- Can you reach out to speakers who are not featured on your website?
Some speakers bureaus and management agencies only represent a small handful of speakers or celebrities. If you are looking to book the best talent for your event, you will want to work with a speakers bureau who not only has a robust and diverse roster of speakers, but who is also able to reach out to other talent, and work with other bureau partners to access virtually any speaker or celebrity. If you only see a few speakers on an agency’s website, it’s likely they are incentivized to book those speakers, and might be biased in finding you a speaker for your event.
- Is your speaker bureau a member of the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB)?
IASB provides leadership to the bureau industry through education, resources and partnerships with organizations that support the meetings and events industry. If a speakers bureau is a member of IASB, they are well established in the speaking bureau industry, and must adhere to the values and practices outlined by the IASB.
- Does your speakers bureau have a specific niche or industry they are experienced working with?
Some bureaus work primarily with political speakers, while others are known for working with big-name celebrities, or top business thought leaders. If you are looking to book a keynote speaker for an audience of high-level technology experts, for example, you might want to ask if your speakers bureau has worked with many large technology companies, or has a robust roster of technology experts.
- How will your speakers bureau help me?
Some management agencies will be able to get you in touch with a speaker or celebrity, or simply let them know if they are available, and will leave the rest up to you. Be sure that the bureau you are working with is comfortable bringing an offer to the speaker, and negotiating on your behalf. It is also wise to ask if your speakers bureau will be managing the event logistics, planning pre-event calls, and managing correspondence with the speaker from the initial inquiry, to the event follow up.
- Are you a consultative speakers bureau, or a speaker manager?
This is especially important if you have recurring events, or are not exactly sure who will be the best keynote speaker for your event. Ask if your speakers bureau will work with you every step of the way to deeply understand your organization, audience, and event objectives to consult with you and present you with the best fit options for your specific event. If the answer is no, you might end up with a speaker that is not a good match for your company or event. A consultative speakers bureau will also have experience working with many different speakers and can let you know if a speaker might be a slam dunk for one type of audience, and a snore for another.
- Will I have a dedicated agent or account representative?
Ask your speakers bureau if you will have a dedicated agent who will be responsible for learning about your company, industry, audience and event objectives. If you have a dedicated agent, you will know that each time you have an event, there will be someone who deeply understands your company and industry, and can easily make educated recommendations regarding keynote speakers, emcees, and entertainers that will make you look like a hero.
Have questions of your own? Preparing for an event? Please feel free to contact BigSpeak Speakers Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 965-1400.