Successful events deliver memorable experiences attendees, providing them with important and practical information they adds value to different areas of their life.
Choosing the right speaker for your event, conference, workshop, seminar–online or offline–is crucial to the overall success of your event and for future events moving forward. Here are some tips that will help you make the best speaker selection to help you meet the goals you have set for your event.
1. Set clear objectives for your event
Sometimes event planners and organizers think that they need to get a popular name speaker or someone with some notoriety to be their keynote or seminar speaker. As a short-term goal, that may help to fill seats, but for the long term of your business or organization, that might not be the right decision. If your objective is to provide educational content that your audience will value, and based on this event will return to more events in the future, then your speaker selection must be the best person for the job, not the one with the most notoriety. Don’t get caught up in the bling associated with a celebrity–local or otherwise. Strive first to meet your event objectives.
2. Get the most out of your speaker
When formulating your event schedule consider how your speaker(s) can provide additional value. If your event is having several speakers, consider ways to utilize them in panel sessions or workshops at another time during the event that’s convenient to their schedule. While most keynotes don’t stay for an entire conference, for instance, they are often happy and willing to serve in another way prior to departure. Leverage what you can to make it the best event possible for your attendees.
3. Pre-event Marketing
The time leading up to the event is a the most critical time to highlighting the key benefits and learning points for your attendees. This is the time in which you highlight your speaker’s skill and expertise, and even their other speaking events and published books and articles. If people are excited about who is speaking, they are likely to register to attend. Also, prior to the event be sure to utilize speaker interviews, blogs, tweets, and video as aspects of your marketing strategy.
4. Take care of your speakers
Not only do you need to make sure your speakers understand the objectives for your event, you also need to make sure they have everything they need to adequately deliver their message. These needs may include technological support, time limits, managed q & a sessions, and even a green room. Make sure you’ve covered the most basic essentials like meals, hydration and other necessities of comfort. Your objectives are the reason for your event. Your speakers are delivering the message. Make sure they have your complete support to do what you’ve hired them to do.
5. Event Conclusion
Immediately after your event is the best time to solicit feedback and evaluate. Ask attendees to fill out surveys so you can find out what worked and what didn’t. Get their reaction to the selected speaker(s) and begin to make determinations for your next event. Find out from your staff and volunteers what they saw and heard and gather the data. Your best events will be the ones that learn lessons from the previous events.
Choosing a speaker for your next event involves some research, seeking recommendations and considering your budget. But it is also essential to understand the needs and wants of your audience. Don’t just pick a name out of a hat because they meet your budget guidelines. Know what you need for your event and make that the main criteria for planning your next successful event.