How to Give Guests the Meeting Speaker They Want

Don’t take a gamble on your star attraction

You want a speaker that will give value to attendees and get them excited about your event. But in the planning stages of a meeting, it can be hard to gauge exactly what, or exactly who, that looks like. And because speakers are often the selling point of an event, it isn’t worth taking the gamble and risking a lower attendee count by hiring someone who seems right for your meeting purpose—you need someone who is right. 

Here are three questions planners should ask themselves in their speaker search and how to find the answers.

What is your client’s industry talking about?

In order to provide a speaker that gives value to your meeting audience, you have to understand what’s important to your attendees in the current moment. Relying on your client for this information is fine, but it offers only one perspective. To get more comprehensive insight into the industry as a whole, look to related professional organizations, social media and online forums. What are they talking about, and who are the key people in those conversations? From there, you should have a better understanding of the topics that are important to the group and what you’ll need in a speaker to be able to deliver value.

Who spoke at similar events in the past?

You never want to repeat a meeting experience, but looking at who has spoken at similar events could spark current meeting inspiration. Although those speakers might not necessarily fit your meeting purpose, getting that rundown can help open your horizons to what type of person would be a good fit for your event. For niche industries especially, this can be a helpful strategy to identify major players in the industry.

What do attendees really want?

Instead of trying to guess (and potentially compromising attendee turnout), go straight to the source and talk to potential attendees. If you have access to previous guest lists, consider sending out a survey or poll to see what kind of topics your potential attendee demographic is looking for, or if they have any suggestions about who to hire. Their input will not only be beneficial to you, but your willingness to work with them to find the right speaker will be appreciated—and will result in heightened anticipation for the event and an increase in ticket sales.