What’s Your Plan B? What to Do If Your Keynote Speaker Canceled Last Minute

So you’ve spent months and months planning an event. It’s the biggest ever, you’ve pulled out all the stops and covered all your bases. You’ve planned for every single possible contingency. Especially the biggest one. Your keynote speaker canceled at the last minute.

A nightmare, right? You’ve printed all the programs and posters with that person’s face all over them. Attendees have bought tickets with the promise of hearing an awesome keynote speech from this particular speaker. And the—admittedly, rare—unthinkable has happened. One of the worst things that could happen, really.

But! 

Being the professional planner that you are, you’re prepared with your Plan B, right?

I hope so! 

Here is a list of some Plan Bs for when your keynote speaker cancels at the last minute (I know it seems unlikely, but it does happen!).

Five Plan B tips for when your keynote speaker cancels last minute.

1. Crowdsource your crowd for a networking opportunity. 

Be upfront with your audience that your keynote speaker canceled, then turn that negative into a positive. Turn the empty time slot into an opportunity to have a group think tank. Have some talking points ready, ask your attendees to form groups and discuss the points on a timer with a buzzer. Invite them to reform new groups every time the buzzer rings and assign a new talking point. The points can be anything from current social issues to favorite kitchen hacks. Keep things moving at a fast pace and your audience will be laughing and forming new connections in no time. When time is up, have audience members share their favorite thoughts from the session for a larger group discussion. This lively interaction will quickly distract your audience from the missing keynote.

Corporate event planning has its own unique challenges…for some useful advice check out this post: Ten tips to make your corporate event unforgettable!

2. Appoint another guest as your substitute.

Many larger events feature many talented people. Well before the event, approach one of them and ask if they would like to be your substitute keynote speaker. Most speakers will jump at that opportunity. You will have to compensate them for their additional responsibility, but as your keynote will have forfeited their compensation, (unless their contract states otherwise) you will have space in your budget. If this happens, you can advertise their original session as an extension of their keynote.

3. Mine your past speakers.

Your past speakers can be a great resource in a pinch because you already have a positive working relationship with them; they trust you and you trust them. If your keynote speaker cancels, run through your list of past speakers and call any who are in your area and might be able to help you out with a last-minute favor. They already know that you’re good for your word, so will be more likely to stick their neck out for you. 

4. Create a panel session.

Choose five or six big players from your audience or list of other presenters. Have a strong moderator appointed, and line your panel up in chairs on the stage for a group discussion around a current topic that is pertinent to the industry. Field questions from the audience and keep the discussion moving and interesting.

5. Work with a speakers bureau.

When your speaker cancels last minute, your best Plan B is to have a speakers bureau in your back pocket ready to be dispatched. As professionals who have years of experience in the industry, a speakers bureau has countless speakers at their fingertips and the ability to pull in favors to get you a great backup speaker fast. A speakers bureau does all the legwork and paperwork for you so all you have to do is make the call and wait for your speaker to arrive.

There is a lot to think about when planning an event, and your speakers are arguably the most important part. Ready to start taking the guesswork and legwork out of booking a speaker and leave the particulars to the professionals? Don’t hesitate to contact us to get started.  

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to you might enjoy:

7 tips to save money when you’re planning an event.
How to book a celebrity: ten things you need to know to bag a big name.
Your ultimate event planning checklist!

eSpeakers.com Launches Blackwood Talent & Entertainment To Connect Today’s Top Entertainment with the Events Industry through the Largest Directory of Talent.

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 22, 2019 — Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know. That saying proves true within the entertainment industry, as indicated by the glowing success of Blackwood Talent & Entertainment’s recent launch of an entertainment industry-specific talent directory. As a division of eSpeakers.com, which has over 20 years of experience in the meetings industry, eSpeakers launched Blackwood Talent & Entertainment to serve entertainers and event organizers around the world. The new online talent directory, which launched on Sept. 10, 2019, at IMEX America in Las Vegas, helps event organizers target top talent for their meetings and events, including entertainers, comedians, musicians, celebrities, athletes, and more. Many entertainers have exclusive representation, but through partnerships with these agencies, Blackwood has made it possible for everyone to hire top talent. 

“Finding, connecting with, and hiring top entertainment online is a challenge for most event organizers, and that’s where our directory technology comes in to save the day,” says Joseph Heaps, Blackwood’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Through our innovative platform, we’re providing verified reviews that are vetted by past clients, collaborative tools that allow multiple event stakeholders to share feedback on potential entertainers, and a no-risk booking as Blackwood Talent & Entertainment works with entertainers who guarantee their work, or they get their money back.” 

This innovative online talent directory will feature stars such as Chris Rock, The Passing Zone, Aparna Nancherla, Sam Smith, Shelita Burke, Katy Perry, and Ellen DeGeneres. “It’s exciting to see event organizers connect and hire potential entertainment in this way, especially considering how difficult it is to connect with or even find out who represents them,” Heaps says. “Event organizers are tasked with executing a successful event, and we know that having the right entertainment on stage can engage the attendees and create a fun and exciting atmosphere. Our goal is to make finding, hiring, and paying the talent easy so they can focus on all the other aspects of the event.”

As the momentum behind finding and hiring entertainment online continues to grow, so does the company behind it. Blackwood Talent & Entertainment is a division of eSpeakers.com. eSpeakers.com is the largest online directory of speakers, trainers, authors, and consultants available online today. Online bookings for entertainment through this technology have surged over the last two years, necessitating the need for growth of a stand-alone branded directory.

For more information, visit http://www.blackwoodtalent.com

Blackwood Talent & Entertainment is a division of eSpeakers.com. With over 20 years of experience in the meetings industry, eSpeakers launched Blackwood Talent & Entertainment to serve entertainers and event organizers around the world. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, Blackwood Talent & Entertainment also has offices in Nashville, TN, and Newport Beach, CA. 

Media contact: 
Joseph Heaps
Chief Marketing Officer
Blackwood Talent & Entertainment
888-377-3214
jheaps@blackwoodtalent.com
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eSpeakers is pleased to announce integration with the popular HubSpot customer relationship manager (CRM).

eSpeakers is pleased to announce integration with the popular HubSpot customer relationship manager (CRM) as a new member benefit.

eSpeakers’ EventCX app keeps your speaking business humming, and our goal is to make it easy for you to manage your events and speaking business for growth. To go along with it, we recommend a great contact manager to manage the people and relationships in your business world.

HubSpot joins a list of other popular CRMs that are integrated into EventCX, eliminating the need for duplicate entry when linking people (in the CRM) to events (in EventCX). Details about the HubSpot integration are here.

3 Megatrends in Selling Every Speaker Needs to Know about

Speakers have an advantage when it comes to selling.

You see, the “most significant shift in economic history” has forced all who sell to change the way they engage with buyers. Retail industry expert and speaker Michael Dart described it this way in the Wall Street Journal. He said buyers need “such an awesome connecting experience that they will go out of their way to come to you.”

Global Meetings Industry Day 2019

Today is Global Meetings Industry Day, it’s a day to celebrate the real impact meetings have on people, businesses and the worldwide economy. It’s recognized by thousands of events professionals who celebrate the global impact of face-to-face meetings and events. eSpeakers is proud to be part of this global impact! Happy Global Meetings Industry day from all of us here at eSpeakers! #GMID19

How to Hire a Speaker Without Losing Your Sanity: 5 Tips For Hiring a Speaker

How to Hire a Speaker Without Losing Your Sanity: 5 Tips For Hiring a Speaker

If you’ve ever been to a live event, you know just how important having a great speaker is. Speakers that engage with the audience and can create a dynamic connection with everyone who attends are worth their weight in gold.

When you’re hiring a speaker, there are five tips that you can use to make sure that you’re investing in the best and most engaging speakers for your audience. Here are some of the ways you can ensure that you have the best speaker possible for your event and can help you expedite the hiring process with your speaker and save you time and potential frustration, too!