Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a speakers bureau?
2. As a meeting planner, why should I partner with Midwest Speakers Bureau, Inc.?
3. Is there a charge to do business with Midwest Speakers Bureau, Inc.?
4. Can Midwest Speakers Bureau, Inc. contract with any speaker?
5. How much are professional speakers paid?
6. What topics are frequently chosen for meetings, training sessions, and conventions?
7. Will I be able to communicate with the speaker prior to my event?
8. What do I need to know about my event in order to book a speaker?
9. When do I need to start looking for a speaker?
10. How do I determine my budget?
11. Once I select a speaker, what happens next?
1. What is a speakers bureau?
There are two kinds of speakers bureaus: non-profit and commercial. Commercial bureaus, like Midwest Speakers Bureau, represent meeting planners throughout the world who are in need of professional speakers. A speakers bureau locates professional speakers and handles all business arrangements between planners and speakers.
At Midwest Speakers Bureau, we focus all of our energies on matching speakers with the needs of our clients to provide them with the perfect speaker who will present a dynamic and memorable message.
Our fee is a percentage of the speaker’s regular fee and is deducted from this fee. We operate and receive our fees in a manner similar to travel agents.
We have nonexclusive contracts with the speakers we represent, allowing us the widest possible selection of speakers to satisfy clients’ needs. Typically, we can also line up speakers who have exclusive contracts with other bureaus. Through Midwest Speakers Bureau, Inc., you will have access to a broad range of experts and celebrities, including business leaders, professional keynote speakers, authors, sports figures and entertainers.
Fees vary widely. Name recognition, the type of speech given, and audience size are some of the factors that influence the amount. The most expensive speaker may not necessarily be the best for a particular meeting. Travel is usually paid by the meeting planner and is not included in the speaker’s fee. Meeting planners are expected to pick up reasonable expenses, business or economy air fare, hotel, meals and ground transportation. If the speaker is a celebrity, there might be additional expenses. Costs can sometimes be reduced if there is an opportunity for the speaker to complete more than one engagement on the same day.
Dealing with Change
Many of our speakers are available to speak with you directly before and after booking. We work with you and the speaker to develop a dynamic and memorable program.
First, you need to determine the objective of your event. Do you want to motivate your audience? Are you looking for a well-known speaker who will attract more attendees? Do you want the audience to leave with a specific message? Next, analyze your audience’s needs, wants, capacities, and attitudes. What did they like about your last speaker? Will they respond better to a female or male speaker? What level of education do they have? Are there any sensitive issues that should be avoided?
It is best to start looking for a speaker as soon as you know you are going to have a meeting. Many speakers book engagements up to a year in advance.
When determining your budget, it is best to set a minimum and maximum amount that you are willing to spend. Also, determine how much you are willing to pay for expenses. Sometimes you may be able to book a local speaker in order to reduce your travel expenses.
Midwest Speakers Bureau, Inc. issues a contract. We require a 50% deposit to hold the date. The balance is due just before the appearance, and speaker expenses are billed afterward. You will receive the speaker’s preprogram questionnaire which he or she uses to customize your program. We provide you with a detailed, comprehensive itinerary outlining all pertinent details for your program.