Speaker Engage consolidates event planning tasks, speaker and sponsor curation, and communications in one place. Here is our review.
Speaker Engage: What Is It?
Speaker Engage is a cloud-based event platform that aims to minimize manual tasks and automate workflows throughout the event planning process, particularly around engaging speakers and event talent. It's designed to enable micro-actions that planners can perform easily and quickly.
Speaker Engage is first and foremost an organizational tool that allows planners to manage their speakers, sponsors, and event resources in one place.
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Speaker Engage includes speaker, sponsor, and master dashboards to view data that you’ve collected in each of these categories at a glance, and assists with the process of soliciting, selecting, and managing speakers and sponsors. It also has action and resource tracker functions so that planners can view their to-do lists and incorporate all relevant event documents within the platform. Communications with speakers and sponsors are also managed through the platform, and it is compliant with major data security regulations including GDPR and PII.
Main Feature Categories
Speaker and Sponsor Curation. Speaker Engage's primary functionality is the management of event speakers and sponsors. It includes real-time dashboards that allow planners to see how many speakers and sponsors have been confirmed, as well as how many emails have been sent and opened, and — in the case of sponsors — how much funding has been committed. The dashboards also inform planners of any missing information to speaker and sponsor profiles that needs to be filled out prior to the event.
Communications. The platform also functions as an email marketing tool. It gives planners the ability to create email templates that can then be used to populate email forms. Emails can be sent out individually or as bulk notifications and can also be scheduled in advance. The dashboards within the platform show how many total emails have been sent and how many have been opened.
Agenda Management. Speaker Engage enables planners to create an event agenda including detailed information about each session and the allocated speakers. The platform generates a live link that can be shared on websites or via email and updates live whenever changes are made by team members. Planners can also include collaboration notes to communicate information and tasks with their team members within each session.
Content Management. Speaker Engage acts as a centralized content management platform where planners can store all relevant documents and files. They can request and save materials such as speaker bios, abstracts, and presentations to each speaker and session profile. In addition, they can store resources like contracts, research articles, and flyers in the Resource Tracker to provide all team members access to necessary information.
Assistance. The platform comes with an assistance feature that allows planners to reach out for help using the tool, and also provides resources for additional event services like speaker coaching, website development, digital marketing, setting up and hosting technologies, and/or social media promotion.
Speaker Engage focuses on curating speakers and other talent and soliciting/engaging them for the event. It aims to consolidate several functions, such as emailing and file storing, that planners generally use separate tools to accomplish. As such, it allows planners to manage their speakers, sponsors, and general event planning workflows with their teams.
Using Speaker Engage, planners can add their event and generate a unique link to a speaker application form, which they can then include on their event website or any email communications that go out to potential speakers. Interested speakers then fill out the form, and their application is input into the platform.
On the speaker dashboard, planners can view all the speakers that have applied along with their Influencer Classification, which is determined by the activity on their social media accounts. This information enables planners to evaluate how engaged each speaker is in their online community and whether they would be a good fit for the event. Planners can also create different speaker categories, schedule and send emails to designated speaker lists, and view speaker profile gaps to efficiently request additional information as needed. Emails are sent from the planner's email address for a more personalized feel and to eliminate the need for multiple accounts.
The platform allows for similar management of sponsors, which get their own dashboard. On the sponsor dashboard, planners can also view funding goals and add different sponsorship types. When enough information is input into the platform, planners can begin to build event agendas that can be exported and shared with speakers and attendees. The agenda link is then updated live anytime a team member edits the master version within the platform.
With the Action Tracker feature, planners can incorporate their to-do list into the platform to keep track of their tasks and delegate tasks to team members. Speaker Engage also includes a Resource Tracker tab that allows for document storing. Planners and their team can either upload documents or link out to an external location, such as a Google Doc, and ensure that all necessary event documents can be found in one place.
Typically, all of these functions are managed over several different tools, not only requiring planners to learn more than one platform but manage the data they collect across multiple tools separately. The ability to handle talent and sponsor selection and communications all from one spot is both novel and useful, and it will be interesting to see how it integrates with other platforms planners will inevitably have to use — registration platforms, event apps, etc., where information will be collected from and displayed to users and attendees.
Who’s it for?
Speaker Engage is ideal for event organizers, marketing managers and strategists planning multiple events with multiple speakers and/or sponsors. It can also be used by event marketers and speaker managers looking to capture email marketing data and keep track of speaker engagements, respectively.
Because the focus is on automation and streamlining workflows, the platform is obviously best suited to events that have high volumes of speakers, sponsors, etc. As the pricing model seems to be an annual subscription service, it also makes sense for planners who host multiple events throughout the year. Smaller or less frequent events with limited numbers may not see as much value.
Also, it seems that communication is largely handled over the email interface. Despite a very cool influencer-ranking feature that derives an influencer score from impact on social media, there doesn’t seem to be an option of carrying on correspondence with event talent via social media channels. But again, this is not likely to be a large concern to planners with a high volume of people to contact and who would be interested in automating that.
Speaker management dashboard: Within each of their events, planners can view several dashboards. The speaker dashboard is the main one that populates automatically on the home screen for each event. It includes at-a-glance numbers for the following metrics:
- keyboard_arrow_right Total Speakers
- keyboard_arrow_right Approved
- keyboard_arrow_right Declined
- keyboard_arrow_right In Contract
- keyboard_arrow_right New Speakers
- keyboard_arrow_right Total Emails Sent
- keyboard_arrow_right Total Emails Opened
Influencer classification: On the speaker dashboard, Speaker Engage generates an influencer score for each speaker based on their social media impact on LinkedIn and Twitter. The categories, which remain confidential, include Influencer, Thought Leader, and Connecter. They help planners determine which speakers are most engaged online and who would be most useful in getting the word out about their event.
Speaking opportunities: Planners can organize speakers into different categories based on the types of sessions they will be involved in. These may include plenary sessions, panels, or workshops.
Speaker application form: When a new event is created in Speaker Engage, the platform will generate a URL for the speaker application form that planners can include on their event website or in emails that go out to potential speakers. The link is to an open form, so no account is required to fill it out, and the information submitted in the application automatically inputs into the speaker's profile within the platform. The application also includes a speaker acknowledgment section that the planner can customize to ensure that privacy regulations are respected.
Sponsor management dashboard: The next dashboard included in Speaker Engage is the sponsor dashboard. It is similar to the speaker dashboard and shows the following metrics at-a-glance:
- keyboard_arrow_right Total Sponsors
- keyboard_arrow_right Sponsors Secured
- keyboard_arrow_right Sponsors Not Ready
- keyboard_arrow_right Sponsors In-pipeline
- keyboard_arrow_right Total Emails Sent
- keyboard_arrow_right Total Emails Opened
- keyboard_arrow_right Potential Funding Ask
- keyboard_arrow_right Committed Funding
Sponsor types: Similar to the speaker opportunities, planners can classify sponsors by the sponsorship packages they're purchasing, such as premium, gold, bronze, or any unique sponsorship tiers the planner has set up for the event.
Track open emails: Planners can keep track of recent communications that have gone out to different speaker or sponsor lists, as well as who has opened which emails. They can then take further action and follow up with those who haven't yet opened emails if necessary.
Schedule emails: Speaker Engage also allows planners to schedule communications in advance and view communications that are scheduled to go out on their various dashboards.
Bulk emails: When sending out emails from Speaker Engage, planners have the option to send them individually or in bulk. Bulk emails can be sent out to any pre-selected list within the platform, such as speakers from a particular session, speakers missing their bios, etc. Planners also have the option to send a copy of the email to the speakers' managers, if applicable.
Master dashboard: The master dashboard is meant to keep track of members of the general community and is customizable depending on the planner's needs. It can be used for volunteers, board members, or any other lists the planner may require.
Profile gaps: The speaker dashboard includes a section to inform planners on which speakers are missing parts of their profiles and what exactly they're missing, such as Twitter handle, bio, and headshot. From this page, planners can access the list of speakers missing a particular item and send them a request to supply what is needed.
Customized email templates: Planners have the ability to create and save email templates within the platform for different email communications. To send out emails, they can select a particular template, which will then be filled into the email form. From there, they can modify it as needed or use it as-is. Speaker Engage also enables planners to clone email templates if they need to create a slightly different version of an existing template for a different group of people.
Live agenda updates: Using the agenda feature, planners create their event agenda by inputting each session along with their speakers. They can then share the agenda link with anyone involved with the event, which will automatically update any time the planner makes a change.
Schedule appointments: From the event agenda, planners can send out calendar invites to speakers for their particular session(s) with all relevant session information.
Action tracker list: The action tracker form functions as a to-do list within the platform. Planners can add tasks, create task categories, update the task status, and assign it to different team members with corresponding deadlines. The action tracker list is emailed to the event organizers daily along with updates such as how many new speakers have applied.
Resource tracker list: Speaker Engage includes a resource list where planners can input all relevant event materials. They can organize the resources by category and either include a link to wherever the resource is stored online or upload a file directly to the platform.
Assistance form: In addition to its use as a typical customer service form, Speaker Engage's assistance form allows planners to request help on a variety of event services that they may need, such as social media graphics, brochures, event promotion, or speaker coaching. Speaker Engage then reaches out to its network and connects a supplier who may be able to assist the planner with the task.
Pricing and Plans
An annual subscription to Speaker Engage starts at $3995, which includes a 100-day trial and a dedicated customer success manager. Additional pricing information can be found at speakerengage.com.
Pros and Cons
Speaker Engage is a platform that lets planners keep track of many aspects of speaker and sponsor coordination in one place, and it includes various functionalities like email marketing and agenda management. It aims to save planners time on day-to-day tasks by facilitating micro-actions and allows for efficient workflows within a team.
If you would like to try Speaker Engage, they are now offering a 100-day free trial. Discount code: EMB30P for 30% discount code for first year.
Disclaimer: Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the company. If you have any questions please use the contact us section.