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5 Guest Speakers You’ll Want at Your Association’s Next Event

Using this list will save your association time and keep your event attendees satisfied, while hopefully keeping your event on budget as well!

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Let’s be honest, not every speech or seminar you’ve attended has been informational gold. In fact, many probably melt together in your memory as mediocre (or maybe you’ve forgotten some altogether). But I can guarantee you remember every great speech you’ve heard. In the best case, words can be powerful and impactful. They can open our eyes to brand new perspectives, or teach us valuable life lessons we didn’t walk into the room knowing. It’s an amazing phenomenon, to be positively affected by a great speech. And it’s something your association wants to provide to members at every event and conference it holds. But with a limited event budget and a lack of time to gather resources, it can seem impossible to round up guest speakers that will pack the power you want them to. How can you select only the best for your event attendees?

That’s why we’ve put together a list of 5 types of guest speakers to look out for when planning an event. Using this list will save your association time and keep your event attendees satisfied, while hopefully keeping your event on budget as well. Keep reading to see how to secure guest speakers your members will never forget!

1. A Kickoff Champion

Every good event deserves a good kickoff - and what better way to start things off on the right foot than with an amazing kickoff speaker. Most events center around the anticipation of an amazing keynote speaker.

However, it’s arguable that the same amount of focus should be put into finding a speaker that will blow your members away from the very beginning. Need help figuring out who should be the first in line? Here’s something you can try. To start, you can survey event attendees on what topics they’d like to hear more about. This way, you have a good idea of what the most popular answer is (which can help you book your keynote speaker as well).Once you know what your members are looking for, you can start the search for a killer speaker that can  meet your members needs. It’s important to note that a kickoff speaker should get the crowd excited.

Think of them as a warm-up act for the main event- in this case, your association’s actual event. Have them give the crowd a warm welcome and discuss what’s to come throughout their time as an attendee. Be sure to put your association’s team to the task of securing a first speaker that will leave your attendees ready for more.

2. A Community Crusader

Having a strong sense of community for your association and its members is crucial. After all, community building can lead to better engagement rates for your association. And who wouldn’t want a community behind them for support?

So, if you want to convey the importance of community outreach and support to your members, consider a community leader as a guest speaker at your next event. Having a community guest speaker is great for a number of reasons. It allows someone in your surrounding area to engage with your association and all the work it does. If your community has access to your association, it may be more inclined to help out in other ways further down the road (think volunteer opportunities!)Reach out to community leaders and see if they’d be willing to take time to speak at your event. Who knows, you might even be able to get a volunteer guest speaker out of it- saving you money in your event budget.

Your community speaker can talk to event attendees about local successes, demonstrate how they can get involved in community outreach, and inform on the benefits of community support. A community crusader can help get your event attendees more involved and eager to lend a helping hand.

3. A Motivation Master

You want your members to leave your event feeling refreshed, invigorated, and ready to tackle anything that comes their way. What better way to do that then to motivate them with a great speech?

Having an effective motivational speaker at your association’s event can be the difference between an event that entertains and an event that inspires. If your members can find value and passion in your guest speaker, it could be the convincing factor to get them back at another event in the future. Figure out what types of struggles your event attendees face and look for a motivational speaker that falls in line with those conflicts. Are your members looking for ways to save time so they can get more accomplished at work? Book a motivational speaker to inspire them to manage time.

Are they looking to save money? Have a speaker that motivates them to budget their costs. With the right motivational speaker in place, you can be sure your members will remember your event as a cornerstone in their professional growth.

4. An Industry Expert

If you’re looking to bring in record attendance rates at your association’s next event, securing an industry expert as a guest speaker can get the job done. Members are looking to network with professionals in their industry. It’s what they look forward to at your association’s event or conference. So, if you can get an industry expert as a guest speaker, your members will have an enhanced interest in attending to network with top-level professionals. If you’re an association that’s focused on a specialized profession, this task will be easy. Since your members are all in the same profession, you’ll have no problem selecting an industry expert.

However, if you’re an association with a broad range of members, this task might be tricky. How can you choose an industry expert if your membership is made up of different industries?

In this case, try to find an overarching value in your membership and locate a speaker that reflects that value. For example, if most of your membership deals with commerce, you can find a speaker that deals with enhancing business traffic. Industry experts give your association’s event that extra touch of credibility it needs in order to skyrocket those attendance rates.

5. A Killer Keynote

It’s the moment everyone at your event has been waiting for: The keynote speech.

So, do you have a killer keynote speaker lined up? You should. If your association’s event was a music festival, the keynote speech is the headliner that brings in ticket sales. Most likely, members look to see who the keynote speaker is before deciding whether or not to attend your event. So, you have to make sure the keynote speaker is worth both their time and money. When it comes to choosing a keynote speaker, take your time and do your research. It’s better to be patient and take longer to find an amazing speaker, than to rush and cut corners for an okay speaker. Once you’ve found your speaker, be sure to advertise and promote their appearance at your event. Incorporate it into your emails and newsletters, spread the word on social media, and do everything you can to let members know the exciting news. With a great keynote speaker, you can hit it off with event attendees and make an amazing impression for the future. Don’t let your event speeches go forgotten. Give your event attendees words they can remember and live by.

Take advantage of this list of 5 speakers that will make your event attendees come back for more and you could see increased engagement, attendance, and retention in your association’s event future.