How to Choose Digital Marketing Keynote Speakers to Rock Your Event

With digital marketing conferences and events taking place on every street and corner, organizing an event that stands out for its value is not as easy as it was a few years ago.

While the venue, lighting and complimentary drinks do offer a positive and memorable experience to the visitors, they have little influence over how many visitors will be pulled in. 

The single most influential factor in this matter is your keynote speaker. 

Learning about new strategies and trends is one of the most common objectives of those looking to attend an event. Apparently, your attendees will evaluate whether an event is worth their time or not based on the list of speakers.

Even those that attend an event to socialise and to dole out business cards pay close attention to the names of the keynote speaker and the other speakers to be featured at the event. With this list, they can gauge the kind of crowd they can expect to interact with at the event.

Choosing the right keynote speaker for your digital marketing event is equal parts crucial and confusing. If you agree, this article is for you. 

In the following sections, we will discuss various questions you must ask yourself to find potential keynote speakers for your event’s success.

Let’s begin:

What Kind Of Expertise Aligns With Your Event’s Theme?

Digital marketing is an umbrella term that covers several channels and forms of marketing. Generally, the best keynote speakers master a specific domain. However, this does not mean that they don’t know anything about subjects outside their area of expertise. 

Choosing an expert whose expertise aligns with the subjects you wish to focus on during your event will make sure you attract the right kind of audience and set the stage for the right discussion.

What Kind Of Presentation Style Is Perfect For Your Event?

Most keynote speakers are comfortable with props, using screens, or other visual aids. It is up to you to decide what kind of presentation you want at your event.

It is also advisable to define time slots for every keynote speech before you start looking for speakers.

This way, you can find a keynote speaker that specialises in delivering presentations in a style that will be perfect for your event.

How Much Is Your Budget?

Depending on their popularity and availability, a keynote speaker in the US can charge anywhere between $2,000 and $30,000. Celebrity speakers, like Gary Vaynerchuk, can charge to the north of $50,000.

With such varying costs, your budget will play a crucial role in determining the pool of candidates that are fit to deliver the keynote speech at your event.

Once you have identified your potential candidates, it is time to evaluate them and choose a speaker that is best suited to your event. 

To evaluate speakers, take the following approach:

Start The Evaluation Process Early

The best speakers are usually booked months in advance. This is especially true for digital marketing influencers and speakers since there are so many events taking place every month. Moreover, the best speakers and influencers usually also have other business undertakings to look after.

This is why it is best to decide the date and time of your keynote speech well in advance. Most organisers book their speaker, venue, and also figure out the relevant logistics at least six months before their event. 

If you miss this window, you can expect at least a few of your top choices booked already.

Attend Their Speech

Watching them in action is one of the best ways to gauge the kind of keynote speech you can expect from a certain speaker. By attending such an event, you can see how a speaker engages with the audience, their preferred style of presentation, and how their style and delivery align with the theme and audience of your event.

Not to forget, there are several benefits to attending other marketing events. However, if you can’t make yourself available for multiple events, YouTube is a great alternative. Most speakers will have at least a few videos of their best keynote addresses up on their channels.

When you shortlist a few speakers that you like, you can ask them for a reel of their work. If a speaker is unable to provide you with a reel, take it as a sign and move on.

Check References

References are one of the best ways to understand what it's like to work with a certain speaker. Look into their background. If possible, contact their previous organisers to learn about their experiences. They will definitely have some interesting stories to share.

During your conversation with them, try to understand if they were satisfied with the services of the speaker. Ask questions like:

  • Were they easy to work with? Were they flexible with their demands and schedule?
  • Did they show up well prepared with a presentation or improvised a speech at the event?
  • How did the audience respond to their speech?
  • Did they collaborate with you to decide the content of the keynote speech? If so, how was the experience of the collaboration?

Doing this research will help you set the right expectations from the speaker you select.

Determine If They Are Willing To Engage In Pre-Event And Post-Event Marketing

Most keynote speakers have a substantial following across social media channels and blogs. By marketing the event to their followers, the speaker can drastically influence the crowd that shows up for your event.

Besides this, your speaker should engage with your audience outside the 30-minute window of time reserved for their speech.

For this reason, it is important to look for a speaker that is willing to collaborate with you in pre and post-event marketing.


Finding the right keynote speaker is a time-consuming process. However, meeting interesting people that are leading the change in the digital marketing space, watching them work, and ultimately, working with them, can turn out to be an extremely valuable experience.