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  • Writer's pictureJonnette Del Mundo

Finding Event Speakers: A Guide for Associations Hosting Conferences and Summits

Organizing a successful conference or summit requires careful planning and attention to detail. One of the most crucial elements is selecting the right speakers who can engage, educate, and inspire the audience. As an association preparing for your upcoming event, finding the perfect event speakers is vital to ensure a memorable and impactful experience for attendees. In this article, we will discuss some effective strategies to help you find outstanding speakers who will add value and elevate your conference or summit to new heights.

1. Define Your Event's Theme and Objectives. Before seeking speakers, it's essential to clearly define your conference or summit's theme and objectives. Understanding the purpose and focus of your event will enable you to identify speakers whose expertise aligns with your goals. Determine the key topics, industry trends, and areas of interest that your event aims to address. This step lays the foundation for finding speakers who can deliver relevant and compelling content.

2. Leverage Your Network. Your association likely has a vast network of industry professionals, members, and contacts. Utilize this network to your advantage when searching for event speakers. Reach out to your members and ask for recommendations, or seek referrals from other associations and organizations in your industry. These personal connections can lead you to speakers who may not be immediately apparent through traditional methods.

3. Tap into Social Media. Social media platforms are powerful tools for discovering potential event speakers. LinkedIn, in particular, is a valuable resource to identify industry thought leaders, influencers, and experts. Create posts or join relevant groups to ask for speaker suggestions, or directly message individuals whose profiles align with your event's theme. Social media platforms also allow you to gauge a speaker's engagement and reputation based on their interactions and content.

4. Attend Other Events. Attending conferences, seminars, and webinars in your industry can provide excellent opportunities to scout potential event speakers. Take note of speakers who impress you with their presentations and expertise. After the event, approach them for a conversation about their availability and interest in speaking at your conference or summit. Networking at other events can also lead to valuable connections with speakers who might not have been on your radar.

5. Use Speaker Databases and Agencies. Several online platforms and speaker bureaus are dedicated to connecting event organizers with speakers. These databases allow you to search based on specific criteria such as expertise, topic, location, and budget. Working with a reputable speaker agency can save you time and effort by handling the speaker selection process and negotiations on your behalf.

If you are in search of a reliable speaker agency, consider checking out Audacity Speakers. With a proven track record of representing exceptional speakers from various industries, Audacity Speakers can assist you in finding the perfect speakers for your conference or summit. Their extensive network of thought leaders and influencers ensures access to top-notch talent that aligns with your event's objectives. Partnering with Audacity Speakers can elevate the overall experience of your attendees and contribute to the success of your event.

6. Conduct Thorough Research. Once you have a list of potential speakers, conduct thorough research on each candidate. Review their past speaking engagements, watch videos of their presentations, and read reviews or testimonials from previous events. Look for speakers who are not only knowledgeable but also charismatic and skilled at engaging diverse audiences.

7. Consider Diversity and Inclusivity. Aim for diversity and inclusivity when selecting speakers for your event. Having a diverse lineup of speakers brings a variety of perspectives and enriches the overall experience for attendees. Consider representation across genders, ethnicities, backgrounds, and industries to ensure a well-rounded and inclusive event.

Finding the right event speakers for your association's conference or summit requires a combination of strategic planning, networking, and research. By defining your event's theme, leveraging your network, utilizing social media, attending other events, using speaker databases, and conducting thorough research, you can identify speakers who will leave a lasting impact on your audience. Remember to prioritize diversity and inclusivity to create a dynamic and engaging event that resonates with all attendees. With thoughtful selection and preparation, your conference or summit is poised for success.


Check out Mike Acker's new book on Public Speaking: Speak with Confidence, published by WILEY.

A breakthrough to develop confidence in speaking, leadership, and life. A follow-up book to his best-selling book, Speak with No Fear.

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