Posts Tagged ‘speakers’

Last fall, we posted a blog “With a Name like Hogshead, She Better Be Good!”summarizing the specific importance and relevance the Financial and Insurance Conference has, in regards to, the professional speaking industry.

Recall, the FICP, (Financial & Insurance Conference Planners) has an executive membership of over 1,500 planner professionals and hospitality partners. With a history spanning over 60 years of leading experts, the FICP offers first-rate access to education experience and resources targeting the needs of financial services and insurance meeting planners from all across North America.

On November 9th, meeting industry leaders from key financial firms, such as Disney Destinations, DMC Network, 360 Destination Group, Hosts Global Alliance and Regent Seven Seas Cruises & Oceania Cruise, will gather at the Omni Nashville Hotel to attend the 2016 Financial and Insurance Conference Planners Annual Conference.

Why is this particular conference important to the professional speaking industry? Essentially, the firms that are represented by FICP members invest large amounts of money in motivational speakers, trainers and thought leaders. Therefore, the competition to speak to this important group of meeting industry leaders is fierce. It is advantageous for a speaker to address this group because it builds their speaking credibility and reputation. It is no surprise that last year’s keynote speaker, Sally Hogshead, was one of the most “booked” and sought after speakers in the financial services sector.

Following this year’s meeting, The Speaker Experts believe that the chosen General Session speakers for the upcoming 2016 conference will benefit similar success and demand.

For the Opening General Session FICP stages:

Thomas Koulopoulos 

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Tom Koulopoulos is the author of nine books and founder of Delphi Group, a 20-year-old Boston-based think tank, which was named one of the fastest growing private companies in the US by Inc. Magazine. Delphi provides advice on innovation practices and methods to Global 2000 organizations and government agencies.Click here to view his website.

For the Closing General Session FICP stages:

Captain Scott Kelly

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On stage, Scott speaks on the themes of teamwork, crisis management, accountability, and leadership. Scott’s book, Endurance, will be published in 2017 and the movie rights to his life story have been acquired by Sony Pictures with a tentative release date in 2018. Click here to view his website.

Currently, Koulopoulos and Kelly are high demand speakers. Without hesitation, their speaking talents will increase following their General Session presentations. You can gather background information on both speakers and view streaming video of their presentations by clicking on the links provided above.

For those who may be interested, The Speaker Experts have acquired a limited number of Tom’s best-selling book Gen Z Effect: The Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business In his book, Tom delves into a vision of the future where disruptive invention and reinvention is the acknowledged norm, touching almost every aspect of how we work, live and play.

Please contact us in the event that you would like to recieve a complimentary copy of this quick read.  

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Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

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Every 4 years, in early August the world turns their attention to the Summer Olympic Games. This is an exciting time for sports and non-sports fans alike. Coincidentally, it is an important event for the professional speaking industry. Over the years, some of the most sought after motivational speakers on the circuit had first come into the national spotlight at the Olympic Games. Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig, Mary Lou Retton, Sugar Ray Leonard are just a few examples of Olympic athletes who have become cornerstones of the speaking industry.

The Speaker Experts have been in the speaking industry going back to the 1984 Olympic Games.  A lot has changed in the world of professional speaking since then, but one thing has not…the Olympic Games generate a great deal of demand from meeting planners that are vigorously looking to enhance their events by securing an Olympic athlete. Of course, the interest was demonstrated via phone calls and letters, while today it is demonstrated by emails, tweets, and texts.

This Olympic year has proven no exception. We have already received speaking requests for Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles and Maya DiRado. Scheduling an Olympic athlete to speak or appear at your upcoming event can be a great experience; however, you need to have a clear understanding on your desired outcome and goals for the appearance in order to make the most appropriate selection.

If your goal is to capture or take advantage of the Olympic spirit by securing a world class speaker, your best option will be to explore a former champion. While speakers like Peter Vidmar, John Naber, Scott Hamilton, and Vince Poscente may lack the name value of Olympic athletes who are competing in Rio this week, they are seasoned professional speakers who have crafted their speech and message having appeared before hundreds of groups.You can expect to find great options in this space in the $30,000 and under fee range. We often forget that these legacy athletes have a compelling backstory to go with their Olympic experience.  Therefore, we suggest a short high energy introduction video to bring these speakers on stage.

If your goal is to create excitement, increase revenue via attendance/sponsorship or drive attendees to the exhibit floor, securing a current champion could be an option, but there are a number of considerations. The first consideration is that generally younger athletes are not experienced professional speakers. They have spent their lives perfecting their craft and not a speech.  While there are exceptions, we would suggest a Q&A format with a professional moderator to bring out the best in the athlete.  The second consideration is cost. The top tier athletes for the current games can command fees in the six figure range for a short appearance. Finally, not every athlete will be available to appear at your meeting.  Many Olympic athletes will continue on to future competitions, return to a full-time job, or continue their education.

Conclusion:

Scheduling a speaker with an Olympic background can add value and create excitement at your next event.  When doing so, it is important to have a clear understanding of your expectations for the speaker and the session.  Although, this month’s Olympic gold medal winners will bring instant name value and cache to your stage, it is not always realistic to ask them to give a polished 50 minute keynote speech. If you are looking to capture the Olympic spirit with a world class professional speaker, look towards an older athlete who has a proven track record on the speaking circuit.

Tip:

The 2018 Winter Olympics takes place in Pyeongchang, South Korea from February 9th through the 25th. If you have a meeting during this time period, as Olympian hockey player, the Great Wayne Gretsky used to say, “Skate to where the puck is going to be,” and consider scheduling a Winter Olympic Champion to speak at your meeting.  Contact your IASB member speaker bureau to discuss your speaker options in this space.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

 

Last month, speaker bureau industry leader Washington Speakers Bureau announced a change in their co-broker pricing structure that should be noted by those who schedule paid professional speakers. A letter from Vice President of Bureau Relations Sheldon Bream stated the following:

I wanted to let you know that WSB is changing our pricing structure for more than half of our exclusive speakers. Those speakers will now be priced at a gross fee (split commission) while some will remain at a “net to WSB” fee.

This modified policy represents a philosophical pivot from their announcement reported in our January 2015 posting, “Washington Speakers Bureau Co-Brokering Policy Change: What It Means to You” that indicated the firm would no longer be willing to “split commissions” on any of their speakers.

Real Estate CBSThe Speaker Experts offer no judgment as to why they made this strategic policy shift. Our only concern is the impact this policy has on those corporate and association executives who “book” paid professional speakers. In our judgement, the policy change has little impact on the underpinnings of the co-broker model and the pros and cons of being involved in a co-broker situation.  Bottom line: if you opt to schedule a WSB exclusive speaker via a competing speaker bureau, your organization may or may not pay a higher speaking fee.

The actual price of the speaker is just one issue to consider when deciding if it is your organization’s best interest to be involved in a co-broker scenario. In our posting, “The Four Myths of the Speaker Bureau Co-Broker,” we outlined how the co-broker process works and what it means to an organization scheduling a speaker. Followers of this blog know that The Speaker Experts are quick to point out “co-brokering” a speaker is rarely in your best interest, but there can be occasions where it might make sense for the organization. The key here is to know when you are getting involved in a co-broker situation. This is a decision that should be made by you, and not by a speaker bureau on your behalf.

The Speaker Experts have a vast industry knowledge of the speaker bureau industry and the exclusive rosters of all the major speaker bureaus. We are always happy to share this information with the readers of this blog.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

Well, as many of our readers may have guessed, there is no Commodore 64,  no slide rule, and no complex algorithm that we use to identify the 10 most booked corporate and association speakers. The list is developed over the course of the year, as a result of our interactions with thousands of meeting planners, executives, and speakers. While there is no real “science” behind our selections, there is one common denominator: all of these speakers give at least 100 commercial presentations during the course of the year. On the intangible side, they tend to be asked for by name, are rarely available when we check their speaking schedules, and their speaking fees are continuously on the rise.

A couple of notes before we begin:

  • These are all popular world-class speakers, but it does not mean that they are the right fit for every meeting or organization. Consult with a Speaker Bureau you trust before scheduling one of these speakers to make sure they can achieve your goals and desired outcomes
  • Charlie Cook is exclusive with Leading Authorities International.  They are your best source to schedule Mr. Cook.
  • The reader can gather more detailed background, contact, and booking information for these speakers by clicking on the links provided.
It gives us great pleasure to present our followers with the 2016 List of the 10 Most Booked Corporate and Association Speakers:
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Josh Linkner – “Last year’s ASAE Keynote List. This year’s Most Booked List”

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Magic Johnson – “Triple-double on the court and on stage”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mel Robbins – “A recognized authority on leadership development, employee engagement, and motivation

Knight

Jim Knight – “Hard Rock energy comes to the corporate stage”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cook

Charlie Cook – “Iconic Political forecaster in high demand during election year”

Scott Kelly

Captain Scott Kelly – “Back on Earth and at the podium”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daymond John

Daymond John – “Shark Week is not just for Discovery TV”

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Alison Levine – “Top of the Everest Speaking Mountain”

 

 

 

Abrashoff

Mike Abrashoff – “Third year in a row on ‘The List.”

Wahl

Erik Wahl – “The 3 E’s: Energy, Entertainment and Education”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion: 

Of course, it is impossible to identify the 10 most booked speakers on the speaking circuit, but you would have a hard time arguing with any one of the aforementioned speakers. The real trick is to target who will be on this list next year before it happens.

 

One speaker we feel to be a strong candidate is visionary corporate social entrepreneur Derreck Kayongo. In addition to being a compelling, engaging, and high-impact speaker, he will give the closing keynote session at the 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting this August in Salt Lake City. If past performance of ASAE speakers is an indicator of future corporate and association speaking demand, look for Derreck Kayongo to make this prestigious list next year.

 

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

You have assembled a World-Class lineup of brand name general session speakers, as well as an educational program featuring the circuit’s leading high-impact thought leaders. The six-figure investment in speaker honoraria is steep, but this part was easy compared to the countless hours of evaluating speakers, working with volunteer leadership, and coming to a consensus within the organization. When The Speaker Experts started in this industry 30 years ago, the next step was to print these speakers in a program and distribute to the membership with some help from the U.S. Post Office. In today’s digital age however, the construction of a program is just the start of a process that can benefit membership and the association for years to come.

In order to help us understand how better to throw gasoline on the social media fire, The Speaker Experts enlisted the help of sought after speaker and social media expert Corey Perlman. Below are his thoughts on orchestrating a comprehensive social media strategy for your big event.


 

Putting Together Your Comprehensive Social Media Event Strategy

Pre-Event

Social activity leading up to the event is all about creating buzz and attracting the right people to your event! This is the time to inform and intrigue followers, broaden your reach, and start to encourage conversation and engagement around your event.

Create A Memorable, User-Friendly Event Hashtag

    • Consider including initials or numbers to create a hashtag that is short, unique and easy to remember. A little research can help you identify if one is taken/has already been used, so you can avoid intermingling your event conversation with someone else’s and confusing followers.
    • HashtagIncorporate your hashtag on your event website, in promotional communications and even some unconventional locations, like inserting it into your email signature—just like anything else, the more exposure a hashtag gets, the better the chance that people will use and remember it.

Lead Time

    • As mentioned above, starting early to allow yourself solid lead time can help you get the most out of your social media campaign and build awareness over a period of time. Just like movie trailers get people excited for an upcoming feature film, incorporating enough lead time as a part of your event strategy allows you time to create and organize great content, build your audience, and tweak certain things, when necessary.

Consistency

    • Ensure your tone and engagement levels are consistent. Cute and cheeky in one post and serious in another has the potential to confuse (and likely disengage) followers.
    • Make sure to encourage engagement by sharing and responding to comments made by attendees. Whether you ‘like’, respond to or re-post messages, ensure you are consistent and that you avoid reacting to certain posts and not others.

Promotion

    • COMING-SOON-FRAME_1024x1024Use social platform(s) to offer early registration discounts or reveal exciting news, like announcing who the keynote speaker(s) will be. Ramp up anticipation with a few intriguing posts about how excited you are to reveal who the keynote will be—everyone likes a little surprise and delight.
    • If you’re not getting the engagement or reach you’d like to see, consider creating a budget for digital advertising. A small budget for boosting or promoting posts on Facebook can be extremely helpful to project your message out to a larger audience.

Utilize Speakers/ Talent

    • Ask speakers to promote the event using the hashtag—this is a great and effective way to expand exposure within your event strategy
On-Site

Social activity during your event is just as important as pre-event promotion, especially to capture the essence and power of the live event experience. It is also crucial that you recognize and acknowledge your brand ambassadors—your attendees! They have the power to amplify your event authentically, so make sure you are encouraging, monitoring and maximizing opportunities.

Encourage Sharing

    • word of mouthMaximize the power of your audience by making your hashtag easily visible and encourage sharing.
    • Consider running contests throughout your event—like incentivizing users with the most creative posts or publish clues to a scavenger hunt that runs throughout the conference.

Use a Social Management Tool

    • Platforms like HootSuite and TweetDeck make it easy to monitor activity on Twitter around a hashtag—use these tools to monitor and engage with attendees by liking or retweeting their posts and responding to messages, when appropriate.
    • Encourage your speakers to consider using tools like Kiwilive or Poll Everywhere to keep the audience engaged and connected.

Maximize Video Opportunities

    • With platforms like Livestream, it’s now easier than ever to bring individuals who couldn’t attend the event into the audience in real time and experience the power of the live event experience.
    • If live streaming isn’t in the cards, consider hiring a videographer to record keynotes, presentations and other parts of your event to archive for future use.
    • Periscope and Facebook Live are two growing platforms for live video. Consider tactics for encouraging use among attendees, or using the platform to stream other activities during the event, like post-keynote interviews.
Post-Event

Continue the momentum with your post event strategy! Utilize social content from the event to further amplify it—in follow-up messaging for attendees, communications to other customers, and to promote future events. Identify where you can use video, images, commentary and testimonials on your website, in your database and via social channels.

[Continue to] Maximize Video Opportunities

    • SNAPCHAT LOGOVideo from the event can (and should) be used long after the closing keynote—whether it is to evoke the excitement of the event for those who attended, offer an opportunity for those who couldn’t attend to be part of it, or start to amplify next year’s event. And with platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook allowing video, sharing video via social is easier than ever.

Review Activity

    • Social activity from events provides planners candid, unedited feedback from clients or customers on everything from the food to the keynote speakers to the Wi-Fi connection—don’t discount the significance of this commentary, especially as you consider your next event.
    • Examine posts from attendees during the event for photos and testimonials—on-the-ground insights on how amazing your keynote speaker was or photos taken from their vantage point are invaluable marketing assets.

Harnessing the power of social media throughout the event life cycle by developing a comprehensive event strategy provides planners with the opportunity to effectively make their event much bigger than it is. Use these tips for before, during and after your event to broaden your reach, provide clients/attendees with unique and valuable opportunities to engage, participate and be a part of the conversation, and develop a unique record of what happened and the content that was created.

About Our Guest Author – Corey Perlman

Social Media Expert & Bestselling Author

perlman-c-150x150@2xRenowned for his ability to illustrate the strength and value of social media to audiences ranging from C-Suite executives to communications managers, Corey Perlman is the thought leader and speaker that corporations and associations, including Dale Carnegie Training, the Retail Leaders Industry Association, and the Dallas Cowboys turn to for expertise on remaining relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace and rapidly accelerating business landscape. From generating leads through active monitoring and content creation, to incorporating the latest social commerce tools and SEO best practices, Perlman captivates audiences at his speaking events across the country as he helps organizations harness the power of social media in ways that directly impact their bottom line. For more information, please visit Corey Perlman’s webpage.


Social Media Overload

 Free Copy of Social Media Overload!

The Speaker Experts have acquired 30 copies of Corey Perlman’s book Social Media Overload! Simple Social Media Strategies for Overwhelmed and Time-Deprived Businesses, and would be delighted to send you a complimentary copy. Please contact us via our blog, email, or telephone.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

The American Society for Association Executives has announced their Keynote and Game Changer speakers for the August 13-16, 2016 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Salt Lake City, UT. As we discussed in our blog last year regarding this bellwether meeting, being selected to speak at this meeting is not only an honor, but a harbinger of speaking demand within the Association and Corporate sectors. One needs to look no further than last’s year’s ASAE Annual Meeting in Detroit, MI for evidence of this demand, as Josh Linkner, Sheryl Connelly and Liz Wiseman have been three of the most requested and “booked” speakers on the National and State Association speaking circuit over the past year. Speaking at a National Association meeting has a dramatic multiplier effect, as member organizations often use these meetings as a showcase in identifying the most talented speakers for their corporate meetings, and the three aforementioned speakers are starting to enjoy the results of this effect as well.

This year, over 5,000 Association leaders converge on Salt Lake City to share expertise with industry partners and hear from the speaking circuit’s leading thought leaders. If past performance is an indicator of future demand, these speakers will be among the circuit’s most highly sought after over the next few years.


Keynotes

Captains Mark and Scott Kelly

Captain Scott Kelly (left) and his brother Captain Mark Kelly

Captains Mark & Scott Kelly: Being identical twins is rare, but both being astronauts is something else entirely. A former U.S. Navy Captain, Mark Kelly was aboard the last planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour, and was part of many other missions in the 1990s and 2000s. His brother Scott Kelly recently concluded his historical year in space mission aboard the International Space Station. While addressing a number of topics dealing with leadership, communication, innovation and teamwork, the Kelly brothers also speak on the importance of space exploration, lessons learned and how this mission will directly impact our pursuit of one day putting a man on Mars. Click here to view their webpage

Kayongo D

Derreck Kayongo

 

 

Derreck Kayongo: A passionate world changer, Derreck Kayongo is CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and founder of the Global Soap Project, a foundation that recovers discarded soap from hotels, reprocesses it into new bars, and then distributes them to vulnerable populations around the world with a hope to improve global health. In his energetic speeches, Derreck shares his inspiring journey and provides examples on how we can all make a difference one step at a time. Click here to view his webpage

 

 

Game Changers

Stephens R

Robert Stephens

Robert Stephens: Founder of The Geek Squad, Robert Stephens started the company with $200. In 2002, The Geek Squad was acquired by Best Buy and opened Geek Squad precincts in all Best Buy US and Canadian stores. It is now North America’s largest technology support company offering phone, in-store, and in-home support. Using the Geek Squad story as a platform, he offers audiences how setting the blueprint for a fully connected service organization can drive customer satisfaction and boost overall service sustainability. Click here to view his webpage

 

Best C

Charles Best

Charles Best: Charles stands at the intersection of education, philanthropy and technology. His personal story demonstrates that one person can launch a movement, and his insights inspire businesspeople and students alike. Charles even puts his speaker’s fee in the hands of his audience, giving everyone a philanthropic gift card to spend on a classroom request of their choice. In 2000, while teaching history at a Bronx public high school, Charles launched DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit organization that provides a simple way to address educational inequity. Today, half of all the public schools in America have at least one teacher who has created a classroom project request on DonorsChoose.org, and more than a million people have donated $200 million, providing books, art supplies, technology and other resources to 10 million students, overwhelmingly in low-income communities. Click here to view his webpage

TanLe.jpg

Tan Le

 

Tan Le: Technology entrepreneur, business executive, and popular keynote speaker, Tan Le is the Founder & CEO of Emotiv Lifesciences, a biomedical company on the cutting edge of brain function screening. Tan was born in Vietnam, and came as a refugee to Australia at age four. Her story has been featured in the National Museum of Australia, and her research continues to yield discoveries and innovations in the medical community. Click here to view her webpage

 

Tenney M

Matt Tenney

 

Matt Tenney: Author, international keynote speaker, trainer, and consultant with the prestigious Perth Leadership Institute – whose clients include numerous fortune 500 companies – matt works with companies, associations, universities, and non-profits to develop highly effective leaders who achieve lasting success by focusing on serving and inspiring greatness in the people around them. he envisions a world where the vast majority of people realize that effectively serving others is the key to true greatness. Click here to view his webpage


Conclusion

As SNL’s Father Guido Sarducci suggested of economics in his Five Minute University,  “when demand goes up, supply goes down, and then the price goes up.” Being selected to speak at ASAE Annual Meeting almost always results in high demand and low supply in the months and years following the event. Of course, not every speaker is right for every group. The Speaker Experts suggest that you check in with your trusted IASB member speaker bureau to determine if one of these speakers is the right fit for your meeting.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

To say last week’s post was not well received by our valued readers would be an understatement. Even Gary’s bride of over 25 years felt the post made little sense to anyone outside the speaker bureau industry. Consequently, we are going to skip the remaining two scenarios and the corresponding solutions. You’ll just have to trust us that there was an easy fix for both of them!

So, how is a meeting in Cancun of a bunch of speaker bureau owners and key agents relevant to the person who develops meeting content? Well the answer is pretty straight forward: the International Association of Speakers Bureaus selected and hosted some of the most in-demand speakers on the national speaker circuit, but the session that garnered the most conversation was, THE INDUSTRY PANEL.

The Speaker Experts make their living by “booking” paid speakers for association and corporate meetings, but we are also quick to point out that The Industry Panel can often be the most important and well-attended session of a meeting. One of the real keys to the success of such a panel is the role of the moderator. The importance of this job cannot be underestimated or taken lightly. Among other things, the moderator must keep the panel moving; get the best out of the panelists (while not being afraid to challenge them in a provocative manner); keep the topic relevant to the audience; and, above all else, end the panel on schedule so the exhibit hall opens on time.

The Speaker Experts feel there are three effective types of panel moderators or interviewers. Let’s take a closer look:


  1. The use of respected industry icons to facilitate the discussion or interview. A good example would be Tony D’Amelio and Rich Gibbons at IASB.  In this case, they both are very good communicators, but their stature within the industry is what commands the respect and interest of the audience and therefore creates excitement before, during, and after the meeting.


  2. The use of a respected Association or Corporate leader. These individuals are generally good communicators and speakers in their own right. They have am unparalleled understanding of the issues impacting the audience, and are able to lead the speaker or panel through a discussion that is relevant to the meeting. Below are a few examples of Association leaders in action on stage:
Volcker

NRUCFC CFC/CEO Sheldon C. Petersen interviewing former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker at the CFC Independent Borrowers Executive Summit 2015 in Tucson, AZ

Kat Cole

NRECA Senior Vice President of Education and Training Tracey Steiner interviewing Kat Cole at the 2016 Directors Conference in Austin, TX

David Gregory

WSWA President/CEO Craig Wolf interviewing David Gregory at the 73rd Annual Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas, NV


  1. The third effective type of industry panel moderator or interviewer is the use of a media professional. These experts bring instant name and brand identification to the session. They are world-class masters at keeping the panel interesting, relevant, and compelling. The panel’s advance work with the media professional will insure that the he/she is prepared, briefed, and has a deep understanding of the desired outcome for the session. Below are examples of the world’s most in-demand panel moderators and interviewers:
Karlgaard

Innovation and the Future: Rich Karlgaard – Publisher and Columnist for Forbes

Geoff Colvin The New Rules of Business 2013 Fortune Global Forum

Economy: Geoff Colvin – Senior Editor-at-Large for Fortune Magazine

2014 Texas Conference For Women

Human Resource Management: Soledad O’Brien – Chairman of Starfish Media Group

Susan Dentzer Medicare & Medicaid Next 50 Years

Healthcare: Susan Dentzer – President and CEO of NEHI

Judy Woodruff 1

Washington Politics: Judy Woodruff – Co-Anchor and Managing Editor of PBS NewsHour

Katty Kay Panel

International Affairs: Katty Kay – Lead Anchor for BBC World News America

Nina Easton

Business Landscape: Nina Easton – Political Analyst for Fox News and Co-founder of Sellers Easton Media


Conclusion:

An industry panel can be an effective educational element for most General Sessions. You can find out more about the media experts above by clicking on the provided links. If you are going to investigate the use of a paid media expert as outlined in scenario 3, The Speaker Experts suggest you discuss this with your preferred IASB-member speaker bureau.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

Last week, we discussed the 2016 IASB Annual Convention in Cancun and the impact this meeting has on the professional speaking industry. The Speaker Experts did not attend the conference, but understand in talking to those that did (along with reading follow-up social media posts) that one of the most important sessions of the meeting was a “Burning Issues” discussion, hosted by industry titans Tony D’Amelio of the D’Amelio Network and Rich Gibbons of the prestigious West Coast speaker bureau SpeakInc.

We apologize in advance to our readers outside of the speaker bureau industry, as the post will get into the tall grass of the speaker bureau business, but we promise that the conclusion will have relevance to all who schedule professional and celebrity speakers.

The “Burning Issues” Session covered the topic of “co-brokering” between bureaus and things that “annoy, aggravate and anger.” A quick peek at our controversial post “The Four Myths of the Speaker Bureau Co-Broker” will give readers some insight into the practice of co-brokering and its implications for those who “book” speakers. Tony and Rich presented five scenarios to spur conversation, create dialogue, and enable the attendees to walk out better equipped to handle such situations when they arise in the future.

Co-brokered speaker bureau contracts can be complex transactions often presenting a unique and challenging set of circumstances. There is often no “black and white” answer, and a group of lecture agents could spend hours discussing each of the scenarios offered by Tony and Rich. With that said, we feel that no matter how complex the situation, the ultimate answer can be found by relying on our three rules for positive co-broker outcomes.

Rules

Let’s apply these rules to the scenarios suggested by Rich and Tony.


SCENARIO #1



♦ You’re working direct with a client. They have a “hold” on one of your exclusive speakers. Out of the blue, another bureau comes to you with a firm offer for the same event. It’s for the full fee.What’s the right way to handle?

Solution:  While in most cases we believe it is not in the client’s best interest to take this course of action (please refer to our The Four Myths of the Speaker Bureau Co-Broker post), the client has decided otherwise and, since this is America, the right way to handle this is to respect the client wishes and “co-broker” the speaker (please refer to Rule #1).


SCENARIO #2

♦ A client changes the timetable after the contract is signed. The time change means the itinerary the speaker had counted on does not work and impairs the speaker’s ability to get to their next event. The event date is just days away. What’s the right way to handle?  

Solution:  A contractual communication error was made by someone in this scenario. It may have been made by the customer, co-brokering bureau, or bureau representing the speaker, but an error was made. If the co-brokering bureau has a strong relationship with the customer and the “selling” bureau, there are any number of solutions that can solve the problem. If a solution can’t be found, then sadly this is one of those scenarios that falls under the 5% in Rule #3. Money is going to have to exchange hands in the form of a private jet charter, a cancellation fee, or other fiduciary solution.


SCENARIO #3

♦ A speaker (or manager/agent) discovers that the booking bureau is not only taking a commission, but is also marking up the fee by $1,000. Is this an ethical violation? If so, what do you do about it?

Solution:  You bet this is an ethical violation. If the contract had already been signed, we would have little choice but to complete the transaction, but Rule #2 would apply here. This bureau/person can’t be trusted and therefore we would not work with them in the future.


 

Next week, we will cover the remaining two scenarios and, more importantly, move the discussion back to the role an industry panel can play in creating educational content, excitement, discussion, and revenue at your Association Annual Meeting.

Gary McManis & Jay Conklin

There are varying tiers of speaker bureaus, ranging from the big guns to the smaller shops; all of them have their strengths and weaknesses, but the common theme is the legitimate agencies all have track records of booking and delivering strong speakers. Unfortunately, anyone with a flashy website and pictures taken from other sites could easily pass themselves off as a “speakers bureau,” and many meeting planners are none the wiser.

The challenge facing any meeting planner is to separate the proven professionals from the internet impostors. Here are 5 questions to ask any agent that will make this important distinction:

1. Is your Speaker Bureau a member of the International Association of Speaker Bureaus (IASB)? A professional association that provides guidance within the lecture industry, its membership is comprised of the world’s leading speaker bureaus. To become a member, you must adhere to the values and practices outlined by the IASB, which are there to protect the consumer’s best interests.

2. Do you represent the speaker you are suggesting to me? Seems like a silly question, but some bureaus advertise speakers they do not represent in order to attract unsuspecting meeting planners to their site. The Fortune Article below will give you a little deeper dive into this practice: http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/03/19/8402336/index.htm

3. Have you seen the speaker deliver a presentation in front of an audience? Again, seems like a silly question – you would think that the lecture agent you’re speaking with has seen every speaker they represent. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case; it’s practically impossible for one agent to see every speaker in person. Good informed opinions can be drawn by studying video, talking with clients who have utilized the speaker  and meeting with the speaker, but as a customer you should know if your agent has seen the speaker live.

4. Who are the last three groups you have “booked” this speaker for, and when did they take place? This is one of the better ways to get an idea and understanding of the bureau’s track record of working with the particular speaker in whom you’re interested. If your event is a test case for this agency booking this particular speaker, you should absolutely know about it.

5. What can I expect from your bureau if my speaker cancels?  If the bureau tells you they’ve never had a speaker cancel, hang up the phone. They are either being less than candid or don’t have enough experience under their belt. Speakers bureaus are an asset to meeting planners because they have contingency plans for everything and anything that could go wrong.  Speaker cancellations do not happen often, but when they do, you want a qualified team of experienced experts to solve the problem ( particularly if you are already on site).

Tune in next time for Part Two, where we’ll examine 5 additional questions to ask  your speaker bureau.

Gary McManis & JayConklin