According to the Events Industry Council (formerly the Convention Industry Council), 205 million people in the U.S. attend 1.8 million conventions, conferences, congresses, trade shows and exhibitions, incentive events and corporate/business meetings.
Spending money on “experiences, not things” applies perfectly to conferences. Your attendees likely won’t remember or even realize that you cut costs on things such as lighting or printing. However, if you choose the right keynote speaker, your event will be a hard act to follow, and your audience won’t stop talking about it until your conference rolls around again next year. What your keynote speaker says for a moment in time onstage can transform your event and steal the show.
Don’t cut costs on the most important part of your conference. Here’s what your keynote speaker can do:
Provide a memorable high point to your conference
Nearly every event planner will tell you that a keynote speaker can make or break your event. The tone that they set at the beginning of your event will set the stage for everything yet to come. That’s why it is important that you find the best speaker for the audience that you intend to reach. Ask yourself if your speaker is an expert in your field of industry. Can they speak with authority and are they trustworthy? Will they engage the audience and entertain, educate and inform, and will they attract the audience you want?
Increase attendance at your event
Your speaker doesn’t need to be famous, but they should be an expert in a relevant field. Otherwise, the information presented may fall flat. Mediocrity is not acceptable. A speaker with name recognition will create buzz and no doubt motivate attendees to sign up for your event, but never choose a speaker just for the name recognition. A well-known speaker may charge a higher fee, and without the content to back up the name, it’s a lose-lose situation. If it’s not in your budget to hire the top of the totem pole, then a member of the supporting cast – a well-known but less celebrity speaker or member of a management team rather than the chief executive officer – may be a better choice.
Make your event appear more valuable
A keynote speaker is an ideal vessel to give the appearance that you spent an arm and a leg on your event, even if you didn’t. Someone who carries themselves like a pro, performs like a superstar onstage and has the appearance of a professional (although that may sound superficial) is an authority. They can also connect with your audience, which can boost numbers and add value to your event.
Shape the reputation of your annual conference
In a world where attention spans are measured in seconds, an event speaker must connect with the audience right away to help boost the reputation of your event. Although your speaker is not the only component at your event, they can influence if your conference will receive high marks or not. Great speakers have full mastery of their messages and can play to an audience. They are also always willing to make sure the whole event is a success by being friendly, courteous and supportive of you as their client. In other words, they are committed to your success.
Lend credibility to the event
When choosing a speaker for your event, make sure they are an industry expert or influencer and can back it up with research, experience and original thoughts, all delivered confidently. A good event speaker will add value and increase awareness for your event, making attendees feel like the time and money that they spent was well worth it.
When searching for the right speaker for your next event, lay the groundwork first by defining exactly what it is you’re looking to achieve. The more precisely you define your goals, the closer you’ll get to achieving your objective. Understand, too, that it’s much easier to book a keynote speaker by planning well ahead of the event’s date. Some speakers are booked out a full year in advance. Although it’s not always reasonable to book a speaker that far out, advanced planning will eliminate panicking later when it’s crunch time.
If you’re looking for help from experts who service trade shows, meetings, kickoffs, special events, conferences, et cetera from end to end (ranging from 10 attendees to thousands), check out our video or send your questions to email@example.com.
At Event Strategy Group, our number one priority is to bring our customers’ vision to a reality and exceed their expectations in all aspects.