While planners are being asked to do more with less, speakers’ fees continue to rise, says Ruth Levine, founder of Speak Inc., a speakers bureau based in San Diego.

But there are strategies that can help trim the bottom line, Levine advises. She suggests hiring a multitalented speaker, for example, who can deliver both a keynote speech and serve as an awards host. The speaker’s full-day fee will not run much more than the cost of a keynote alone.

Another strategy: Book next year’s speaker this year. Some of the most popular speakers have raised fees by 50 percent in the last five years, and these high-demand speakers typically raise their fees annually, Levine notes. Booking in advance allows planners to secure them at today’s prices.

Look for more budget-friendly ideas on booking speakers in the March/April issues of Insurance Conference Planner and Medical Meetings magazines.