How to Book a Celebrity Speaker

So you want to book a big famous celebrity to speak at your event? But how do you go about hiring such a person? How do you even get their attention? What do you need to know?

Don’t worry, we got this. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in the latest reality TV star or a world-famous A-List celeb, a speakers bureau can help you contact the right people to reach the star of your dreams and seal the deal.

Celebrities are a great draw for any event. A celeb’s name recognition alone can drive sales and sell out your event, as well as generate buzz and provide free advertising.

What you should know before booking:

Your budget. It’s no surprise that celebs cost more than a thought leader. Be ready to pay a little more for their added value. Celeb prices start around 50,000 for a household name and can go into the mid-six figures for globally recognized stars.

Your date. Have the dates fixed before you make the call to book a celebrity (or any speaker, really). Most celebs have jobs (doing what makes them famous) as well as other engagements. Without a fixed date, celebs will not be able to commit to your event.

Your location. Having your event location determined will help with booking a celeb. If you’re in a major city like New York or Los Angeles, you’ll have a wider selection of local celebs—who can even commit on short notice. For other cities, and international events, you’ll want more time to book a celeb.

Your audience. Who will be attending this event? Match the interests of your attendees with the celeb you book. You probably don’t want a rock star for your evangelical event or a model to speak to engineers (or maybe you do). Likewise, you probably don’t want the typical white, male speaker to address your women of color empowerment conference. You’ll be better able to attract a celeb if your audience interests match the celeb’s.

Your purpose. To choose the perfect celebrity for your event, know your purpose for having one speak. Do you want to motivate, entertain, bring awareness, or raise money for a cause?

Don’t just book a famous name for the sake of having a famous name. While a big name can drive sales, having the right celeb for the right purpose can increase attendee satisfaction and your return on investment.

Your presentation type. Do you want a keynote speaker who will deliver a set talk? Or would you like a moderated Q&A. Remember that celebrities are not just famous for being famous (even Kim Kardashian is an expert on branding and marketing), they are also subject matter experts and can add definite value for your attendees, especially when using moderated Q&As where you can let them do a deep dive into a subject.

Your team. You’ll want to have all the decision-makers in place before making inquiries. Since celebrities are in demand, you’ll want to be able to say yes as soon as they do. If you don’t have all the decision-makers in place, you could lose a great celebrity speaker from too much delay.

Your expectations. Celebrities have different requirements than your usual keynote speaker. You may have to pick out all the brown M&Ms. For more on this, check out the article “What to expect when booking a celebrity speaker.”