Which Types of Events Need Paid Speakers?

conferences events get booked to speak paid speaking

If you are a speaker the business that you are in is that of Meetings and Events.  If you want to get paid those are likely to be business meetings and events.  That’s what you should be targeting.

Many of these events bring in external experts and pay them to speak but which events should you be looking for? Let me get you started with a bit of a list, it’s not an exhaustive list and I am confident you can add to it but let’s get stuck in, I know you don't have time for any waffle.


The company annual conference

This is the event we used to target at the Speaker Bureau when we wanted to start working with an organisation.  Most companies will have an annual conference.  As described it tends to happen once a year and is a chance for internal participants to get together, review how the previous year has gone and to look at the future.  Our Speaker Bureau also had an annual get together and guess what?  We brought in external speakers.


Conferences and Seminars

Apart from the annual conference there are many varieties of conference and seminars taking place including Industry-specific, topic specific, departmental, leadership/management conferences and seminars.  These events give participants the chance to engage with thought leaders, gain new skills, and stay abreast of trends.


Customer conferences
Many larger companies invite customers and prospects to educate them about the industry and their offering and often bring in a strong external speaker to help attract customers or to give them extra value.


Kick off meetings
Usually at the beginning of a calendar or financial year they are held to motivate the participants.  Sales teams will often have a kick off meeting to get them enthused about their grossly increased new targets.


Quarterly meetings

These are often at management or senior level with a set agenda. The benefit of this kind of meeting is that if you can bring value you could potentially be booked for several events rather than a one off.


Away days – or away weekends.
A great opportunity for teams to get out of the office and spend some time working on the business rather than in the business.  Many of these events will include team building activities led by external facilitators.


Lunch & Learn
These are generally voluntary for participants to hear from somebody from outside of their industry; to hear a different perspective.  They take place during lunch and are informal.  Participants eat while the speaker speaks, not the other way round 😂.


Product or service launches

These are grand events where a company unveils a new product or service to the market. They are great for generating buzz, attracting media attention, and driving sales.


Internal workshops or masterclasses

Planned to improve employee skills and knowledge in specific areas and improving the overall performance of the company.  Masterclasses and workshops have different purposes and are paid differently.  A masterclass is more focused on the theoretical and conceptual aspects of a subject, while a workshop is a practical application and hands-on learning.  A masterclass is expert led a workshop is facilitated and doesn't necessarily need an expert and can involve a trainer sharing someone else’s content (authorised in advance of course).  You’ll have gathered that masterclasses are higher paid than workshops from this description.


Conference or Awards dinners

Many conferences include a formal dinner.  These are likely to have external hosts or emcees.  Awards lunches or dinners can be stand alone or as part of a larger event and often require an experienced speaker to host.  Because of the nature of these events these are not for the inexperienced, keeping attention when guests are eating and drinking alcohol takes a lot of experience, great content, and skill.  Definitely not for the faint hearted.   


Board Meetings

These formal meetings are attended by the company's Board of Directors to discuss high-level strategies, oversee management, and ensure that shareholder interests are being served.  From time-to-time expert speakers are invited (and paid) to join board meetings in an advisory capacity.


Trade Shows and Exhibitions

Companies showcase their products or services to potential clients, partners, or investors. These events are great for brand exposure, market understanding, and lead generation.  External speakers are brought in to speak in breakout rooms during the exhibitions on related topics or to sit on panel discussions.  There are trade shows and exhibitions aimed specifically at the conference market where the attendees are potential speaker bookers, worth attending even if you aren’t booked to speak there.


Investor Meetings

Companies engage with current or potential investors to provide financial updates, discuss strategies, and build investor confidence. These meetings can be critical during fundraising efforts or to maintain transparency with shareholders.   Expert speakers are brought in to add value and for companies to align themselves to the latest expertise and thought leadership.  


Organisations invest a lot of money in running these meetings and part of that investment may be spent on an external speaker.  That could be You.

Let me know what else we should add to this list and which of these you have been booked for in the past.  You know I love to hear how you’re getting on.


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