If you’ve been tasked with planning your company’s next event, you will know what a labour intensive and complex process this can be. From finding the best venue to finalising the list of attendees, producing itineraries and organising guest speakers, there’s a lot to do.
Fortunately, Function Fixers are here to make your life easier. Our professional team will help you find a great venue but we can do so much more! Ask us about any aspect of your event planning and we’ll be only too please to give you the benefit of our expertise and share our insider knowledge. It’s easy to make contact – just call 020 7186 8686 and speak to one of the friendly team.
When it comes to arranging keynote speakers, for instance, there’s no need to go to a bureau and pay them large sums in commission when there are cheaper and more effective ways to find the right speaker. Here’s what we would advise you do instead:
What does everyone do when they’re looking for information? Google it. In our advanced digital marketing age, every successful professional and credible business will have a website full of useful information that can be searched for online. Search for relevant keywords to reflect the kind of speaker or subject you’re looking for – e.g. ‘change management speaker’ or ‘agile speaker’ – and review each website found on its merits.
Your first and arguably best resource is your contact book. Who do you know in the industry who might know someone? Who could help? Has anyone recently attended a similar conference to the one you’re organising and come across a fantastic speaker? Word-of-mouth recommendations are likely to bring up recent and relevant suggestions for keynote speakers that you should follow up immediately.
Are you familiar with your local Chamber of Commerce? Are there any local professional organisations that you are networking with? Anyone in the area who could be relevant to your event theme? Now is the time to use the local contacts you have cultivated over months or years to your advantage. Ask around among qualified professionals who may be keen to share their knowledge within the wider business community and raise the profile of their own business in the process.
If you use social media – and if you don’t, you really should – you can use your LinkedIn profile to help you network with other industry professionals. Put a general shout out to your contacts, join relevant groups and forums or message individual contacts directly to help you identify experienced, professional and engaging speakers for your next event. Do you also use Facebook for business? If so, there’s another useful avenue for networking.
Public speaking is a popular skill that can be learnt – and it takes years to master. The Professional Speaking Association and many local Speakers’ Clubs train up-and-coming speakers, and may well have members who are keen for the opportunity to practise their craft. Also check the members’ directories of global public speaking organisations such as Toastmasters International or the Global Speakers Federation.
Finally, if you’re looking for a speaker on a specific technical or academic topic, and you’re working well in advance, why not put out a call for proposals or abstracts? This gives potential speakers with the right background and expert knowledge a chance to research fresh ideas and submit brand new content that may just elevate your event above the ordinary.
Once you have found the right keynote speaker for your event, it goes without saying that you should book him or her in plenty of time. While 2-3 months is usually sufficient, the most in-demand speakers may need as much as a whole year’s advance notice.