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You’ve decided to host a conference (good on you!) and now it’s time to choose a keynote speaker line up for your event. The decisions you make next can prove pivotal in the overall success of your conference. Selecting speakers is a crucial step in the planning of the conference program and if strategically considered, can be leveraged as a huge marketing tool. A captivating speaker line up can drive up the sale of registration numbers, it can be used as a marketing tool to create a ‘buzz’ around the conference and it can even be used to boost the conference brand. With so many benefits to be capitalized on it’s no wonder professional conference organisers spend many a month’s developing an appropriate and engaging conference program. So how do you pick speakers that will deliver great results and stand out at your next conference? Check out our guide below…

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Identify the theme of your conference

A conference theme similarly to a well thought out speaker line up will create a buzz around your conference. A great conference theme will make an impression, build excitement throughout your industry, and persuade people to attend. Ultimately, your conference theme will influence the direction of your content, speakers and the key conference outcomes. Once you have a conference theme you can begin to use this as a foundation and identify speakers and content that aligns with your theme and key outcomes. To learn more about developing a conference theme, check out this blog “How To: Create a Conference Theme to Remember’

Understand your Audience

Possibly one of the most important considerations to think of is who is your audience? After all, these valuable humans are large contributors to the continuing success and longevity of your conference! Let’s imagine your main audience are educators, given this you may consider having a speaker who is an expert within the education sector that is able to share real life insight and inspire the audience through their love of teaching. Similarly, you may engage a speaker who has no background within the sector but has real life experience that addresses the current key issues of today, particularly in youth. Whilst both scenarios are different each has the potential to be very effective in curating audience engagement. If you can develop a strong understanding of the audience that will attend your conference, you will be better equipped to pick speakers that are relevant, awe inspiring and can deliver upon your key conference outcomes.

Identify the key desired takeaways from the conference

People choose to attend conferences for a wide range of reasons, such as professional development, networking opportunities and learning about new tools and resources within their industry. A crucial point to consider when planning for your conference is identifying the key takeaways from the conference. When you can clearly identify these outcomes, you can then begin the important task of researching speakers that align with your conference theme, identify with your audience and can deliver upon the key conference takeaways. It really is a formula that must be followed to ensure success! When thinking about your key conference takeaways, I recommend identifying 3-5 key outcomes and throughout this process continue to ask yourself, does this relate to our conference theme, will our conference audience identify with these and are these deliverable outcomes.

Do your research!

Now and only now, if you’ve considered and actioned the three tops tips above, you’re left with arguably the most important and labour intensive task to complete, research. In the world we live in today, we have so many amazing tools at our finger tips such as google, YouTube, speaker bureaus, ted talks, social media platforms and of course word of mouth. Whilst researching speakers you want to consider how your potential speaker interacts with their audience, what ‘type’ of speaker they are and how do they tie back to your conference theme and key takeaways.  You want to research your speaker on google, review their website and any social media platforms and search for any videos online. Remember, you want your speaker list to be as close as a perfect fit for your conference!


If you need assistance picking a great speaker line up for your next conference or for any other conference services please get in contact with one of our professional conference organisers at BCC Management – (03)8679 5460.