Tips for selecting Celebrity Speakers with Washington Speakers Bureau

Tips for Working with Celebrity Speakers

Celebrity speakers hold the success of your event in their hands. They often generate buzz about your event, increase registrations and deliver a memorable experience for everyone listening. However, famous speakers also come with a unique set of considerations and challenges. From contracts to coordination, keep these tips in mind as you’re selecting and working with high-profile presenters.

Look for Termination Clauses

Most celebrity speakers require 30-day out clauses in their contracts, which means they may cancel their appearance with 30 days’ notice. This provides flexibility for them if a new movie or other opportunity comes up, but it could be a major inconvenience and setback for your team. If this clause is present in their contract, talk to the famous speaker’s team to see if they can provide more notice than 30 days, or have a list of back-up presenters to contact in case your top pick bows out.

Pay Attention to Contract Riders

Many top motivational speakers have contract riders that include extensive requests for for backstage areas, amenities, technical details, accommodations for their team and more. Watch for these additional requirements, and ensure you can meet their expectations before signing on the dotted line.

Consider Security and Safety

The higher profile a celebrity speaker is, the more security they will require. Verify their security needs well in advance, and be prepared to adjust as needed. Also consider creating a Code of Conduct to help keep attendees safe and show you care about them.

Coordinate with the Celebrity Speakers Team

Many famous speakers are not “on the circuit,” which means they may not be familiar with customary industry standards. To be safe, schedule a meeting with the speaker and/or their team before the event to discuss the expectations you have for them, understand their preferences and coordinate logistics (e.g., scheduling, transportation, accommodations, book signings, meet and greets, etc.).

Anticipate and Have a Back-Up

When you’re creating an agenda for things to discuss with leadership before your next event , it’s tempting to only focus on the “happy path,” where everything goes according to plan. However, even the best laid plans can go awry, and when you’re working with top motivational speakers, the stakes are even higher. Consider all the the worst-case scenarios for your event ahead of time (technology failures, travel complications, emergencies, etc.), and put contingency plans in place.

Prepare Your Audience

The audience’s behavior can impact the speaker’s comfort level and performance, so it’s important for attendees to be as prepared as you are. Outline rules (security protocol, Q&A guidelines, dress code, etc.) in your event materials so they know what to expect, and remind them of these rules before the presentation.

Work with a Bureau Agent

Overseeing all of these details often becomes more challenging and time-consuming than it originally seems. To simplify the process, use a bureau agent such as Washington Speakers Bureau that can help you find the perfect celebrity speaker for your event, connect you with them and manage the process.

Working with famous speakers can be difficult for even the most experienced event planners. With big personalities and even bigger teams of stakeholders, all the small details make a significant difference. The stakes may be high, but with the right speaker and thoughtful preparation, you can ensure they leave a positive impression that lasts throughout the event and beyond.

For more tips on working with A-list presenters or to be connected with our roster of famous speakers, reach out to an expert from WSB’s team.

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