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How to Pitch Your Target Speakers


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What attracts people to events? Aside from the obvious networking benefits, attendees want to gain an education or experience that they can't find anywhere else. For most planners, speakers and presenters are a huge part of the puzzle. It can be a challenge to find and book the perfect match for your event, so we’ve outlined seven steps you can take to pitch to your target speakers.

1. Establish your goals

Set Goals for Ideal Guest SpeakerWork with your team to set the goals of your ideal guest speaker. Needless to say, the goals of your speaker should serve your greater event goal. A successful guest speaker will not simply entertain your audience but instead, inspire, inform, educate, engage and connect with your audience using their personality and relevant content. What are the ideal qualities that you’re seeking in a guest speaker? You can get an even better gauge on what exactly your audience is looking for with a pre-event survey.

2. Know what you have to offer

How to pitch an event speakerMost likely, you’ll want to allocate a portion of your event budget to your guest speaker. Be sure you understand the budget you’re working with before you start talking with your prospects. You should also talk with your team about what you may have to offer instead of or in addition to pay. For example, a novice speaker may be drawn by the idea of travel and exposure alone. Brainstorm on the unique opportunities that your guest speaker will have to gain if they commit. 

3. Research

The first step to creating your prospect list is research. Who are the top speakers in your industry? How would they resonate with your audience? To get an even better idea, watch videos of their previous presentations and consider attending an upcoming event to see them in action. 

4. Create a prospect list

After you’ve done your research, write a list of prospects and rank them in order of preference. Create a calendar with initial outreach and follow-up dates. Be sure to assign hard deadlines for commitments or a clear “no” so that you don’t risk double booking. 

5. Prep pitch content

Write out all of the information your speakers will need to make their decision. In addition to the logistical details of your event, let them know why your event is unique and valuable. Most importantly, help speakers grasp how they’d fit, how your event aligns with their passion, and the opportunities they’ll have if they participate. To paint an even clearer picture, you can also consider creating and sending a mock profile or flyer which includes your prospect’s information. 

6. Personalize your outreach

Personalized event experienceWe suggest talking with your network, including your former speakers. Are they willing to make introductions and/or provide a testimonial? An introduction will get you started on a much more personal note. Also consider taking advantage of social media and specifically LinkedIn to connect with your target speakers.

7. Create a communication schedule

Event PlanSimilar to your outreach calendar, keep a communication calendar for once you’ve made initial contact. Keep them updated with any changes, progress or news that will keep them engaged and excited for your event. 

How Can MeetingPlay Help?

Use these steps to set yourself up for a smooth pitch process and to lock-in the best possible speaker for your event. And, don’t forget to be open and sincere in your conversations. Connecting over a shared passion or topic of interest will go a long way. For more tips and insights for planners, subscribe to the MeetingPlay Blog and get regular updates!

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