Monday, May 01, 2006

Should you use speaker bureaux to locate speakers for an event?

Simple answer is yes and no.  The best thing is to do some of the initial research yourself online, and start with your own short list.  Look at copies of recent presentations and videos online (yes any well established speaker should have a site offering this kind of material).


Then it is worth approaching one of the longer established agencies (eg Leigh Bureau for advice on extending your own list.  Speaker Bureau can only really advise on the people they represent but be wary of bureaux who seem to have a huge number of people on their books.  Many don’t, they just copy biographical details of people like me without permission and hope for the best.


But speaker agencies will also be able to give invaluable advice about theme, content, what other organisations have found works in your area etc.


Then do a Google search on your favoured list, and see what others are saying about them.  For a start, type their names in speech marks into the engine and count how many web pages are talking about them.


And the next and most important thing is to insist on a personal conversation with the speakers before you make any decisions.