Motivational Speakers Impact Meeting Attendance for Associations
As a keynote speaker to national associations on the topic of motivation and overcoming adversity, I know the importance of my mission. This coming year, national association speakers will speak to nearly 207 million attendees at 1.8 million events. These events range from major keynote addresses and breakout sessions to regional workshops and seminars. Often, attendees at general national association meetings will also attend other association functions. Impressions gained from national association meetings and shows often filter down, and define the organization when attendees are thinking about going to smaller meetings.
The average low-ball estimate of the cost for attending a national association meeting is about $1,500 per employee for a three-day meeting. This is not a decision lightly made.
If you are a meeting planner you already know that bringing in an inspirational and overcoming adversity speaker is a great way to kick off a conference. In fact, it can set the tone for the entire event.
In an article about successful meetings, Forbes magazine (February 10, 2019) explained the motivating effect of a dynamic keynote.
“What is the purpose of the guest speaker? Do you want someone to kick-off the event by electrifying the attendees? Generally, the answer will be, ‘yes.’ Your attendees will come in with high energy and high expectations — you’ll want to match this intensity with your speakers’ abilities.”
Announcing that an inexperienced non-dynamic speaker will speak at the national event almost guarantees the reverse outcome of what you expect.
In an earlier article in Forbes (October 16, 2013), communications expert Dr. Nick Morgan related, “A keynote speaker is a temporary tribal leader who can move an audience to action…people only take action because of other people, and a keynote speaker has a unique opportunity to do exactly that.”
Suppose there is no one to move that audience from the very beginning? Not enough attention is been given to what happens when a national trade association declines to hire the right motivational speaker or hires someone who does not engage the audience to help them deal with the issues they face.
Why Take the Risk?
There are at least seven general outcomes when a national association decides against hiring a keynote speaker or does not bring in a speaker who is dynamic enough to move the audience to understand key issues. These outcomes include: lower attendance; a failure to address an important industry concern; a lack of unifying message; a lack of actionable objectives; a lack of media coverage through online, print and electronic media and lower expected attendance at the association meeting the following year.
Helping to avoid disastrous outcomes are what a professional national association speaker brings to the podium. A strong keynote speaker takes the time to learn about your industry in depth; is invested in moving your audience to action; cares about your association’s success; and is accessible will assure a more successful meeting.
At a time when associations and their membership are more far-flung and remote than ever before, the national meeting may be the one opportunity to bring everyone together.
The question may not be “Can we afford to bring an inspirational keynote speaker to our association meeting?” rather, can we afford not to?
Contact Scott Burrows, National Association Inspirational & Overcoming Adversity Speaker today through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169