Key considerations to keep in mind when hiring an athlete to speak at a conference

April 24th, 2017 by Brian Zinkel

As we all know, conferences offer a great deal of benefits including education and unparalleled networking opportunities with leaders in your industry. But there are few factors that get attendees as excited as a guest speaker. If you are in the planning process and looking to hire an athlete to speak at your conference, here are a few key considerations to keep in mind.

Plan well in advance.

Needless to say, planning any event in advance is a good practice, but it is especially helpful when hiring an athlete as your guest speaker. Many conference organizers will begin planning one year in advance, oftentimes immediately following their most recent conference while the experience is still fresh in their memory. If possible, send a survey to past conference attendees to acquire feedback and interest in the speaker that presented that year. This will help you identify several athletes for next year’s conference that will get your audience excited!

Choose an athlete who can contribute to your topic.

As you are looking for prospects, keep your conference theme or topic in mind. There are numerous athletes willing to share their knowledge in a presentation, but you will want to find a professional who is versed in a topic that is relevant to your event. Be sure to research an athlete’s expertise by visiting their online profiles. Look through photos and videos of their prior speaking engagements, and read reviews or testimonials to learn about their conference experience. Online research helps you pinpoint athletes who are suitable for your event and directs you to their contact information.

Organize important details before contacting a speaker.

Now that you have narrowed down your options, you will want to begin contacting speakers for rates, availability, and any questions you may have. To simplify the process, be sure you have your event details in place such as date, time, location, and speaking topic. Providing as much information as possible helps the speaker create a quote that customized for your event.

When discussing price, it is important that you know your budget. Keep in mind, not all quotes you receive will be alike. Some may include additional expenses like travel, lodging, parking, etc. and others may simply be the athlete’s base fee. You can save yourself time by asking the right questions up front!

Confirm the agreement in writing.

When it comes time to book an athlete, contracts are a must. Whether it is on paper or an electronically confirmed agreement, it is best to have the details you discussed in writing to avoid any confusion. An ideal contract includes services provided, additional terms, and a cancellation policy that protects both parties.

Stay in touch leading up to the event.

Oftentimes, a conference planner will move on to organize other parts of the event once the contract has been signed. The downside to this is that correspondence can suffer if you are not actively staying in touch with the athlete leading up to the event. The majority of conflicts can be avoided simply by maintaining good communication.

Hiring an athlete to speak at your conference does not have to be a daunting task. It can even be quite fun if you are organized and prepared in advance! Following these simple guidelines, you can find and hire the right speaker to inspire your attendees and keep them coming back every year.

This guest post was contributed by GigSalad.

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