At the global offices of the China Speakers Bureau we have a part time job in looking at new speakers, and regularly, refusing them for our service. That does not mean the speakers we refuse are bad speakers, on the contrary. But to have a good match, we have a range of stringent criteria, so we can maintain our current business model and quality standards.
Two key criteria are key for our way of working. First, speakers need to be China experts. The China Speakers Bureau is a global agency organizing speakers who have a role in the China debate. Second, we need a solid and active digital footprint of speakers, illustrating their contributions to that debate. Quotes in mainstream media, weblogs, video´s and in general the ability to move the China debate. The China Speakers Bureau uses online content marketing as a major tool, and we do need content from our speakers to help them in finding assignments.
Writing a book, is great, and helpful, but needs a broader approach of online marketing. Too many people are writing books about China, and to position a speaker online, much more is needed.
If you do not match those two criteria, we are sorry, but you will have to look elsewhere. Initially, we were not that strict in following those guidelines, but those speakers end up in our digital dungeons. We happily try to help our speakers to improve their digital performance, but we need to start from a solid base.
When we are happy about those key points, we can dive into the smaller details. Some might sound obvious, but all too often potential speakers forget about it.
As a speakers´agency we make a living from a percentage of the speakers´fee: that means if speakers work for fee or a marginal compensation, we cannot work with them. Also, we have to make sure there is no conflict of interest with their current activities or their employers. When people work for the government, or work as elected representatives, they typically cannot work for a fee.
Of course, new speakers do need already a track record as a speakers, and their selection of subjects should match the requests we get from our clients. But as we speak to potential speakers, those criteria are a starting point for a conversation on how we can match them with the wishes of our clients.
Do you want to discuss your participation? Drop us a line.