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How to Score a Celebrity Speaker for Your Next Event

  • By admin
  •  Nov 15, 2018

How to Score a Celebrity Speaker for Your Next Event


There’s no doubt that a keynote speaker can make or break an event. Every industry, company, and team member can be inspired by the right person with the right message. Yet finding a perfect match isn’t easy. Anyone who has planned an event can vouch that the process of booking entertainment is difficult, costly, and time-consuming.


Hiring a renowned keynote speaker, especially when it comes to celebrities, requires creative tactics and the right resources.

Fortunately, we have a few tips to help you find the best talent for your event.


Have an Agenda


While this may seem like an obvious point, setting an agenda before reaching out to talent is crucial to your success. Not all bookings happen immediately, but knowing the logistics (time, date, and location) of the event is necessary before contacting agents. Even having a time slot set out in the program can be useful when negotiating the length and type of performance, as well as determining whether your celebrity will be engaging with the audience. In order for your vision of the event to be executed, it must be clear, concise, and organized. This will help avoid any confusion and delay when planning details with a representative.


An additional aspect of a setting an agenda is knowing your audience. Having a good fit between the celebrity and the event is key, as well as knowing the type of performance or speech they will give. Not every celebrity will be a good match for the event, which means you have to understand the character and preferences of your audience- just how you wouldn’t hire Gary Vaynerchuk for the Newcastle Poetry Festival, but maybe for the Affiliate Summit West (unfortunately the distinction isn’t always this clear).


Set Your Budget


Be wary of price tags: what you see isn’t always what you get. Part of having an agenda is knowing your event’s budget. When researching booking fees, be aware that the celeb’s prices will most likely NOT be available online, and if they are, they probably won’t be accurate.


In addition, many event planners don’t account for the additional expenses that entail the speaking fee. This includes travel, accommodations, transportation, food, equipment, and extra crew that can shrink your profit margins. Therefore, when reaching out to an agent, make sure to inquire about the performance fee as well as the extra expenses.


When creating a budget, leave room for these extra expenses and be prepared to negotiate with an agent. When negotiating a fee for your budget, it is important to be confident and bold, but not overly aggressive. Since the asking price is not necessarily the price you have to pay, start with a modest proposal, no more than 10% less than the asking price. At the same time, keep in mind the budget and have a few backup options in case you have to walk away. Basically, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.


Know Who to Contact


Booking entertainment can be an extensive process, but there are ways to go around the surplus of emails and forms. Typically, in order to book a celebrity, you have to find and contact their agent, which usually ends up in a flurry of follow up emails and frustrating lack of replies. However, this system is evolving, and connections are easier to achieve with an online booking process.


Speakers Bureaus are becoming more and more popular, providing a convenient solution to this difficult and confusing process. Online platforms, such as Engage, offer a personalized experience in booking celebrity speakers. You gain access to a hub of celebrities, renowned authors, entrepreneurs, and top athletes, with the ability to choose an individual who perfectly suits your event.


This booking process is clean, simple, and efficient, with the speaker’s fees, contract phase, and boarding process organized in one place. Yep, it’s that simple.

In Conclusion

A keynote speaker is the cornerstone of any great event. So don’t let the daunting booking process deter you from hiring the best celebrity for your event!


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