First and foremost, as with any event, advance planning is always helpful, and at times critical, to landing the best speaker for your event. It’s much easier to secure the best speakers by planning at least six to 12 months prior to the event. The norm for booking a professional or well-known speaker used to be a year. Of course, this isn’t always reasonable or realistic, and today, bookings have been known to be made only a few months in advance. If you can help it, don’t leave yourself in a panic during crunch time.
You’ll thank yourself later.
So to be prepared enough to start the keynote speaker search, Goodman advises the following steps be in every event and meeting planner’s initial internal checklist:
Determine meeting logistics/scheduling
Understand the audience
Capture the meeting objective
Define the expectations of the speaker
Only once these tasks are thought through (and perhaps others specific to your event or meeting), should you begin the keynote speaker search. A keynote speaker can play several different roles for a conference or meeting. Does your meeting require a corporate speaker or would your audience be better served by an inspirational or motivational speaker? Going through this checklist will not only provide a better framework from which to conduct your speaker search, but it will save you time on the back-end in getting internal approval on your first choice of speaker.