by Sarah J.F. Braley | January 01, 2006

chartFinding 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 breakfast. 
    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).

 

 

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