Professional event planners continue to use Speaker’s Bureaus, even in the age of Expedia, Amazon, and “orderwhateveriwant.com.”
Time after time, good speakers’ bureaus prove their worth. They pick the best speakers, save money for clients, get the best value, and ensure that everything runs seamlessly.
Here’s a question: how important is convenience to you? If you answered “extremely,” you’re in the majority. We’re living in the age of convenience — between an increasingly global market and an influx of online offerings, we’re accustomed to getting anything we want at the push of a button.
Look at Expedia and Amazon. According to their business models, consumers should be able to log in to a digital platform, click through a few drop-down options, and boom! They’ve found exactly what they’re looking for, at the best price. No more computerized phone menus, no waiting on hold, no speaking to an overseas call center (unless, of course, something goes wrong and you need to make a change).
So if Expedia is so amazing, why do we still need travel agents for some trips?
Speakers’ Bureaus Provide Expertise
eCommerce platforms like Amazon and Expedia are great for ordering things — but you wouldn’t want to get your legal services from the web, would you? How about medical services, or tax advice? Sure, for a simple “lookup,” you can find info all over the Internet, but what about analysis of your particular situation and the best advice? AI expert Adam Cheyer recently presented to a group of 700 global IT leaders in Iceland, explaining that even today’s advanced AI cannot provide analysis of complex human needs.
What does all this have to do with speakers’ bureaus and the price of sow bellies on Mars? A lot! Working with a professional and experienced agent at a speakers’ bureau is the best solution for identifying and securing a top keynote speaker. Using their expertise, acumen, and negotiating skills, a good agent will ask the right questions, have the best resources and be able to get you the best value on fee, additional activities and terms.
Make Booking a Breeze
If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to hire a speaker for a meeting or conference, a speaker’s bureau is undoubtedly the way to go. Think of it like an industry-specific Amazon, but with the added benefit of a personal, expert touch. Rather than interfacing with a generic digital platform, working with a speaker’s bureau gives you personalized access to a vast database of professional expertise.
Outside of sheer convenience, the inside knowledge a speaker’s bureau can offer is invaluable. Hiring the perfect keynote speaker isn’t always easy, but with a bureau, you’ll have an insider’s view not only on fees (to determine cost and verify that you’re getting a good deal) but also on the speakers themselves — who has the most original content or energetic delivery, for instance.
Truly, bureaus are the experts on the experts. Although there are many voices competing in the world of public speaking (since just about anyone with something to say can become a speaker), speaker’s bureaus are dedicated to making sure you book the right speaker for your event, and at the right price. Most importantly, a good speaker’s bureau offers an unbiased perspective — aiming to find the best fit for the audience. Quick note: beware speakers’ bureaus who only propose their own “exclusive” speakers — this is not the best solution for audiences.
Event Planning Just Became Easier
Speaker’s bureaus don’t just help you find the right speaker; they assist you every step of the way. They coordinate event logistics, negotiate and deliver contracts, and provide an extra layer of liability protection should complications arise with the hired speaker.
Speaker cancellations are rare — they happen less than 1% of the time — but they do happen. And when they do, it’s awful. You and your team are already on site, the event has kicked off and your headliner is on the way to ER in an ambulance (they’re not showing up for AV check tomorrow morning at 7:30).
Hiring a keynote speaker with a speaker’s bureau is just easier (and often less expensive) than the alternative. And the best part? Once you’ve hired a speaker using a bureau, you’ve established a valuable business relationship for years to come. Rather than scrambling before each event, you can rest easy knowing that no matter the topic, the bureau’s got your back.
Because BigSpeak is such a well-established bureau—boasting contracts with 71% of the Fortune 1000 companies and booking 700 events per year — we certainly have a few advantages over our competitors. For example, we offer an expansive network of agencies at no additional cost. What’s more, many speakers prefer to work with us rather than securing bookings independently, trusting our high-volume track record and status as a leader in the field — which means more high-quality options for your event booking. Being well-known in the business certainly has its benefits: boasting a huge, offline database and the ability to co-broker with other agencies, BigSpeak always gets the job done.
To sweeten the deal, all of our services are 100% free. Commissions are included in the speaker fee — thus, there are no hidden fees, with complete transparency from the outset. We also offer insurance in the case of speaker cancellations or conflicts, and will help to find a replacement along with managing the transfer of funds. Finally, we point you in the direction of insider savings tips, such as the flat travel stipend, to eliminate any possibility of unpleasant surprise expenses.
Whether you’re booking through BigSpeak or another agency, I can’t overemphasize the importance of booking through a bureau. Consider the time and money you’ll save — it’s an absolute no-brainer.
Ken Sterling is the Executive Vice President at BigSpeak Speakers’ bureau – the leading keynote and business speakers bureau in the world. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California and an MBA from Babson College. Ken teaches Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Strategy at UC Santa Barbara. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker, business consultant and sales & marketing expert. For press interviews, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.