Summary: In this environment it’s often difficult for your members to find the time and the money to attend events. You need to make a compelling case for them to attend, and then wow them. The major drawing cards are your keynoters and session speakers. You need to ensure that your budget is being used effectively and that your delegates are receiving demonstrable value for their investment. Cathleen Fillmore of Speakers Gold, a speakers bureau, has 10 Questions that you should ask of prospective speakers:
There’s a lot riding on the shoulders of speakers at conferences or meetings; they can single-handedly make or break the event that you’ve put so much work into.  If you’ve ever hired a big name and paid big bucks only to be disappointed with the delivery and content….well, you’re not alone.
One meeting planner talked about hiring a speaker (who was paid $500,000) to lead a series of meetings across Canada on behalf of a financial services company. He emailed her his itinerary a day before which showed he’d be arriving late for his speech kicking off the entire event and she had to re-arrange the whole day’s schedule.
When you do hire a celebrity, ensure that he or she is also an excellent speaker who can not only draw in a crowd but also deliver on the promise with a message of substance and also inspiration.  Speakers need to educate, entertain and inspire all at the same time.  It’s quite a hat trick and when it’s done well, it’s absolutely unforgettable.
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