Tips for Getting Top Speakers to Your Conference
Industry insiders, show managers, suppliers, exhibitors and media recently shared their insights on a significant element of large-scale shows.
Participants agreed on several key points on how to get great speakers at events, including:
Recruitment of speakers should be an ongoing process.
If you see a great speaker or someone you trust highly recommends a speaker, start investigating. Sometimes the best speakers may not be from your core industry – but are disruptors, innovators, in a niche that is related to your business, or have a worthwhile message to share.
Mentor and encourage younger members of your industry to speak at events.
The younger folks in our industries have lots to share and new ideas.
Ways of doing so include partnering with more experienced speakers, regional (smaller) meeting slots, or place them on panels. Make education and training available and encourage them to go to Toastmasters.
Crowdsource speakers, but don’t let it be a popularity contest.
Make sure you get references if speakers are not known.
If you really want to up the game for your speakers, offer a keynote spot the next year for whoever ranks the highest.
Make sure your keynote speaker has relevant content to share.
If it’s a celebrity who is unable to tailor their speech to your industry, pass.
On a side note, it was 50/50 on whether having “motivational” speakers is a waste of time, or good to have.
A passion for topic is so important, and a fresh perspective as well. You can teach presentation skills, but you can’t teach passion.
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