When planning any sort of event, long or short, one of the most challenging aspects is finding a keynote speaker. This can at first seem overwhelming, particularly if you are new to event planning. But, just like event planning itself, if you break it down into a series of easy to achieve tasks it suddenly becomes achievable.
Make a List
Of the potentially thousands of keynote speakers to choose from, you need to make a list of all those that have the experience, knowledge and other requisite traits for your particular event. You should start with those you have had experience with, and then tap into friends and acquaintances for their own lists of suitable speakers. Lastly, use the internet to flesh out the list in your particular area of interest.
Thin Down the List
Next, you know need to discount all the non-runners from your list. Two great filters are availability and price range – both are objective and simple yes/no questions. You should speak to the person who organizes the speaker’s event for this information. You can now cross off all those speakers who are not available or who would cost too much.
You now have a short-list of possibilities. You need to find out a bit more about each speaker to see who would be best for your particular needs. A great place to start is YouTube, here you will probably see for yourself what you’re going to be getting. It is also worth reading a few reviews and speaking to people who’ve heard them to get further information. If you’re really struggling, the booking agent should be able to send you some videos by email.
Garner a Second Opinion
A second opinion, preferably from the planning committee itself is definitely advisable before going ahead and booking. Even if it is just you left to make the final decision, a second opinion is a very sensible move to make sure that you’re not being too subjective in your judgment.
Have a Plan B
In real life unforeseen things happen all the time: It is true for speakers too. If yours catches a terrible cough and can’t speak, your event must still go ahead, so you need a backup plan. You may be in luck and the speaker already has a stand in for just such occurrences, it is sensible to check this first. If not, simply go back to your list and book a second appropriate speaker that could be your keynote speaker and program them in a different slot. Then if the worst happens, bump them into the keynote slot, you’ve already got a plan.
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Tags: Event planning, meeting tips