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Related topics: Featured Story,East Midlands, OPINION, Sustainable Meetings, United Kingdom
April 4, 2008
By: Anon

Speakers cornered: a checklist for success

If you're planning to hire a speaker for your event, here are the main issues that you need to consider:

Relevance – Have you talked through with your team exactly what your speakers/entertainers would do for your event? Make sure that they will fit in with your overall aims.

Return on investment – What two results (during and after) are you looking for? By what criteria will you measure the success of your speaker’s performance?

Performance – How do you want your speaker to perform? Do they need an area of expertise or simply relay information? How good an actual speaker are they? How interactive do you want them to be? Do you want keynotes, which are more ‘what’ or workshops, which are more ‘how’?

Role – As well as (or instead of) a speaker, do you need a host who will introduce and MC and ensure the smooth on-stage running of your event? This is sometimes called a link presenter.

Experience – What promotional literature or DVD showreels can you see in advance? Do they have a website and is there streamed video of them in action on the site?

– Where have they spoken before? What testimonials do they have? Who have been their clients? Can you speak to some of them?

– Will they be giving one of their ‘off the peg’ presentations or tailoring something specifically to your audience? This may affect cost.

Availability – Are they actually available for your event, and if not, could they recommend anyone else?

Fees – What do they charge and what does it cover? When is it payable and how? What constitutes expenses?

Planning – Do you want to meet with them beforehand, or see them speak? Would they be willing to meet to discuss your event face to face? Is that part of the price?

Negotiating – What non-financial incentives could you offer to stay within your budget – payment up front, accommodation, a copy of the delegate list, introductions to influential people, permission to sell their materials at the event.

Logistics – When will they arrive? Will they stick around and mingle? How else could you use them while they are there? A keynote is usually the same price as a day. Can they deliver other workshops to give you full value?

Booking – Be absolutely clear about the agreement if you have to sign one. Define any ‘maybes’ and ‘definites’. Recap on what has been agreed in writing/via email.

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