Inviting a Speaker

The Conference Speaker Co-chair works closely with the Speaker Bureau (SB) team in securing keynote speakers, panelists and moderators for the conference. Once speakers are confirmed, this role serves as the main point of contact for the speaker, ensuring that the speaker needs are met throughout the process. This role also ensures that the marketing material correctly displays the confirmed speaker information.

General Information Regarding Speaker Solicitation:

  • Speakers Fulfilling Sponsorship Benefits - One of the most valuable benefits to offer a conference sponsor is the opportunity to provide a speaker. Please work closely with the Sponsorship Chair to determine if sponsors are requesting this.
  • Developing a Speaker List; Relationships Matter - utilize business contacts, personal relationships, Kellogg alumni, and the Kellogg team as this will increase your chance of success.
  • Approval needed - All speakers must be approved by your SB contact before you begin reaching out. Please keep your contact informed on speaker status.
  • Response time - We suggest giving a two-week response time to your invited speakers.
  • International Dignitary - If you are interested in inviting an international dignitary to speak at a conference, please follow the guidelines in the International Dignitary Proposal Process (.docx)

Keynotes (solicitation should begin 9-12 months out):

  • Timeline - The keynote speaker solicitation process should begin at least nine months before the conference, with a goal of confirming all keynotes six months before the conference. 

Panels (solicitation should begin 4-6 months out):

  • Concurrent Panel Sessions - Must meet requirement of 100 attendees (historic average) & space confirmed
  • Panel Size & Length – Traditional panels should consist of three panelists and a moderator. Panelists should be of similar levels. The appropriate length of a panel is 45 - 60 minutes.
  • Timeline - The panel speaker solicitation process should begin at least four months before the conference, with a goal of 80% confirmation three months out. Panelists should not be solicited less than six weeks before the conference.

Once a Speaker Confirms

  • Photo and Bio - Request a bio and high resolution picture (300 dpi, jpeg, and eps) for marketing material and website. We recommend a 200-word bio for the conference program.
  • Information Request Form - Use the Information Request Form (Sample One and Sample Two) and Media Release (pdf) templates to request the necessary information from the speaker. Once returned by the speaker, please upload to dropbox and notify your administrative contacts. If any speaker does not sign off on the media release, no media can be present at the conference.
  • Moderator/Panelists Conference Call - We encourage you to facilitate moderators and panelist conference calls to discuss topics at least two weeks before the conference. Begin planning this early as speaker schedules don’t often align.
  • Speaker Liaison - Please assign each speaker a liaison for the length of their stay at Kellogg to take care of their needs. Exchange cell phone numbers, coordinate logistics, parking, and plan to greet the speaker at the door.
  • Say "Thank You" - Send the speakers a thank you note for participating and providing insight to the conference programming within one week after the conference. SB will coordinate a thank you note from Dean Blount to all conference speakers.

Marketing Materials

  • Kellogg Alumni - If the speaker is an alumnus, include his or her graduation year in all material, i.e. John Smith '89, President, ABC Corporation.
  • Listing panelists - List in alpha order by last name. Within speaker bios, individuals are referred to in the same way, i.e. Mr. John Smith went to Northwestern University vs. Bob went to Harvard Business School.
  • Website - Your website is the most important marketing piece you have, regularly update website as speakers are confirmed.

Hospitality & Expenses

  • Honorariums - Kellogg does not pay honorariums or speaker fees
  • Flight Reimbursement - Based upon need and budget, each conference has the ability to reimburse a limited number of speakers for their airline travel - economy flights only. Please work with your SA contact for approval and paperwork. Typical turnaround time is three to four weeks.
  • Speaker Ground Transportation and Accommodations - The conference will provide ground transportation to and from the airport, and one-night lodging at a hotel in Evanston. (Two nights for international travelers).
  • Speaker dinner - A dinner will be hosted the night before the conference for keynotes, moderators, panelists and second year leaders. The intention of this dinner is to provide an opportunity for the speakers to connect prior to the conference leading to more robust content.