016: How To Find Speakers For Your Virtual Summit

Oct 01, 2019

You know you want to host a virtual summit. You've chosen your topic, know your goals, and now it's time to choose your speakers.

You might start brainstorming and come up with 10-15 pretty easily. But then you realize that you don't know who else would make a good fit.

This is a really common struggle. It's hard to fill 20+ speaker spots with quality presenters without having to do some extra digging to find them. So in today's episode, we'll go over 5 ways to find speakers for your virtual summit.

Transcript

You know you want to host a virtual summit. You've chosen your topic, know your goals, and now it's time to choose your speakers. 

You might start brainstorming and come up with 10-15 pretty easily. But then you realize that you don't know who else would make a good fit.

This is a really common struggle. It's hard to fill 20+ speaker spots with quality presenters without having to do some extra digging to find them. So in today's post we'll go over 5 ways to find speakers for your virtual summit.

People you already know

Start by doing more looking into the people you already know. If you made your preliminary list off the top of your head, take a look through your past emails, collaborations, and who you're following on social media.

If you run into someone who you know will have great value to add, add them to your list.

Another great place to look is in your Instagram direct messages. When you're communicating back-and-forth over time, it's easy to miss those people at first, but you might find some hidden gems!

Ask your audience

Next, ask your audience who they'd like to hear from. I like to ask my audience for suggestions in my Facebook group and on Instagram. If you have engaged email list, this is another great place.

Ask your audience who they would love to learn from or what topics related  to your summit they would love to hear about. You'll likely get some amazing suggestions that you would have missed on your own.

Who others are following

Next, take a look at the social media accounts for people in your target audience as well as industry experts. Look at who those people are following and you'll run into some great speaker candidates.

Industry experts might be the easiest way to go because they tend to be picky about who they follow. That means fewer people to sort through and if an industry expert likes learning from someone, odds are that your audience will as well.

Speaker directories

Another great way to find speakers for your virtual summit is to check out existing speaker directories. A couple of my favorites are Virtual Summit Search and Events Unlocked. These are currently growing directories, but they'll be come more and more valuable to event hosts over time. 

Use a search engine

And last, if the previous methods haven't filled your speaker list, use Google and Pinterest to search. 

For the best results, search for specific topics you'd like to have covered in your summit.

For example, in my last summit I wanted someone to talk about creating a goodbye packet for design clients. I used Pinterest to search "how to create a goodbye packet" and came across some amazing speaker options.

If, in your search, you see someone who has been interviewed on podcasts or written guest posts about the topic you're searching for, you know they're a great person to reach out to as they're open to collaborations.

Go find your speakers!

Using these 5 methods you should be able to create a solid list of potential speakers.

I always start with a list containing double the amount of people I want to have speak. So if I'm hoping for 20 speakers I always start with a list of 40.

This allows me to narrow it down for the best options and have additional people to reach out to if someone I pitch isn't interested.

As a quick tip, take time to make connections before you pitch a potential speaker you've never spoken to before. Spend a couple of weeks connecting with them on social media before you reach out to have a higher likelihood of them saying "yes".

And once you've filled your speaker slots, check out this post for tips on keeping them happy and engaged throughout the process.

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