Does a great guest speaker = event success?

20 July 2018

Producing a successful event means solving the equation of carefully planned elements such as venue, theme and overall experience.

We know that hosting an event is an important part of connecting with customers and your audience, and research places this in the top 3 high yield strategies for lead generation holding value for both B2B organisations and NFPs alike.

But what impact does a guest speaker have on the success of your event?


1) Supporting the theme and purpose of your event

Part of planning a successful event includes mapping out the theme or topic area for your event. Are you hosting an industry event to explore a particular subject area or an important trend? Is it a celebration of achievement or intended to inspire or motivate?

The answer to these questions will lead you to the type of guest speaker that can help support your overall objectives.

This will lead to a ‘knock-on’ effect of benefits; the first being that your event is supported by a speaker who is reinforcing your message with timely, interesting and relevant content.


2) Establish your brand as an influencer

One of the key ways to establish your event (and through this your brand) as an influencer is to share insights that have positive impact. By engaging with keynote speakers and thought leaders who are at the forefront of research and experience, you are by association, setting up your event message up to influence.

Aligning your brand with an experienced keynote speaker who is held in high esteem is a win for your event.


3) Cross promotion, gravitas and PR

Inviting and confirming a reputable speaker allows for potential access to a greater audience via cross promotion. Asking your guest speaker to also promote the speaking engagement and event across their social platforms is a great way to target a larger amount of people for your themed event.

With an exciting guest speaker, you also have something to talk about ahead of the event, and this buzz is great for PR.


4) Something to remember

Whether you are holding a trade show, or a small and tailored industry event – people are less likely to remember things like the quality of the food, and are more likely to remember the overall energy of a high impact speaker, or a key concept that the a keynote speaker has left them with.

It’s these key soundbites that can give your clients an ‘Ah-ha’ moment which can go on to have a positive impact on their work or in their lives. In this way, whether your event is paid or qualified by leads, you are providing something of value to your business or donor community – and that is going to be something they are more likely to remember you for.


5) The challenge and follow-up

 An experienced or well-prepared keynote speaker is able to tailor his or her presentation to the needs of your target audience. Showcasing relevant research and case studies helps to create effective content.

An even higher impact is where your speaker can pose a challenge to your audience or industry. How can we do things better? How can we improve? Memorable speakers will leave your audience with the feeling that they have learned something to take away with them.

After the conclusion of the event, think of ways that you could follow-up with your audience – perhaps in collaboration with the speaker. Is there a follow-up question to the challenge? A video? An article? Or do you simply send a communication piece with a video that reinforces the message?


Your topic, your target audience, your event budget and your event time & location are instrumental in short-listing and selecting the ideal guest speaker. There are a wide range of agencies that specialise in providing event speakers. We’d be happy to introduce you to the contacts we have who have talent that match your area of interest.

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