Over the past few years, professional speakers have been able to raise their fees amid an uncertain economy.

So what do you do for your program when you find out that the speaker you considered last year for $10,000 is now $12,000? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. HIRE A SPEAKER WHO CAN MULTITASK

    Suppose that you need a keynote, a moderator, an emcee, and an awards host for your meeting, and you have a budget for each. Why not hire a talented speaker who can do two or even all of the jobs?

  2. PIGGYBACK YOUR BOOKINGS

    Call your convention services manager to get the names of other groups that will be at your hotel on overlapping dates, and call to see what speakers they have booked. Other than booking a speaker who lives in the same city as your meeting, another way to avoid paying travel expenses is to do a “piggyback booking” and book a speaker whose expenses are already contractually covered by another company.

  3. SELL YOUR SPEAKER'S PRODUCTS

    Allow your speaker to sell books and training materials on-site after the program. The majority of a speaker's income often comes from product sales versus speaking fees. Your speaker may have just released a new book or have comprehensive training programs to sell on CD-ROM, audiotape, or videotape. Speakers are often willing to reduce their fee in exchange for a contractual promise to sell their products.

  4. BOOK TOMORROW'S SPEAKERS AT TODAY'S PRICES

    One way to save money on a popular speaker is to book a year in advance of your meeting, thereby contractually securing the current fee. Remember: Some of the most popular speakers have raised their fees by 50 percent in the past five years.



SOURCE: Ruth Levine, Speak Inc. (858) 457-9880 or rlevine@speakinc.com.