I recently heard from a fairly new women’s ministry director who was planning an event for women. Here is what she said:
We are planning on a retreat at our church in 2014. We probably would have around 100+ women attend I am guessing. I have to submit a budget in a week or so and realized I have no idea how much a conference speaker might be or how to go about this. I am thinking it will be more difficult getting someone to the northeast but would like to have a speaker come and then have some of our ladies do breakout sessions. Any thoughts on how to secure a speaker and cost would be much appreciated!
These are big questions, and they’re hard to answer because women’s speakers come in all size packages! $0 to thousands of dollars. Start with your budget you have set aside. Then add to that the amount you plan to charge the attendees. Divide that by 100 (or 85 to be on the safe side financially) to see how much you can afford for travel and honorarium for a speaker. Many speakers are negotiable so do not be afraid to tell them your budget if they give you an amount that is too big. You also need to give much thought and prayer to your purpose for the event so that when you talk to potential speakers you and they ask (and they should ask!!) you are able to tell them what want to accomplish (or rather what you believe God wants to accomplish).
The purpose is the first thing I want to know when I’m asked to consider speaking to a group of women. If it’s just because “we always do an event every year and it’s on this date,” I just don’t feel compelled to even consider it. But if they give me a deeper purpose and if it connects to my purpose and calling, then I certainly want to ask God if He would allow me the honor.
The purpose will be important not only to your speaker but also your team as you plan. The purpose will keep you on task so that you don’t plan all sorts of aspects that will not help you accomplish your purpose.
As a leader, how would you respond to this question about women’s events?