There are so many ingredients for the perfect event. The right venue, a good number of audience members, delicious refreshments, and let's not forget the 'key' to the perfect event- the keynote speakers. But, it's true, many of us have even been there, sometimes the keynote speaker we wish to hire for our event is way out of the budget.
That doesn't mean that you are out of options, or that the quality of your event should suffer. There are lots of alternatives and here are a few listed down for you:
NEGOTIATE WITH A LESSER KNOWN KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
As the saying goes, everything worthy comes with a price. Similar is the case with keynote speakers. Usually, you will find that the most expensive keynote speakers are either celebrities or those who are quite well-known. At that time, the whole point of hiring a keynote speaker is to get your event's message across, and this is what you should focus on doing. Find a keynote speaker who has the key message you want to leave with delegates. There are expert keynote speakers on change, resilience, autonomy, humor, stress management, and more. Look up the specific keynote speakers who specialize in the type of message you want to be delivered. True, getting a famous keynote speaker will attract a larger audience, but so will a lesser-known keynote speaker if marketed the right way. Play smart, negotiate, and hire a keynote speaker within your budget!
FIND LOCAL KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Finding someone local is always a great idea, the main reason being pocket-friendly. Secondly, local keynote speakers are the best since they bring in attributes unique to the host town/city. Local keynote speakers have their roots in the town/city and give the audience something to relate to by tapping into the local culture and essence, the authentic way. They will have a better understanding of how to deal with the audience and share local stories that will attract the attention of the crowd. It is an essential quality.
Negotiate a KEYNOTE SPEAKERS fee
When money is tight and times are tough, some keynote speakers will negotiate their fees. When you approach a keynote speaker, make sure you show you value their expertise and perspective. Let them know the value of the audience, potentially decision-makers who will attend the keynote session. Speaking at an event does provide a broad reach. Capitalize on the experience. Offer social media promotion, photos for speakers to use after the event, possibly even video footage. Expose to your audience is valuable. Make sure you emphasize it. Also, potentially offer them a trade show booth to sell their books. Vendors often pay upwards of $2-3,000 for a trade show booth, so disclose the value that will be given. It's all part of the negotiation. Let a keynote speaker know what you can do for them in return for reducing their fees. Make it easy for the speaker to say yes and still maintain fee integrity. Remember, keynote speakers, charge a set fee and other clients are paying it. You have to give them away and a reason to reduce their fee.
Facilitate the ease of having them at the event. Anything that makes traveling to an event more manageable for a speaker helps in your negotiation. Can you offer to book flights for the speaker? Also, see if you can offer them an extra night hotel stay to make their travel more comfortable. Can you pick them up at the airport? Take them for dinner with the committee.
When you present your event as an experience, a keynote speaker will want to be a part of it.
Also, see if a keynote speaker will present a break out session for the same fee. This will save money by hiring other guest speakers to fill that spot. Present any mutual value that can be a win for both the event and the speaker.
ALTERNATIVE TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Always remember the power of team building activities; they bring in a lot of learning opportunities and creativity too! These activities are like an additional fun feature for any conference or event. They help in creating a sense of rapport, fostering better connections between the members of a group, especially since the people are given a new arsenal to perform outside of the daily routine. From some of them, you might even hear groans and wails, but at the end of the day, they will admit to having a great experience. There are tons of enjoyable team building activities you can use in your events such as treasure hunts, game shows, improvs, or building something together.
SPECIFIC SOFT SKILLS TRAINING
One of the most significant advantages of specific soft skills training that many employees are waiting for new opportunities to learn from, and they eagerly attend such sessions. Besides, there are a plethora of topics you can conduct soft skills training sessions. Soft skills are transferrable to all areas of life, from work to home to volunteer activities. They make you a better person. Focus on communication skills, stress management, teamwork, managing change, resilience, and more. Specific soft skills training is an investment in people. When you teach something new to your team members, and they apply it to the workplace, it's like bearing the fruit of your hard work!
Think about involving a sponsor to pay the keynote speaker fee. It can provide some notoriety for a sponsor. Leverage this by having the speaker sell books with the sponsor's sticker in it or sign books at the sponsor's trade show booth.
As you can see, if you are creative, you will find many ways to negotiate a keynote speaker's fee. Consider just a few and make sure you don't compromise the quality of your event.
So, there is no need to get disheartened just because you couldn't get a keynote speaker of your choice, there are tons of other alternatives, and change is good every once in a while, too!