How will you choose your next keynote speaker? From Google searches? From recommendations? From a speaker’s bureau?
You need the right speaker regardless of the route you use to find him or her. This article discusses what a speaker’s bureau provides.
WHO DO THEY REPRESENT?
Only a small percentage of keynote speakers are represented by bureaus – usually those who charge higher prices. Not always, but since bureaus work on a percentage of the fee, and the work involved – to place, contract, collect fees, etc. – is the same, they generally represent only the mid-range ($10,000 – $25,000) and upper range ($25,000+).
PRICE RANGES OF SPEAKERS
Usually, not always, speakers warrant the prices they charge; those who charge more than their value fall away quickly. But those of a lower price are not necessarily less professional: they either haven’t been around as long, written as many books, or put in the miles as those who charge more. Bureaus vet their speakers carefully: the prices are commensurate withvalue.
WHAT THEY PROVIDE
A speaker’s bureau will send you a group of speakers in the price range you suggested, and usually one wild card ofhigher price. They don’t care who you choose (although they favor folks who get hired frequently). Bureaus are easy and responsive and learn the needs of regular clients. What they offer is a small subset of who they represent – certainly not all who would be appropriate and found through recommendations or Google or LinkedIn.
Most groups use both speaker’s bureaus and recommendations. Certainly you’ll get a set of professionals to choose from. But you’ll undoubtedly miss that gem who has so much business she doesn’t need a bureau to represent her.