7 Ways $20,000 Keynote Speakers Can Pay for Themselves

by Leah Doyle | September 6, 2015

Some meeting planners’ and event organizers' budgets are so scrutinized that they have to justify every expense. Every dollar must be accounted for and needs to get a return on investment. That's understandable and it goes along with the territory. Some will dismiss paying $5,000, $10,000 or $20,000 on a keynote speaker because of budgetary considerations. In reality, the right keynote speaker can improve ROI. If you are considering a speaker or would like to “sell” your boss on the idea, here are seven ways in which a $20,000 speaker can pay for themselves.

  1. A quality speaker on an interesting subject increases attendance. This is generally the most often stated purpose for having an interesting keynote speaker and with good reason. A terrific keynote speaker will create more of a demand to attend your meeting or conference. It may not even be a name that everyone immediately recognizes but if the subject matter and resume of the speaker hits the mark, it will improve the number of those who will consider attending. Larger attendance tends to make vendors happier, sponsors happier and supervisors happier. Speakers can make your conference a success which, of course, will make you happier.
  2. A speaker can add credibility. One of the main reasons many people attend conferences and meetings is they hope to increase their knowledge. There are many speakers available for $20,000 or under who either have a great story to tell or have experience in your market segment.  Promoting your speaker adds credibility and weight to your conference. It puts it on another level. Not having a quality speaker can have the opposite effect. In short, a speaker can add value and that leads us to our next way a speaker can improve ROI.
  3. Adding value for attendees.  Some conferences and meetings can cost hundreds and in some cases, thousands of dollars to attend. There is not only the cost of the conference itself but travel, housing and dining is likely involved. Depending on the number of attendees you are anticipating, the cost of a dynamic speaker can easily be recouped by a relatively small increase in their total conference cost. Many planners are focused strictly on the numbers involved in their event. If you change your perspective and view the cost of your conference pass to the overall cost an attendee will spend, a modest ticket price increase will likely cover the added expense of a speaker.
  4. It is an investment in future conferences. Most meetings happen year after year. If you are employed as a meeting planner or are in charge of putting together a conference, you are likely looking at building your meeting into a “must-attend” event. When you select a speaker with an interesting background and a talent for delivering his message, people will talk. This can build a reputation for your conference or meeting that can continue to build every year. It doesn’t take a $50,000 or $100,000 speaker to accomplish this. You can start with this year’s meeting and a speaker budget of $20,000 or less.
  5. A speaker fulfills at least two desires attendees share. Attendees take the time and spend the money to attend conferences for a lot of reasons. Networking is one big reason, but attendees usually want to gain knowledge and (hopefully) have a good time doing it. A well-researched speaker can provide both knowledge and entertainment.  There are $20,000 speakers available to talk about their remarkable adventures of survival. There are speakers who have found streamlined ways to accomplish goals or overcome adversity. Most understand their message needs to be somewhat customized to their audience and be entertaining. After all, in a lot of cases, this is what they now do for a living. They work hard to build their reputation and their business. They need to inform and entertain. Those are two things your attendees will appreciate and find value in.
  6. A speaker can help create social media attention. Most speakers in the under $20,000 range are pretty savvy at promoting themselves. They will have a social media presence and many have large followings. You can tap into this by connecting your conference with that social media presence. Most speakers today have video snippets that can add fuel to the promotion of your event. Getting those videos out as a “sample” of what your speaker delivers can add some “buzz” about your conference. In essence, you can view a portion of the speaker’s fee as “promotion”. You can also use your own social media to open a discussion about the type of speakers attendees would like to see for the following year’s event.
  7. Use your $20,000 speaker wisely. With help of a professional speakers’ bureau, you can discover $20,000 speakers who will do pre-event media interviews or conduct a pre-meeting short online video conference. You may be able to arrange a special VIP table or special session with the speaker for a limited amount of attendees and or sponsors. This can help your $20,000 speaker to help pay for himself!

If you need help in finding a speaker right for your event and flexible enough for your goals, contact us. Let’s talk about your event, your goals and your budget. We represent a wide-variety of speakers and can work to get you that $20,000 speaker that can help pay for himself.

Improve ROI at your next event

Topics: Blog

Written by Leah Doyle

Leah originally joined SpeakInc in 2006 and currently serves as their Digital Marketer and Analyst. Originally from Southern California, Leah is a graduate of San Diego State University. She currently lives in Jacksonville, FL with her husband, John, and their two children. If she's not taxiing her kids to the ball fields, you can find her at the beach or a local coffee shop!
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