Finding the right speaker for a conference can
be a challenging task. Of the 125 planners responding to our recent
online survey, fully 86 percent have to hire keynoters.
To find the perfect presenter, most planners (73 percent) seek
recommendations from colleagues, 61 percent use speakers they’ve heard at other events, 60 percent tap experts from
the industry their organizations represent and 56 percent search
via speakers’ bureaus.
The opening general session is the most popular part of a
program to use a keynote speaker, per 80 percent of the sample.
Next is the closing general session (54 percent). Having someone
speak over a meal is less popular: 36 percent said they would use a
speaker at lunch, 26 percent at dinner and 14 percent at
When asked for what size group planners would schedule a
keynote during a meal, 28 percent said any size, 24 percent said up
to 500 people and 17 percent said up to 250 people, but 22 percent
would not schedule a speaker during mealtime.
In terms of budget, 45 percent of respondents spend less than
$5,000 for headliners; 30 percent regularly pay between $5,000 and
$10,000 for a speaker, while only 3 percent shell out more than
$50,000 for a high-profile keynoter. Still, most organizations try
to get the speaker fee underwritten: 57 percent said their
keynoters are sometimes sponsored, and 6 percent said the speakers
are always sponsored.
Planners said the top three topics most appropriate for their
groups are industry-related (79 percent), motivational (59 percent)
and future trends (48 percent).
Half an hour: 18%
45 minutes: 41%
An hour: 29%
90 minutes: 12%