How do I secure a Speaker for my event?
- Contact our Agency: While we encourage all Sponsors to use our website as a tool to research Speakers of interest, there is no better resource than talking to one of our Agents directly in order to find the perfect Speaker for your exact topic, audience, and budget.
- Finding the perfect Speaker: Our Agents, some of whom have been with HWA for 25 years, are highly skilled at helping you match the perfect Speaker for your special event. Whether you need tailored suggestions or if you already have a Speaker in mind, our Agents will be able to cater to your unique needs.
- Making a firm offer: Once you have chosen a Speaker, and your Agent has checked the Speaker’s availability, the next step is to make a firm offer, which is considered to be a firm and binding commitment on your part to host the Speaker. Please understand that when a Speaker receives a firm offer and accepts the invitation, the Speaker sets aside that time on his/her personal and professional calendars and will turn down other business opportunities to be with your group at your event. Should the Speaker accept the firm offer, you will be obligated to sign a contract, pay all associated costs and host the Speaker at your event. Please do not submit a firm offer until you are 100% ready to move forward with hosting that particular Speaker and have all the monies secured.
- Payment requirements: We require a 50% deposit upon signing of the contract and the remaining 50% is due one month before the date of the speech. Also, please note, we often bill in advance for some expenses such as airfare.
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What is the turn around time for getting an acceptance?
- In a perfect world and something we as an Agency strive for is the quickest answer possible. We have strong relationships with our speakers and can usually predict the amount of time an individual speaker might need to give us an answer, depending on their calendar and the nature of the invitation. The key is to ask your Agent what a typical turn around time may be for that individual Speaker. Remember that the same reasons the Speaker is such a draw to your event are many of the same reasons it might take some extra time to secure an answer from the Speaker on your invitation.
- Please be sure to tell your Agent if you have a deadline by which you need a response so they can forward it on to the Speaker.
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Is it ever too late or too early to book a Speaker?
- Never! Time frames are flexible and Speakers will do their best to accept engagements within whatever time frame the host presents.
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What will my Speaker Relations Account Manager do to help me?
- What is a Speaker Relations Account Manager? The purpose of our Speaker Relations team is to work closely with our Speakers and Sponsors to ensure a smooth and successful event for everyone. Each Speaker has a dedicated Account Manager, so when you work with the Account Manager to bring a Speaker to your event, you are dealing with the person who knows most about that Speaker’s travel preferences and overall needs.
- How will my Speaker Relations Account Manager help me? Your Speaker Relations Account Manager will not only work with you to confirm air travel, hotels and ground transportation, he/she will also help coordinate the approval of any publicity materials, will aid in arranging any needed security, will work with you in coordinating the Speaker’s schedule for possible book signings and receptions, and will liaise with you and the Speaker to make sure the itinerary is perfect, and that the correct speech topic is communicated.
- When will my Account Manager get involved? Once we receive the signed contract back in our office, your event is secured and you will be given a dedicated Speaker Relations Account Manager to help you coordinate the logistics of getting the Speaker to your event.
- How experienced are the Speaker Relations Account Managers? The members of our Speaker Relations team have worked on White House campaigns, they have worked in the scheduling office for sitting Senators, and many have worked as advance staff for past and current world political and business leaders. They are, without a doubt, the best logistics team in the business - equipped to handle every need and every emergency.
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How can HWA help me craft my event timeline?
- How long will a Speaker be willing to spend at an event? The exact length of time a Speaker agrees to attend an event should be part of the Firm Offer and will become a part of the contract once the invitation is accepted. The Speaker’s agenda should be clearly outlined and mutually agreed upon by both the Sponsor and Speaker at the inception of the contract. Typically, in addition to a keynote speech and a Q&A session, many Speakers will also participate in a reception, a meal function, or possibly a book signing, if appropriate.
- Will the Speaker work within my group’s agenda? Your Agent will let you know if an agenda item will be problematic, otherwise your agenda will be submitted as part of the Firm Offer, and the final agenda will be mutually agreed upon by both you and the Speaker before signing the final contract.
- How long is a typical speech? We have found that the optimum speech time for most Speakers is between thirty to forty five minutes. The rule of thumb is to try and take the advice of the Speaker as they typically know what works best for their style and content.
- How long is a typical Q&A and how is it best incorporated into the speech? A 45-minute speech is typically followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. Many Speakers, unless otherwise instructed, may go over this time as the Q&A is typically the most exciting and spontaneous part of the event.
- Should we have a moderated Q&A? Moderated Q&As are helpful as they facilitate the dialogue between the Speaker and the audience, but they are not required. We encourage you to consult with your Agent regarding format as the Agent will know the Speaker’s preference.
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What is MyHarryWalker.com?
- What is MyHarryWalker? MyHarryWalker is an easy-to-use Internet tool to help you manage and access the information for your event. This password protected website allows you to review and sign your contract online, download your Speaker’s approved bios and headshots, review your accounting balances, and access all contact information and itineraries for your event- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- How do I get my password? Once your contract has been issued, you will receive a username and password from our staff. If you have issues with your password or using MyHarryWalker, please let our staff know and we will fix it right away.
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What are the fees, commission, and expenses?
- Is your Agency commission included in the fee? The contract amount does include the complete Agency fee for all services rendered. This commission is standard in the lecture industry, and one should be wary of lecture agencies which add their commission on top of the fee. Most Speakers quote the same fee whether they schedule directly with you, or through a lecture agent. Also, most Speakers on the lecture circuit rely on lecture agencies for a large percentage of their speaking business and consider the assistance the Agency provides in scheduling the details of each event invaluable.
- What expenses are customary when hosting a Speaker? Standard expenses include (but are not limited to) unrestricted, first class, round-trip airfare; hotel accommodations; ground transportation by a professional car service (both in the event city and city of Speaker’s origin), meals, and incidentals. Occasionally, some of our Speakers require additional expenses such as security or expenses for an aide. It is possible to have the airfare included in the fee and this would be discussed at the time the Firm Offer is presented to the Speaker. Your Agent will detail the specific expenses required for the individual Speaker prior to the Firm Offer.
- How do I know what expenses I’m paying for? Expenses for travel coordinated through HWA are transparent and detailed accounting back-up will be provided. The handling of expenses in a thorough manner is a service in which we pride ourselves.
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Who can help me with the logistics and getting the speaker to my event?
- Where does the Speaker travel from? This is dependent upon each individual Speaker as well as their schedules. All travel coordinated through HWA is transparent and detailed invoices will be provided so that it will be clear how costs are divided. The handling of expenses in a thorough manner is a service in which we pride ourselves.
- When will the Speaker arrive? Your dedicated Speaker Relations Account Manager will liaise with you and the Speaker’s office to ensure timely travel.
- What if I have an early morning event? If you have an early morning event, the Speaker will usually arrive in town the night before. Depending upon travel time, the Speaker will typically arrive the day of the event for a late morning or evening engagement. Evening engagements typically require an overnight stay.
- Who books the flights? Your dedicated Speaker Relations Account Manager will coordinate with you and the Speaker’s office in order to arrange all the travel details.
- Are Sponsors allowed to provide airline tickets for Speakers? For security and logistical purposes, Sponsor-provided airline tickets are not allowed. This is a procedure we cannot deviate from to ensure that all engagement go smoothly. In addition, our Speakers are comfortable working with our team, which adds an element of ease to making travel arrangements.
- Are Sponsors allowed to provide corporate jets? We will be happy to explore the possibility depending on the individual circumstance and the Speaker's requirements. In addition it should be noted that if a private jet is donated, then it will be used only for the Speaker and his aides. Other passengers should not accompany them on the jet.
- If the Speaker has travel for TWO who is traveling with the Speaker? It is not uncommon for a noteworthy Speaker to travel with an aide.
- Why does HWA have to send an advance person with certain Speakers in addition to the Speaker’s travel aide? It is the job of the Speaker Relations Account Manager to make sure that no travel details are left unattended. Some Speakers require that our Agency send an advance staffer to be on-site in order to better attend to details, security and questions on site. This advance staffer will be a tremendous asset to the Meeting Planner and the Speaker during the event.
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Are there any press considerations?
- Why might an event be closed to the press? Many of our Speakers will follow the host’s wishes for press attendance. Some of our Speakers request that depending on the political climate, as it relates to their personal and public endeavors, the press not be invited to attend the lecture. If press is an important element of your event, you should discuss with the agent the option for a 5-10 minute press briefing before or after the speech.
- Will a Speaker do a phone interview with press? This may be a possibility and should be discussed with your agent at the time of the initial offer.
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What if there is a cancellation?
- What if there is an emergency or a cancellation? In an emergency, if the Speaker has to cancel, The Harry Walker Agency will help you either reschedule your Speaker or find a replacement that fits within your topic and budget. You will have 24-hour access to your Speaker Relations Account Manager as well as your exclusive Agent in case an emergency should arise.
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