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Opening Keynote

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hiring the Right Speaker - Opening Keynote

Speakers bureaus have been an effective way of identifying and retaining the right speaker for your upcoming meeting since the time of Mark Twain. Yet, many meeting professionals have still not tapped into the power of using speakers bureaus to identify the right speaker with the right topic at the right price, thereby saving a ton of work.

One of the common myths that prevail today, which has kept some meeting organizers from employing speakers bureaus, is the pervasive belief that somehow it is more costly to retain a speaker through a bureau than by trying to contract with a speaker directly. In rare instances this may be true, but among ethical speakers and ethical bureaus, which represent 95% of each industry, the fee of retaining a speaker is the same whether you contract with that speaker directly or book the speaker through a reputable speakers bureau.

For example, if a speaker charges $8,500, that $8,500 is the same to you whether you pay the speaker directly or you pay the bureau. The bureau takes a percentage from the speaker, hence the speaker is paying the bureau’s fee, not you.

Why would a speaker ever want to be booked through a bureau when ostensibly he or she could consummate bookings directly? The short answer is that many speakers do not wish to engage in marketing; they do not have the time, energy, or resources and haven’t developed a long-term client base, as a good bureau has done. The fee that the speaker pays to a bureau to be booked with you is well worth it for the speaker. He or she gets to lower overhead and spend more time on presentation skills, subject matter development, and understanding of your industry and your audience members’ needs.

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Jeff Davidson, MBA, CMC, Executive Director -- Breathing Space Institute  © 2014
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