Speakers can range from experts in the field to professionals in the speaking circuit. Some may require a large honorarium and some may come at no cost. Either way, utilizing your speaker's network and increasing their participation in your event showcases their expertise while bringing value to your attendees. Here are a few ideas for incorporating your speaker into the program development process.
- Give them your event hashtag or promotional copy to engage their social media networks. Speakers have a different, if not larger, social media following than some organizations or events. Asking them to post on Twitter or share word of the event on LinkedIn could reach new potential attendees for your event.
- Have them create a promotional video. Ask your speaker to create a brief 30-90 second video highlighting content from their session. The speaker can then share it on their social media channels, or you can use it to promote your event to potential and confirmed attendees.
- Inquire about pre-session work. Providing a questionnaire, article to read or video to watch can be a great way to engage attendees before an event.
During the Event
- Video or audio record an interview with your speaker. Before your event, provide the speaker with a trending issue or question and have them provide their insights at the event. You can also interview them on the spot and ask them questions about their content or experience. These videos can be shared after the event as additional educational content, and used as marketing collateral for your next event! Here is an example of video that FICP records at each Annual Conference: FICP Video Short.
- Set up a meet-and-greet with your speaker and attendees. With keynote speakers in particular, attendees often times do not have the opportunity to connect with a speaker outside of listening to his or her presentation. Setting up a meet-and-greet for all attendees, or even a small group of executives, is a great way to humanize your speaker and allow attendees to learn from them on a different level.
- Organize a workshop session following a traditional presentation. Professional speakers typically have a lot of experience conducting varying types of presentations. Having them give a traditional presentation followed by a more hands-on experience is a great way to utilize a variety of their skills while offering different educational formats to attendees.
- Share handouts or supplemental materials from the speaker’s presentation. If the speaker does not have any supplemental materials, ask if they will turn the presentation into a one-pager with key takeaways. Always make sure the speaker agrees to sharing this material prior to utilizing.
- Ask for their feedback on your event or organization. You can quote them in a recap of the event for attendees, or in marketing materials for next year’s event.
- Invite them to present a webinar for those in your organization who were unable to attend the event. While a virtual event may not be able to replace the live event, it is a low-cost way to continue sharing a speaker’s knowledge and expertise.
Finally, at all points throughout the program development process, talk to your speakers about their own ideas for unique, creative ways they would be willing to add to the program before, during or after an event. You never know what imaginative ideas you could use at your events for years to come!
Education Senior Associate