Meeting Planners Have a Lot at Risk and Speakers Need to Understand It

I recently was a motivational speaker for a audience of 500 Foster Case Workers in Austin, Texas and my client came up to me afterwards and told me that one of his many jobs was to manage risk and now that the program was over he was able to be honest with me.  I started to get a little lump in my throat, but happily, this is when my client put on a huge smile and told me “Brad, it went great!”, so I was happy and I was relived but this is where the lesson started.

My client told me what I already know but is an excellent reminder for me and anybody who is either booking a motivational speaker or plans to be a motivational speaker.  He told me how important this event was to him.  He told me that he was bringing in 500 people away from their jobs for a 2 ½ hour event plus their travel time, so for many of them, this was going to be most of their day and that the opportunity cost was outrageously expensive.  He also told me that he was already thinking ahead towards next year’s event and that he worked hard to fill that room with 500 people who were very busy already and if this event was a turkey, he would have a next to impossible time getting equal numbers, much less greater numbers, next year.

So, what’s the point?  The point is that as meeting planners and as speakers and as general members of the meeting and convention industry, we need to understand that when we’re negotiating motivational speaker’s fees, it’s more than the money.

Pick a speaker that will guarantee a return on your investment

My client invested quite a bit of money in me.  He’s brought me in for one event and we’re duplicating the event next week in a different city in Texas.  So, his investment is pretty great, but he is looking at the big picture.  He sees that his investment in the speaker really is just a tiny piece in the puzzle and that when you add it up to all of the other things he needs to accomplish, he’s putting way more on the line.  He is risking way more on the line than just the investment in his professional speaking.  By the way, his attitude reflected this.  Some of my clients are freaking out about expenses and this and that and technology this or whatever, not this man.  He understood those tiny investments were absolute drops in the bucket.

So, next time you are looking to hire a motivational speaker and are interested about how to save money on speaker’s fees, I want you to remember all of the other things you’re investing into your meeting or conference.  It’s a huge opportunity cost for all of your people, huge meal cost for all of your people (in this case, my client bought a fancy lunch at the Austin Texas Omni Hotel, lunch for 500 people, I have no idea what the bill is but it was huge) but also the opportunity cost and the investment of momentum.

Next time you’re thinking about booking a speaker I want you to think about how much it will cost you to get the next level down speaker and how much you would save and then compare that savings to the cost of not having an absolute perfect conference.  Speaker’s fees generally reflect the level of guarantee you can expect.

So, can you save my money by booking a cheaper speaker?  Yes.  Can sometimes entry level speakers do a great job?  Yes.  Have you invested enough in your particular convention or meeting that you cannot afford anything but the very best?  If that’s the case, give us a call.  If you’re interested in booking a motivational speaker who has a high level of guarantee of success…my programs are fully guaranteed…I hope you’ll contact me here.

~Brad Montgomery~
Motivational Speaker, Texas Speaker, Guaranteed Professional Speaker