FAQs

Here are answers to common questions related to our speaker bookings, including the process, speaking fees, travel & accommodation, recording, book signings, and related appearances during an event. (Click on the panels below.)

Why should you work with Melibee Global Speakers?

Our woman-owned boutique speaker agency allows you to book directly without going through a middle person/bureau, which typically saves you money and time. When you inquire/book through Melibee Global Speakers, we have direct access to our intentionally diverse speaker roster and their calendars. This results in a process that is expeditious and affordable.

What is a boutique speaker agency?

A boutique speaker agency manages and books our speakers directly with you vs. you going through a larger agency that also coordinates events and who may not know much about the speaker. We are not event planners; we specialize in delivering talent to you via our small shop with a customized and kind approach – and we know all of our speakers’ work and speaking topics/customization options. The vast majority of the time, you work directly with the founder of the agency, Missy Gluckmann. She prides herself on customer service, personalization, and kindness – and she knows the roster inside and out, therefore can answer questions without delay. (Large bureaus have to contact speakers’ managers for questions, which can slow things down.) Does it increase the cost to book a speaker through a boutique speaker agency? Not in our experience. In fact, it typically costs less because our overhead is lower than larger shops. There is no middle speaker bureau to pay a fee to either, which typically cuts the cost down.

I’m new at booking speakers. Where do I start?

We LOVE to work with first-timers. We suggest that you look at our roster (which can be sorted by topic) and identify who catches your eye. Simply complete a request form (there is no obligation when you do!) and we’ll contact you to discuss how the speaker/s can fit best into your described event. This can be by email or phone – whatever you prefer. Keep in mind that most of our speakers offer more than is described on their speaker pages including customized talks and master classes. Several of our culinary speakers can also offer food demos or advise catering that you hire about menus/recipes.

How far in advance should I book a speaker?

We have booked speakers in as little as two weeks before an event to up to 18 months prior to one. We recommend that you allow two to five months prior if at all possible, but we are flexible.  Some of our most busy speakers do book months in advance, so keep that in mind. Events like Black History Month and other theme months can also book quite early. Regardless, we are here to help. When you have a need, please ask us regardless of the timeline!

Do your speakers talk about topics outside of what is listed on their speaker pages?

Yes, in many cases they do. For example, Michael W. Twitty can offer dozens of customized talks. For example, one of our speakers, Jennifer Hamady, offers masterclasses and workshops. Our speakers are open to many different formats of engaging your audience. We talk about all of this once you inquire as we aim to give you the most customized experience with our talent possible.

Once I request a speaker, what happens next?

Once we firm up the details of the event, we pencil your event into our core calendar. Typically, a 50% deposit will be required upon execution of our contract. (We can flex when state/federal financial policies don’t allow deposits.) We will arrange logistics together and communicate proactively with you so that you feel confident in the plans. We are here so that you can focus on other aspects of your event and work. For example, we are checking weather reports to consider if travel needs to be adjusted, sharing news about the speaker that may inspire your audience, etc. Communication is essential to a great keynote and we are “on it.”  We provide speaker bios, photos for your marketing, pre-planning zoom/call as appropriate, etc. – and do so with efficiency and kindness.

Do you push certain speakers because of your contractual arrangements with them?

NO! We don’t have a minimum guarantee of talks for our speakers. Our company culture is a whole lot of trust and love for each other – and we work hard to get them booked so that there is no clause in our agreements to that effect. We will never push a speaker to any client or prospective client if they aren’t the right fit. It is completely against our ethos.

What if my speaker has an emergency and can’t attend my event?

Thankfully, in more than a decade of booking speakers, we can count on one hand how many times this has happened. In these cases, we discuss it with you before any final decisions are made.  Potential options are to move from in-person to virtual, offer a replacement speaker, or simply reschedule the keynote portion in a customized way. We are here to make sure it works for you in these rare cases, so we aim to be supportive, kind, and flexible–especially since an emergency can add stress to your plate and we aim to be a stress-free zone!.

How much does it cost to book a speaker?

Speaker fees are made up of a variety of factors, including the audience, the “ask”, and necessary travel. Speaker fees at nearly any agency will start at $5,000 USD. For in-person events, there are typically direct costs such as transportation (some are economy, others are 1st/business class), hotel accommodations, local transportation, meals, and other direct costs (e.g. occasionally a food speaker will need to bring special spices). Further travel (including international), more intricate events (such as cooking demonstrations), and deeply customized events (training vs talks) generally require an increase in the fee. Our speaker fee range is currently $5,000 to $50,000.

What if a speaker has an exclusive agent?

Those on our talent roster work directly with Melibee Global Speakers. This is ideal because this saves the client time and money. When we need to inquire with a speaker, we pick up the phone and talk with them – not with an agent or representative. We only book our own speakers, not hundreds of options. We rep them, know their work intimately, and book them efficiently and with kindness for all parties involved!

Do I have to arrange travel and accommodation for the speaker?

Like many things in life, it depends! Some clients have policies that require them to book travel and logistics. Others prefer that we facilitate it. Some speakers request not to book their own travel. Regardless of the situation, we make the process as easy as possible for everyone through smooth and proactive communication, a deep understanding of many types of organizations’ processes, as well as knowledge of the travel industry, and patience.

Can I film/record the speaker’s presentation?

Most speakers allow taping at no additional charge but some do have restrictions on how it can be used. Some speakers do not wish to be taped or will charge an additional fee to record their talk. Let us know what your need is and we’ll give you a customized answer before going to contract.

Can the speaker attend VIP events such as receptions?

In most cases, yes. What prevents them from doing so? Tight travel requirements and Covid-related issues! (Safety first!)

Do your authors offer book signings at events?

Yes!  Our authors are happy to sign books and we can facilitate an introduction to the publisher/book distributor so that you get a cost-effective discount on bulk orders.

How is Melibee Global Speakers dealing with covid?

We have been able to work through covid with a lot of flexibility and through sincere partnership with our clients. At the beginning of the pandemic, gigs were shifted to virtual.  As of Nov 2021, we are starting to see clients and many speakers more comfortable engaging in person. We discuss these situations on a case by case basis. Some of our speaker travel has shifted to Amtrak trains, car, or the flights for those who are comfortable doing so. The founder of Melibee Global Speakers worked in global study abroad for many years and is very fluent in travel issues (she’s even had to deal with flights for groups bumped due to things like volcano ash issues!), so we aim to be agile, create, and flexible through this unique time in history. So far, we have met our clients’ needs with relative ease, thankfully!