to allow for travel time.

The guest you want may technically be free on the day in question, but travel time may make it impossible for them to attend. Book as early as possible, to ensure that your guest’s contract is locked in place.

When considering possible guest speakers, always have a second choice in case your preferred choice is unavailable.

4. Consider Your Demographic

We’ve touched on this earlier, but it bears repeating. Consider the demographic make up of your event.

Will the speaker you book be addressing an audience of mostly older men, or will they be speaking to a group of young urban professionals?

Will your audience be filled with technicians and engineers, or will they be mostly creative artistic types?

The secret to hiring the right speaker for your event, is to ensure that they match your audience’s general demographic. Remember, an edgy young maverick may not necessarily appeal to a group of conservative upper management types, and vice a versa.

Finding the right speaker for your business event is not necessarily difficult, but it does take time and a fair amount of consideration and early planning. Know your audience, understand what you expect from your guest speaker, and be sure to book early.

Choosing the right guest speaker can easily elevate your next business event from the merely satisfactory, to the huge success for which you had planned.

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