Associations work with limited budgets. To stretch every dollar, they often solicit sponsorships and donations. From daily operations to special events, the funding challenge is ever present and a little creativity can go a long way in increasing member engagement at little to no cost.
Often times, bringing in a speaker to an event helps increase attendance and engages attendees. There are, of course, an abundance of professional speakers available for events of any nature. There are also any number of amateur speakers that are just as interesting and talented as those who are paid for their services.
To find the best speaker for your event, consider the following:
1. Decide what kind of speaker makes sense for your event and your attendees. Someone who can give tips on social media or a new operating system? Perhaps a motivational speaker or maybe a time management expert? There are a variety of subjects that appeal to plenty of people.
2. Keep it local. Travel expenses add up quickly, so focus on finding someone that is based nearby.
3. Use social media and your email list. Send out your speaker request to everyone. Start with members and affiliates. Also include local leaders, donors, and people who have benefitted from your organization.
4. Contact public speaking organizations. Members of Toastmasters, for example, are trying to improve their speaking skills and may appreciate the practice.
5. Search online. Use Google to track down experts in your area. Even if you locate someone who charges fee, you may be able to negotiate a discount or even convince them to waive it. Consider what incentives can you offer to encourage them to speak pro-bono. (E.g. press releases, logos on your site, social media promotion, email marketing, etc.)
Source: Miranda Brookins, Demand Media