Jeremy Breland

Jeremy Breland comes to Premiere Speakers Bureau with 10 years of experience in event planning and scheduling. After graduating from Liberty University, Jeremy started his own scheduling agency for...

Top 10 Tips for Planning Your Fundraising Event

Your speaker selection is one of the most important elements in a successful event. Selecting the right speaker for your event can be a daunting task, as speakers are available in every fee range and specialty topic.

1. Determine the needs of your audience

Thorough knowledge of your group is essential in selecting the right speaker. Does your event require that the audience leave with specific thoughts or information? Are you looking for a keynote speaker or an after-dinner entertainment with a message?

2. Establish your date, time and budget

  • Start looking for a speaker as soon as the date for your event is set. Many speakers book engagements up to a year in advance and you will want to get on their calendar as soon as possible.
  • Consider how much time you have to fill and where that time falls in your overall program. If your time slot is flexible, a speaker's agent can often tell you the right amount of time for the job.
  • Factor in the fee you are willing or able to pay for a speaker. Your search for a speaker can be narrowed or broadened based upon your budget.

3. Identify the type of speaker who will best match the needs of your audience

A well-known or experienced speakers is typically the best draw for a benefit event. But will your audience and the overall event benefit most from a celebrity; an expert in the field; a popular sports personality or a best-selling author?

4. Locate your resources

  • Personal referrals are a great way to narrow your search. Ask colleagues for recommendations.
  • Premiere Speakers Bureau can locate and book speakers according to your specifications and needs. We can locate speakers and quote fees for a wide range of speakers including athletes, national ministers, political figures and media personalities.

5. Review your options finalize your speaker candidates

  • Assure that your speaker / entertainer has addressed benefit and fundraising events before. Your Premiere Speakers Bureau agent will be able to provide background information, biographies and, possibly, references for the speaker of your choice.

6. Select your speaker

  • Hire a professional and you'll hire an ally. Their experience with hundreds of audiences can add to your peace of mind and to the success of the event.

7. Get it in writing

You should have a letter of agreement or contract that clearly outlines the expectations of both you and your speaker. Your speaker representative will walk through a series of steps to insure that you, the speaker and the agency are all in agreement. Consider:

  • travel arrangements and transportation;
  • accommodations and meals;
  • fees, reimbursements and payment terms;
  • whether you want the speaker to attend social events;
  • if the speaker may sell products and if so, how this will be handled;
  • an agreement on any audio- or videotaping of the presentation;
  • cancellation policies;
  • audio/visual requirements;
  • and legal implications, if any, your contract may contain.

8. Work with your speaker

We receive a number of compliments on the client login area on It allows you to share valuable details about your ministry or organization, the purpose for the event, the type of audience, etc. This will help the speaker become familiar with your organization, while facilitating a customized presentation.

  • Give the speaker a clear outline of what you expect.
  • Be specific about the size and demographics of your audience.
  • Let the speaker know in advance about other speakers on the program. This gives the speaker the opportunity to build on (and not duplicate) what the other speakers say.

9. Set the stage

  • Make sure the room is set up for optimum impact. If the event is a dinner, should the speaker begin the program or end of the program?
  • Stay on schedule. Although a professional will be able to "make up" time or slow things down if needed, keeping your program on schedule will allow your audience to get the full impact of the program.
  • Your speaker should be able to provide you with a good introduction of themselves and their topic. The introduction should be short, energizing and create positive expectations.

10. Evaluate the results

  • Always ask for feedback from your participants after the event. This will allow you to understand what most impacted the group and what will make for an even more successful future event. Share your feedback with the speaker's agent or representative.

Mark Merrill's Family Minute Blog
Posted August 15th 2009

Top 10 Tips for Planning Your...
Posted August 16th 2008
Your speaker selection is one of the most important elements in a successful event. Selecting the right speaker for your event ...