The online edition of MPI’s June 2009 One+ magazine includes an article about how meeting and event professionals can manage speaker costs in the current economic climate: “Talk Ain’t Cheap: How to secure a speaker for your event with as little fiscal pain as possible.” Robert Farmer, author of the article, writes:
For planners, the art becomes how to contain speaker costs. Indeed, there are methods in which savvy planners can manage the cost of their keynotes, while also delivering a program about which their clients will surely be talking. The trick is to work with speakers and their agents to ensure both parties get what they need from the deal.
The article also includes insights from Sam Silverstein, president of the National Speakers Association, Marc Reede, president of Nationwide Speakers, and The Speakers Group’s own founder and president, Shawn Ellis. Ellis spoke of how some speakers are helping planners by discounting their fees, while others are doing so by adding value to their engagements:
“…I think the value-added element is what’s really occurring these days, and there is a wide range of ways in which that can play out. Speakers are offering everything from follow-up webinars along with their keynotes to doing breakout sessions and offering more in terms of takeaways.” [This is the essence of The Speakers Group’s ROI Speakers initiative.]
While “adding value” doesn’t take money off the top of a speaker’s fee, it does have financial benefits to planners, which is discussed in the article as well our “Think Added Value” blog post here.
In the end, Farmer hits the nail on the head when he writes, “Cooperation among planners and speakers remains the key to success on both ends.” Read the full “Talk Ain’t Cheap” article on MPI’s web site here.