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Published in Event Ideas category on (01/03/2019)

6 Keys to Event Planning Success, Part 3: Speakers & Influencers

Event planning starts with first finding the right venue and location, followed by a comprehensive plan for how your event should flow for your attendees, speakers and staff. Once these essential preliminary steps have been taken, it’s time to think about who you want to bring in to not only represent your event, but to truly inspire, motivate and entertain attendees.

In part three of our 6 Keys for Event Planning Success, we take a look at how speakers and influencers play a crucial role in the success of your next event.

Entertain and Inspire

Event organizers know the potential that a well-known name can bring to their event. Take Jamie Foxx’s Keynote at Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit, which inevitably brought in massive crowds. The right speaker can bring an added level of exposure to your event and help to promote your event by name alone. As Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, notes, “Event marketers are increasingly realizing that they need professional speakers to both attract attendees and to deliver better content experiences when folks show up.”

There’s more than one way to deliver information, and an effective presenter can set the tone for the entire conference. Participants may be attending based on their jobs, but that doesn’t mean they are one-dimensional. For example, a technology conference invited a popular sci-fi celebrity (decked in costume and special effects) to welcome guests and introduce the conference. Another conference brought in a comedian as a welcoming ice-breaker before the keynote speaker took the stage. If speakers can connect their performance with the conference theme, adding the touch of a unique and memorable speaker is an engaging way to introduce the theme of your event.

Take the time to find a variety of speakers who have a story to tell that will not only entertain but inspire your audience.


Factors to Consider:

  • Do you, your colleagues or friends have recommendations for a great speaker?
  • Is there anyone who you think fits the theme of your event, but isn’t an obvious choice?
  • Does your potential speaker have videos of past keynotes or sessions they have given in the past for you to review?
  • What is your budget for a keynote speaker? There can be a wide range of speaker fees depending on your speaker. Consider local speakers to cut down on fees.


The Power of the Influencer

With all the outreach opportunities provided by social media, the role of the speaker should not just be limited to a single appearance, but should also include participation in promoting both their involvement in your event, as well as the event itself.  Neal Schaffer, leading social media consultant and author, says that this includes “Everything from having influencers promote your event beforehand to fostering them live-tweeting and Instagramming your event to help amplify the event’s content to their networks, to the potential for post-event content to create an archive of event content and build buzz for the next event.”

“Influencers are the missing ‘human’ piece that promises huge potential for event marketers who understand their potential in today’s digital age.”

– Neal Schaffer


Influencers have access to an audience outside of your own, with a reach that you can benefit from throughout your event cycle. Whether they be speakers, attendees, or partners, call on available influencers to help get the word out about your event; the results could prove to have a significant impact on the promotion and attention on upcoming and future events.

Factors to Consider:

  • Who are the influencers involved with your event?
  • What is your ask as far as promotion and outreach?
  • Do you have a package of materials for social, email, and verbal promotion to share with your influencers?


Having the right speakers and influencers on board is a major game-changer both in terms of reach and draw for your event. Set yourself up for success by working with them on social media outreach, alternative media ideas, and by having an onsite plan for any technical issues that might arise. Check back in for tips on these steps and more in part four of our series, 6 Keys to Event Planning Success: Media.

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