Your Goal Is Not The High Priced Speaker by Gresham Hill
I get paid to give people the speaker, athlete, or entertainer they want. Currently, I’m pursuing Chip and Joanna Gaines, Mark Wahlberg, and Mike Rowe under my talent acquisition company, Gresham Hill, Inc. With our ministry, Reach Your City, I often help people bring in Bob Goff, David Nasser, or MAZE. But there is a consistent problem with the work that I do.
The problem is that my clients are too often infatuated with a name instead of understanding clearly how their “booking” helps them reach their true goals. Case in point came up this week. We work with an organization interested in bringing in a quality speaker for their college conference. They have given us names of quality speakers in the $10,000 – $20,000 range. This is a huge jump from the $3,500 budget they’ve had in the past but they’re looking to grow so I respect that.
Now, if we looked into this more deeply, we would realize that the higher priced “speakers” for the most part, will be completely unknown to the college students they hope to reach. So while the names may be impressive to the leadership and the quality of what they will do when they’re there may be amazing, it would be fooling themselves to think this will be an actual draw that would grow their conference well for the dollars invested.
What would be more interesting and more successful (in my opinion) is to consider taking that $10,000 budget, and getting a high quality (but relatively unknown) speaker onto every college campus and church that is partnered into this conference to inspire, excite, and motivate the students. For the same budget of one big time speaker at their conference, they could host this speaker 10 times prior to the event, introduce him / her to their students, and give them a real face and real messenger that connects them. I guarantee you that with the right speaker, more people will be reached and attendance at the conference will be maximized.
Another example I’ve run into is with reaching the lost. We often think that a big Christian band or an amazing speaker is going to reach the lost students in our city. We pay $10,000+ to bring them in plus another $10,000 meeting their rider requirements and we celebrate the big turnout at our church. However, what we do not measure is how many truly lost students did we reach? From my experience with over 4,000 outreaches (both good and bad), the students at this church’s outreach were likely the same ones that went to other church events around the city. Often times, no one is taking the time to understand their real goals and to truly reach the lost. Evangelism was supposed to be the goal, not attendance!
Turn that around and get an artist like Outcast BMX or Bryan Drake into the schools for an entire week and then host the event on Friday night AT THE SCHOOL. Not only will the turnout be twice as large, but the students you would never see at a Christian concert at a church would be there, hearing the Gospel perhaps for the first time. And isn’t that who we need to reach?