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Opening Keynote

Friday, February 24, 2017

Advantages with Speakers Bureau - Opening Keynote

Key advantages of working with a speakers bureau include the following:

Should the situation arise in which you are not happy with the speaker's performance or any other aspect of your interaction with the speaker, you have a legitimate third party, the bureau, to handle your concerns. You are in a position of even greater leverage because it is in the bureau's best and long-term interest to ensure that you are happy. The bureau's loyalty is to you – you are the customer – not the speaker they assign to meet your needs. Some speakers never quite understand that, but the bureaus have a very clear understanding of who signs the checks.

In the rare event that the original speaker cannot make the appointed date, the bureau can more easily get you the right back-up speaker than if you face this task by yourself, especially at the last minute. Many bureaus require speakers to sign various pledges indicating, for example, that they will abide by certain travel expense limitations, not use offensive or off-color language, and so on. In this manner, working with the bureau affords many more protections than you might otherwise have when working with a speaker directly.

The bureau can also help enforce your policies regarding selling from the platform and engaging in other types of promotional behavior. A small percentage of speakers will flat out upset the tone of your meeting by using a portion of their time in front of your group to engage in aggressive marketing. The incidence of this happening when retaining speakers through a bureau is far less, and for the most part can be eliminated all together.

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