When should you engage a speakers bureau and what are the essentials you should pay attention to? Our founder Priscilla shares her views at the MIX Magazine Interview:
“For clients who hear about the speakers bureau concept for the first time, I always joke that we are like a model agency, just that we represent speakers, not models,” says Priscilla Chan, founder of Speakers Connect. “In this day and age, event organisers can find thousands of speakers simply by Googling. There is too much choice, and it is very hard for clients to know who is really good and suitable for their event. This is where we come in – clients come to us for recommendations, to help them to choose and make decisions more efficiently.”
Instead of having to make lots of separate enquiries, organisers can contact a speakers bureau and they then handle everything:,from initial enquiry to negotiation, contractual arrangement and even travel arrangements. “Another reason why clients come to us is that we know the travel schedules of the speakers. We can help clients save costs by arranging speakers on en-route itineraries, for which event organisers share the travel expenses of the trip,” adds Chan.
Speakers bureaux work hard to ensure the right speaker is chosen for a client’s event and many have a checklist that they use to clarify what’s required before making recommendations. But bureaux also need to be able to cope when briefs are less clear.
Priscilla Chan, founder of Speakers Connect, says she had one multinational corporation approach the bureau requesting a leadership speaker for their senior executive retreat, which consisted of their top 20 staff including the CEO. “Leadership is a pretty broad subject; experienced clients have come to us before requesting a leadership speaker, but when explored further they actually needed a speaker of a totally different category,” she explains. “I talked in depth with the training manager of the company to clarify why they needed a leadership speaker. The answer I got was that the top executives wanted some new insights on how to run the business even better, despite already being the market leader in the industry.”
Once Chan had determined that there wasn’t a specific business issue that a speaker had to address, and that the CEO and his executive team were all highly experienced and effective leaders, she decided a speaker covering leadership theory might not be the best course to take. Instead, she took a risk and suggested a futurist speaker. “[A person] who would challenge their thinking, which would be fruitful for their strategic planning,” Chan says.
“Luckily, they liked the idea and booked one of our best business trends speakers, Mike Walsh, for the retreat meeting.The company liked him so much that it has engaged him three times more since, to ensure that all the senior managers have learnt from his methodology.”
Contact us at Speakers Connect today if you would like us to assist you in organising a successful event!