Ideally, a event should build off excitement and end up on a higher note than it ended. There's nothing worse than being exhausted and unmotivated at the end of a three day conference.
When considering a keynote speaker, it's important to take the structure and flow of the entire event into account.
When clients are deciding on their agenda and we're not consulting in that capacity, they have different reasons for putting the keynote speaker in different places throughout the event:
Beginning: We wanted to kick off the event on a high note and put energy into that first morning. You know, set the tone!
Middle: We thought the energy would be lagging, so we wanted to put the keynote in the middle of the event to get everyone pumped up.
End: We want to leave everyone on a high note and have them leave the event feeling pumped.
None of these places is inherently wrong--depending on what else you have planned for the event AND the messaging from the speaker--but here are some things to consider:
- A keynote is a professional speaker--how will the speaker after him/her compare?
- Will the rest of the event live up to the promise of the keynote?
- Does this give the audience adequate time to absorb a really important message?
- Will the audience forget the message by the end of the event?
- Are you going to DO something with the keynote messaging throughout the rest of the event?
- Will the audience be worn out by the time the keynote speaker comes around and/or skipping out on the event to handle neglected business?