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How a Speakers Bureau Can Help Event Planners

Chris Miller Speaking | Worldwide Speakers Group
November 1, 2023

The post-Covid conference and events industry has seen several new trends—some here to stay, others likely a consequence of the unique pressures of the pandemic. Operating on six continents with events happening every week of the year, WWSG bears close witness to the ebbs and flows of this space, and the best (and worst) practices that arise to handle these dynamic pressures. Read on the learn how a speakers bureau can help event planners.

Changes and Challenges of the Event Planning Space

Mixed-media delivery platforms, hybrid audience (virtual, live, on-demand, etc.) requirements, enhanced contractual and legal demands, and of course global health indicators are just a few of the many new trends that are likely here to stay. However, none place more pressure on the entire ecosystem than the dramatically reduced lead times (when a speaker is booked relative to when the event takes place) with which meeting professionals are being forced to operate within.

The dramatic shrinking of the planning window offers various explanations. Legal counsels may prefer not to enter into long-term contracts. Industry dynamics have been changing at such a rapid pace that it is hard to predict what will be relevant far in the future. Or possibly, unrest in the domestic and global economy has created a force of fear and doubt about whether events can provide a return on investment. All these reasons (and countless others) are valid and deserve the attention and action (or inaction) of the meeting planning community.

That said, shortened lead times are not without consequence. Short lead times create dramatically more pressure to identify, secure, prep, and coordinate thought leaders in a condensed timeline. While not immune to these pressures, if anything they put the value of elite global lecture agencies on full display.

How a Speakers Bureau Can Help Event Planners

Factors including fluctuating global currencies, strained travel vendors, geopolitical considerations, visas and other entry requirements, multiple time zones, and political sensitivities are just some of the many elements that do not react well to urgency. Even with lengthy lead times, these issues require the acumen and access that only very seasoned agencies can provide. When condensed, they require an agency with a full-time team of very experienced agents and event coordinators, a global network of world-class vendors, and the gravitas to ‘move mountains’ when that is the only solution.

There is one other major reason (perhaps THE major) why working with an elite-level global lecture agency is critical in this new age of ever-decreasing lead times… speakers are human! World-class agencies work with their speakers to educate them on the importance of accountability and to help them be great both on-site and on stage (both should be mandatory). Even with the best intentions by all parties, humans are fallible and there are numerous factors out of everyone’s control. These factors may include travel delays, weather interruptions, sickness, civil unrest, etc. which could create a situation where a speaker simply cannot arrive. Certainly, these instances are rare (particularly if you are working with the right partners), but they are a reality that comes with being an event professional.

In these instances, it is absolutely critical that event planners can lean into their lecture agency. This is a time when event planners need to know that they have a speaker bureau partner with vast resources, complex tools, deep vendor relationships, and the ability to mobilize in a crisis. These unpredictable factors create a need for action, not excuses.

Benefits of Working with a Speakers Bureau

The post-Covid conference industry is, by many indications, a work-in-progress. But like many other industries, ours has shown unbelievable resiliency, robust innovation and an incredible ability to respond to the new demands of the day. As with all paradigm-shifting “moments,” there are winners and losers. The winners used the good times to refine their systems, train their people, and hone in on the vendor relationships that will rise up in a pinch.

Worldwide Speakers Group is proud to serve elite-level customers around the globe on a daily basis. We have a front row vantage point for the industry’s best practices which we bring to bear for the organizations we serve. Our goal is to provide world-class access to the most influential and in-demand thought leaders available, and to provide value at every opportunity. We strive to be the kind of partner that meeting professionals can lean into, and to mitigate risk through highly detailed and effective planning. At the end of the day, our customers know we have their back.

Article written by by Dan Sims. Mr. Sims is renowned in the talent, association, academic and corporate communities as a trusted partner and outstanding leader. Throughout his notable career, he has consistently booked and recruited former heads of state, sports Hall-of-Famers, business-thought leaders, industry captains, Hollywood celebrities, government and military officials and top industry experts for a wide range of organizations. Mr. Sims brings a wealth and depth of professional relationships and innovative marketing ideas to the WWSG team.

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