Frequently Asked Questions About Online Speaking Events

We’re getting a lot of questions about what’s really happening in our industry with virtual events. Cost is a driving factor in decision making, along with availability and formats. People are wondering how it all works and of course, how do we still stay connected? Here are the top questions we have fielded  over the last two months of consulting and booking virtual keynote speakers for virtual events.  

How much do virtual keynote speakers charge?

Virtual keynote speakers typically charge about 50% of an in-person fee. Here is what your money will get you in terms of online speakers.

  • $2,500-$5,000: New expert to the field  
  • $7,500-$10,000: Experienced keynote expert (many years of experience)
  • $10,000-$30,000: Thought leaders with published books or large followings
  • $20,000-$75,000: Celebrities and most retired athletes 
  • $100,000-$200,000: Major name celebrities (i.e., household names)
  • $250,000 to over $1,000,000: The A-listers 

How flexible are speakers with dates and appearance times?

Virtual keynote speakers are more flexible with presentation dates and times now that travel is not involved. 

  • You can pre-select 3-4 possible dates with a speaker and then fix a date closer to the event 
  • Choose almost any appearance time. Have an event in the morning, afternoon, or evening at your convenience 
  • Some speakers are also willing to do multiple talks on a day or over several days

How does the format differ for virtual from an in-person event?

Virtual events formats differ in six ways:

  1. Shorter presentations, typically between 20-45 minutes
  2. Moderated Q&As: About 20 minutes are spent answering attendee questions
  3. Interactive: Many events feature live polls, surveys, and animated visuals
  4. Pre-Recorded: Some events are pre-recorded in advance
  5. Multiple presenters: Select events feature more than one speaker or a Q&A panel  
  6. Customized content: Virtual presenters tailor content for the specific audience, often in real-time

What kind of keynote speakers do online conferences and webinars?

You can find the same content experts online as you do in person. Some of the more popular virtual keynote speakers are: 

  • Virtual motivational speakers 
  • Virtual business speakers
  • Virtual innovation speakers
  • Virtual entertainers (musicians, storytellers)
  • Virtual team-building speakers
  • Virtual leadership speakers
  • Virtual EQ and happiness speakers

How do contracts differ?

Written contracts for booking virtual keynote speakers are almost the same as for in-person events. New sections have been added for

  • Technology needs 
  • Recording specifics 
  • Online background: if a studio look is required or someone can talk from home office
  • Special provisions about cancellations due to pandemics

How can you network at an online conference?

Online events provide more opportunities for networking with like minds because…

  • You can see the names of audience members
  • You can see who is participating
  • You can see what people are typing in the shared conversations 
  • You can participate in any group conversation
  • You can form your own breakout groups

How does socializing work at online events

We’ve seen some success with virtual “after parties.” Many event planners specialize in: 

  • “Quarantini” kits for VIPs 
  • Cool DJs for music between talks or after talks
  • Breakout rooms/social lounges so people can hang out as a group or split off in twos