Gold Stars Speakers Bureau, A division of Dynamic Pathways, Inc. 7478 N. La Cholla Blvd. - Tucson, AZ 8741 USA Copyright © 2014 Dynamic Pathways, Inc.
You Juggle Many Meeting-Related Considerations We highly respect the people who plan meetings, having worked in the meetings industry for more than 24 years. These people are the unsung heroes and heroines of the meeting business. The job presents many challenges, whether you are an independent planner, or work in a planning capacity for a corporation, association or government agency. Or, you may have been thrown into the role of meeting planner, as part of a larger job scope. The details of planning, creating, and handling a meeting present challenges already. So, finding the perfect speaker for your meeting adds an additional layer of responsibilities. However, if you need speakers for each of your meeting needs, you will find specific guidance here of great value to help you find the perfect fit. It behooves you to invest the time to understand what is involved in planning for, choosing and hiring speakers. Sometimes people forget the importance of a speaker to the meeting. They can get caught up in the many pressing details required to stage a successful meeting or event, from choosing a meeting site to coordinating the food menu. Remember that the speaker (or speakers) is usually the main focus of a meeting – the aspect of the meeting that will be most remembered. Criteria for the Right Speaker The “right” speaker has to meet your following requirements: Speaks on your desired topic of interest: Has a fee within your budget Meets your special requirements (such as gender, age, expertise, credentials) Is available on the date and time you want that speaker Is easy to work with. If you seek the perfect speaker for your meeting on your own, you may encounter challenges. You could spend much of your time hunting throughout the Internet, trying to find someone who meets your criteria. Once you find a speaker, you have no way to evaluate how the speaker will be on the platform, how reliable he will be, or if working with him will be difficult. You could interview the speaker, look at his demo video, and read his biography. However, even that will not give you sufficient information about the speaker. If you ask the speaker about his expertise, he most likely will claim, “I specialize on that topic.” The universe of speakers is full of thousands of choices. The same holds true for the many thousands of entertainers, celebrities, facilitators, and emcees. Finding the best one who will meet your criteria is a daunting task. Speakers bureaus can help address these needs. Ask Another Event or Meeting Planner You could ask a meeting planner friend for suggestions to locate a great speaker. Their recommendation should take into consideration the following facts: Is your audience similar in makeup to their audience? Is the purpose of your speaker the same as the other? Was the topic presented identical to your topic of interest? Is the time slot similar or the same? Is the length of presentation similar to the length of the other audience? Take peer suggestions with a grain of salt. While a given speaker was perfect for one audience, that same speaker may not be as successful for another audience. Speakers Bureaus Speakers bureaus are experts on speakers. Some speakers bureaus specialize in certain types of presenters, such as sports figures or political celebrities. Other more general full-service speakers bureaus can provide you with most types of presenters. Gold Stars Speakers Bureau® fits this category. At Gold Stars, we maintain a database of thousands of speakers, trainers, celebrities, entertainers, and emcees. Tapping alliances with other sources, we can provide nearly all of the genres of presenters to meet a client’s need. In the course of our 25+ years of service, we at Gold Stars Speakers Bureau® became familiar with the needs of planners. We have created this quick-reference book to help you be clear and as prepared as possible to find your ideal presenters. The Advantage of Using a Speakers Bureau You can look for a speaker on your own. Or, you can choose to use the services of a speakers bureau. The following lists multiple advantages of using a speakers bureau: No Additional Cost: Speakers bureau services, in general, are provided to you at no additional cost. Evaluated Speakers: Speakers bureaus usually have either previewed a live presentation by the speaker or have seen and evaluated their demo presentation. Track Record Knowledge: They know which speakers consistently deliver great presentations and generate satisfied clients. Fees and Negotiation: They can quote the speakers’ fees and, if needed, are willing to negotiate for you to help meet your budget. Great Speaker Choices: They can quickly give you recommendations for the best choices to meet your needs. That includes possibly providing you with new options that you would not have considered. Backup Speaker: If the speaker is unable to fulfill the speaking engagement, a speakers bureau can provide you with a backup speaker. They can quickly find a substitute (satisfactory to you, with your approval) and book them to fulfill the engagement. What You Will Find in this Book Identifying Your Audience Needs: We discuss the purpose of your event, if you actually need a speaker, and what you wish to have your people take away from the speaker's presentation. General Information on Speakers: You will know the five different types of speakers and how to choose the one that will best fit your needs. Speakers Fees and Expenses: You will understand the wide range of variables that determine a speaker's fees and expenses. We also discuss how to negotiate to get the best deal for your situation. Differences between Tailored, Customized and Canned Presentations: Depending on how much work there is to customize or tailor a presentation, a speaker will probably increase the fee they quote. This chapter discusses how speakers handle requests for changes to their usual presentations. Taping and Copyright Laws: When booking a speaker, you must understand and respect a speaker's copyright on the speaker's presentation and other material. You must always protect yourself to eliminate the possibility of a lawsuit. Speaker Selling Products: There are a lot of possible issues that are created when a speaker sells products at a presentation. We discuss the pros and cons and help you to decide what is appropriate for your event. How to Get the Best from a Speakers Bureau: Speakers bureaus are a great resource. Know that by using them, you get inside information on how individual speakers have performed in the past. Evaluating and Selecting the Right Speaker: While most items at a meeting or convention has to only be good, a speaker is expected to be great. He or she often makes or breaks a meeting. We discuss the different points to consider before booking a speaker. What to Expect from a Speaker: We outline the general information you should expect from a speaker. Naturally some speakers, such as high-profile celebrities, may be a little difficult to work with them or their office personnel. A speakers bureau can act as an intermediary to help you. Tips to Make your Speaker a Star: We provide a listing of the little things that can make a big difference in a speaker's presentation. This is a must read to make your speaker and you a star! These are only some of the chapters containing critical information you will need to book the perfect speaker. Checklists To help keep you organized as you search for your perfect speaker, we have also included the following checklists: Checklist to Use Before Searching for a Speaker Speaker Evaluation master Checklist
How to Book a Speaker: A Decision Maker’s Guide
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