If you are deep into planning an epic event, the timing and placement of keynote speakers are critical.
"Time isn't the main thing; it's the only thing." "All in good time." "It's not about having time; it's about making time." We have all had a fair share of listening to the words that narrate the importance of time. And it's true, the secret key to a successful event is impeccable time management.
Now imagine this scenario. You have arranged an event. What is the first thing you pick? Exactly. Time and venue. Then you take time out from your busy schedule and arrange the other details. You decide a menu, you create and send out invites, you arrange guest speakers, and you hire keynote speakers. For a moment, everything looks perfect. And then you start building you're agenda and placing your guest speakers, "How do I decide where the keynote speakers are on the agenda?"
As a rule, the opening and closing keynote speakers are the most critical slots- place those first. Also note, most events have important industry content that the entire audience needs to digest. How do you get people to attend? Give them food. Any keynote speaker slot that involves food will have higher attendance.
Here is the thing; there is no perfect time. But you can create the right time for the keynote speaker. You do need your audience to stay engaged and come back to your next event. A great keynote speaker will create a lasting impression and set the audience up for success. It depends on your objective and the type of keynote speaker you need in each spot.
When you hire a keynote speaker, ask them what the best spot is for them on your agenda. Or, you can have a type of keynote speaker in mind ( humorous motivational speakers, industry keynote speakers, Inspiring speakers, or a content-heavy speaker)
Below are some ideas on where to place your Keynote Speakers on your agenda:
THE OPENING KEYNOTE SPEAKER
The first speaker on the program; is a critical spot because it sets the tone for the entire event.
When your audience starts arriving, and once they have settled in, they have been traveling, are excited to see their colleagues, and they may still be jet-lagged. It's crucial to capture their attention right away and keep the energy flowing.
When people come to an event, they have high expectations, excitement, and interest in your event. To capitalize on this, take their attention to greater extents! Right at the beginning of an event is when the keynote speaker can uplift the audience, introduce the theme and set the right tone to learn. It raises the spirits of the audience throughout the event!
Top opening keynote speaker choices are funny keynote speakers to help people let go of their stress, boost endorphins, and command the room.
Other options are Leadership speakers, industry plenary speakers ( like a CEO), or an inspirational speaker who has a motivational story to tell.
LUNCHEON KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Okay, I agree that it might be the tough spot for getting people's attention, but that is what makes it exciting. At the luncheon, people are busy digesting food and talking to each other, so the keynote speaker has to be very captivating.
Conference delegates are all gathered in one room, and that is the perfect opportunity for the keynote speaker to engage them. Remind your keynote speakers to show up at the luncheon, before their keynote.
Remind the hotel staff to Stop clearing dishes during the luncheon keynote speaker to eliminate banging and excess noise.
Creating a connection during lunch helps delegates refocus and build enthusiasm. A keynote speaker with a great message can help carry the event, and it creates an element of surprise, and that is a huge plus!
In hiring a luncheon keynote speaker, decide if you want someone with a lot of content (and a PowerPoint presentation) or a funny and inspirational keynote speaker. Both can work; it depends on how you balance your entire agenda. It may be the best spot for them
AFTER DINNER KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
After dinner, it might be difficult once again to gain the attention of the audience, because who doesn't like stuffing food and chugging alcohol? Dinner events are important because people look forward to them. They dress up and expect to be entertained.
An After Dinner Keynote Speaker can add to a celebration, or awards ceremony. The Keynote speaker can give audiences new information, entertain them, make them laugh, or tell a story. the hardest slot to fill if the audience has been drinking they are less receptive to learning. Thus, this keynote speaker needs to be energetic and entertaining.
At this point in the agenda, people are usually getting tired out, and the best thing to do at this point is to give them light and funny stuff. Nothing too serious, it's going to work miracles!
CLOSING KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Closing time doesn't mean that you can just let people walk away. Build enthusiasm for next year's event, even get them to register. I find many conferences will have door prizes after the closing keynote speaker to entice delegates to stick around.
People need to leave an event uplifted and inspired; the closing keynote speaker is a significant spot. The energy delegates walk away with at the end of the event needs to carry them through the year.
To attend your event, people have taken three or four days away from their work. Usually, they will go back having extra workloads, so make sure they leave inspired, not overwhelmed. People will also have flight schedules, and you may see some attrition at the end.
Surprise them with something fresh, funny, and equally informative. The closing keynote speaker is a brilliant way to get people's attention, convey a strong message, and leave them at a high note. Make sure that you give your audience something that makes them come back for more!
The closing keynote speaker should tie in your theme and wrap up some of your key ideas. Please make sure they are aware of other guest speakers on the agenda and relevant topics that were covered.