The Benefits of Using a Speakers Bureau
Let’s face it; times have changed. The robust internet search engines provide research results with merely the swing of a few keystrokes. So, why, in an age where information is at our fingertips, is it necessary to employ someone else to find the perfect speaker for your next event? The answer is quite simple: Speakers bureaus save money and provide expertise.
If you want the best bang for your buck while ensuring all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, securing a speaker through a bureau is the way to go.
Before you devote hours, days, or even weeks scouring the internet for the perfect speaker, ask yourself this question: How important is convenience to you? And, another: How valuable is your time? A speaker’s bureau agent will take the time out of your search, inevitably providing the immediate gratification the internet has made us accustomed to, and all while saving you money (because your time is worth money and productivity).
Using their expertise, acumen, and negotiating skills, a good agent will ask the right questions, employ the best resources and can get you the best value on fee, additional activities, and contractual terms. What’s more is that they have access to a vast database of professional speakers. Their inside industry knowledge is invaluable. They know who has the most original content, who can customize their presentations, and who fits your needs and audience the best.
Plainly stated, speaker’s bureaus are the experts on the experts. They are abreast of the latest trends in the industry, and encompass a deep-seated, experience-honed knowledge of what does and does not work in specific situations. Alongside an appreciation for innovation and a commitment to conform to each client’s wishes, you will benefit from the wisdom of seasoned personnel.
However, your agent will not only help you find the perfect speaker, they will also serve as your partner along the way. They will negotiate and deliver contracts, provide liability protection, and coordinate the speaker’s onsite logistics, including travel, meals, and accommodations.
And, on the rare occasion that your speaker cancels, the bureau will provide immediate solutions.
By far the most important benefit of using a speaker’s bureau is hiring superior talent. Many of the best speakers choose to connect themselves to events through speaker’s bureaus, and they may not always be reachable otherwise.
5 tips for selecting the right speaker’s bureau:
- Interview a few agents before selecting one. You are employing a contractor; make sure you find the right fit. Hopefully, your speaker’s bureau (and, specifically your agent) will become longtime business partners!
- Make sure your bureau has access to speakers outside of their own “exclusive” group. A good agent will have the ability to negotiate and book with anyone in the public speaking realm by co-broking with other agencies.
- Get an itemized break-down of their fee structures, travel stipends, and services provided. This will eliminate any possibility of surprise last-minute expenses.
- Review the fine print. Make sure they offer insurance for cancellations, conflicts, emergencies, etc.
- Check references. And, not only references of the bureau and agent, but also those of the speakers proposed prior to making a deal. Many speakers will provide sample videos. Be sure to watch them!