Posts Tagged ‘Mario Cuomo’

Along with champagne, noisemakers and New Year’s resolutions, 2015 brought dramatic news to the speaking industry – Harry Rhoads Jr. and Christine Farrell of the Washington Speakers Bureau (“The Five Most Influential People in the Speaking Industry”) announced their firm will no longer offer split commissions to speaker bureaus who purchase WSB’s exclusive speakers for their customers.

What this means to the meeting industry is direct and simple – if you choose to book an exclusive WSB speaker via any other source, your organization will probably be paying a higher fee. In “The Four Myths of the Speaker Bureau Co-Broker” we discuss what co-brokering is, as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

This change in WSB policy represents a true paradigm shift in the speaker bureau world. Over a quarter century ago, it was WSB that championed the concept of competing speaker bureaus partnering to offer speakers to their customers. This concept, today known as “co-brokering”, was based on the principle that bureaus would split commissions so that in the end, the customer could elect to work with any bureau of their choosing at no fiduciary penalty. Today, WSB has gone 180 degrees in the opposite direction by telling the industry that their speakers are still available through other bureaus, but that those bureaus must mark up the fee by “10% or greater” if they would like to realize a commission.

The Speaker Experts offer no opinion or judgement as to the positives or negatives of WSB’s new policy. We are merely pointing out to our followers that this new policy could have a great impact on your organization should you opt to book a WSB speaker via a competing speaker bureau. Who knew in 1964 when Bob Dylan sang “The Times They Are a-Changin’”, he was referring to speaker bureau co-brokering in 2015!

Finally, The Speaker Experts note the passing of an industry lion in Mario Cuomo. Governor Cuomo was represented by the Harry Walker Agency for years and was a powerhouse speaker in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. His passionate, cause-driven and dynamic presentations almost always resulted in standing ovations, even from organizations on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin