Lunchtime Links: Wow Your Members With a Celebrity Speaker

Create a memorable experience with a celebrity speaker—provided the chosen star matches your conference goals. Plus: Become a networking pro.

Create a memorable experience with a celebrity speaker—provided the chosen star matches your conference goals. Plus: Become a networking pro.

Fire up the cameras and roll out the red carpet: A celebrity speaker can take your conference from “sure, I’ll go” to “can’t be missed.”

What to consider when booking an A-list speaker, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Autograph, please? The big A-list name will surely draw some oohs and aahs, ramping up the energy (and chatter) before, during, and after your event. But when choosing a celebrity speaker, it’s important to match the right star to the purpose of your conference. “Good celebrity speakers inspire action, instill confidence, and invigorate your audience. And, most importantly, they help shape events that attendees will remember,” Event Manager Blog’s Kelli Richards writes. She recommends you research a celebrity’s reputation, experience, and expertise before penciling in the star. A celebrity speaker doesn’t come free of charge, Richards reminds. Be sure you’re getting quality for the steep price you’re likely to pay. The right celebrity speaker can do wonders for the PR connected to your conference and your members’ memorable experience. Who knows? It might tempt members to sign up for next year’s conference on the spot. Have you featured a celebrity at your conference, and how did your members respond?

A leader’s book of life: The leader you are today is a product of the opportunities and experiences that have brought you to this point. Each lesson, no matter how small, was a stepping stone toward the position you’ve attained; now share that lesson with someone else, writes Sarah Hill of the MemberClicks Blog. “We all have stories like that, and incredible life lessons that can’t be taught but must be experienced. However, looking back, don’t you wish you had someone to explain some things to you?” she writes. Harness that inspiration by channeling it straight back in a way that benefits your organization—whether it’s by organizing a speaker to empower members or even by turning to an associate in the office and giving your mentor spiel. The intern in the corner could be the next high-level executive, encouraged by your motivational life lesson. Did a leader ever mentor you—and, if so, what impact did that have on the leader you are today?

Here’s my card: Networking (like member engagement) is not solely about what someone can do for you. It’s also about what you can do in return, writes veteran association CEO Tom Morrison. His advice on mastering the art of networking: Be genuine in your interactions, actively listening to uncover common interests. Morrison also recommends you use names to add a personal touch and learn what makes people tick by identifying their personality type—quickly. “Some people want to hear vision … some want to hear about your family … some want to hear the bottom line,” he writes. And, of course, carry a handy stash of business cards. Take it up a notch by adding a QR code so people can scan your card directly to their phone, linking to whatever application or webpage the nifty technology directs them to.

What’s your favorite networking tip? Tell us in the comments.


Emma Beck

By Emma Beck

Emma Beck is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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