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Is It Worth Hiring a Virtual Keynote Speaker?
Business Speakers, Keynote, Motivational, Uncategorized, Virtual

Is It Worth Hiring a Virtual Keynote Speaker?

Motivational speakers and executive coaches have prospered through virtual keynote delivery. By uploading their TED Talks and training classes, they can digitally access far more clients than by relying on in-person presentations alone. But for you—the executive, marketing professional or event planner—are virtual keynote speakers worth hiring? And are the booking fees comparable to hiring a live or in-person professional speaker?

Making the best decision largely depends on the type of event you plan to hold. Online events such as webinars benefit greatly from a recognized virtual speaker. On the other hand, live events such as conferences often find a hybrid mix of in-person and remote presentations to be advantageous. Let’s look more carefully at when it’s worth hiring a virtual speaker and steps you can take to make your event a success.

When should I hire a virtual speaker?

Webinars have grown in popularity in recent years, having proven themselves to be a powerful marketing tool. With customers and prospects scattered across regions, the nation or even the world, digital events provide the most cost-effective means of client education, retention and prospect development. In fact, in a 2021 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey Report, 53% of respondents found webinars “generated the most qualified leads for the top of the funnel,” and 42% found that they “[converted] and [accelerated] leads at the middle and late stages of the funnel.”

Nothing beats kicking off your digital event quite like a virtual keynote speaker. Top professional speakers benefit your event by:

Of course, the keynotes themselves add their own value. Top speakers provide professional delivery and proven expertise in everything from personal branding and self-care to real estate and finance. That is, they provide the same benefits as an introductory speaker for your live corporate event. Plus, you can book a virtual speaker to deliver your keynote live or prerecorded. You might even choose a mix, offering something such as a prerecorded keynote plus a live Q&A period.

Best of all, a virtual keynote speaker can actually engage your attendees better than a professional speaker at a live event. That’s because staff, customers and prospective clients can easily ask questions through direct messaging. This allows you to screen questions and discover what it is your clients most want to know.

Can I hire a virtual speaker for a conference or other live event?

Yes. You can benefit from a virtual speaker at your live event, too. These hybrid events take advantage of both in-person and virtual presentations, providing the best of both worlds. First, you provide your attendees the opportunity to engage in hands-on training, product awareness, breakout sessions and person-to-person networking. But you also can offer your guests the top speakers from anywhere in the nation—or the world.

Some multi-day live events have become very creative in making the best use of the hybrid model. For instance, a high-ranking corporate officer may kick off your first and final day while your high-profile virtual keynote speaker delivers an address on a day in between to keep the energy alive and the momentum going.

What does it cost to hire a virtual versus a live speaker?

The cost benefits of hiring a virtual keynote speaker can be exponential. That’s because no matter how large your live facility is, you aren’t limited. With a virtual event, you can have as many staff, clients and prospects in attendance as your marketing and communications teams can deliver. Email blasts, newsletter links, social media and search engine advertising can each scale your event without added cost.

For a virtual corporate event, of course you need a digital keynote speaker. They set the tone while adding excitement, expertise and professionalism to your event. If your corporate event is hybrid, booking your professional speaker to deliver their keynote address virtually may save you money on booking fees.

But with virtual delivery being so popular, a lower fee is not always the case. The most important thing is to book your preferred professional speaker well in advance. See the Success Speakers Bureau website for current virtual keynote speaker availability and rates.

Is it easy to book my next virtual keynote speaker?

It’s never been easier. The world’s top motivational speakers and coaches are available through trusted booking partners. Not only do top speaking talent agencies help you choose the right speaker, but they also handle all the booking details for you. That way, you can get back to doing what you do best—planning your next virtual event!

Browse the perfect keynote speakers for your virtual event, or drop the Success Speakers Bureau a note with your virtual or live event needs. With speakers such as Grant Cardone, Anne Grady, Anthony O’Neal and Allison Graham, we’re sure to have the right speaker for you.

How Much Does a Virtual Keynote Speaker Cost?
Business Speakers, Keynote, Virtual

How Much Does a Virtual Keynote Speaker Cost?

Company events and trade conferences are fun. You meet new people, get some networking time in and learn the latest industry news. You might even share dinner or have after-hours drinks with some of your new friends and contacts. And at truly memorable events, you hear from top motivational speakers in industries from social media marketing to personal finance. The most influential of these public speakers will not only invigorate you, but change the way you look at your business. 

But for event planners, it’s more complicated. Choosing the best motivational keynote speaker is especially critical. Will this be an event that changes lives and entire corporate ecosystems? Or will your speaker leave people heading to the lobby to pick up the last juice box? And with the pandemic came the question, “Can or should we have an event at all?

But with crisis comes opportunity. While the technology has been there for more than a decade to book a virtual event speaker, only recently has hiring a remote speaker become truly mainstream. The best keynote speakers in real estate, women’s leadership, executive coaching and other industries have moved their game to the virtual realm to reach ever-expanding audiences.

With pandemic restrictions winding down, corporate event planners face new questions:

  • Does it cost less to book a virtual speaker?
  • What are the advantages to hiring a remote versus an in-person speaker?
  • Are the best speakers available for virtual engagements?
  • Does booking a virtual speaker affect the terms of agreement?
  • What is a hybrid company event, and how can we leverage it to our best advantage?

How much does it cost to book a virtual speaker?

The cost of hiring a speaker varies greatly depending on the talent involved, as well as their schedule. A typical median price for a professional speaker to appear live at your event may be around $60,000, with higher-priced celebrity speakers charging $200,000 or more. 

Hiring a virtual speaker can save you money, but variables such as the speaker’s own preferences, availability and terms of service come into play when calculating cost. For instance, some speakers simply charge for the speaking engagement itself rather than taking travel time into consideration. That is in part because with a virtual event, they must handle technical issues such as studio setup, sound, lighting and other technical matters themselves rather than relying on the venue.

What are the advantages of hiring a virtual keynote speaker?

In the age of Zoom, many events occur digitally—and the advantages can be enormous. It allows all clients, staff and other invited guests to attend. Whether at home, the office or on the road, everyone can benefit from your hired speaker. Rather than paying for a venue, you can put the money toward hiring the best speaker available. Plus, digital means that your reach is limitless. With a simple email blast, you can invite anyone—including prospective clients—to learn about you and your company.

If your event is in person, such as with a conference, you can still hire a virtual speaker. That is, they present remotely for your gathered audience between live events. This sort of hybrid event may reduce speaker fees, as discussed above. It may also greatly widen your options for hiring the best public speaker available.

Hiring a virtual speaker can also make detail planning easier, though this final point is less of a consideration. Top booking agencies such as the Success Speakers Bureau will handle all of these matters for you, whether you choose to hire your speaker for a virtual or in-person presentation.

Are there disadvantages to booking for a virtual event speaker?

If you plan to hold a live conference or event, weighing whether to book an in-person or virtual speaker can pose a challenge. Some people simply learn better from an instructor or coach who is physically present. Also, booking a top speaker to appear live at your event can create more excitement among your audience and buzz in your community. This may be especially true for top celebrity speakers. And in some cases, you may want to take advantage of your speaker’s presence further by reserving executive coaching workshops or other top level meetings.

But coaching sessions and meetings can be booked digitally, too. Just include them in your terms of agreement as you would with a live speaker. Plus, at a large event, there’s a good chance that your guests will be watching an in-person speaker on a large projection screen, anyway. As long as your event has made time for your guests to move, mingle and engage in live demonstrations or workshops, a virtual keynote is a great option for your hybrid event.

How can I further reduce booking fees and still get the best speaker for my event?

The most important step you can take in getting the best keynote speaker for a reasonable fee is to plan far in advance. Begin researching keynote speakers at a year out and have someone booked six months prior to your event. That’s not to say you can’t make last minute choices, but you may not have as much of a selection of top speakers.

While planning in advance isn’t the easiest thing for everyone, the Success Speakers Bureau can help. We’ve created a list of the top speakers and executive coaches available for both in-person and virtual events. Browse the list by topic with the assurance that our 125 years of business engagement and leadership-building experience provides you with only top professionals. Or, simply contact us with your event needs and preferences. Not only can we assist with making the right choice for your event speaker, we’ll handle the booking details, too.

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