The Ultimate Guide To Keynote Speaker Fees

Keynote speaker


Well you have got a big business conference coming up, and you are spending endless hours on Google just to get that right speaker. Well it’s a big event which all the top brass would be attending and you don’t want to put a foot wrong. You do find some great speakers with their YouTube links and all that, but the problem is that they are way out of your budget. While some seem way to amateur, some are way too costly, so how do you get out of this? You hire a speaker bureau, and this is where the problem starts. Now you have dozens of choices but no way to determine what might be the right price for the keynote speaker you are interested in.

Usually these agencies reserve some commission for themselves, so you can be assure that the price you are paying is an inflated one. If you are not well aware of the trends you might end up paying a whole lot more for a sub-standard speaker that you might regret later. Usually whenever you are hiring a keynote speaker (from an agency or directly), you should ask for his/her portfolio, their previous work related links and also their experience. If you have this much information, you’ll have a rough idea about the fees that needs to be paid with the help of these important points.

  • Free: Usually keynote speakers who are just starting out or have pretty less experience don’t charge a penny, they do it just for experience and for building their portfolio. It’s also a way to improve relationships with the company so that for their next conference, you are the first choice, and a paid one.
  • Travel + hotel: A speaker that has 5-6 seminars under his belt is ranked above an amateur, but sometimes still not good enough to charge a price (well it all depends on how he markets). These speakers are paid for their travel and hotel accommodations, usually a fixed amount.
  • $3,000 – $5,000: You’ll get a decent keynote speaker for this amount. One who has hosted several events including some big corporate events. They are not yet in the big league but every year their price takes a jump. Considered efficient and trustworthy.
  • $5,000 – $15,000: Now we are talking game. Usually a keynote speaker that is either experienced enough or has proved his mettle on the big stage falls in this bracket. The price could vary depending on the event’s scale and also the organizer’s relationship with the speaker.
  • $15,000+: Here comes the elite gang. With price starting from $15,000 and going into millions, these are the best of the lot. They include celebrities, business tycoons, sports stars and professional keynote speakers who have a great body of work behind them. Hiring them means high turnout, great media coverage and yes, excellent results.

Finding a good keynote speaker for your business conference can be quite a task, especially when the deadline is fast approaching. When the usual Google search doesn’t pay rich dividends (either the speaker is too costly or an amateur) you move towards the speakers bureau. But here lies the problem, since these bureaus reserve a cut for themselves, you can end up paying a lot more for even sub-standard speakers, so knowledge about speaker fees is essential. Usually a speaker who is just starting out or has hosted small events gets only fare for his travel and accommodation (sometimes not even that). A bit experienced keynote speaker that has hosted several big events comes for $3,000 – $5,000 while those who only host big conferences and have made a name for themselves charge between $5,000 – $15,000. Celebrity speakers who guarantee big turnout, media coverage and yes, results charge anything between $15,000 to several million dollars.

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