Event Planning Tools

From conference call to curtain call, our mission at Speakers Bureau of Canada is to make your job easier, do all the heavy lifting and make you the hero. As partners in helping you elevate your event to the next level by providing world-class motivational and keynote speakers and creating dynamic, unforgettable presentations, we welcome the opportunity to share our expertise with you. To that end, we have provided the following tips and tools to help get you there. As always, we encourage you to contact us if you have questions about any aspect of hiring or working with professional speakers. We look forward to working with you to plan your next meeting, conference, convention or retreat.


Saving time, money and reducing costs when planning corporate events enables organizations to effectively plan future events with more efficiency.  When planning an event that requires a speaker, it is common for event planning teams to think that by reducing the cost of the speaker, you can save the most money.

This is often misguided thinking as there are other ways to reduce costs and keep the speaker as your number one investment. Speakers inspire, educate, engage, and motivate attendees to shift their perspectives often creating a memorable experience for years after each event takes place. Although keeping the costs down can be challenging, as planning an event has so many contributing factors that require an investment.

There are many other ways to reduce costs planning corporate events that can be explored so that you can apply more funds to the speaker. Speakers Bureau of Canada offers strategic ways and ideas to explore diverse ways to research, plan, partner and deliver the event without impacting the quality of the event and giving a positive experience for the attendees to engage them for future events.


When planning an in-person event, it is important to shop around for venues at various locations. You may want to investigate hotels, conference centres, theatres and buildings that are able to hold a lot of people with a community centre, gym, ballroom, or board room depending on the number of attendees. If possible, hosting the event at your office or one of the business locations will be a free venue, therefore we recommend looking into your office as a first option.

To reduce spending, you can use the same location or hotel chain year after year. If it is a venue that may have an interest in supporting the attendees and the organization, you can also request a discounted rate in case they are interested in sponsoring the event. You can also find strategic partners to assist you to lock down and secure a venue or hotel, especially if delegates are travelling to the event and require hotel rooms or an overnight stay.

Good venues for conferences have proper seating capabilities, chairs, tables, stages, A/V equipment, different room options for keynotes, breakouts, and award ceremonies. They will also usually provide drapery, pin up boards, culinary equipment, dish sets and a usable kitchen for catering services. Great venues will have an onsite representatives and staff to support you in the set up, delivery and the take down of the event. They will also have programs or design instructions with different options that will help you strategically design each room for each session in the program, and how the attendees will be able to view the keynote speakers or workshop speakers in each session.


There are also some ways to keep costs to a minimum for virtual events and online meetings. Getting to know the platform that works best for your organization is an important part of understanding the costs involved for a virtual event or online meeting. Do you require a monthly ZOOM subscription for a one-time event? Does your organization already use MS TEAMS platform and you can utilize their event portal at no cost? No matter what software platform you use, your software must support the number of attendees which will determine the investment level that will be sufficient to support the online attendees.

Many organizations are also assigning a team lead or virtual event organizer specifically responsible to find speakers, explore the different software platforms, work with IT and/or find a production company and marketing the event to attendees. Having an internal representative to manage the logistics, research and delivery of the event will continue to build their skillsets and abilities so that they may be able to deliver the event themselves at some point. At the minimum, they will be able to determine unique ways to create more value, keep costs down and find the right partners to find speakers and produce the event at a lower cost.


As organizations try to maximize the learning of their employees, it can be common to assign budgets to different departments to hold monthly events of quarterly events. At times, the budgets for monthly events can force the organizer to hire a low-cost speaker that is not effective or get an internal speaker which may limit the ability to influence the audience. Lunch and learns are a notable example as we see many organizations invest a small amount per month for the speaker and the event only influences a small number of attendees.

By saving 6 months worth of funding, you can find an amazing motivational keynote speaker or virtual speaker for the same group or a larger audience. Finding the right speaker for each event is especially important and maximizing your investment by applying funding from different budgets is a terrific way to increase you budget and cut down on costs at the same time. There is also learning and development budgets which can often not be known to be available to access when planning the event. Larger companies can also apply the companies left over travel budgets or left-over funds from previous events for to the speakers travel expenses or securing a venue which will increase the budget for the speaker to access a high-quality expert or the proper venue.


Do you need to raise funds from sponsors or attendees? Opening the event up to the public or finding strategic partnerships to provide funding can help bring more attention to the event and bring in attendees interested in hearing from the speaker or supporting your cause. Raffles and prize draws, selling tickets to the event, creating a membership fee for the organization, selling per plate dinners at gala’s or holding a networking meeting that cost a small amount with a low-cost speaker or the president speaking will allow you to continue to raise funds which can be allocated to the annual conference budget. Holding multiple virtual events or in person meetings over the year will bring more engagement to your membership and all stakeholders.


Any motivational keynote speaker or virtual speaker that is worth his/her salt also offers a corollary breakout session or workshop. Take advantage of this. You are already having the speaker join you and covering all their travel and accommodation expenses; your speaker is there at your event, for little or nothing more we you can ask a speaker to:

  • Have a speaker present more than one session such as a keynote + workshop or a second practical workshop on a different topic on the same day.
  • Book the speaker for multiple events and access discounted fees for multiple bookings.
  • Give the speaker some leads or find other bookings for them on their behalf.
  • Ask your speaker to moderate a break-out session.
  • Offer the speaker to facilitate round table discussion with key staff, management, or board members on a pertinent topic while they are there.
  • Prepare and deliver to your delegates an interactive follow-up webinar after the event.
  • Request that the speaker attend meals and networking sessions with the attendees or leadership team.
  • Book more than one speaker through a speakers bureau for the same event and we can usually negotiate the fees with each speaker since we are filling the program.
  • Allow the speakers to market their books or training after the presentation.
  • Offer the speaker the list of delegates or attendees.


Speakers Bureau of Canada will be able to reduce costs planning corporate events. Sponsorship and early planning will allow you to explore your different budget options and resources for your event. If you book more than one speaker for any event, we can offer you a further discount by lowering our commission for the engagement. You can also book a speaker for multiple presentations on the same day or for multiple events occurring throughout the year to lower their speaker fees.

Speakers Bureau of Canada also has many strategic partners that we work with that we can put you in touch with regarding venues, catering, and production. We network with event professionals of all types, travel agents, production companies, virtual event producers, meeting planners, venues, catering services and speakers and can find you the perfect match to help you save costs and find a strategic partner that will help you plan and deliver the event.

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