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Meeting Planners

As your partners in delivering the best professional speaker for your meeting, we have created a number of resources to help you in planning the best meeting for your organization. We have written a number of industry articles and guides to assist you in planning the best event for your group. Our team includes members who are Certified Meeting Professionals (CMPs) who understand the big picture perspective of your event. The following resources will help you define your exact needs in a speaker and deliver the best possible keynote to your event.

Some Usefull Blogs for Meeting Planners

Inspiring Speaker Showcase for Event Professionals

Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 12:31 Goodman Speakers Bureau Speaker Showcase

We were so excited to have our speaker showcase at the lovely Marriott in downtown Hartford, CT last night. We were lucky enough to have our old and new clients and friends come out to hear three of our inspirational speakers teach us how to embrace life each and every day. The Marriott ensured that we had a relaxing evening with great food. The ambiance allowed us to sit back and listen to the powerful messages being said, while we ate delectable hors d'oeuvres. The mini tacos were a great introduction to the wonderful meal we were about to have. Our speakers then took the stage to share their unique wisdom.

Jon Stetson
Jon Stetson made us all feel like we were children again witnessing a magic show. His ability to read minds kept us in awe from start to finish. Jon was able to influence our thoughts, while decoding our body language to read our minds. He invited several audience members, including one of our employees, to demonstrate the power paying attention to detail. No matter how many times we see Jon perform, we will always be amazed by his talents.

Scarlett Lewis
Scarlett Lewis then warmed our hearts with a tribute to her son, Jesse Lewis, and a message of compassion. She showed us that no matter what may happen, we can always choose to love rather than hate. Scarlett was an inspiration to everyone in the audience and made us strive to learn forgiveness. Her simple mantra, motivated from Jesse, “Nurturing. Healing, Love” provides us with the courage to change our angry thoughts into compassion and happiness.

David Romanelli
David Romanelli then talked to us about living in the moment. He showed us that some of the oldest people across the world still embrace life to the fullest, which inspired the audience to go out and make memories. He explained the importance of loving and embracing the little things that make a moment joyous. He left us on an uplifting note with some delicious chocolate and wine to make sure we had our enjoyable moment of the day. His message of everyday happiness flowed beautifully after Scarlett's speech on the importance of love.

We want to thank everyone who came and made this night one to remember!

 Scarlett Lewis   Jon Stetson   David Romanelli 

Goodman Speakers Bureau Announces Partnership with Northstar Meetings Group

Thursday, March 12, 2015 - 13:01 Goodman and Northstar Partnership

WINDSOR, CT—March 12, 2014—The Goodman Speakers Bureau is pleased to announce their partnership with Northstar Meetings Group for 2015. Goodman will sponsor speakers for several events held by Meeting & Conventions and Successful Meetings, Northstar owned subsidiaries, throughout 2015. This partnership is a commitment by both parties to provide educational and forward-thinking content to further the meetings industry.

These events, such as Meeting & Conventions' Interact and destination-focused events, give planners the chance to experience the industry’s most topical and influential speakers. It also affords them the opportunity to ask questions and engage with the speakers. Diane Goodman states, “I am beyond thrilled to be partnering with Northstar, it is a great opportunity to be part of, and contribute to, the education that moves our industry forward.”

Attendees receive the added benefit of listening to engaging and educational content. So far Goodman has scheduled Hannah Ubl, generational expert, speaking on What Millennials Mean to the Meetings Industry at the upcoming Interact Southeast; technology pioneer, futurist, and journalist Michael Rogers for Destination Northeast; performance coach Heidi Hanna’s Investment Strategies for Your Most Valuable Resource for Destination California; Chris Bashinelli’s Global Citizenship: From Brooklyn to Africa for M&C Global Interact; and leadership catalyst Simon T. Bailey and Dear World founder Robert Fogarty for M&C Interact later this summer in New Orleans.

Meeting & Conventions and Successful Meetings events bring together high-level meeting professionals with leading suppliers in a spectacular setting and productive business format. They afford event planners the opportunity to meet and engage with vendors and to further their professional development. For more information on their events, please visit Meeting & Conventions events page. Meeting & Conventions and Successful Meetings are products of Northstar Travel Media, LLC. For more information about Northstar and its other meetings and travel-related brands, visit www.ntmllc.com.

The Goodman Speakers Bureau provides insight, guidance, perspective and advice to assist meeting planners in selecting the best professional speakers for their event. Done with the highest level of integrity, passion, professionalism, and service, the Goodman Speakers Bureau works to match the best motivational, inspirational, business and thought-leading speakers for client meetings. The Goodman Speakers Bureau is located at 56 Poquonock Avenue, Windsor, CT 06095.


 Hannah Ubl   Michael Rogers   Heidi Hanna   Chris Bashinelli   Simon T. Bailey 

Keynote Success: 10 Tips to Maximize Pre-event Planning

Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 11:42 Keynote Success Microphones

Congratulations! You’ve hired the right keynote speaker to deliver a message that resonates with your meeting objectives, while meeting the needs of your audience and stakeholders. As the event approaches, here are ten tips to maximize your success on presentation day:

1. Position the speaker on the agenda where he/she will provide the most impact.
Examples: A corporation announcing a new global change initiative may want to position a keynote on embracing change at the opening general session to increase the audience’s receptiveness to the organization’s mission. Whereas, an association that has struggled with attendees departing early, may want to position one of their professional speakers as the closing keynote to increase chances of attendees staying for the full duration of the conference.
2. Schedule a pre-event conference call between the speaker and the internal client or senior leader.
This allows the speaker to understand the needs of the organization, challenges the audience may face and ask clarifying questions. The speaker is able to gather information needed to customize his message to your specific group.
3. Consider room sets that maximize audience engagement. The closer the audience is to the speaker, the more the connection and attention.
Dance floors, or wide open center aisles directly in front of the speaker, can separate a speaker from the audience, while theater-style seating or round tables as close to the stage as possible will maximize engagement.
4. Obtain advance written permission to record from the speaker.
If you are recording the session, always obtain the speaker’s written permission well in advance. Keynotes typically contain the intellectual property of the speaker and may have recording limitations or fees that apply.
5. Review your Event Profile prior to the event to be sure the speaker logistics are completed and accurate.
Goodman Speakers Bureau provides this document to clients as a tool to keep both the meeting planner and the speaker on track for success. By summarizing the audience profile, meeting objectives, travel arrangements, emergency contact info and other vital details, everyone has an easy reference sheet to use on-site.
6. Allow the speaker to arrive at the destination in advance.
By arriving the night before, a speaker can familiarize themselves with the facility/attendees, give the planner some peace of mind, and get a good night’s rest. This is of key importance for International travel, wintry destinations or whenever weather may present an added challenge. In times of threatening storms, (sometimes in the speaker’s point of departure), a speaker may need to arrive two days prior.
7. Conduct a sound check or audio-visual rehearsal.
Be sure to schedule an AV check in advance. Professional speakers will want to familiarize themselves with the room ahead of time. This is an opportunity to test PowerPoint presentations, (if not already provided in advance), meet the production team, do a sound check and reassure everyone that you are good to go! Don’t forget to have fresh batteries in your wireless microphone at the beginning of the conference and always have a back up set.
8. Provide good lighting that clearly illuminates the speaker and podium.
This helps direct the audience’s attention on the speaker and keep it there. Ideally, the audience should be dimmed, but not dark. The speaker will want to read the audience’s reactions and adapt the speech accordingly, as needed.
9. Schedule mealtime speeches to start after the conclusion of food service.
To avoid noise and distractions, keynotes held after a breakfast, lunch or dinner should begin after the wait staff has finished clearing the meals. It is very difficult for speakers to retain everyone’s attention when they have to compete with the din of service and lingering conversations. If time limitations are a challenge, pre-set the dessert and have coffee offered right after entrees have been served. Final clearing should be done after the keynote.
10. Observe, Enjoy and Evaluate.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor by watching the speaker’s presentation. Observe the audience’s reaction and monitor engagement. Did you get the results you anticipated? Evaluations sent after the program are ideal opportunities for capturing the thoughts of attendees and helping you launch next year’s selection process with solid criteria for planning the next search for the right keynote speaker!

Weather & Winter Woes: Coming Out Ahead of the Storm.

Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 11:08 Weather & Winter Woes: Coming Out Ahead of the Storm

Our most recent storm here in the Northeast, which began its trouble earlier in the Midwest, is another reminder how important proactivity and communication are when dealing with speaker travel arrangements. The truth is, it’s not just a winter or a location specific problem. All year long there are a series of independent forces wreaking havoc on the best laid travel plans. Our program managers are always looking at the national weather map, tracking speakers originating and destination cities, looking for any potential problems.

Here’s a case example of a situation here at Goodman Speakers during the Blizzard of 2015.
When forecasters began to up the severity of Juno early Sunday morning, our program managers immediately looked at the calendar and began to see which speakers could potentially have issues. We had one speaker originating from the Qatar in the Middle East, heading to Midwest for a program on Tuesday. The speaker had also hoped to stop at home for a night in New Jersey. After seeing the flight cancellations beginning to pile up, we immediately contacted the speaker’s office and strongly encouraged them to change the flight, bypass home and go straight to the event. Thankfully, they all agreed and the speaker changed his flight that day so that the speaker would arrive at his destination on Monday without too much headache, just 28 hours of travel…

Meanwhile, our team had a backup speaker in mind, on the outside chance the original speaker experienced any more delays or cancellations.

What did and can we all learn from these situations:

  • Be proactive: don’t wait until flights are cancelled
  • Communication: make sure everyone is aware of the potential problem and agree upon a solution, early on.
  • Have a backup plan

Also, don’t forget about any fee or rate increases the speaker and client may incur with the changing schedule, this may include a fare increase, change fees, additional accommodations, etc.

Stay calm, communicate often, and it doesn’t hurt to cross your fingers, because sometimes luck does play a role in having a successful event.

How Meeting Planners Should Work with a Speakers Bureau

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 07:06

You are planning a conference and you need a great keynote speaker to close out the conference on the final evening of the event. Someone who can engage the audience, drive home the message from the executive team, and fire up the attendees.  You need someone who gets it.  A lot is riding on this conference.  Your company is spending a lot of money and you cannot afford to misstep on the big finale. You start with a simple Internet search but soon realize there are literally thousands of choices.  One speaker home page looks like the next.  How can you know who is going to do not just a good job, but a great job?

The things is, you can't know.  That's the time to talk to a speakers bureau. Speakers bureaus have invested time developing relationships with hundreds of speakers.  They know who delivers, and who might prove inconsistent or risky.  The first step is to pick up the phone and call your speakers bureau and discuss what you need.

Things to know before you call

  • Date and location of  the meeting.
  • Is there a strategic message that you are trying to communicate? Or, program theme?
  • Male/female ratio and average age.
  • Educational background of attendees.
  • Which division/department of the company/organization are they from?

Things the Goodman Speaker Bureau will ask you about your meeting

We will be looking for insights from you. You might be surprised how these questions allow us to recommend the right keynote speaker for your event.

  • What challenges is your industry, organization or audience facing?
  • What personal interests inspire your executive team? Are they fans of a particular sport? Are they strictly business, or do the appreciate humor, music, creative-thinking, or science?
  • What are your expectations of the keynote speaker to help you communicate the message of the meeting?
  • What ideal “take away” would you like the speaker’s presentation to deliver? 
  • Beyond the keynote, are there other expectations of the speaker? (i.e., question & answer session, book signing, reception attendance, follow-up webinar) 
  • How important do you feel the outside speaker is to the overall success of the meeting?
  • What is the budget for the speaker?

After the initial call, we will propose a list of speakers (with biographies, head shots, fee ranges and related video) we feel would be a great fit for your meeting.  But before you choose, allow us to arrange a conference call between your team and the speaker, so you can be sure that keynote speaker can really communicate the message.

Once you have selected a speaker, we go to the contract phase.  At this point, you will want to be sure you account for any requests or details you require of the speaker.  If you want the speaker to play a round of golf with the CEO the morning of the big closing keynote, that should be outlined in the contract.  If the speaker is a former NFL star and you want him to autograph footballs for the leading salespeople of the district, that needs to be stipulated in the contract.  If you need 500 copies of the speakers book for every member of the audience, that too should be outlined in advance.  Yes, last minute changes do happen, and we as the speakers bureau can often amend an agreement after the fact, but it's best to get these details dealt with early and up front, in case an accommodation cannot be made.

Event Logistics

After all the contracts and speaker agreements are signed, the Goodman Speakers Bureau works with your team to provide logistic support.  We act as a liaison between the meeting planner and the professional speaker, communicating transportation details, A/V requirements, providing marketing materials to the meeting planning team for the event, and ensuring both parties have all the necessary logistic information.  We also arrange for pre-event conference calls to ensure the speaker and key members of the executive team are in sync and on message.  Most of our business speakers and thought leaders customize their message for the client, and often act in a consultative role to help companies and organizations communicate the right message.  No two speeches are alike, and whatever your business, we work with some extraordinary speakers who deliver the best speeches to your audience.  Some of our speakers use pre-event questionnaire to ensure the client is getting exactly what they are looking for in a presentation.  Additionally, we are one of the few bureaus who tracks the weather nationwide for possible issues with transportation affecting the arrival of a speaker. We are always looking ahead and planning alternative forms of transportation in case of a snowstorm or other unusual travel delay.

Follow up

After the event is over and our speaker has given a fantastic performance, we follow up with you, the event planner, to see how it went. Customer service and strong positive relationships are paramount to the Goodman Speakers Bureau, and your feedback always helps us deliver the best events.

Need a hand with your next event?  Let the Goodman Speakers Bureau help you select a winning speaker, and see it through to the standing ovation.  Call us at 800-875-2893.  Remember, it costs you nothing!  We only get paid if you book the speaker and we are paid by the speaker.  So what are you waiting for?  Let us help you hit your next event out of the park.

"Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

When a Speaker Cancels: Case Study on How a Speakers Bureau Can Save Your Event

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 07:06

When a speaker is contracted for an event, it's seldom they cancel for any reason, but it can and does happen.  A last minute cancellation, for any reason, can easily send a meeting planner into a panic.  After all, the speaker is often the highlight of the event. But if the meeting planner used a speakers bureau, they have a strong trusted ally in the storm.

Case in point, we recently had a speaker for an event scheduled with the State of Connecticut.  At noon the day before the event, the speaker called and cancelled, for a very good reason (there was a serious medical emergency with a family member), and the event was without a speaker. He was scheduled to speak at 9AM the next morning, only giving the meeting planner, and our team at the Goodman Speakers Bureau, about a 6 hour window to track down and secure an appropriate speaker.  Additionally, because of the tight time frame, that speaker needed to be somewhat local. With an event kicking off the next day or in some cases, already underway, a meeting planner has zero time and resources to find a substitute speaker.

That's where we come in.  Since the meeting planner arranged the speaker through us, we we able quickly find a replacement who was based here in Connecticut to pinch hit for our speaker in crisis.  Anne Parmenter was gracious enough to step into fairly large shoes and with very little notice or preparation time, knocked it out of the park. We received a very grateful testimonial from the meeting organizer who raved about the speaker we found. Here's the testimonial from our client:

"Anne Parmenter did FABULOUS job as the keynote presenter for State Managers Day, September 26, 2014.  Feedback from many agencies and a wide variety of individuals was that they LOVED her and wanted to hear more! Anne gave us such a wonderful tailored presentation filled with drama and humor, that kept people talking all day! I was impressed I with her heartfelt stories, amazing pictures of her Everest experience, and her style of bringing people along with her passion for this one of a kind adventure, while linking lessons to everyday life.  Her last minute engagement made it all the more remarkable."

So if you want that extra layer of insurance when organizing your event, use a speakers bureau.  We are with you every step of the way from selection to the time the speaker walks off the stage.  Don't go it alone!  We won't leave you high a dry after the contracts are signed.  We take the success of your event seriously--because YOUR success is OUR success!

How To Find a Speaker for a Conference or Event

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 07:06

Speaker on PlatformYou need a good speaker, no--a great speaker for your company's next conference. Someone who can tie the theme together, deliver valuable content to attendees, and leave everyone with a solid plan.  Where do you turn?

Managing a proposal process and sifting through direct solicitations can be time sinks for organizations. We see an opportunity for speaker bureaus to be strong partners" - Jeff Cobb, Jeff Hurt, Dave Lutz, Sarah Michel, and Celisa Steele - Tagoras and Velvet Chainsaw Consulting

Your first instinct may be to search the Internet.  A quick Google search using the terms "Great Keynote Speaker" returns over 11 million results.  While it may be easy to find a speaker on the Internet, it's very difficult to find the right speaker for your event.  As the meeting planner, a lot is riding on this.  You can't afford the time to sift though millions of search results and you can't afford an unwise choice. Here are some recommendations to point you in the right direction.

1.) Ask your colleagues about their favorite speakers.  Research shows* 84% of you already do this, and with good reason.  Peer recommendations are some of the most reliable sources.

2.) Ask for recommendations from Staff and Members. This is the second highest rated way meeting planners find speakers.

3.)  Ask your speaker's bureau for a list of recommendations based on your needs. Although only* 57% of meeting planners use speakers bureaus as a resource, we (of course) feel it should be higher!  Gathering suggestions from staff and colleagues is an excellent starting point, but here's an opportunity for you to run that list by an independent source who has worked with these speakers before, who know how willing they are to please the client (or not), and which speakers really deliver.  Independent Speakers Bureaus like the Goodman Speakers Bureau have your interests at heart and can make objective recommendations.

If you are new to event planning or have never used a bureau before, don't worry about the cost of using a speakers bureau--because there is none.  Speakers bureaus are paid by the speaker out of their honorarium.  Since we have relationships with thousands of speakers, we can find the right keynote speaker for virtually any meeting.  We also act as your partner through the contractual process. Speakers bureaus deliver high value at no cost to the meeting planner, and act as an extended part of your team from proposal to contract to the moment the speaker leaves the stage.

If you are looking for a great keynote speaker for your next event, given us a call first. We can save you days of research and give you a head start on your planning, as well as assist you with contracts, logistical arrangements and support.  We also handle details like books, media images, speaker bios and headshots.

Contact us at 1-800-875-2893 or email us at info@goodmanspeakersbureau.com for more information.

*Statistics Source:  Velvet Chainsaw The Speaker Report 2013

How Does a Speakers Bureau Work?

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 01:30

gears-working-togetherHow Does a Speakers Bureau Work?

If you have never worked with a speakers bureau, you may wonder how to approach a bureau. Speakers bureaus exist to assist clients through every step of the speaker booking process, from initial proposal to contact, to the podium. We work on the clients' behalf (that's you!) and the goal is to exceed the client's expectation. We negotiate, facilitate, and communicate on your behalf, saving you time and providing you support. Because we work with so many speakers, we know who can deliver what--we can give you insights to which speakers will go the extra mile for a client, and which speakers aren't so easy to work with.  Because of this insight, working with us can ensure you a successful event.  Here are some commonly asked questions about how a speakers bureau works:

What does a speakers bureau charge?
There is no cost to you for using our services. Our fee is paid by the speaker, through their honorarium. The time we spend personally with you, the materials and resources we employ, and the effort we expend to meet your needs are free of charge. If you choose not to book a speaker, there is still no charge to you.

What is the average cost of hiring a professional keynote speakers?
Hiring a professional speaker will vary based on experience, skill, reputation and notoriety. Additional expenses are separate from the fee. Expenses, such as travel, hotel accommodations, meals, and any out of pocket expenses are usually considered additional to the speaker's fee.

Do I have to arrange travel and hotel accommodations for the professional speaker?
Goodman Speakers Bureau will work with you and the speaker directly to ensure that the right accommodations are found to fit the speaker's needs and to fit within your budget.

There are so many good speakers, how do I choose the one "right" for my event?
There are literally thousands of speakers in the marketplace today, and selecting the right one is difficult.  We help you choose by first getting a basic understanding of your organization and its needs, your budget, and the theme and message you need communicated to your attendees.  Then we select a group of speakers for you to review based on these factors, with accompanying video, biography, head shot, and speech topics they have specific expertise in. One you select a speaker from our proposal, we follow up by spending the following months with you, personally customizing your meeting down to the finest details.

What if I want a speaker and I don't see him or her featured on your website?
Don't worry!  Goodman Speakers Bureau works with many speakers, not just ones listed on our website. If you already know of a speaker you may be interested in, we will get you all of the resources necessary to facilitate your decision and getting you matched up with your speaker.

Do longer presentations cost more?
Generally, yes. Since each speaker sets their own fee, fees vary from speaker to speaker. Some have a flat cost, others will have a 1-hour (keynote), half day, and full day cost.

What kind of budget do I need?  What if I have a limited budget?
Spending a lot of money does not always mean you will get the best speaker for your event. We have relationships with a variety of speakers from which to find you a speaker that best fits your needs, at a price you can afford. Keynote speaker fees generally start at $5000 and up.

Can I speak directly with the speaker before I make a decision?
Most all of our speakers are available before you have made a selection and after you have made your final decision. Since we insist on a personal and customized approach to meeting planning, we will facilitate the best communication between you and your speaker possible. Whatever it takes to make you comfortable and content that your decision is the best, Goodman Speakers Bureau will be there at every step.

Can we make audio or video recordings of the speaker and his and her content at the event?
Speakers vary in regard to the protection of their intellectual property. Your Goodman Speakers Bureau representative will be happy to advise you on a speaker's attitudes about recording.

If you have any questions, give us a call!

We're here to answer your questions and it costs nothing to talk with us.


Since 1979 Goodman Speakers Bureau has taken pride in providing our clients with customized solutions to their professional speaker needs. As the customized service specialists, we believe that Internet searches are the last place anyone should look for a professional speaker. Instead, we believe the first place to begin your search by working one-on-one with us. When you call the Goodman Speakers Bureau you will begin a partnership, which will produce the best product for your organization and event and save you time.

Successful Meeting Tips-Trends in the Speaker Industry

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 07:11

Welcome to our third installment of our vlog series on Successful Meeting Tips, Advice and Insights with President and Founder of The Goodman Speakers Bureau, Diane Goodman, CMP. Diane has more than 30+ years in the meeting business and is a founding member of the IASB. The series asks a single question and viewers receive Diane’s candid response. Diane advises at the highest level of meeting planning, specifically with respect to hiring the right professional speaker for your event.

Today our question is: What are some of the trends you are seeing in the speaker industry today?

Have a question for Diane Goodman, CMP? To submit your question, contact Diane at 800-875-2893 or Diane@goodmanspeakersbureau.com. Diane and her team go beyond delivering speaker recommendations. As Certified Meeting Professionals, they can offer guidance throughout the meeting planning process, assisting clients with overall meeting success.

Successful Meeting Tips-How to Maximize Speaker Budgets

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 12:30

Welcome to our second installment of our vlog series on Successful Meeting Tips, Advice and Insights with President and Founder of The Goodman Speakers Bureau, Diane Goodman, CMP. Diane has more than 30+ years in the meeting business and is a founding member of the IASB. The series asks a single question and viewers receive Diane’s candid response. Diane advises at the highest level of meeting planning, specifically with respect to hiring the right professional speaker for your event.

Today our question is: In what ways can meeting planners maximize their speaker budgets?

How does Diane help meeting planners get the most from their budget? Click for full presentation (1:26min).
How does Diane help meeting planners get the most from their budget? Click for full presentation (1:26min).

Have a question for Diane Goodman, CMP?  To submit your question, contact Diane at 800-875-2893 or Diane@goodmanspeakersbureau.com. Diane and her team go beyond delivering speaker recommendations. As Certified Meeting Professionals, they can offer guidance throughout the meeting planning process, assisting clients with overall meeting success.