Famous Speakers: When to Hire One

There is always a first time for every organization to hire a famous speaker. The decision to bring in a celebrity guest can be exciting and even refreshing if your organization is used to always listening to a certain type of speaker. A celebrity keynote may break tradition, but the audience is guaranteed to remember the event. There are countless benefits to hiring a celebrity speaker, and you might even take your organization or business to an entirely different level because of it. Knowing when to hire a famous speaker is the key to making sure your decision pays off in full.

Check Marketing and PR Off Your To-Do List

Whether you live in a big city or a small town, famous people always make for good press. When you choose to select a celebrity to keynote your event or conference, you can count on local reporters and media personalities trying to cash in by covering the event and interviewing the speaker. Famous motivational speakers and celebrity guests make generating press and publicity so much easier and cheaper and tend to keep the media coverage coming right up to the day of the event.

Where One Celebrity Goes, Others Often Follow

From the outside looking in, life as a celebrity often appears to be a nonstop publicity tour, but celebrity guests and famous speakers are simply engaging in their lives with their circle of colleagues and intimates — and where one celebrity goes, others often choose to tag along. If the famous speaker you hire is interested in your event, organization or cause, you can expect them to tell others — and perhaps even invite their celebrity friends and colleagues to attend the event or support your organization in the future.

Be Sure to Set Up Extra Chairs

Famous speakers attract greater numbers of attendees. This is perhaps the number one reason event organizers often try to have at least one “name” headliner for any event, be it a concert, a sales convention or an industry conference. Depending on whom you hire, you can expect to double — at least — your attendance with a famous speaker at the helm.

Raise the Prices ASAP (And Set Up a Merchandise Table)

Another benefit of hiring a famous speaker is that it allows you to raise the admission ticket prices — and often take a chunk of the merchandise table profits as well. While it undoubtedly costs money to hire a famous speaker, as the famous saying goes, “it takes money to make money.” With a famous speaker as your draw, you will be able to charge more, enhance your organization’s reputation and standing in the community, perhaps negotiate for a share of table sales, sell more tickets and — bottom line — generate more take-away cash at the end of the day.

Prepare to Get Your Money’s Worth

One of the best things about hiring a famous speaker is that you’re guaranteed a hit performance. If you know that your famous guest is a “sure thing” and will reliably deliver enough interest, humor, engaging content and memorable moments to keep your attendees talking for months or years afterwards, then you already know that all the hard work and effort you have poured into planning and executing your event will be worth it. As well, if the famous speaker you hire is open to it, talk to them about doing something special for your VIP guests — or for guests who pay higher admission prices — or both, so you can offer face-time with the celebrity speaker in a smaller group or one-on-one setting for certain guests.

As with any other event-related decision, there is a time and a place for choosing to hire a famous speaker. Under the right set of circumstances, hiring a famous speaker can be a powerful way to enhance your brand, build your organization’s reputation, pack the house with interested paying attendees, do your marketing and press for you and round out a fabulous event you can feel proud to host.

Bill Gates image photo credit: jurvetson Foter CC BY

About the Author: Carey Samuel cut her teeth in the speaking industry by helping to book famous speakers for a small business firm she worked in after college. Today she works as a speaker consultant helping clients select the right celebrity speaker for their events.