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Key speakers need careful consideration, says Imago Venues

A big-name keynote speaker may not be enough to inspire meeting attendees, according to research carried out by Imago Venues.

The research measured whether the meetings industry is doing enough to inspire the business leaders of tomorrow, and was conducted in conjunction with Loughborough University and The Right Solution. One of the key questions asked delegates and organisers what made an inspirational speaker and respondents were unanimous in what matters most to them.

Passion and enthusiasm came out top of the list with 98% of organisers, 98% of delegates and 93% of students stating this was what they were looking for in a speaker. This was followed by their relationship and interaction with the audience, innovation and new ideas, relevancy and storytelling. The results also showed it was important for the speaker to have the ability to focus on what really matters and to keep sessions short and tightly focussed.

Responses from meetings attendees included;

“If you see the speaker’s emotion and the sincerity in what they are saying then it becomes more believable.”

“Inspirational speakers are hard to come by. In 20 years, I can count on one hand the number of inspirational leaders I have encountered.”

“When he was talking, you could literally hear a pin drop. He had everyone so captivated – very emotive and very personal. He was one of the best speakers.”

Emma Boynton, Head of Sales and Marketing at Imago Venues, comments: “Choosing a speaker can be daunting for organisers. A big-name may draw in attendees purely on their profile but they must be able to deliver well and leave delegates inspired. And, as our research has found, delegates are looking for a speaker to reinforce their passion and enthusiasm for their career.

“The required standards from a speaker are succinct delivery, simple, clear language and an opportunity to connect. Too many times meetings and events have used the services of a renowned speaker but in reality, they didn’t meet the high expectations of the audience. It highlights the importance of researching the speaker so delegates leave feeling invigorated by what they have heard. We are lucky that through our links to Loughborough University we can support event organisers in their quest to motivate the audience and achieve their objectives.”

A copy of the research can be downloaded from

The research was undertaken by Loughborough University and Imago Venues.  The Right Solution provided methodology, analysis and validation of the research which was conducted amongst a sample of 430 students, delegates, and event organisers using a series of focus groups, face to face interviews and online questionnaires.


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