When to look for an outside speaker?
“We cannot ask Peter again, can we?”
Before starting to give tips on how to look for a professional speaker, we have to see how we get to the point where we actually start to look for outside help.
In many cases you can find people with enough qualifications inside your own company, organization or its extended network. Suppliers, customers, services providers: they might often be all too excited to help you out by sending one of their better speakers to your event. For them it might be an ideal way to solidify an existing relationship. Chambers of Commerce and other business association often rely on their members to share their knowledge and expertise with the not-so-experienced members. Often they are happy to do this on a voluntary basis: that is what makes these organizations often run.
But when you want your company or organizations to take a new turn, when your board of directors is coming to China for a meeting, when you really want to make sure your customers have a good time, it is time to look for a professional speaker outside your own network. In short: when a performance is critical, when you cannot afford a “no show” and need to be sure a target is met.
You cannot start to look too early for an external paper. At the China Speakers Bureau we typically take three to six months from the first contact to the event. As you will see making the right choice takes time. We can move fast in emergencies: if things are right, we can organize a speaker in less than a week. But you might not get the best choice, and we prefer to avoid crises.
The more famous a speaker is, the more time you need. One year or more to plan an event is then no exception.
Then the selection can start.