Can a Keynote Speaker help you Design your Corporate Event?
There is an old saying that ‘Success leaves Clues’. This means that when you have experienced something enough the insights, the ‘clues’, for what works and what does not work come to the surface. This is true for many things in life and also, in this case, for Corporate Events. So when someone has experienced 1000’s of Corporate Events, like a Professional Keynote Speaker, they can share with you many ‘clues’ on what works.
The purpose of this article is to highlight how you can use the extensive experience of a Professional Keynote Speaker, who has seen 1000’s of events, to design your Corporate Event.
There is considerable effort needed to make your Corporate Event work. Therefore, whenever possible get new insights and external perspectives. And one perspective that offers many insights is that of a Professional Keynote Speaker. They have extensive experience of other Corporate Events. So the call-to-action here is for you to ask your next Keynote Speaker for their insights on how to design your Corporate Event.
Ask your Keynote Speaker for their insights on how to design your Corporate Event.
What follows in this article are some insights (Patterns, Principles, & Practice) that I can offer as my role of Professional Keynote Speaker, and after experiencing 1000’s of events. You can use these to help you design your next Corporate Event, or as a framework to engage your next speaker¹.
1. To keep this article short I have offered only the most important, or most overlooked, aspects of Corporate Event design. There is much more to be said. So I encourage you to read more of the articles in this blog and reach out to me directly if you have additional questions.
Corporate Event Design: Patterns
The design of Corporate Events can be broken down into three components: Patterns, Principles, & Practice. The first of these, the Patterns, are about what is common across all Corporate Events. These are the big picture and the common Patterns: common mistakes & the common outcomes.
Pattern of Mistakes
While there are many common mistakes made, one of the biggest, and the one that many event managers still make, is planning a Corporate Event in isolation; planning a one-off event, instead of planning it as part of an ongoing process. In order for an event to be successful it must build on past activities, and future activities.
So instead of isolated one-off moments, events need to be integrated into cycles of ongoing organisation development. They need to be placed in context & positioned in a sequence of activities; the shift towards a successful Corporate Event is from isolated events to ongoing processes. See our article: The Number One Mistake Event Managers Still Make.
Pattern of Outcomes
The ultimate goal, or Outcome, of every Corporate Event is to grow your business. Even if the theme is specific to your team or department, ultimately the outcome is the same: to grow your people to grow your business. This focus on growth is common across all Corporate Events and is the key that makes your Corporate Event into a Strategic Tool: by boosting the motivation & action of your teams, making your CEO & Leadership look good, and ultimately growing your organisation. See our article: What is the Real Purpose of a Keynote Speech?
Corporate Event Design: Principles
The second component that helps your design your Corporate Event are Principles. These are strategies that can be applied to your event. They are not rules that are fixed but instead are Principles that are flexible so they can be applied to the uniqueness of your event.
Principle of Balance
One of the most important Principles is the Principle of Balance: balancing entertainment & information, attention & time, quality & budget, etc. However, there is one essential thing that is often overlooked that needs to be balanced for a successful Corporate Event: the balance between providing answers and asking questions.
When answers are provide there often less growth than when questions are asked to stimulate the audience to find the own answers. When an answer is ‘found’ by the audience they ‘own’ it more that if it was given to them.
So when designing your Corporate Event balance is needed to work with the right questions, that provokes new ideas and opens new possibilities. So while Corporate Events can provide many answers, they are often most effective when they focus on asking the right question. To understand how a Professional Keynote Speaker can help you do this see our article: Future of Keynotes.
Corporate Events ask provocative questions.
Corporate Event Design: Practice
The third component that helps your design your Corporate Event is Practice. These are the tactics that you apply to your specific context.
Practice of BEST
Every Corporate Event can be broken down into a set of practical actions. These are mostly about logistics and expectations. The clearly these are the easier it is to run your event. After many years of experience I have summarised these with the word BEST, which stands for Budget, Environment, Stakeholders, and Time.
When it comes to Budget the key insight is: finding the right budget is not about cost cutting, but about reducing risk. With the right budget you can reduce the risk of something going wrong, which if it did would cost you much more than any cost-cutting can offer. For example, when you are hiring a Keynote Speaker budget of at least €7,500 to guarantee that you are hiring a Professional Speaker. See our article: How much does a Keynote Speech cost?
The key insight for the right Environment for your event is: off-site locations (out of the office) offer a more immersive experience because of fewer distracts. Knowing the environment of your event helps in your conversations with stakeholders and speakers to align them on the type of event you are hosting and the flow of activities.
So next are your conversations with Stakeholders and the key insight here is: alignment of expectations. Having a clear understand of the expectations of your CEO and leadership team is essential to align everyone on the Purpose and Outcome of your event.
Finally it is important to get the Timing of your event right. This is about planning and the key insight is: planning is all about attention. Do not plan your event too far in the future. Instead work with a 3 month window. And when planning the program of your event, work with half day blocks of 3 hours. As an example, see our article: How Long should a Keynote Speech be?
So for your next Corporate Event consider the above Patterns, Principles, & Practice as a framework to design your event. And most importantly remember to ask your Keynote Speaker for their insights to design a successful Corporate Event.