Behind the Mic: Why Work With A Speakers Bureau

We’ve recently returned from our own industry building conference with partner bureaus from all over the world, at the International Association of Speakers Bureaus’ (IASB) annual convention. What happens when a group of speakers bureaus gets together? We sample inspirational talks from some of the most in-demand speakers from around the world (this year: Spencer West, Cheryl Cran, Duncan Wardle & Jade Simmons) and put on our thinking caps to solve some of the key challenges faced by our event planner clients. Plenty of discussions took place around value creation for event planners. In this blog, we’ll answer some of the top questions event planners had about using a speakers bureau. 

Why Use a Speakers Bureau?

Speaker Knowledge:  As an organization which interacts with hundreds of speakers on a monthly basis, a speakers bureau has an unrivaled knowledge on the names bringing innovative ideas to, and getting rave reviews from, audiences all over the world.

Risk Management:  Some event professionals still perceive speakers bureaus as being a high-cost service. It’s no secret that people are being asked to do more with less time and funding. The stakes are high in the events industry, where a presenter who doesn’t resonate with attendees can result in soured relationships and lost business – an expensive missed opportunity. A speakers bureau mitigates that risk. 

Partnership Approach:  Our team becomes a seamless extension of your own, using consultative questions and open communication to ensure any speaker you bring in receives top marks across the board – making all your hard planning pay off. Speaker bureaus work with every single client to ensure their event programming resonates with attendees – getting them thinking, feeling and engaging with the ideas being presented with a focus on event ROI.

A speakers bureau should go above and beyond matching availability and budget requirements. We’re proud to have a number of experienced agents on our team who understand your needs.  A bureau that stands out really will provide that “WOW” factor to clients. At National Speakers Bureau, it’s our mission to provide inspired service: standing ovations (and a balanced diet) are what we live on!

Booking a Speaker Direct

Isn’t it easier & cheaper to go directly to the speaker?  Simple answer: No.

Successful speakers are constantly travelling and focused on delivering great presentations.  They often rely on their bureau partners to be their representative for securing and managing their engagements  Keynote speakers typically have a standard speaking fee, regardless if they are booked through us, or booked direct. 

Our advisory services are completely free for event professionals. Our clients don’t pay any fees to us, our speakers contract us to represent them which includes event logistics, marketing, and professional development.

In the information age, it’s no secret anyone can try and connect directly to thought leaders, celebrities and gigantic corporations who are being approached by hundreds of people daily, however bureaus have longstanding relationships with speakers, so we’re able to get you the answers and information you need quickly. 

Booking a Speaker You Can’t Find Online

The adage goes, ‘you’re only as strong as your network,’ and with a global network as strong as IASB, we are connected to hundreds of names across the globe. We have the added benefit of 45+ years of experience in the industry, building one of Canada’s most connected networks.  Our network ranges from sports & talent agencies to book publishers, from political insiders to humanitarians, from policymakers to business leaders and all things in-between. 

I want a speaker who isn’t shown on the website!

We want your experience on our website to be as easy as possible. Key to this is keeping the amount of speakers on our website at a number that isn’t cluttered or overwhelming. But that doesn’t mean they’re the only speakers available for your event.

Every single one of our agents has direct access to our internal database of over 5,000 speakers from around the world. Need an expert? 99% of the time we can get them for you, if not we’ll send you to the person who can. We’ll also send you a targeted list of our best matches – so you’ll always have options.

This is one of the reasons we get together with our speaker bureau partners as often as we can. We’re always looking to expand our network & bureau partnerships to bring you new international experts.

We hope these answers will remove some of the stress around your event programming choices.


If you have any other questions about keynotes, workshops, host/MC’s, influencer programs or customized presentations ask us, we’ll be updating this post with any questions we feel can help other event professionals.