Hiring and booking a guest speaker can be tricky, as each speaker has their own ways to assess their fees. Remembering that when you hire a speaker for an event, it is an investment by the organization to their people and having a motivational keynote speaker deliver an external perspective will empower and activate the audience to make changes at work or at home. As you search to find speakers, you may know some big names or have heard about speakers that will be successful with your group. Trying to find a speaker within the budget can become difficult, however, there are some ways that you can approach your planning to save money and keep down costs. As the events industry has shifted, we have adapted to it and are providing you with some updated strategies to save money when hiring your speaker.
GET INVOLVED IN PLANNING THE EVENT EARLY TO SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS!
Forward planning enables the success of your event & speakers can be flexible with their fees for bookings that have a lot of notice for the booking. When you mention any of the potential upcoming events within your organization, it is important that you and your team meet and discuss the purpose of the event to establish the event theme. You can then explore different speaking topics or speaker types that will be a good fit to address the themes identified for the audience to learn at the event. When a speaker is contacted early on, the higher chance they will be flexible with their fees and available for your event.
Questions to ask early on in your planning:
- Is it an in-person or virtual event?
- Who is the target audience? What are their professions?
- What is the location of the event or where will the attendees be from?
- What is important to the organization for their employees or members to learn?
- What is important for each type of audience member at the event? Why are they there?
- What are the expectation and desired learning outcomes for the organization and the audience?
- What types of sessions will be included in the program?
- Do you require an external perspective to inspire the audience or bring high energy to the daily program?
- What is the budget for the event and how much can you allocate to the keynote or virtual speaker?
Understanding the answers to these questions will determine how you plan and deliver the event. It will also help guide the event planning team to engage them into research for speakers and the event logistics to make it all come together.
INVOLVE THE EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAMS & DEPARTMENT HEADS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE CREATIVE OF PLANNING THE EVENT
Many event organizers come to us with a limited or allocated budget set by the CEO. As a department leader or event organizer responsible to find and book speakers for the event, the CEO and executive leaders understand the important investment into their people. By including executives, team members or department leaders into the planning process, you can bounce off ideas for speaking topics, fees, session formats etc.…They will appreciate being included in the conversation and will be able to engage and influence the speaker you select, and the topic themes the audience will learn.
Although each event is unique, you may not always want to spend a lot of money on a speaker, however in most cases, when you find the perfect speaker who will meet your criteria for the session and outcomes discussed for the meeting, the leaders of the organization will often be more flexible to allocate more funds to increase the budget. Especially if you have secured a speaker who is available and perhaps has offered you a discounted rate, the value return on investment is recognized by leaders within the organization and they may increase your speaker budget for this event.
HIRE A LOCAL SPEAKER FOR AN IN-PERSON APPEARANCE/EVENT TO SAVE ON TRAVEL COSTS AND ACCESS A LOCAL FEE
Hiring a local speaker that lives in the same city or province will reduce costs related to travel expenses. Local speakers will also often have discounted local speaker fees since they are able to attend other events, commitments, or their work back in their office. Search for a motivational speaker “near me” or a keynote speaker “near me” and you will find talent in your area. Speakers Bureau Canada’s talent and roster is carefully curated to assist organizations and event planning teams to search and find great speakers from each city and province. This helps you narrow your search to consider a local speaker along with other speakers from the region. There are many advantages to hire and book a local speaker for an event, but cost saving opportunities is one of the major reasons to work with a professional guest speaker or motivational keynote speaker from the event location.
HIRE A VIRTUAL SPEAKER FOR A VIRTUAL EVENT SAVES YOU MONEY
Some workplaces have shifted to the hybrid workplace model and why not hold a virtual or hybrid event to celebrate the shift within the workplace? Virtual keynote speakers and guest speakers for webinars, online vents and virtual meetings is a great way to influence your audience and engage them in a virtual setting. We have seen many organizations combine budgets between departments, locations and even with their clients/partners to hold a large virtual event. Leaders will often be open to increasing the budget if the speaker will be influencing and impacting more of their people, so collaborating for virtual events is one of the best strategies to save costs and get the most value for each event.
Speakers Canada’s virtual speakers will often offer discounted rates similar to their local speaker fees since they can present from their office and do not have to travel to the event location. Virtual speakers will be more flexible with their fees depending on the audience, organization, and their schedule. Speakers Bureau Canada offers event organizers Canada’s largest and high-quality list of engaging virtual speakers who can deliver interactive presentations at a lower cost than if you were to hire them in person. The majority of our virtual motivational speakers will also offer a recording at no extra cost for participants who could not attend the event.
HIRE A SPEAKER FOR A HYBRID EVENT WITH SPEAKER VIRTUAL WILL ACCESS A LOWER RATE
You also may want to consider a hybrid event with the speaker presenting virtual and the attendees in the room. Unless you have TED Talk production, it may be challenging to have the speaker in person, and the audience virtual, as professional speakers and motivational speakers will be focused on an in-person audience if they are in the room, and not the camera that is sending the broadcast to virtual attendees. With a virtual speaker and the audience in the same room, you are still able to create an energy in the room for the attendees. Another added value is that the online speaker is sill presenting virtually in a webinar format, and virtual attendees can feel like they are being presented to directly.
Pre recorded sessions is another option, however speakers are more hesitant to lower their fees at times if the pre recorded event has any production team since it takes more time out of their schedules. We have seen most organizations commit to hybrid or virtual event formats with great success. Depending on the speaker and the session format, hybrid events can have discounted rates, have more flexibility for collaboration, and have bonuses to them such as recordings. You do not have to rent a venue; have you people travel from their location which is more efficient saving time a keeping cost to a minimum. Virtual speakers can also share the same messaging with all employees in multiple department locations and speakers are more available and flexible with their fees for virtual events.
GOVERNMENT GRANTS TO APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE SPEAKER FEE
We know this last strategy may not always be accessible, but there we have found success with organizations accessing Provincial and Federal grants, funding or a subsidy that supports the initiatives of the government and the organization. Many organizations have had success with obtaining grants this past year, however it will depend on your Province and the type of speaker you are looking for.
As the Canadian Government and Provincial Governments invest in economic development, innovation, mental health, education, family services, women in business, social welfare, equality, human rights and diversity, equity and inclusion and many other initiatives, investing in an external perspective from a Canadian motivational speaker or leading expert is often approved by each government as they share the responsibility to create new opportunities for businesses and Canadians as a whole.
FIND A SPONSOR TO INCREASE THE BUDGET FOR THE SPEAKER OR TO SPONSOR THE SPEAKER’S SESSION
Obtaining a sponsor for an event is one of the best ways to increase the budget for the speaker. Some organizations or individuals will sponsor the motivational speakers appearance and having a sponsor involved will add value to increase the attention to the event. Sponsors will often attend the event and speakers, or event hosts can mention the sponsor at the begging of the session. Securing an organization to sponsor the event will potentially attract more attendees to possibly gain additional sponsors for future events. Offering a sponsor, the ability to introduce the speaker or to invite their colleagues or leaders from their organization creates new networking opportunities for the attendees and the speaker. Sponsors also benefit by being able to market their company or organization to the attendees. Finding the right sponsor might take some work, but when a sponsor believes in the same core values as an organization, has a valued interest in the progression of the organization or has the same goals, it will often lead to a long-term relationship for future partnerships.
COLLABORATING WITH OTHER DEPARTMENTS OR WORKING PARTNERS
We have seen many organizations collaborating with other departments or similar organizations that can benefit to hear the same messaging from a speaker. When organizations partner with their internal leaders or other locations, attendees become united and are able to participate in a large initiative of the company. Collaborating with other partners such as the clients or customers from other corporations or subsidiary or parent companies will allow you to increase the budget since there will be a more attendees, with a higher amount of impact and different levels of investment between each organization for the speaker fee. We know this process takes some time and requires a lot of time to collaborate and coordinate, but by placing some feelers out and by planting some seeds, event organizers can continue to get others to collaborate with them for the costs involved in hiring a speaker to save money. With so many organizations needing to hear similar messages, it has been a successful strategy when we have seen it occur and is a great way to save money when hiring a speaker.
ASK SPEAKERS CANADA TALENTED SPEAKER BUREAU AGENT TO NEGOTIATE SPEAKER FEES ON YOUR BEHALF
Professional speaker bureau’s have a unique relationship with speakers and clients. Since speaker bureau agents book speakers multiple times a year, they are often able to leverage the relationship they have with one of their repeat clients to negotiate the speakers fee on the organizations behalf. Depending on the speaker, not for profit, associations & government organizations also may receive a non-profit rate from a speaker and corporations may receive a discount for multiple bookings or if they are a repeat client with our bureau.
We can often leverage our relationship with an organization to a speaker or since we work with the speakers so often for many events around the year, have long trusted relationships with our speakers we understand the points of negotiation to cut down on costs on behalf of our clients. If you work with a bureau to book a speaker for multiple presentations around the same day for one event or if you hire a speaker to book multiple presentations over the course of a year for different events, having a strong relationship wit a bureau will allow you to access the lowest fees a speaker can be secured for without going over budget at each event.
Speakers Bureau of Canada has a strong focus on working with Canada’s top motivational keynote speakers and talent. Through our years of experience in working with different speakers in Canada, we can always propose any event at any budget to a speaker on behalf of the host organization. We know the negotiation points each speaker has and are able to call in favors from time to time to secure speakers at lower costs for our clients. We care about each event and try to service each inquiry as the best to our ability to assist organizations to find a speaker within budget, that is the right fit to inspire results with the audience at each event.