As a full-service booking agency, AAE Speakers helps event planners every step of the way when planning a speaker event, from initial speaker recommendations to event logistics. With over 15 years in the business and thousands of completed events, our agency has learned that the key to a successful event is an effective planning process. We know every event has different needs — therefore, we have created a guideline for the ideal event planning timeline that, if followed, will help streamline the planning process and save you from dreaded, last-minute scrambling.


6 – 12 Months Before Your Event: Prepare

It may seem obvious, but before you can book a speaker for your event, you must know the who, what, why, where and how of your event. Contemplating your goals and objectives is a good place to start — what do you want to accomplish with the event? Not having an answer to this question may make the next steps of the event planning timeline convoluted.

Once you determine goals and objectives, use them to inform your decision on other details, such as event dates, guest lists, budget estimates, marketing opportunities, and speaker ideas.

3 – 6 Months Before Your Event: Secure

About three to six months before your speaker event, it is a good idea to start securing the details of your event that require a reservation. Putting a deposit down on an event venue, sending and confirming a firm offer to a speaker, and determining travel parameters are all key steps during this time frame.

Once you are sure of the venue and your speaker, it is suggested that you gather promotional materials (such as a biography, headshot, etc.) from the talent in order to get a head start on promoting your event!

1-2 Months Before Your Event: Confirm

It is one to two months before your event, and you want to make sure that everything is running smoothly before you get any closer to your event. Getting confirmation on previously made plans is highly recommended by our logistics agents. Finalizing rider requirements and confirming travel and logistics plans regarding your speaker will save you from panic come event day.

This is also the portion of the event planning timeline in which you should schedule a pre-event phone call with the talent in order to hash out the details of their speech topic and overall involvement. Skipping this step could cause your talent to be confused as to their role in the event!

After all of your event details are confirmed, now is the time to make publicity and press announcements about your event. This will ensure a large audience turnout and adequate media coverage of your event!

2 Weeks Before Your Event: Finalize

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Always double check that your event venue has the necessary equipment for your speaker.

Although it may seem redundant to some, finalizing your event details in the two weeks leading up to your event are crucial to have smooth sailing on your event day. During this time, make sure you have finalized all event and speaker logistics and confirmed all materials needed on site.

Once every detail is ironed out and your team, the event staff, and the speaker know their role in the event, our logistics team suggests starting to post social media messages about two weeks out. These posts will be supplemental to the publicity and press announcements, and help in drawing a large audience!

Day of the Event: Execute

It is event time, and hopefully, your planning has made everything run smoothly and you feel more excitement than stress. In the hours leading up to the event, make sure to double check registration materials, reconfirm all planned logistics, verify needed materials on site, and be sure to have extra copies of all event materials. Also during this last minute planning period, double check that all rider requirements have been fulfilled and are set up, and connect with your speaker for a final check-in. Have a walk-through of the event with all staff and answer all questions they may have. No detail is too little! Once everyone is prepped and ready, relax!

Your event is well-planned. Enjoy yourself!

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Amber Venz Box, Co-Founder & President of rewardStyle, gives a thought-provoking keynote address during Startupfest 2018.

Post-Event: Follow Up

Your event was a success, and your audience was left inspired by your speaker — great job! This post-event high is the perfect time to connect with your speaker, clients, and audience. Send thank you notes to all attendees and consider sending gifts to your speaker.

These follow-ups are a great way to establish lasting relationships. Make sure to debrief with your staff about the event, reflecting on all aspects of the event, those you thought went well, and those you may want to change in the future. Make sure to compare your actual costs to those you budgeted for – this will help you sharpen your budgeting skills.

Congratulations! You are one fine event planner. Remember which aspects of your planning process were the most helpful and get a head start on your next event!


Ready to Book A Keynote Speaker?

We’re happy to help. If you have an idea of the speaker you would like to bring to your event, feel free to fill out a new booking request form. Not sure yet? Visit our site to browse our comprehensive speaker directory, or call us at 1(800)-698-2536 to get personalized recommendations from one of our experienced booking agents. We specialize in finding the right fit between the talent and the client.

Following your inquiry, an agent will reach out and learn more about your event, becoming familiar with your speaker needs. From initial recommendations to final logistics planning, working with our speakers bureau can streamline the booking process.