Here's a message for our planners from one of our favorite corporate humorists, Greg Schwem:
About 30 minutes before a recent show, a meeting planner approached me and said, "We have a live Twitter feed on the screen behind you. Is it okay if we show tweets during your performance?" I hate those types of questions for fear that saying, "No, it's not okay" makes me appear to be a prima donna on Kardashian levels. I replied, "I would rather the audience take a break from technology as opposed to using it during my show." She replied, "I never thought about it that way" and instructed the AV crew to kill the live Twitter feed. I love making corporate audiences laugh because, as many audience members have told me, it's a healthy change of pace from breakout sessions, roundtables, industry updates, forums, etc. So why not suggest a healthy dose of humor for your next event? Then, when the audience leaves the room smiling and refreshed, you can tweet about it.
Greg Schwem is available as a keynote speaker or master of ceremonies for your next corporate event.
We truly do appreciate that you continue to use our bureau. Frankly, our future success depends on our mutual dependence. If we ceased to exist it would be a terrible loss to the meetings business and associations such as yours. So when the speaker search time arrives and the selection process begins, keep in the mind the value and advantage of working with our team.
We're a highly respected bureau and we've been building relationships in the industry for over 27 years. Every member of our team has a barometer on the professional speakers on the circuit: their evaluations, who’s new on the scene, who’s speaking on the most popular topics. Speakers are our business and they’re what we do best.
We save you valuable time, so you can be more productive as you handle other aspects of your meeting. Rather than attempting to locate a speaker’s contact information on the internet, we simply make the inquiries on your behalf, saving you the hassle of lots of emails and phone calls to check availability, place holds, determine fees, and later, following up with a speaker regarding contract details and travel.
The speakers compensate us from their fee so, in truly almost all instances, the fee is the same if you go directly to one speaker as it would be using our service. And because we have great relationships (and many bookings) with so many speakers over the years, we can negotiate fees more successfully, if that’s a possibility.
If for any reason a speaker must cancel, we’re in a position to immediately contact a proper replacement without you having to go through the entire speaker search process again. We give our clients peace of mind.
We've been in business so long, we can locate anyone (except maybe Osama Bin Laden). If you’ve been tasked to locate a particular speaker of interest, chances are they’re already in our database with their contact information, fees, evaluations, and notes from planners over the years. And we’re experts at locating even the most hard to find speakers: whether it’s a corporate scion, a politician, university professor or a high-profile actor or band, we know exactly how to contact and open the channels of communication for a booking at your event.
We'd love your feedback and we look forward to continuing to work with you on your events.
Now that we’re more than halfway through 2010, it does seem that things are slowly getting back on track in the events industry. Still, it should come as no surprise that meeting planners continue to seek out unique new speakers who fit into lower budget brackets.
While some keynote speakers have lowered their fees (in some cases drastically, in others just a bit, or just enough to dip them into another category), others still offer the same value they always have and have kept their fees static over the past 12 months plus.
So what about negotiating fees? It never hurts to ask, and it’s one more reason to book a speaker with a bureau: as a planner, you get access to our knowledge of the speaker’s history on fee flexibility, and you can leverage our relationship with the speaker’s office, their other bookings with our clients, and their schedule.
By the way, this is a great time to discover new talent. There are a lot of great content speakers out there in various industries who’d love the opportunity to speak in front of a group (like yours!). We do keep an active list in our database of all kinds of up and coming talent. But you won’t always find them on our website (or frankly, we’d be completely overwhelmed adding dozens of fantastic speaker ideas every week), so do contact us and we’ll guide you through our suggestions.
But let’s be completely honest. Yes, there are a half dozen speakers we find ourselves recommending time and time again when a client tells us they just don’t have a lot to spend. We’ve booked them quite a bit, and that’s how we know that they’re more than just a great value, they’ll also deliver a great keynote and ensure positive audience feedback.
Number 1 on our list is almost always Dr. Lowell Catlett, just published today on a list of Planners' Favorites on the Meetings and Conventions website. His topics, dynamic and entertaining style, and professionalism make him a guaranteed hit for every meeting we book, so we always love to suggest him (and it’s exactly why he’s our only exclusive speaker!).
Over the years we’ve also recommended Billy Riggs and Steve Gilliland without hesitation. Tim Gard’s on our list too- if you’re looking for humor he’s our team’s go-to guy.
Also on the rise in our office is marketing speaker Kelly McDonald. If you’re doing a search for a marketing keynoter right now you’ll get overwhelmed pretty quickly. There are a lot of marketing speakers out there, especially with the rise of online marketing and social networking. Kelly also addresses another big trend in companies today, which is understanding how to market to new demographic segments you might not have reached out to before (she got her start as one of the top 100 agencies working to market to Latinos). After all, isn’t all that online marketing you’re working on more valuable if you’re reaching out to completely new customer demographics?
This year we booked keynote speaker John Foley for the Annual MDRT Meeting in beautiful Vancouver. We heard immediately that the presentation was a hit and the recommendation letters are starting to come in. John Foley was "superb" "Gold!" and offered a "well-thought-out and equally well-presented" program. MDRT members attend the event not just to learn, but also to reaffirm the importance of what they do. That's why the MDRT planning committee spends so much time choosing exactly the right speaker for the event. We just knew John Foley would be perfect for the group and it's great to see he was a hit!
Here's a great blurb from keynote speaker (and author, with one of the greatest book titles ever, How to Fly Like an Eagle in a World Full of Turkeys), Rob Stevenson. Everyone thinks about self-improvement, but how do you find the time?
"The alarm rings and it’s another day. Most of the time we go about it with the same routine; from working out to when you have breakfast, coffee, paper reading time, commute to the office … you get the picture ... SOSDD (Same Old Stuff Different Day). I am not one for messing with a good routine, but I am one for trying to figure out ways to get better. The other day I ran across an idea from the CEO of Zappo’s ( The Internet Shoe Store ) who took his company from $0.00 in sales to $1 billion in less than ten years and then sold it to Amazon for over $1.2 billion in 2009. He said that they try to make at least one improvement in their organization every week, but suggests on a personal basis to shoot for some sort of improvement daily. He went on to say, “wake up every day and say to yourself what is the 1% improvement I can do to make myself better both personally and professionally.”
Now you’re thinking, “Rob, where in the world am I going to find the time to make this 1% improvement goal work ?” … well let me help you with that.
Found 5 minutes: Streamline you morning routine time to dress, shave, put on makeup, drink coffee, read the paper, etc., or just get up 5 minutes earlier.
Found 5 minutes: Avoid idle talkers, gossiping or other distractions. If your conversation is not a constructive one, get out of it.
Found 10 minutes: Take a shorter lunch or break.
Found 10 minutes: Eliminate the things you do each morning to stall starting your workday.
You can probably find 20 minutes per day you waste just surfing around on the internet!
You just found thirty minutes per day you can use to make yourself better. Now that doesn’t sound like much time, so let me put it in a different perspective. By following these 4 simple suggestions 5 days per week, 50 weeks per year, you just gained 3 forty-hour weeks per year. If you watch TV just 30 minutes less per day, you will double it to 6 forty-hour weeks; that is a lot of extra time to work on “you.”
I can think of no better place to put my time than improving myself. Along with helping myself, it will benefit my family, my company and maybe even rub-off on a few of my friends and associates."
We've just sent out a newsletter on Internet marketing pioneer Bob DeStefano. We've heard a lot of great feedback about Bob from some of our best clients. Bob's keynotes help business leaders leverage online marketing to produce bottom-line results. Check out Bob’s preview video on our Website. Want to see how you're doing on lead generation? Read his article, Give Your Website a Lead Generation Checkup on our site, and feel free to forward to your group's members. Let us know what you think- and how'd you do on the checkup? By the way, if you want to sign up for our newsletter and get the latest on speakers we recommend, please do so! This is exclusive information that typically only goes to our existing and best meeting planner clients, but we'd like to share it with you as well.
I'm now spending Tuesday afternoons with the children from our local Boys & Girls Club- the Boys & Girls Club of Venice- on the water! It's their Spring Sailing program in conjunction with the LA Sherriff's department, and I'm teaching the kids and sharing the thrills of sailing.
A dynamic, thoughtful and entertaining presenter, Linda Duxbury helps managers and executives understand why workplace health and well-being matters, and what they should be doing to help their employees and themselves live more happier, more balanced, and more productive lives.
As corporate and association meetings continue to rebound this year and into next year and beyond, it's so great to hear that one of my favorite places of all time, Hawaii, is experiencing a 10% increase in visitation. Nice! If you're planning to visit the islands for your next event, you might want to check out Dewitt Jones- a keynote speaker who actually lives in Hawaii.
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