Meetings + Events

The power of gathering people

room space calculator

Find out how many people will fit in your room or what size room you need for your number of attendees.

Step 1
Choose a Room Layout type:

Step 2
Enter one of the following to determine the other:

Room Size:

sq.ft.

Capacity:

NOTE: This is a starting guideline only. Accuracy for your particular event cannot be guaranteed.

look_for_new_issue

Speaker ROI

How to choose the best speakers and get the best from the speakers you choose

By Sherryll Sobie

The right speaker can add magic and energy to an event or conference. Alternatively, when a speaker and a group are mismatched, the silence and side-glances can be palpable. But the popularity of having someone speak at an event to create a buzz and increase attendance shows no signs of slowing down.

According to Cynthia Richards, president, Event Spectrum Inc. (ESI), a 12-year-old meeting planning and event management company based in Toronto, 80 per of cent events planned include a speaker. “The number is growing,” Richards adds, as more clients connect the dots between the right keynote and the ROI of the meeting.

Speakers today, who typically command anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 (and more), should fit the corporate culture like a custom tailored suit, and deliver speeches that are deftly stitched together with meaningful, useful and personalized tips. Otherwise, they simply won’t measure up.

A tall order, perhaps, but doable when meeting planners employ a thoughtful approach.  “We need to drill down to understand the client’s objectives,” Richards says. “Clarity brings confidence.” Speaker agency experts agree. “The more you know what you want, the more likely you are to get it,” says David Lavin, president, David Lavin Agency. “It’s like being a matchmaker.”

ESI’s Cynthia Richards, along with David Lavin, Kelly MacDonald, partner and senior vice president of Speakers Spotlight (who Richards uses), and Theresa Beenken, vice president, National Speakers Bureau weigh-in with their thoughts.

Choosing the best speaker
Kelly MacDonald: Determine what it is you are trying to achieve. Is it an overarching objective for the entire event, or do you need a speaker for just one targeted session?
Theresa Beenken: Think about placement. Do you want a thought-provoking opening or an upbeat closing?
David Lavin: What do you want the audience to think, feel or do when they leave the room? Determine if the speaker will deliver on these outcomes.
Cynthia Richards: A face-to-face meeting with potential speakers is critical.

Getting the best from the speaker you choose
Lavin: Pick up them up at the airport. This is important face-time, and can put the speaker at ease.
MacDonald: Meeting planners should encourage speeches that follow a recent trend to blur the line between professional and personal. The audience is made up of people who are not just corporate execs: they are parents and siblings and friends. They bring their whole selves to work and appreciate an inclusive approach.
Beenken: Do a proper introduction. In no more than 90 seconds clearly state the speaker’s credentials and their connection to the overall objective. If not well executed, the speaker will spend extra time and effort drawing the crowd into the fold.

Compounding ROI
Lavin: Be open-minded. Event planners always think in terms of celebrities, but emerging speakers can be a really good deal and leave a lasting impression.
MacDonald: Whether you’re working with a celebrity or an unknown, agents can help generate hype with teaser campaigns to attract attendees.
Beenken: Keep the ball rolling. After the event, highlight elements of the speech for further discussion via conference calls, face-to-face strategy sessions, newsletters, and emails.

other articles in this section

How to turn delegates into social media brand ambassadors

The new reality for... DMCs

The new reality for… CONVENTION CENTRES

Job Hunting Today

Your Event Contract Questions Answered

The New Reality for… RESORTS

Hack Away

Beyond Talking Heads

Keeping Connected

Be a Part of the Solution

Time Wise

One Big Virtual Reunion

There's No 'i'solation in Team

New Direction in a Time of Need

Financial Smarts

On the Bright Side

Talk to Me

Food Forward

The Value of Employee Sustainability

All the Right Moves

The Real Cost of RFPs

Valuable Video

Meetings Forecast 2020

RFP Writing 101

Epic Flight

Events that Matter

Trade Show Secrets

Taking Good Care

Oh Canada

Canadian Teambuilding

The Dilemma

We’re All in This Together

Trend Update

Vision Quest

Turn Off that Phone!

Get Into WEC 2019

No Place Like Home

Get into the Tourney

Eating Cleaner

Marriott’s Bonvoy Launches

On the Quiet Side

Getting to Know You

Lifelong Learning

Dynamic Icebreakers

New Year, New You

The Next Step

Meeting Trends 2019

Dialled In

MPAHT Signs The Code

Holographic Magic

Light Touches

Screening Room

Attendee Survival Guide

Oh Canada!

Supporting Roles

Breaking Down the Barriers

Tour Guides

Happiness Matters

Deals on Meals

You need a ‘Workation’

Pop-Up Events

Green Event Trends

Risky Business

Tee Time!

On the Quiet Side

The Next Generation

First Aid Facts

How to Get your Productivity back

A Sense of Taste

RFP 101

Ignite your Panel Discussions

Stay-Put Strategies

Words of Wisdom

Copyright Knowledge

The Power of Hindsight

Liquid Assets

Grape Escapes

Icebreakers!

Geofencing Technology

Social Media Smarts

Online Registration

Master your MC Smarts

Demographic Shift

Ignite your Hiring Skills

Responsible Food Management

Save your Event from Disaster with Forward Thinking

You’re Virtually There

Event Music

Taking a Constructive View of Negative Feedback

Boosting Numbers for Less-attended Events

Team Mentality

Beyond the RSVP

Langdon Hall, Cambridge, ON

Site Selection Smarts

A Green Seal of Approval

Get to know Natalie Wilson, CMM, CMP

Swamped by short RFP turnaround times?

Meeting Room Design

Embracing Hybrid Meetings

Beyond the Schmooze