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Elevate Your Small Corporate Event: The Power of Unexpected Speakers

speaker who wants to elevate small corporate event as a keynote speaker on stage

The CEO has just called you to her office and asked you to make the next Regional Conference more engaging. Staff, clients and prospects will be in attendance, and she wants it to be memorable. She gives you a couple of days to come up with ideas and sends you on your way.  You already know that there is not a big budget and want your suggestions to be meaningful and wonder if you could find an appropriate guest speaker to mix it up a bit.

It's a common misconception that engaging, high-profile keynote speakers are reserved for colossal conferences and not right for smaller corporate events. But what if you could bring fresh energy and ideas to your event? The secret ingredient: inviting fascinating speakers from outside your usual circles.

Attracting a Broader Audience

When your event lineup features a name that's not the usual suspect for your industry, you're not just inviting your audience to an event; you're promising to deliver them an experience. This novelty is a magnet for potential attendees, including customers (and even your own employees) who might otherwise find your events too niche or run of the mill.

Your industry provides a comfort zone, a familiar territory where everyone speaks the same language. But it's often the unexpected that makes us sit up and listen. By inviting speakers from different sectors or backgrounds, you introduce fresh perspectives, challenging your audience to think differently, sparking a creative flame that industry-specific talks might not typically ignite. This can also help current customers see you in a new light.

Where to Start

Let's face it: the huge names are going to be expensive and might not be available but there are still a large number of speakers in the world with highly impactful stories, expertise and insight. You can search through bureaus like APB or Big Speak or you can use organizations like Vayner Speakers to help find the perfect fit for your business. There are many speakers but finding the special fit is up to you!

keynote speaker wondering where to start while event planning for his next event

Two places to ask for recommendations include your industry peers as well as your Event Production Partner. Your peers have been to similar conferences and may have heard a great presentation. Your Event Production Partner will have produced events with professionals and may suggest something memorable for them. We also encourage looking around the internet for unique influencers or stories who may be on the rise and surprisingly affordable. Even if it means stretching your speaker budget a bit, it may pay off in value to your audience.

Colleges and Universities in your area may also have faculty or adjunct faculty that can speak to specific topics that may be relevant to your vision. 

Stories that Resonate

Speakers from different realms bring with them a treasure trove of stories and experiences. Whether it's overcoming adversity, innovating in the face of challenges, or simply a journey of discovery, these stories can resonate with audiences deeply, leaving a lasting impression. Be certain to identify what type of story or theme you want associated with your event to make sure it is a good compliment to your event.

Cost-Effective Investment

Contrary to popular belief, securing a speaker from a different industry doesn't have to break the bank. Many speakers are looking for opportunities to broaden their audience or support causes they believe in, making them more accessible than you might think. The local options mentioned should be affordable, or even free (but may be more difficult to find interesting, attention-grabbing skills).

motivational speaker trying to find speakers while reviewing her calendar and reviews of other keynote speakers

If your event dates are flexible, you may be able to find a professional speaker with an existing engagement in your area and you can piggyback on that visit to your city, saving on travel and possibly a discounted rate. One last thought is to consider having the guest speaker simply join by Zoom. In some cases, the speaker may reduce their fee to deliver a truncated presentation without having to travel.

Remember that speaker rates are negotiable, so don’t be afraid to state your budget first because they may just take that offer.

Making It Happen

Ready to take the plunge? Start by identifying what kind of fresh perspective would benefit your target audience most. Is it an artist to spark creativity, a technologist to shed light on innovation, a person who has had mind-blowing life experiences, or perhaps an athlete to discuss peak performance? Once you've pinpointed your ideal topic, reach out through the bureau, agency or Chamber. And remember, the focus is on the value and diversity of ideas, not just star power.

In a world where attention is the new currency, your small corporate event can shine brightly with the right speaker. So, think outside the box, and prepare to watch your audience grow, engage, and most importantly, get inspired. Small company event, big impact—that's the power of an unexpected voice.

Looking to create events that truly connect with your audience? Contact our team today