finding speakers


Any conference or event is punctuated by speakers who are able to engage an audience, highlight scientific content and research or promote a specific topic, product or service. Although this is altogether apparent, the fact of the matter is that discovering such a qualified professional can be a bit challenging. This is even more relevant if you are tackling other logistical concerns such as marketing the conference, sourcing a location and working within a budget. Let us break down this process into five discrete steps. In this manner, finding speakers will be much easier than you may have anticipated.

1. Determining the Type of Personality Required

We first need to dispel with the myth that “one size fits all” in terms of a conference or event speaker. It is important to select a speaker based upon the goals of the upcoming conference or event. For example, motivational speakers may be the best options if you hope to focus upon a specific topic such as leadership or accountability. Scientific experts definitely are the ones to focus on for medical conferences, but also think about industry leaders which are excellent when you intend to give a broader view on a special topic or when you intend to establish the reputation of a specific service or product. Celebrities within the field are instead suited towards more promotional needs. Finally, keep in mind the fees that each individual will charge and determine these costs in advance.

Related: Sourcing Your Conference Space: Turnkey Strategies to Meet Your Demanding Needs

2. Use the Power of the Internet to Find Speakers

Once you have decided upon the type of personality required, it is necessary to appreciate which individuals are considered to be the best in the current marketplace. An effective way to find speakers is to employ Internet sources and tools where you can search for influencer factors. Additionally, simple search queries that revolve around your industry can produce a number of results (such as “motivational health care speaker”). Many reputable personalities will have their own websites as well as examples of previous seminars. Also, utilise Social Media Channels, like for example YouTube to determine which style you feel would be the best suited for your needs.

3. The Needs of the Audience

Even a speech from the best speaker in the world will fall upon deaf ears if the audience does not resonate with what he or she has to say. Always keep the desires of attendees in mind. One excellent way to get a “feel” for the audience is to examine how they have responded to previous social media posts and blog entries. What style and tonality seemed to be the most popular? Did a certain topic enjoy a superior number of inbound hits? These are all indicators which will help to determine the best ways to find speakers who are relevant and interesting to the listener.

4. Take Logistics Into Account

Finding speakers is not simply discovering which one appears to be the best and securing his or her services for the upcoming event. On the contrary, there have been many instances when poor planning has torpedoed what would have otherwise been a stellar presentation. In this manner, leave no proverbial stone unturned. Some of the factors that should be kept in mind include:

  • The availability of the candidate.
  • Travel times to and from the venue.
  • His or her current workload.
  • Their willingness to attend the event in question.

Never forget that the services of extremely popular speakers may need to be secured months or even years in advance. Planning ahead is the best way to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.

5. Check inside

Last but not least: an often underestimated source to find the right speaker is inside your organisation. Talk to your colleagues, chairs, to your members and even to your external providers like your Professional Conference Organiser. Another option is to ask your your attendees, before, during and after your conference. People will feel great if their opinion is taken into consideration and the engagement rate will raise significantly. You will be surprised of how much information you will receive.

Related: Taking the Guesswork Out of Conference Management: Investing in a PCO

This short five-step process is intended as an introduction to take the guesswork out of finding a qualified speaker for an upcoming event or conference. Flexibility and preparation are both keys should you wish to make a “splash” during any conference. Please feel free to refer back to this guide from time to time as is necessary.


Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering integrated solutions especially for non-profit clients. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences including the management of hotel rooms and the strategic consultancy of associations. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 33 conferences with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations.

If you wish to receive additional information about Congrex Switzerland, please feel free to contact us.

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