Your keynote speaker just canceled on short notice.
Do you have a backup speaker on call?
If not, you’re going to need to book a speaker last-minute.
The world can feel like it’s crashing down on you. The planning and organizing went super smooth, but now you feel like you’re racing against the clock.
Whether you need to hire a keynote speaker in a few days or a few weeks, you can find one last-minute to fit your event.
Keep these 5 things in mind while searching for your new speaker.
Book a Last-Minute Keynote Speaker
#1. Review The Facts of Your Event
You’ve spent weeks or months organizing and preparing this event. You know it inside and out. To find the best keynote speaker for your event on short notice, you will want to know your event details. Information like:
Knowing this information will make it easier for you to work with a speakers agency or bureau and communicate the type of speaker you need to fill that slot.
#2. Create a Shortlist
Keep in mind that while your event is the center of your world right now, it may not be the main focus of those you call.
Create a shortlist of 5-7 speakers (maybe more) that you think may work for your event. This list helps you advance quickly from one person to the next when trying to find a keynote speaker last-minute.
If the first few speakers you call aren’t available, you can continue contacting speakers, agencies, or bureaus until you find someone to fill the keynote slot at your event.
In some cases, it may be beneficial to make a list of potential speakers, agencies, and bureaus you can contact.
#3. Be Real with Yourself
You need a keynote speaker, and it’s a last-minute booking. Keep some perspective and realize you may not get a celebrity or expert speaker to fill your slot.
Most famous speakers are booked out 6-8 months in advance. This doesn’t mean they won’t take your event on short notice, but it’s better to know the reality of the situation going into a call.
Consider thought leaders, industry experts, or professionals who can speak on the theme and message of your event. Working with an agency or bureau can be super helpful in connecting you with one of these types of people.
#4. Prepare Your Team
Those involved in decision-making around your event need to be informed about the keynote speaker and organized to make a decision.
You may get a speaker to accept your short-notice offer, but you also may need to get the thumbs up from your board or team, as well.
Prepare your team for the last-minute booking decision so that you can get the speaker to your event, on the stage, and presenting without a hitch.
#5. Leverage Your Network
Now that you have all the information and people from above organize, you can leverage your network. This includes colleagues, agencies, bureaus, speakers, and more.
Put together a short summary of your event and the type of speaker you need. Then, send out emails and start making calls.
As an event planner or conference organizer, your time is precious. From the moment you start planning to the hour after the event is over, you’re on the clock. When a speaker cancels short notice, it can be a race against the clock to find a new keynote speaker. Keep in mind these 5 things:
- Review The Facts of Your Event
- Create a Shortlist
- Be Real with Yourself
- Prepare Your Team
- Leverage Your Network