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Speaker Agency: 10 mistakes to avoid when you’re choosing a speaker

What’s a Speaker Agency?

A speakers agency is an agency specialized in providing keynote speakers, presenters, journalists, or experts, whether they are famous or not, to speak at professional events. 

Speakers agencies act as consultants, as their teams advise their clients on the choice of speakers for their events or, in some cases, on the production of event projects.

A speakers agency (aka “Speakers Bureau”) ensures that the chosen speakers for the event are in total cohesion with the brand’s objectives, the theme of the event, and the client’s brand image.

This is precisely why they make sure to have a wide and diverse range of speakers at their disposal: sportsmen and women, scientists, philosophers, journalists, singers, TV presenters, inspiring individuals, etc.

Whether it’s an event in France or abroad, we have an extensive network and will recommend speakers with the desired skills (bilingual, educational, expert…).

Why should you contact our speaker agency?

Seminars, trade fairs, exhibitions, general meetings, award ceremonies, conferences, interviews, TV shows, webinars… Each event requires the most suitable speakers. 

Regardless of the type of event you are organizing, it should benefit from a speaker capable of creating a moment of unity and this can only be ensured thanks to the recommendation of a speaker’s agency (or a speakers bureau).

You are looking to organize conferences and interventions

You may also want to consult a speakers agency if you want your event to be highlighted by conferences or by the intervention of certain public figures. With journalists, presenters, or experts, Uprightly can help you choose the ones that will attract a wider audience and generate strong interest, as well as associating your brand’s image with their renown.

You need a host for your event

When you organize an in person event or through an online digital platform (live or replay), you need a moderator who will be able to articulate the key moments of the event, organize the speaking time and enliven the exchanges with the audience.

Hosting an event cannot be improvised: we can help you find the right specialist who will bring dynamism, help build a connection between each universe and know how to give value to the different speakers. 

Interested in making Uprightly your speaker agency?

 Discover 10 mistakes to avoid when choosing your speakers!

Asking your speaker agency for a precise speaker, only because they are famous.

When choosing a speaker, lecturer, or presenter, you may be tempted to choose a public figure based on their fame or experience. 

Don’t put too much focus on a speaker’s reputation: the most important thing is to choose a speaker who will perfectly represent your event and who will be able to convey the messages you want to convey to your audience.

Experience is not the only thing that matters: novice speakers may not have the same experience that more experienced speakers have, but they are just as competent. If a speaker agency recommends their profile, it is because they have the skills, expertise, eloquence, and legitimacy to speak at any event. 

Since a public figure may require a larger budget, make sure that their fame and experience are in line with your expectations and the amount you have planned to allocate to their intervention.

What is the other upside of a novice speaker? Their rates will generally be lower, so think about this if you have a limited budget!

Through our wide network, we can provide speakers with a diverse level of recognition to suit your projects and budgetary restrictions.

Working with a speaker agency that is not being transparent and explicit about the way it works

Numerous companies claim to be “speaker agencies” and offer placement advice. However, not all have the same working methods. 

On the one hand, some agencies will offer you a catalog of speakers without even offering advice or trying to understand your needs and objectives. 

On the other hand, some agencies will actually take the time to talk to you and advise you. For instance, we advise you through a carefully nurtured network of public figures and experts, and help you define the scope of each of your events.

Most importantly, make sure you choose a speakers’ bureau that offers tariff transparency so that you know the real cost of a speaker. 

Our speakers agency, Uprightly, offers tripartite contracts so that each intervention is legally framed and in complete transparency. In these contracts, the real cost of the chosen speaker is set apart from the agency’s consultancy fees, so as to clearly indicate the budgets of each party.

Not giving a budget to your speaker agency

Before you even begin working on an event, establish a budget for a speaker. Without a budget, the speakers agencies will not be able to properly target speakers who will correspond to your price. So in order to save some time and effort from the speakers agency, who will have spent valuable time selecting their profile’s recommendations: you should define your budget beforehand!

Through a tailor-made selection process, we can provide you with speakers at various rates in order to match up your project and budgetary restrictions. 

Request a bilingual speaker from your speaker agency when you do not necessarily need one

Select a speaker who is completely fluent in the language of your audience: the most important thing is making sure that your speaker and your audience will be able to interact as well as possible during the event. 

The focus should be on the needs of your audience: if your audience speaks more than one language, choose the most common language (usually English), but get a multilingual host who can relate to some of your audience by speaking a second or third language.

Through an extensive network of bilingual speakers, we can provide you with profiles appropriate to the culture or language of your audience.

Ignore the recommendations of a speaker agency and only get a specific speaker

Sometimes you already have a speaker, expert, or presenter in mind: you have already worked with this person, an acquaintance has told you about him or her, you have already seen one of his or her interventions or you enjoyed his or her “catalogue” profile.

However, a speaker must be chosen especially according to the specificities of your event, therefore their presence must have a purpose. It is the role of the speaker agency to guide you towards speakers who are 100% relevant to your needs and objectives.

The Uprightly team will advise you on whether or not your preferred speaker is a good fit for your event.

Contacting a speaker agency without having clearly established your objective

A speaker agency needs to understand the purpose of your events and its challenges to find the right speaker to embody them. 

Being exactly aware of the purpose of your event allows the Uprightly team to recommend speakers that are specifically tailored to your different needs.

Waiting until the last minute to contact a speaker agency 

Speakers are the backbone of your event. So, when you’re planning your event, it is essential that you quickly begin your search for a speaker, host or inspiring individual, and that you do so within a reasonable timeframe. 

Finding the right speaker, even with a speaker agency such as ours, is a process that requires a few steps: analysis of your brief, recommendations of profiles, pre-selection of speakers, validation of availability and interest of speakers, realization and signature of the contract, pre-event scoping meeting…

Our team knows that your speaker will be one of the highlights of your event, which is why we ensure that they are carefully selected and reactive in all circumstances.

Pick a speaker from a catalog, without seeking advice from a speaker agency

Even if there are speaker catalogs, they are no match for the advice provided by a speakers agency or speakers bureau. 

Speakers agencies specialize in finding speakers, industry experts or inspirational personalities, therefore they are familiar with an extremely wide range of speakers. 

They will not only be quicker than you but also more relevant in the choice of speakers, according to your needs, objectives and the stakes of your event. Why do it alone when a speaker agency can offer you its expertise?

Thanks to our completely personalized selection of profiles, we go further than a simple ‘catalog’ offer by carrying out a real ‘headhunting’ job, and thus by helping you to choose a speaker who meets all the specific criteria for your project.

Not getting information about your speaker’s image rights from a speaker agency

Regardless of whether your event is internal or external, you must respect the image rights of your speaker.

For instance, if you wish to share footage of your event and promote it on social media, our team will ensure that the image rights clauses in your contract allow you to use this content as external communication material. 

Opt for a speaker agency that does not provide scoping for the speaker

Scoping is a service that is not provided by all speaker bureaus. It consists of assisting you in the management of the parallel needs of each speaker. 

We offer a scoping check before each event: it ensures that the image rights of the chosen public figure are respected and it helps coordinate the various organizational points of the speaker, such as preparation meetings, transport, and accommodation.