It is frustrating to plan a business conference, spend the time and money to hire a speaker and then have an appallingly small audience for the event. It is not uncommon for people to attend conferences and conventions as quickly as possible and then leave after networking or gathering whatever information they need. Not only is this a waste of resources, but it can be embarrassing to the planner and to the speaker. Making the lecture mandatory is a possibility when the conference is for employees, but it is also a great method of reducing enthusiasm and motivation. A better plan would be to make attending more appealing and find ways to generate excitement naturally.
Hire the Right Person There are many amazing public speakers available, but not all of them have a message that will a resonate with every crowd. Make certain the theme of their talks are something that is meaningful to the audience. They should be an expert in their field and have accomplished enough to make them qualified to provide advice or motivation. Look at videos of their past performances to gauge the reaction of the audience. Do they keep the crowd involved and interested? Is there value to what they have to say? Are they there to actually educate an audience or is their speech more of a sale pitch for their book or program? There are several basic types of speaker, so be certain the one you choose is what you truly are seeking. Some are for motivation, some are simply entertainment, some are chosen for their celebrity status and others because of their accomplishments in a specific industry.
Create an Incentive Package Sometimes it is necessary to offer some form of incentive to encourage people to attend an event. Consider offering a contest or door prizes where the guest must be in attendance to receive the reward. Offer tickets or entries in advance so those who sign up have an additional reason to remain at the event longer. If the guest speaker is a noted author or lecturer who does have books or other items to sell, work with them to make it so anyone attending the lecture will receive a discount on these materials.
Advertise the Event Effectively If the event is a general business conference, make certain all local business owners have flyers and tickets for the event. Use social media to advertise the event and link to the website or social media pages of the guest speaker to increase interest in their message. If this is a company-only event, use the company website, newsletter and memos to remind people of the event and mention the benefits of attending.
Encourage Input From Others Prior to planning the event and hiring a speaker, talk to employees or local business owners about their needs and interests. Someone may have seen a speaker at another event or online and is interested in hearing more from them. Maybe employees are worried about an upcoming project and would benefit from a speaker who has excelled in the type of work they are beginning. Choosing a guest lecturer that is known, appreciated and interesting to more people who will be attending is a great way to build excitement and encourage word of mouth advertising. Others are more likely to want to attend if they know their coworkers or other business owners in the area are interested in the event.
Finding ways to engage the crowd and get more interest in a specific speaker is important. Every successful event that is held will make it easier to draw a larger crowd for the next. The only way to do this is to know the interests and needs of the crowd, make certain the speaker is as professional as they claim and do everything possible to spread the news and increase interest prior to the big day. Make certain the event is held at a time and date that should be convenient for the majority of the people invited and at a location that is nearby and easy to find.