3 Steps to Securing the Perfect Keynote Speaker

As we prepare for our inaugural Cvent CONNECT Europe 2017, we’ve been searching high and low for the perfect keynote speakers. We’ve had meeting after meeting, talked to key stakeholders, the purse-string holders, and even our legal team.

Every event manager knows how important having an amazing keynote speaker is for creating a great event. From former ministers to news anchors, to famous journalists or TV stars – even captains of the industry, the options for finding a great keynote speaker seem to be endless.

However, finding that perfect keynote is a daunting challenge. Will the presenter be a good public speaker? Will the audience identify with their message? Is it a big enough name to draw a crowd?

Keep these three tips in mind on your next search for the perfect keynote:

1.) Will the person cover a timely topic?
It’s always a good idea to find a tried-and-tested path for keynote content, rather than rushing into any trending topic. Staying with statesmen, community/civic leaders, and business leaders always seems to cover both timely and relevant topics. Utilising a speaker bureau can help you narrow down your search and put you in touch with the right people.

2.) Get a big name…but only if you can afford it
Big names can leave a hole in your pocket. However, having a celebrity keynote can help you drive attendance, engagement and sponsorship to your event – so it might be worth the investment.

Some of the biggest and best can cost more than £100,000. These household names can draw a huge crowd of delegates, with their stories of fighting the global war on terror or starting a billion-dollar company. And big names bring in big crowds.

If you’re getting a celebrity keynote, build in some time for an audience meet and greet. Not only is this a chance to build an added perk for your top customers and sponsors, but it enables you to add in engagement options with your delegates. Hosting a tagging contest on social media, or a raffle for a chance to attend the private meet and greet is a great way for your delegates to interact with your brand and event.

3.) Have a backup plan
Flights get missed. Personal lives intervene. Or, perhaps worst of all, contract negotiations fall through.

Have a list of three or four backups you can fall back on, for the off-chance that your first choice doesn’t work out. Speaker bureaus are a great tool for doing research on potential keynote speakers. They can suggest alternatives in the same price range – just make sure not to tell your backup they were the second (or third) choice.

Finding a great keynote can set the right tone for your event and help you attract more delegates. Best of luck in your search, and let us know in the comments section below if you have any interesting keynote stories to share.

Written by Mansi