The Latest Trends for Booking Speakers

by Chris | January 14, 2009

By Ruth Levine

• Speaker demo video, program titles, biographies and promo materials are accessible 24 hours a day via many speaker bureau websites such as

• The lead times in booking speakers is getting shorter.

• Now that the economy has rebounded from the post 9/11 recession, speakers are slowly increasing their fees. Likewise, corporate spending for speakers is escalating as well.

• In order to justify higher fees, meeting planners are creatively using speakers for more than just a keynote. For a small addition in fee (and no increase in travel expenses) and if appropriate, keynote speakers can also be used to moderate panels, present workshops, host awards presentations, emcee and speak at small VIP sessions.

• Many large companies are installing "preferred vendor agreements" and working with only a select group of bureaus.

• Many large companies who work with "preferred vendors" are drafting, and requiring that these bureaus use, a standardized contract for all speaker bookings. This is often called a "Master Services Agreement."

• Meeting Planners are looking for more content, speakers with academic credentials (ie: Phd's and pedigrees like Harvard and MIT) and direct experience in the business world.

• Speakers are offering fees inclusive of travel and other expenses.

• Meeting Planner industry groups such as FICP are publishing password-protected websites where planners share their reviews, fees paid, booking source and experiences with speakers they have booked.

• Many companies are using paid emcees and meeting hosts to run their meetings instead of executives and office staff.

Topics: Blog

Written by Chris


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