One of the most surprising things about the pandemic for me was the immediate and global shutdown of live in-person events.
Instantly keynote speakers shifted our business to a virtual venue. Adjusting your speech, speaking style, and content is a bigger deal than I first realized.
I have now done over 100 virtual keynotes, and they are a fantastic way to keep people focused, engaged and inspired. Inspiration is needed in uncertain times more than ever. People need to feel uplifted and inspired. You can't put a price tag on hope.
If you are determining a budget for a virtual keynote speaker, think about the value. What would it be worth to bring teams together with a strong inspirational message laced with hope and passion? The right message from the right speaker can catapult people forward. Emotion is energy in motion, it builds forward momentum and this is what everyone wants when they feel stuck.
What are virtual keynote speakers fees? How much does a virtual keynote speaker cost?
In the beginning, I was told by speakers bureaus that speakers were reducing their fees drastically for online events. Many keynote speakers were doing several virtual webinars a day, likely in their Pajama pants.
Doing more virtual events meant you could charge less for each event.
Over time virtual keynote speaker fees have increased as keynote speakers have become more familiar with a virtual platform. Audiences and meeting planners have kept up with the trend too.
Virtual events have made a lasting impression and they are here to stay. They are more accessible, less expensive and easier to organize than live events.
Currently, virtual keynote speakers have a wide fee range. It can be from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $40,000
From the keynote speakers I’ve talked to, they reduce their live speaking fee by an average of 30 per cent for virtual events.
I have found corporate budgets for virtual keynote speakers to be resilient. They recognize the need for continual inspiration, especially when teams aren’t all together in the office.
In my experience, association budgets for virtual keynote speakers have dropped. This is mostly because associations were hit hard when live events tanked.
Virtual events are a great way to keep people motivated, and it is more cost-effective and accessible. Because a keynote speaker doesn’t have to travel, it’s easier to schedule virtual events.
You save on airfare, hotel, incidentals and more. Also, you can invite more people to attend. All they need is a computer or cell phone.
You can ask a virtual keynote speaker to do a pre-recorded message, and the audience listens. I prefer to use technology to interact with the crowd virtually. The comment box is a great way to incorporate audience feedback throughout the keynote speech. Reading live comments throughout the keynote address can build momentum.
A keynote speaker may charge differently for a pre-recorded message than a live, interactive virtual keynote. I have one keynote speaker friend who has used the same pre-recorded virtual keynote speech and sold it to over 15 events! Most of the time, the audience doesn’t know it’s pre-recorded.
A virtual keynote speaker fees are often negotiable. They may charge differently based on pre-recorded or live virtual keynote. Some may charge for a more significant number of audience members listening to the message. Some virtual keynote speakers will set to record the live keynote or to distribute it to members.
Always ask a keynote speaker for their virtual and live keynote speaker fees. It’s more accessible to the Gage negotiation room when you know the fee range.
You can also ask if they have any virtual products ( ebooks )you can include at a discounted rate.
Many virtual keynote speakers will use PowerPoint, so be sure you have the technology to support it. Also, most events do a pre keynote virtual walkthrough just to test the technology.
It helps to know how a virtual keynote speaker interacts with the audience using the technology. Some will do polls; others will use emojis or the raise hand function. Others need the program planner to advance their PowerPoint slides for them while they talk. Some keynote speakers do a question and answer session at the end of the virtual talk.
Once you’ve narrowed down your virtual keynote speaker shortlist, reach out and inquire about fees. Ask if their virtual price is negotiable. Also, see what kind of value-added they can provide, like virtual PDF or workbooks. Will they interact with your social media to engage the audience pre-event? Will they do a pre-event video to market to members?
Always look for ways to leverage a keynote speaker to get the most bang for your buck.