For event producers, finding quality presenters year-in and year-out can be a challenging process. While speaker bureaus can be a great resource for finding dynamic keynotes, what happens if your budget doesn’t allow for Tom Hanks or Tony Robbins. For many, LinkedIn offers a variety of opportunities to connect with of thought leaders, industry experts, and professional speakers that are eager to present at your next event.
LinkedIn has become one of the most prevalent business-oriented social networking sites in recent years and is a top search and networking tool for meeting planners sourcing event speakers and facilitators.
With organized professional profiles and a variety of fields and filters to modify search criteria including location, years of experience, industries, and skills, LinkedIn can be one of the most effective and time efficient ways to locate and secure quality presenters. Below we dive into 5 tips for sourcing quality presenters.
1. Focus on Key Words
Diversify your keywords when conducting a search. For example, if you seek a presenter working in management, utilizing the terms “management”, “manager”, “manage”, and “managed” can solicit different outcomes. Expanding Boolean searches and including synonyms will also further search criteria. Make sure you’re familiar with industry buzzwords and acronyms which can aid in finding additional speaker candidates.
2. Search LinkedIn Groups, Interests & Company Followers
The quantity and quality of information in one’s LinkedIn profile can vary significantly. Gain additional insight by seeing what groups a person participates in, as well as which companies, associations, and influencers they follow. Someone whose profile simply says Director at a Pharmaceutical Company might not give you much information, but then you notice they are a member of the clinical research and clinical trial recruitment groups. This will provide you with further insight into their exact function, focus, etc. These lesser utilized fields can be ripe with quality leads which might not be found otherwise.
3. Expand your Network
LinkedIn has a variety of ways to network and connect with individuals whether you’ve previously interacted with or never met. Options will depend on your subscription and can include sending an invitation to connect, InMail and personal messages. Find an intriguing profile, but you aren’t sure if they’re an ideal fit? Send a connection invitation with a note stating just that. A brief introduction and reason for contacting can result in referrals, recommendations, and long-term relationships.
4. Make it Personal
Recognize professional experiences and personal details people put into their LinkedIn page and use these to support your invitation. Look into volunteer work, non-profit interests, achievements, and endorsements to personalize and strengthen your request. Reviewing an individual’s articles and activities can also shed light on personal and professional insights, interests, and experiences.
5. Upgrade if You Can
If you have the ability, upgrade your LinkedIn account to a Premium plan. The Premium packages include additional features such as more detailed search options, expanded profiles, creating and saving lead lists, and InMail messaging. While there is a fee for this plan, all of these features can assist you in saving time in the long run, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask your boss or manager to spring for an upgrade.
All in all, LinkedIn is an excellent resource for sourcing and securing high-quality event presenters due to its versatile search capabilities and extensive use by industry professionals.