I spoke with a meeting planner today who is planning a conference for over 3,000 financial employees and wants to hire a motivational speaker. What is unique about this call is that her meeting isn't until 2015!
They are short listing motivational keynote speakers 3 full years before the conference! This is unique, most meeting planners today hire speakers within about 6-12 months of the event.
What is the ideal timeframe for hiring your motivational keynote speaker? It depends on several things:
- If it is a well known motivational speaker you will want to make sure you book them early, or they won't be available.
- Keep in mind the amount of promoting you want to do in advance. The sooner you have hired a motivational keynote speaker, the sooner you can promote that person and your event through print, email, social media, websites and more. Getting the word out early helps build excitement and audience numbers.
- What kind of customization do you expect from the keynote speaker? Every speaker should know the audience well, but having more time and more leeway with the more audience delegates, the more they can interview and the better prepared they will be.
- How much time is needed to work with your speaker on deadlines to be decided in advance... like when to expect handouts, book travel and hotel, etc.
- To really utilize a motivational keynote speaker and get the biggest bang for your buck, you may negotiate into the contract things like extra workshops, break out sessions, Emcee, an opening and closing keynote, etc. The earlier-on you negotiate these kinds of things, the more available the speaker will be.
- Earlier often means you can negotiate a better fee. Most motivational speakers like a solid schedule well in advance; if you approach them early, the guaranteed booking may be an incentive for them to lower their fee.