The Event Group has been producing events throughout North America since 1997. During that time we have built up a very good reputation with keynote speakers and their agents. While most companies go to speaker bureaus and pay a large commission to secure speakers, The Event Group is able to go to speakers and their agents directly, saving our clients money.

Adding a speaker to your special event can bring tremendous value. Whether you’re putting together a major convention or a small sales conference, your guests will appreciate having a specialty speaker at your event. Here some ideas in securing the right speaker.

Goals and objectives

Create a list of your goals and objectives and then start your search for a speaker. Make sure you know exactly what you want your speaker to speak on, and find someone qualified to fit that role, whether it is motivational, relating to your company’s values, or just for entertainment.

Who’s Hot?

Search the web and finds out who is hot on the speaker circuit these days and what topics are being presented the most. A great resource is TED, which highlights various speakers and different talks from around the world. You can also narrow down your speaker list by considering what you’re expecting at your event.

Know Your Topic

You need to clearly communicate to your speaker what is to be the topic of their speech. Ask your speaker to send you their speaking notes and any other materials they may use before your event. Then you can make sure they are on point.

Many speakers use the same speech at multiple events, so this will give you the opportunity to help your speaker tailor their content to your event.

Budget is Key

Search for speakers in your budget range. If you’re going through a broker, make sure your budget is on the table before the search begins. The Event Group has presented marquee speakers such as Al Gore, Alan Greenspan, and Colin Powell, but they are hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can secure very entertaining and intelligent speakers for under $10,000 as long as you have your event goals outlined and a budget in place. It is also important to understand that most speakers quote a fee for speaking before they add on travel costs.

Speaker Agents

Booking through a speaker agency is very helpful, but make sure you’re talking to the right people. There are so many speaker bureaus out there and they all say they represent every speaker – but you need to be working with the exclusive agent for the speaker you hope to book. Too many times companies market on their website they represent a certain speaker and then they actually have to go to another speaker agent on your behalf – so you’re getting the upsell and paying 10% to 30% more than you should be. Ask to speak to the agent who exclusively represents the speaker you want.

Who is In-House?

Too many times clients look for speakers through brokers before they look to their internal database or staff. Make sure you look within your firm to see if there is someone who might be a good fit for your event. If there isn’t, is there an associate, friend or supplier that might be a good fit? Sometimes the best speakers can come from who you know.