Ditch passive presentations. Nine speakers who turn audiences into active participants. 

Keynotes are tricky. Designed to kick off an event by setting the tone or theme, the keynote address can be the most expensive hour of your conference, with top speakers commanding from $10,000 to several hundred thousand dollars. And because the speaker is often central to your marketing both of these factors add to the stress for planners, and because the keynote marks the opening of the program and very often takes place first thing in the morning, it can also add to the stress on your attendees.  People who flew in the night before, slept in an unfamiliar bed, and stood in line for a badge may not be in the best frame of mind to appreciate the wisdom of a titan of industry early in the morning. To be fair, “early” is a relative term. Musician Bruce Springsteen began his keynote speech at SXSW by saying, “Why are we up so f*@#ing early? How can this speech be so important if we are giving it at noon?”

 But whatever time the keynote happens, organizers hope the audience experiences something that will inspire, educate, entertain, or all of the above, and set the tone for the rest of the conference. It is interesting, then, that when MeetingsNet talked to people who attended C2 Montreal, Canada’s award-winning three-day business event, they mentioned the innovative networking events, immersive experiences, and even the circus performers used to change scenery onstage, but could barely remember anything about the speakers…Read the full article in MeetingsNet’s March Issue.