6 Tips for Replacing a Keynote Speaker at the Last Minute


6 Tips for Replacing a Keynote Speaker at the Last Minute

September 8, 2022 | Press

If we’ve learned anything from this decade, it is that things can change in an instant. Contingency plans have regularly been in the lexicon for event planners but what happens when a keynote speaker backs out at the last minute?

Kim Lawton, CEO of Enthuse Marketing Group, an experiential agency shared her thoughts on this dilemma with BizBash.

“Build a list of ‘what ifs’ prior to the event so your team is ready to deploy tactics,” Lawton said. “Then, all you have to do is choose which scenario to run with versus putting out a fire.”

For pre-event materials, she adds, this means having a disclaimer in fine print and event ticketing that says something like, “keynote is subject to change”—especially if there’s an autograph or signing experience planned. If the worst-case scenario does happen, be sure to quickly remove any marketing or advertising materials that promote the speaker.

And “be transparent with ticket holders through e-blasts and or texts so they are aware of a change in speaker, and focus on the content the new speaker will be delivering so it’s clear that the value remains the same,” she said.

In fact, as Lawton advises, pre-event communications should always focus on an event’s value rather than on one specific person.

Read the full article here.


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