A great presenter can elevate webinars and virtual events faster than almost anything else. Energetic, charismatic speakers keep the audience engaged and can help even effectively communicate the most complicated topics. But, when we polled the audience during a recent webinar, a jaw-dropping 95% of respondents said they struggle with identifying and recruiting experts for their sessions.
Identifying the right presenters doesn’t need to be a stressful process. Check out these three tips to help you lighten your load when it comes to finding thought leaders, then watch Build a Better Webinar: Speaker Recruitment to learn more.
In general, two or more perspectives will liven up a webinar, but partnering with a client or customer also has the added benefit of helping to cultivate relationships and encourage productive sales conversations. Partnering with speakers outside of your company injects variety into your mix and acts as a third-party endorsement of your content.
Look for a partner who fills a gap in your market reach, expertise, or solution offerings. Your ideal partner should have a similar (but not competing) target buyer to expose your content to a fresh potential segment. Since this is a team approach, don’t be too heavy handed when it comes to your brand messaging. Find customers and partners who really enjoy your product and let great experience with your brand speak for itself.
This past year we’ve learned that many webinar program managers find it almost as difficult to recruit internal speakers as external speakers. But, it doesn’t have to be like that! Internal experts have a familiarity with your product (and it’s benefits) that you won’t be able to find in an external source. Look to different departments to find engaging content experts beyond the thought leaders you typically think of first when recruiting internally. Internal experts don’t just have to be members of the C-suite, either. Product marketers, customer success managers, even HR teams can all shine under the right circumstances. In fact our content series exploring B2B video production in the marketing world, The Studio, is a hit specifically because it leans into candid and engaging speakers who typically find themselves behind the scenes.
Even if you’re not currently recruiting, keeping a running list of potential internal speakers to tap into in the future can help streamline the process in the long run. Pay attention during all-hands meetings and other working sessions to find speakers who, with a little extra speaker prep, could shine in your next webinar.
Don’t discount the potential benefits of a cold email or LinkedIn message. Our team has had great success reaching out cold to potential big name speakers when we’ve approached them with authenticity. While our email templates have a great track record, a simple “I appreciate your work and would love to be able to help you get in front of our audience” can go a long way.
Flattery will get you far, but this is not the time to copy/paste the same message to as many potential speakers as possible. The key to the perfect cold outreach email is tailoring your message and showing a genuine appreciation for their work. Instead of 50 generic messages, send 5-10 hyper-personalized messages keying into their recent posts and engagement.
The BrightTALK marketing team runs hundreds of webinars and virtual events a year, which means we’ve learned a thing or two about streamlining the planning process. From building initial strategy to post-event communications, we’ve gathered our expert solutions to common pain points marketers face into the Build a Better Webinar eBook to help teams of all sizes establish and optimize a webinar program.