There’s no doubt that getting a celebrity to speak or perform at an event can be expensive. Depending on who it is and what you want him to do, prices range anywhere from four to seven figures. And that’s before all the extras that are often listed in celebrity contracts.
Still, hiring a celebrity can take your event from “eh” to “awesome,” even if the cost seems overwhelming. Many C-suite executives understand this and will request certain celebrities for upcoming events. As an event planner, it’s your job to realize the importance of getting just the right celebrity.
One year, at a Cisco event, CEO John Chambers asked me to book Jerry Seinfeld. He ended up being a huge success. Employees felt special because Chambers went the extra mile to get someone so famous, and the event is still remembered fondly.
This kind of thing is hard to measure, of course. Like Seinfeld at the Cisco event, good celebrity speakers inspire action, instill confidence, and energize the audience. While you can’t quite find the numbers to prove that a good celeb speaker helps business, positive memories and a good atmosphere typically maximize the return — and those memories become stories that are shared for years to come, ensuring even those people who join the group later feel the impact.