If you’ve ever had trouble booking conference or event speakers, you’re reading the right article. That’s because you’re about to discover an easy 5-step process for getting speakers for your conferences without all the wasted time and hassle.
And the great news is that this method works if you don’t have any speakers in mind at the start.
Let’s get started:
Book Speakers Quickly and Easily
#1. Create a List of Potential Speaking Candidates
Many start their search for speakers with the end in mind. They need to book a speaker as soon as possible. So, they find two or three and call to book. Not the best approach.
Instead, do your research and find five to 10 speakers that could potentially fit your conference.
Once you have the list, your odds of getting one of these speakers increases.
Your inevitably going to get told no by some or most of the speakers on your list. They may be booked for other events. They may be out of your budget range. Or, they may simply not want to speak at your conference. All valid reasons.
But, instead of doing the search, find, call, reject cycle for each individual speaker, batch the process into chunks.
Get all your research done.
Create a list of potential speakers.
Move onto Step #2
#2. Call Speakers (or Their Agents) for Interest & Abstracts
Take your list of potential speakers and call them. Ask for their interest in the event. Request abstracts of their work, a fancier way to ask for their presentations.
If your list of 5 to 10 speakers all reject your request for interest and abstracts, move back to step #1.
If you find a few speakers interested and willing to send over their info, you can move onto step #3.
#3. Determine Market to Message Match
It’s a branding and advertising move, but it can apply to your conference, too.
Which speaker’s message matches your event’s message and theme?
This can be seen in a variety of ways:
- Do the speakers’ themes match your conference theme?
- Do the speakers’ messages match your conference message?
- Do the speakers’ stories/presentations relate to your audiences’ goals/ambitions?
Ultimately, ask yourself this question about the speakers who communicated interest:
- “Does what these speakers have to say communicate what I’m trying to deliver to my audience?”
If you can say “yes” to this question, you’ve got yourself a speaker to potentially hire.
#4. Schedule Calls. Discuss Fees
Get a call scheduled with the speakers or their agents/reps. This is the first step in moving toward actually booking a speaker.
At this point in the process, you should have your top two or three choices in speakers ready to offer the conference speaking spot.
If you’ve got more than three potential speakers, you need to go back to step #3 and get more specific on what you need out of your speakers.
Otherwise, get calls scheduled with potential speakers.
This is where the rubber meets the road, as they say. You’ll most likely dive into details like conference time, location, accommodations, expectations, messaging, etc. It’s all fair game on the call, because you want to eventually book the speaker.
Fees should come up at this point. Whether you have a budget or you do not, it’s important to understand the fee structure before you say yes and send over the contract. Get details on what the speaker’s fee is, share your budget, and work with the speaker or their agent on finding a good common ground.
One of the worst “moves” you can make is to play hard to get and lose the speaker.
Remain open. Communicate clearly. Work with the speaker and/or agent to get the job done.
If you’ve got other speakers to talk with, tell each candidate that. This adds value to your conference, and puts the other speakers in a position of knowledge and power. They know what to expect, so they are able to make decisions now that will benefit you and them later.
Remember, we’re all human here, and we’re teaming up to impact hundreds or thousands of people in one event.
Once you get your speaker, you can move onto step #5.
#5. Finalize the Booking and Finish Through the Event
It’s time to get your speaker on the books, scheduled, informed, and empowered to do their best work for your conference.
Here are a few ways you can help your speaker hit the ball out of the park at your conference:
- Accommodations — make sure your speaker is taken care of from arrival to departure and everything in between. Where you can make things easier, do so. It will pay dividends later.
- Requests — If your speaker has request, do your absolute best to deliver on them. It’s common for speakers to ask for specific things like a type of hotel room, transportation to and from the conference, or even a specific type of beverage before their time on stage. Just because you have them booked doesn’t mean your work as a planner ends.
- Leverage — Take your speaker’s credentials and popularity and leverage it against your audience. Either announce who they are and what they will be speaking about, driving anticipation, or keep their identity a secret to drive curiosity of who will be speaking. The strategy is up to you, but it can help a ton to leverage their built-in audience and social currency to benefit everyone.
Your conference went off without a hitch. Your speaker delivered a phenomenal experience. And you’ve got attendees buzzing on social about the event.
You did it!
Now, it’s time to plan for the next conference.
But before you start, here are the takeaways from this article on How to Book Speakers in Just 5 Easy Steps:
- Create a List of Potential Speaking Candidates
- Call Speakers (or Their Agents) for Interest & Abstracts
- Determine Market to Message Match
- Schedule Calls. Discuss Fees.
- Finalize the Booking and Finish Through the Event
Remember, there are dozens of speakers out there that could fit your conference perfectly. If you’re still in search of a speaker, give one of our speakers at Platinum Speakers Agency a look.
We’ve got some of the best keynote speakers out there — and their some of the hardest working speakers, too, willing to do what it takes to impact your audience and compel action.
View our roster and book a call to discuss next steps now.