5 Fundamental Elements That Go Behind Selecting Captivating Keynote Speakers For Your Conference

Event organizers know that selecting the right people to speak at conferences plays into the overall success of the conference. Your attendees will most likely choose to attend the event for the keynote speakers. They are the main selling point of your conference because people attend these events to listen to someone with some sort of knowledge or reputation regarding the conference’s theme or subject matter. Your speakers have an undisputed influence over how your conference will be received by the attendees, so it’s especially important to be selective and do your research on the people that end up speaking at your event. 

Thinking about potential keynote speakers for your conference is a difficult process in that you have to be familiar with the theme or subject matter, and do extensive research on the most reputable people on that topic. It requires time and careful deliberation that you can’t mess up on because your speakers are the main reason why your attendees are attending your conference. Sure, they are of course interested in the theme or subject being discussed, but the right keynote speakers will create a buzz around the conference and increase public interest. They can essentially play a large role in your marketing strategy because influence alone can get people talking about your event. 

Selecting your keynote speakers for your conference 

As you get started on the process of selecting your keynote speakers, here are five things that you should think about to ensure that they are the right fit for your conference. 

1. Consider the theme or subject being discussed at your conference 

The first thing that you want to do is think about the theme or subject being discussed at your conference. When you work within that framework, it will make further research easier and refines the process of searching for a speaker. It’s the best way to get started because the theme or subject matter will inform the rest of your event planning in general.

2. Conduct research on the most influential people in that area 

You want to begin doing your research on the most important and influential people related to the subject matter that your conference will be centered on. You want the people that you choose to be your speakers to be experts and well-known in that specific field because it lends your conference credibility, interest, and excitement. Your prospective attendees will gravitate towards your event because you’re highlighting the experts in that field and they’ll have the unique opportunity to hear them speak and maybe even engage them in conversation through a Q&A. A thing to note when conducting this research is that your target audience and prospective attendees will more than likely be familiar with and know the people that you’re considering as keynote speakers. You want to bet on this because your conference speakers should hold a level of credibility with your audience which will attract them to attend the event.

Photo of keynote speakers facing conference hal;

3. Do a background check on the people you are considering to be keynote speakers 

Conducting a background check on the people you are selecting to be keynote speakers at your conference is one of the most important steps that you can do. They might be considered the foremost candidates and influential people on that topic, but maybe they are also controversial and polarizing in the community. You want to be careful about who you select to be the main speaker because you could end up losing part of your target audience because the person is so controversial. Do a quick but thorough google search, look at their social media pages, and if they’ve done interviews, watch them. Familiarize yourself with industry people and their responses to your potential keynote speakers to gauge how the majority of people feel about this person.

4. Ensure that they are experienced and captivating 

Your keynote speakers should be experienced speakers that are not only informed experts surrounding the topic of the conference, but they must be interesting and captivating speakers as well. At times, people could be leasing experts in their fields but when on the stage, they lose their audience. Nothing is worse than a bored and uninterested audience. Before making your choice, take a look at videos that are available on them; make sure that they are eloquent and riveting storytellers. Additionally, your keynote speaker should be someone your target audience is familiar with as a leading figure around the subject. With established public speakers, you can ensure that your audience will be engaged in the conversations at the conference.

5. Make them the center of your marketing campaign to gauge your target audience’s reaction and interest 

Leveraging your keynote speakers is a marketing strategy that will lead to the success of your campaign. Your target audience will be interested in attending a conference that will promise speakers that they will more than likely be familiar with. Marketing a conference is slightly different from other events because you’ll be focused on getting industry people to attend. They will already be familiar with and recognize your speakers so they know what to expect from them. Capitalize on this aspect for your campaign and create marketing content around your keynote speakers. They should be highly influential figures that people want and expect to be central speakers in a subject-specific conference.

It doesn’t have to get complicated 

Selecting your keynote speakers isn’t a difficult process. You want to center your audience’s expectations and think about who they would be most interested in hearing speak on this specific subject matter. The speakers should hold credibility, be influential speakers that draw a crowd, and are riveting storytellers. Your conference will be centered around your speakers so diversify your panel of speakers if you’re considering multiple or a panel of speakers. Additionally, think about ways to create interest and buzz around your conference by creating time for a Q&A, a fan meeting, and similar special events. The speakers you end up selecting will be the face of your conference so make sure you follow these core guidelines to help you make the best decision for your event.

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