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An Event Planner’s Guide to Hiring Talent

  • By Emma
  •  Feb 14, 2019


When searching for keynote speakers for corporate meetings, conferences, banquets, or private events, where do you start?


Maybe you google “Best Keynote Speakers of 2018” and get a list of well-known entrepreneurs and celebrities, most likely showcasing Gary Vaynerchuk. And then you notice that next to the celebrity’s name is their estimated net worth, spelled out like a definition. This net worth really just functions as a price tag, signifying the expensive booking costs to come.


Therefore, to avoid overpaying and wasting time on over-complicated booking processes, follow these 3 simple Rules:


Rule #1 - Start Researching from the Bottom Up


Instead of searching “Best Keynote Speakers in the World” try something more modest like “Keynote Speakers Near Me”. A trick to narrow your search and ensure you find someone credible and qualified is to research specific companies or events like your own, and what previous talent they have hired. Sifting through social media posts and hashtags will also help you gauge audience reception. Lastly, research “Best Booking Platforms” over “Best Keynote Speakers” because the process of acquiring talent can greatly affect the outcome of your event, which leads us to the next rule...


Rule #2 - Use the Right Booking Platform or Bureau


When planning an event and working around a tight budget and schedule, hiring Talent should be the easiest part of the equation. If the celebrity or entrepreneur is too big, the process will most likely take you through a third party, and then an agent. This process is time consuming, unreliable, and expensive. To reserve space in your budget, use a convenient online Booking Platform like Engage. Not only is the contract phase, payment processing, and negotiations located on one page, but you are able to communicate with the talent directly. Every platform will have celebrities and entrepreneurs, but not all booking platforms allow you to contact the talent directly.


Rule #3 - Be Wary of Price Tags


In most cases when booking celebrity keynote speakers, what you see isn’t always what you get. Once you set your budget and start researching booking fees, be aware that the Talent’s prices won’t be visible online, and if they are, they probably won’t be accurate. In addition, many event planners don’t account for the additional expenses that entail the speaking fee. This includes travel, accommodations, transportation, food, equipment, and extra crew that can shrink your profit margins. On booking sites such as Engage, you can request pricing and negotiate the travel expenses yourself.


In Conclusion: A keynote speaker is one of the pivotal aspects of any event. Make sure to follow these rules and hire the “The Best Keynote Speaker” for your event!

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