Remember those stress dolls, the ones with eyes that pop out when squeezed? Hearing a speaker’s fee can be like that for a meeting planner. And when you’re the meeting planner in question, your job–your responsibility—is to account to the powers that be for what you spend.
Are there “bargains” and “not-so-much bargains” in the speaking world? Sure. But generally, a speaker with any kind of longevity is fee accurate to what he or she can do and provide for your event. So check out these 12 ways to increase your ROI with your real estate professional keynote speaker.
12 Ways to Increase ROI with a Professional Real Estate Speaker
- Record the event. Occasionally speakers will prohibit this, but many will green light this if they are given a copy of the recording, distribution of the recording is restricted, the recording is not sold, and recording process doesn’t hinder their performance. The request to record should be communicated up front. The recording is a membership value add and can be used for future promotions. Plus, you have the power of instant replay for questions.
- Allow “Alongside Bookings” for the speaker. This isn’t always prudent, but if you can specify other audiences the speaker could address while in the area, the speaker can likely dilute your travel expenses.
- Ask for any articles, blogs, or videos the speaker can share; even those items that aren’t about the session(s) you’ve selected. These items make great advertising fodder and help warm up the potential audience before the presentation. For example, here’s an article about Leading Employees from Marc Cunningham that works for about any occasion!
- Ask for any graphics or other visuals the speaker has permission to share. If you’re building an event around his or her presentation, the visual style is useful to mimic (fonts & colors, etc.) and related graphics are helpful for constructing advertising pieces. Check out this logo from one of Pam Ermen’s sessions; wouldn’t that be nice to have?
- Allow for at LEAST 12 hours between the speaker’s arrival and presentation time. You want a rested, acclimated, and unfrazzled speaker for the BEST performance. It’s honestly not worth saving one night’s hotel cost to stress out the speaker or yourself (think flight delay if you doubt me on this).
- Allow enough time for the speaker. Some groups bring in a wonderful speaker only to shorten the speaker’s time because the award ceremony, president’s comments, food service (you can fill in the next blank here) took more time than expected. A professional speaker will roll with the situation BUT you’re shortchanging your audience both in content and experience, plus taking the chance the presentation falls flat when rushed (imagine if the last 10 minutes of Game of Thrones was cut or scenes were shortened—NOOOO!)
- Request a short promotional video from the speaker. Many of our speakers have short, ready made videos about the sessions they provide. But you can also request a short video specifically promoting your event: this is very common! That was a video from Jackie Leavenworth
- Social media. Ask the speaker to give your group a shout out. Keep in mind some speakers may decline posting on their personal page for understandable reasons but may be willing to utilize a business page. Maura Carey Neill’s Facebook business page “Buy Sell Live Atlanta’ has over 3600 followers—a post linking to your organization gets mileage plus—your page and hers!
- Ask the speaker to acknowledge the sponsor in some way before or after the presentation. This headliner treatment makes sponsors very happy.
- When membership is stretched far & wide, streaming to another location can be a great way to include more folks! Like recording, it shouldn’t interfere with the presentation (think “stay inside this small taped outline so the camera doesn’t lose you”). However, when magic is in the moment—such as with a keynote—my experience has been don’t do this.
- No one likes a sales pitch and some memberships are more sensitive than others to this. Beware the speaker who wants to sell and will speak for free, it almost always ends in bad reviews. But DO ask about the books and products the speaker might have. Some speakers will negotiate a great deal on their book or product when you buy in bulk for less $ than you think. Or ask if they’d like to give a sample away as part of a drawing or raffle.
- Make sure your speaker is aware of and has an open invitation to other events happening while he or she is onsite. Don’t be offended if they politely decline, needing time to prepare or just decompress, but at minimum they’ll appreciate the offer to be included. Or they may take you up on the offer and have more time with your attendees.
Before I get threatening messages formed from cut up magazine letters from my cadre, I need to make this point clearly: ASK BEFOREHAND. The above suggestions will fly with some speakers and not with others. What doesn’t sow seeds of good feeling is asking for some of these items after the contract. All requests and facts upfront and neither party should need to throttle a stress doll.