Whether it’s about who wore the prettiest dress, who bagged the most awards, who gave the best speech, we all know everyone’s still talking about the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards that was aired live on national television on Sunday night. Below is a list of several of the winners who brought home those much-coveted Golden Globe trophies, and if you’d like, we can arrange for you to have a GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER at your next event – and perhaps even ask them to bring their much-coveted trophies along!
Captured by Octavia Spencer, the award was for her role of a feisty and outspoken maid in The Help, a film set in the Civil Rights era America in the early 1960s. Set in Jackson, Mississippi, the film also stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Sissy Spacek, Mike Vogel, Mary Steenburgen, and Allison Janney. When Spencer won the Golden Globe on Sunday night, she didn’t just take home a trophy with her — she won the respect of domestic workers throughout the country. Spencer was praised by the National Domestic Workers Alliance on Monday for citing the importance of domestic workers during her acceptance speech. Entertainment Hollywood has listed Spencer in its list of 25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood, and her other film credits include: Never Been Kissed, Big Momma’s House, Bad Santa, Spider-Man, Coach Carter, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! and Pretty Ugly People.
Martin Scorsese received this award on Sunday night for his work on Hugo, but this film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor is no stranger to awards for his work in the film industry. He is actually a recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award for his contributions to cinema, and has won Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and DGA Awards. Scorsese is also the president of The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation. Scorsese’s body of work addresses such themes as guilt and redemption, machismo, modern crime and violence. Scorsese is hailed as one of the significant and influential American filmmakers of the modern era, directing landmark films such as Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas - all of which he collaborated on with actor and close friend Robert De Niro.
How ironic is it that the actor who acts in the TV show about the fictional version of himself ends up bagging an award in this category? Matt LeBlanc won an award for his role in Episodes, a BBC2/Showtime television series which was created by Friends co-creator David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik. LeBlanc is best known for his role as Joey Tribbiani for ten years on the NBC sitcom Friends and two years on its spin-off Joey. Friends was very successful and LeBlanc, along with his co-stars, gained wide recognition among viewers. He also took home numerous awards for his portrayal of Joey Tribbiani, including a Screen Actors Guild Award in 1995, Teen Choice Award in 2002, and People’s Choice Award in 2005. In addition to his TV work, LeBlanc also set up his own production company, Fort Hill Productions, and co-produced the made-for-TV movie The Prince in 2006. He was also the executive producer of the film Jonah Hex.
Kelsey Grammer is an actor and comedian most widely known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the sitcoms Cheers and Frasier. But it was neither of these TV shows that earned him the award on Sunday night, which he received for his portrayal of mayor of Chicago Tom Kane in the Starz premium television series, Boss. Grammer is another who is no stranger to awards: he has received at least 45 nominations for major awards and has won on 18 occasions.
Bagged by Claire Danes for her portrayal of Carrie Mathison in Homeland, it was no surprise this veteran actress took home another Golden Globe on Sunday night. This is her 4th Golden Globe and despite being only 32 years old, she has won numerous awards, including an Emmy, an MTV Movie Award, and a Young Artist Award. She has appeared in roles as diverse as Angela Chase in My So-Called Life, as Juliet in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, as Kate Brewster in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, as Yvaine in Stardust, as Temple Grandin in the HBO TV film Temple Grandin. But to the young blossoming actress at the time, school was as important to her as was work. In 1998, Danes went to Yale University, her father’s alma mater. Director Oliver Stone wrote her letter of recommendation to Yale. And in addition to her on-screen performances, Danes has also taken an interest to musical theater and in 2007, she made her Broadway theatre debut as Eliza Doolittle in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, directed by David Grindley at the American Airlines Theatre.
This award did not come as a surprise to those in Hollywood, as Jessica Lange is the recipient of numerous awards – including two Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, and one Emmy. But this time she won an award for her role in American Horror Story, which has also garnered her a Satellite Award and a third Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination. Lange was discovered by producer Dino De Laurentiis while modeling for Wilhelmina Models, and made her professional film debut in 1976 with King Kong, which earned her a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year and became the fifth highest-grossing film of the year. But humanitarian work is of significant importance to this successful actress, as Lange is actually a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), specializing in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Congo and in spreading awareness of the disease in Russia.
Back in the day where only several channels were offered on TV, there wasn’t as much variety in terms of what to watch on television. Today, we have an infinite number of channels and choices to watch, but only the best of the best TV shows are chosen to air on primetime spots. These shows could not have made it without the outstanding acting skills of some their leading stars.
Do you want to find out how they worked their magic to climb all the way to the top of their profession? The Allen Agency has a solution for you – we can arrange for you to ask these celebrities IN PERSON – if you have them at your next event!
People often associate Michael C. Hall with his screen names “David Fisher” the HBO drama series Six Feet Under and “Dexter” Morgan on the Showtime series Dexter, which has won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award. In addition to these TV shows, Hall has also starred in several films, such as Paycheck, Gamer, and Peep World. Outside the world of TV and film, Hall is also heavily involved in charity work. He is currently the face of the Somalia Aid Society’s Feed The People campaign, and he has also recently worked with Kiehl’s skin care line to do a limited edition that benefits the Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental nonprofit that works towards clean and safe water worldwide.
Another familiar face in the primetime television world is Jon Hamm, who plays advertising executive Don Draper in the AMC drama Mad Men. Hamm received his breakthrough role in 2007 when he was cast from more than 80 candidates. Hamm recalled, “I read the script for Mad Men and I loved it. [...] I never thought they’d cast me—I mean, I thought they’d go with one of the five guys who look like me but are movie stars.” Alan Taylor and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner thought that Hamm was too handsome for the role, but “perfect” looks will never prove to be a problem, as Hamm has been named one of Salon.com’s Sexiest Man Living in 2007, one of People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2008, and GQ’s International Man in 2010.
One of Hamm’s Mad Men costars, January Jones, has won the favor of much of primetime television viewers with her gorgeous looks. Jones plays young suburban housewife and mother Betty Draper in Mad Men and has been nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her outstanding role in the show. Most recently, she starred alongside Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger in the thriller film Unknown (2011) and played the role of Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class (2011). Like many other celebrities, Jones has a passion for saving endangered wildlife, and announced in 2009 that she joined Oceana as a celebrity spokesperson, working to save endangered sharks.
Another big name in primetime TV is Steve Carell, who plays Michael Scott in NBC’s The Office, the idiosyncratic regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Inc. He has won a Golden Globe and a Television Critics Association award and has been nominated for 5 Emmy Awards for his role on the series. In addition to his work on The Office, he is also very prominent in the film world, having appeared in hits such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Little Miss Sunshine, Evan Almighty, Date Night, and most recently, Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Ty Burell is also another familiar face on primetime TV, as many would recognize him for his role as Phil Dunphy on ABC’s comedy Modern Family. For his role in the show, he has won a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2010 as well as a Primetime Emmy Award in 2011. In addition to primetime television work, he has also appeared in several films, including National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007), The Incredible Hulk (2008), and Butter (2011).
Burell’s on-screen wife in Modern Family, Claire Dunphy, is played by Julie Bowen, who also recently won a Primetime Emmy Award for her role in the series. No stranger to the TV world, Bowen has appeared as season regulars in a number of television shows, including Three, ER, Ed, Lost, Boston Legal, and Weeds. But aside from acting, Bowen is also passionate about – interestingly – Italian Renaissance, in which she majored in at Brown University. She notes the importance of education and holds her sons’ future academic successes as a top priority.
Many of Hollywood’s most popular stars may have won “most popular” or “most beautiful” titles in their yearbook superlatives, but only a select few can add “genius” to the same list of titles. These especially gifted talents not only made it big in Hollywood, but they also put in that same superlative effort in school.
So how did they balance school and acting or singing or modeling? You can find out how… if you have them speak at your next corporate event!
Known as one of the most distinguished and well-respected actresses of Hollywood, Jodie Foster is one of a few actors known for her brains as well as her acting capabilities. She grew up very much in the limelight, beginning her career at age 3 as a Coppertone girl in a television commercial. Before attending college, she had alreeady made nearly 50 film and television appearances. But despite her busy childhood, Foster made sure she was able to balance her acting career and her academic life, which paid off when she graduated as valedictorian of her high school in 1980. She then enrolled in Yale University, and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature.
Most recognize Cindy Crawford as a familiar face at the grocery checkout stands as she graced the cover of just about every fashion magazine of the 90s. During the 80s and 90s, she was amongst the most popular supermodels and appeared in numerous fashion campaigns during her career, including those for Versace, Escada, Revlon, Omega, and Maybelline. People saw Crawford as an icon of charm and beauty, but she had more than just a pretty face — she had the brains to back it up too. She graduated as valedictorian of her high school in Illinois and was awarded an academic scholarship to study chemical engineering at Northwestern University.
Actors have their fair share of beauty and brains too. Once named “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine, Matt Damon attended Harvard University from 1988 to 1992 majoring in English. It was at Harvard that Damon began his passion for the acting world, taking part in student theater, which ultimately led him to begin projects on TV and the big screen. Today, Damon co-owns the production company LivePlanet with distant cousin, Ben Affleck, and is also highly involved with charity work, including the ONE campaign, H20 Africa Foundation, and Water.org.
Most know Alicia Keys as the “soul singer who has a beautiful voice and is especially musically talented.” But not many know that she graduated as valedictorian of her high school at the tender age of 16. She released her first album Songs in A Minor when she was 20, which sold over 12 million copies worldwide. That same year, she became the best-selling new artist and best-selling R&B artist of 2001. Throughout her career, Keys has won numerous awards and sold over 30 million albums worldwide and 25 million singles, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time.
Kevin Spacey may be best known for his roles in the movies, Pay It Forward, American Beauty, and Superman Returns, which have earned him several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. But what many do not know is that behind that amazing gift he has for acting, he also has a gift for academia, as he graduated as valedictorian from Chatsworth High School in Southern California. His love for academia also led him to pursue more academic goals in life. In November 2005, he was awarded a Doctor of Letters from the London South Bank University, and in June 2008, he was appointed as Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theater at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford.
Ever wonder how long the average person spends reading in a day? How about how many times a day the average person thinks about sex? Mix those two things together and you have one of the most popular topics people care about.
Whether we read the newspaper in the morning, an e-book on the train to work, a magazine in the doctor’s office, or a novel before going to bed, we seldom realize how much time we devote to reading. Imagine what living in a world without authors would feel like! Authors need to have creative minds and great writing styles in order to capture their audience and provide a form of entertainment, whether it is through books, magazines, newspapers, or even films. Tie that all together with the subject of relationsips and sex and you have a WINNER for your next speaking engagement.
Amy Sohn is a contributing editor at New York Magazine, where she often writes about sex, relationships, and parenting. However, she has also written novels (Run Catch Kiss and My Old Man), which has been so highly successful that it has been published in Japanese, German, Spanish, and Russian. She delved into the world of non-fiction when she wrote The New York Times bestselling TV companion guides Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell, as well as Desperate Housewives: Behind Closed Doors.
Another female author connected to the Sex and the City series is the author of the series herself, Candace Bushnell. She came up with the idea for the series through her alter-ego, Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) who is also a sex and life columnist. Carrie Bradshaw parallels Bradshaw’s life as she wrote for a humorous column in the New York Observer called “Sex and the City” from 1994-1996. The highly successful series aired from 1998-2004, and in 2005, Bradshaw released a novel series, Lipstick Jungle, which was also adapted by NBC to turn into a television series.
Oftentimes, authors also provide us with words of wisdom and advice on how to improve our lives. John Gray is the author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, which has sold more than 7 million copies and was reported by the book’s publisher HarperCollins in 1997 to be the all-time bestselling hard-cover relationship book. The book has since been published in over 40 languages. Gray has also began opening Mars & Venus Counseling Centers since 1997, where he trains therapists in his “Mars & Venus techniques.”
But no discussion of authors and sex would be complete without mentioning the Grand Madame of Sex and the Media – Dr. Ruth Ruth Westheimer. Dr. Ruth is now 88 years young – born June 4, 1928 – and still can be heard on talk shows and news programs where the boundries of sex in our society are being stretched. More than just a sex therapist, Dr. Ruth is is a media personality. The New York Times described her as a “Sorbonne-trained psychologist who became a kind of cultural icon in the 1980s. She ushered in the new age of freer, franker talk about sex on radio and television.
We often take for granted the convenience of news; it gets delivered to our doorstep or gets laid out on a screen in front of our eyes. It takes a mere 30 seconds to broadcast a story that might have taken days, weeks, months, or sometimes even years for a journalist to gather. Journalists put countless hours of writing, researching, photographing, recording, and editing to bring us the news. Some have even put themselves in some of the roughest and most dangerous positions in order to “squeeze” out information they feel is critical to get out to the world. They have some of the craziest experiences and most fascinating stories, which they are willing to share…and you can have them tell those stories at your next corporate event!
Despite knowing the risks of their field, some journalists still take their chances in order to quench their thirst for news; sometimes landing themselves in trouble. Laura Ling is an American journalist who was famously detained in 2009 by North Korea after she and fellow journalist Euna Lee had crossed into North Korea from the People’s Republic of China without a visa in an attempt to film refugees along the border with China. Her older sister, Lisa Ling, also a journalist known for her roles as a co-host on The View, host of National Geographic Explorer, reporter on Channel One News, and a special correspondent for the Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN, played a big role in her return back to the United States.
Journalists often seem dauntless and unafraid of reporting during what can seemingly be the most fearful or dangerous of times. But behind that brave front, they are often hiding their fears in order to report their news stories. “Anyone who says they’re not afraid at the time of a hurricane is either a fool or a liar, or a little bit of both,” says anchor Anderson Cooper of CNN’s news show Anderson Cooper 360. Cooper has reported on countless stories live on location for breaking news stories, and has immersed himself in countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, Somalia, Bosnia, and Rwanda in order to report on stories in these war-torn regions of the world.
Our list of renowned journalists does not just stop at ones who report on current events. Jim Cramer is the current host of CNN’s Mad Money. His goal is to provide viewers with “the knowledge and the tools that will empower you to be a better investor.” So why do people trust this man? Perhaps because he is a former hedge fund manager and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard.
Sometimes journalists branch out to do other things too. Meredith Vieira, who is best known for her roles as original moderator of the ABC talk show The View as well as the co-host of NBC morning news program Today, has used her phenomenal broadcast skills to host the popular game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, replacing Regis Philbin in 2002. She has won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host for her role on the show, and actually has a financial investment in the show as an executive producer.
We often go head over heels for talented celebrities of the newest blockbuster movies, and find ourselves reading magazines and tabloids for the latest updates on their lives. But, do you ever really wonder and think about the producers and directors of these films – the brains behind that latest billion dollar movie? Well, you can definitely be meeting face-to-face with one of them; all you have to do is have one of them come speak at your next corporate event.
Director Peter Jackson has been commended over and over again for his work on The Lord of the Rings film Trilogy, and has since then branched out to produce, write, and direct other hit films such as King Kong (2005) and District 9 (2009). That has definitely paid off, as he has been awarded 3 Academy Awards in his career.
Sometimes filmmaking talents run in the family. Filmmaker-brothers Joel & Ethan Coen, known professionally as the Coen brothers, are well-known for the films they produce, write, and direct jointly, such as O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), No Country for Old Men (2007), and True Grit (2010). Together, the brothers have won awards from the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA, and Directors Guild of America.
Our list of producers and directors are not just limited to Hollywood mega-stars. Taiwanese-American film director Ang Lee has directed a set of diverse films including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Hulk (2003), as well as the highly-acclaimed film Brokeback Mountain (2005), for which he picked up the 2005 Best Director Academy Award.
Canadian James Cameron is a film director, producer, screenwriter, editor, and inventor, whose works include such blockbuster films as Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009). If he doesn’t already have enough to boast about his film accomplishments, Cameron has more to offer: he has also co-developed the digital 3D Fusion Camera System as well as contributed to underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies.
Moving into the realm of reality television, producers have also struck it big: British TV producer Mark Burnett makes it seem so easy producing five network television series simultaneously – The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice, Shark Tank, and Expedition – giving him a total of seven hours of network programming per week. In total, he has produced over 1100 hours of television. Oh, and in case those 1100 hours of programming does not already keep him busy enough, he also produces the MTV Movie Awards and People’s Choice Awards.
Would you like relationship advice from perhaps the most famous matchmaker in the world, Patti Stanger? Could you use dancing tips from co-host and previous winner of Dancing With The Stars, Brooke Burke? Or perhaps parenting advice from TV’s most famous mother-of-eight, Kate Gosselin? Any of these Speakers are available to you for corporate entertainment at your next Event.
With the reality TV sector booming, reality stars have become the next big talk of the town. How do you deal with 8 little kids running around your house as a single mom? Kate Gosselin has shared multi-tasking parenting tips as well as advice for future parents in her three books Multiple Blessings, Eight Little Faces, and I Just Want You to Know: Letters to My Kids on Love, Faith and Family. She insists they are like any other American family, and “whatever you see on TV is how our household runs.”
They may seem like they are leading seven different lives, but they somehow manage to tie all of them into one, and offer the same advice to their fans. Natural foods chef and ex-cast member of The Real Housewives of New York, Bethenny Frankel, not only shares secrets about eating healthy, living a busy New York lifestyle, and raising a family, but also shares the importance of staying happy. “The business of being happy requires making a conscious choice. People think being happy will just happen to them someday, if only they do this or that right. But it doesn’t – you have to choose it. You choose happiness, you don’t wait for it to choose you.”
E! News correspondent Giuliana Rancic and her husband, Bill Rancic, winner of the first season of The Apprentice, not only have their lives featured on their reality TV show Giuliana & Bill, they also own a join television production company which produces reality and scripted programming for television. While Giuliana is kept busy filming her daily entertainment news segments on E!, Bill hosts a weekly news program called America Now, which broadcasts all over the United States every weekend.
Patti Stanger is the founder and CEO of The Millionaire’s Club, a professional matchmaking service for millionaires that has been featured on her own Bravo TV show The Millionaire Matchmaker. She not only offers her witty comments and tips about the dating life on her TV show, but also in her book Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate, as well as on her radio show, P.S. I Love You, which airs weekly on satellite radio. Plus this relationship guru is also known for her amazing dressing style and fashion sense.
Have you ever wished you could dine on a meal prepared by Emeril Lagasse or Bobby Flay? These and other Celebrity Chefs are available for keynote speeches and cooking demonstrations for corporate meetings and private dinners. Celebrity Chefs teach cooking clinics and cooking demonstrations, motivate employees, and reward valuable clients. Popular celebrity chefs such as Rocco DiSpirito, Curtis Stone, Rachel Ray and Gordon Ramsay are available for corporate appearances, fundraisers, universities, private events, speaking engagements and VIP Meet and Greets.
The Allen Agency, Inc. booking services including hiring chefs for corporate appearance bookings, personal appearances, celebrity golf tournaments, private party appearances, exclusive VIP Events, autograph signings by celebrity chefs and more. Famous chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Sandra Lee, Paula Deen and Mario Batale will execute cooking demonstrations, prepare the evening’s menu choices, give a motivational speech along with book signings and meet and greet events.
These chefs have meshed their passion for food and people by incorporating them in a performance platform that fulfills their passion to educate and share the lessons of communication through food, cooking and innovation. A culinary experience should never be had alone and so many of these Celebrity Chefs are at the forefront of a new generation of experts. By creating an embellished and shared experience of colors, flavors, textures and aromas as often and with as many admiring audience members as humanly possible, Celebrity Chefs are a breed of new artists, decorating and enhancing the world with a culinary palate.
Celebrity Chefs Alice Waters and Jamie Oliver have become involved in helping schools provide more nutritious lunch programs and are educating and raising food quality awareness for our nation’s children and parents. Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation began in 1996 as an educational program using food to nurture, educate and empower youth. The Foundation envisions a school curriculum and school lunch program where growing, cooking, and sharing food at the table heightens awareness. Jamie Oliver has brought the call to chefs working with public schools on nutrition and cooking, a call that has finally struck a chord with governmental agencies nationwide. Their message to chefs across the country to fight the battle against childhood obesity has never been clearer or louder.
The world of Celebrity Speaking has grown exponentially over the last 20 years. Anyone with 20 minutes of fame can enter the circuit, but the most enduring Celebrity Speakers are those who have strong personalities, professional presentations and compelling content. Many come from the world of motion pictures and television while others are notable political figures or sports superstars. Adventurists tell of the heights and depths of their explorations while Futurists share their vision of a world to come. Connection with the audience, great storytelling skills and overall societal popularity determine who is hot & who is not!
Popularity & Cost
Daily television exposure allows people to become acquainted with a personality and even feel they know them as a friend. That familiarity carries over to the podium, so when groups book Dr. Mehmet Oz or Dr. Phil McGraw, they already feel a kinship. This good will and receptivity set the stage for success, since the Speaker is welcome and expectations are high (so are their fees). Many have six figure appearance fees and some require private jet
Lance Armstrong was one of our most requested Celebrity Speakers of all time; even more so a few years back when he repeatedly won the Tour De France. Each Super Bowl & World Series brings popularity to a new group sports figures. The Mannings’ fees skyrocketed after their Super Bowl wins and even dad, Archie’s, popularity was reinvigorated. We also experience a surge in requests for Celebrity Coaches such as Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Bill Cowher and Sean Payton after major sporting events and playoff victories; corporations and organizations all want a motivational talk from the winning coach!transportation. Lesser known Speakers are far less expensive and as their exposure and popularity rises, so does their cost. I’ve followed comedians Lewis Black and Craig Ferguson from their beginnings on the speaking & entertainment circuit through their rise in popularity on The Daily Show and Late Night and their fees rose accordingly from very affordable to six figures. The same for Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert & Bill Maher and the college audiences who made them so popular can no longer afford them.
We often don’t think of Business Speakers as Celebrities, yet Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Ted Turner and Steve Wynn are names as magnetic and popular as any Hollywood Star. Each has a unique and strong personality which is an asset on the podium and has contributed to their business success. Trump’s children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka have already become Celebrity Speakers in their own right since the Celebrity Apprentice show has also contributed to their popularity. You’ll find a complete selection of Celebrity Business Speakers on our site at www.speakerbooking.com.
Hot Celebrity Speakers may be the flavor of the month and quick to fade or may experience a popularity that endures for years. In our 16 years of business we’ve continued to book Naomi Judd, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher and Joan Rivers and they’re requested as much today as they were in the lre your comments about a Celebrity Speaker you’ve enjoyed so our readers may fit from your positive experience!
1. Establish Your Event Goals: You know your group or organization better than the bureau with whom you’ve chosen to work, so begin by establishing your event goals. What do you want to accomplish? Is quality of information your primary concern or is the need to draw attendees more important. If so, having a Celebrity with a well known name may be more important than the content of the keynote? Also, is there a specific subject area you wish to cover that will narrow your selection? Who will be attending and do you know what they want and expect? Once you’ve sorted out these questions and have solid answers, you can then explore available options. Celebrity Speakers start at the $10,000 level and their fees can go into 6 figures, often with private jet transportation.
2. Determine the Event’s Logistics: You need to determine the time of day, projected number of attendees, cost of the venue and whether it will be a breakfast, lunch or dinner meeting or an event where no food is served. Once you have a cost estimate you’ll be better able to determine the amount you can spend on a Celebrity Speaker. When nonprofit agencies find themselves short of funds after determining actual expenses but still need a big name to draw attendees, they approach business sponsors in their local areas for funding.
3. Finding a Celebrity Speaker: If your event is content driven you’ll want to create a list of Celebrity Speakers that address the specific topic or subject area. The most time effective way to do this is call a professional bureau specializing in Celebrity Speakers as they’ll be most familiar with topic areas. Our bureau, The Allen Agency, can be reached at www.speakerbooking.com . Check with a few bureaus and booking agents and once you’ve established rapport and feel a sense of trust, stay with that agent and allow them to walk you through the process. Celebrity booking procedures can be complex and a professional will guide you through the steps of Firm Offer, acceptance, contracts, conference calls, booking travel and accommodations, etc. Some of our clients have relayed stories of securing a Celebrity Speaker at no cost through personal connections to only find out a few weeks prior to the event that the Speaker has a scheduling conflict and cannot attend. Usually you get what you pay for and without a contract or deposit, there is no obligation.
4. Making a Firm Offer: Now that you’ve found a Celebrity Speaker who is a great match for your event and your committee has voted to proceed, it is time to present a written Firm Offer. Most professional bureaus will send you their firm offer paperwork form to complete and return. At this point in the process, you will be committed to proceed should the Celebrity accept the offer. Once all points of your firm offer are negotiated and acceptance is confirmed, your bureau will create a contract that reflects the agreed upon points in the offer. A 50% deposit is generally due within 10 business days of contract signing and the balance is generally due one month to 2 weeks prior to your event.
5. Acceptance of the Offer: Once your Firm Offer has been accepted and contracts and deposits are in place, work begins on arranging logistics and accomplishing keynote customization, should that be desired. Conference calls are held and publicity materials are submitted to the Speaker’s office for review and approval prior to publication. A responsible Speaker’s Bureau will remain available to you throughout every step of pre-event preparations and will be there to advise you as difficult questions arise. They will serve as a liaison to the Speaker’s office and work on clarifying communications to the satisfaction of each party.
6. At the Event: Once you’ve inspected the venue and feel assured all is in place logistically, take an extra few moments to check the microphone and AV system. Have a glass of water available at your Speaker’s podium and check with your booking agent or bureau about whether your Celebrity Speaker will be providing a written introduction. If so, read it verbatim and if there is no introduction, inquire as to how they Celebrity likes to be introduced. A proper introduction sets the stage for a successful presentation. Have a “green room” available for relaxation and ask your Celebrity Speaker if he or she would like to dine at a VIP table with the group or privately in their green room. Assign someone to stay with your Speaker to guide them from their hotel to the green room to the stage and back to their hotel. Also guide and accompany them to book signings and then monitor their time. If the signing or reception is going over the allotted time or if an attendee is monopolizing one on one time with the Celebrity, gently step in and move things forward.
7. After the Event:Providing your bureau with feedback on the Celebrity’s Speaker’s presentation and how well they were received helps to better place them for future bookings.
Often event planners and organizations wonder if it makes sense to hire an outside Speaker or use someone from within, like an industry expert or officer of the corporation. When such questions arise it’s best to take a number of variables into consideration such as available resources and event goals.
Celebrity Speakers have appearance fees which start at $10,000.00 and go up into six figures plus first class expenses for 1 or 2 persons, hotel accommodations, ground transportation, meals and other related expenses. Professional Speakers cost a bit less, starting at $5,000 with expenses for 1 and they will sometimes travel coach air, however their names do not lend as much cache to the event. Whether there’s enough money in the budget to justify hiring a Speaker is the event planner’s primary concern. If not, they have no choice but to look within their group or industry for a speaker. Often these speakers may be knowledgeable but lacking in presentation skills; in short, they may put the audience to sleep or be uninspiring. Also industry experts often have their own agendas which they’ll impose as part of their presentation.
On occasion someone within their organization has connections that will bring a notable speaker to their event gratis, just paying their transportation and hotel costs. Unfortunately, I’ve seen the latter scenario blow up too many times. Often we get what we pay for. When a better opportunity comes along, the gratis speaker cancels. Our bureau has received numerous calls to fill last minute “speaker emergencies” but in the case of limited or a lack of funds, one does the best they can.
If funding is available, a reputable Speakers Bureau can give recommendations based on the demographics of the attendees and the organization’s event goals. A Professional or Celebrity speaker may project the message you’re seeking to convey to attendees differently than a corporate executive or industry expert, since people often listen differently to outsiders, especially those with a great deal of credibility. Also a Professional or Celebrity Speaker is more likely to have a captivating presentation style; so attendees are more likely to pay attention and ask questions of an outsider as well as feeling comfortable voicing their opinions. A good speaker raises morale & conveys fresh idea. It is also better economics to bring a speaker to your group than send them to various conferences and outside events which will entail admission fees, transportation and housing costs.
So when planning your next event, you might want to start by asking these questions:
What does your group wish to accomplish?
Is this an internal event at which employees will be trained or motivated or is this a client event where a corporation will bring in a celebrity speaker to dazzle attendees with his or her credibility, expertise and/or celebrity status?
The group must determine whether they want the speaker to educate, entertain or a little of both and whether they need a celebrity name to draw attendees to the event. Once these items have been determined, consulting with an expert will save you hours of internet research time. They know which speakers will customize their presentations to meet your group’s needs as opposed to those with “canned” presentations who give the same keynote wherever they go.
Professional and Celebrity Speakers who care about doing an outstanding job gather a great deal of information from the client’s web site and often participate in conference calls with the organization’s leaders so they can customize their presentation to group desires and specifications.
Many speakers have a basic keynote structure and weave in specifics relating to the group or industry they’re addressing. Consulting with a professional booking agent who knows the speakers who customize as well as those who haven’t been well received by groups in the past can save you from costly and embarrassing errors, since nothing falls flatter or feels less cost effective than a dull or canned keynote speech. By sharing your event goals with a booking professional you’ll stack the deck in favor of a successful event.
Nonprofit organizations often feature Celebrity Speakers at their fundraising events even though their budgets are small and the cost of a Celebrity Speaker would drain the profit from their fundraising efforts. So how do they do it?
Consider those who would sponsor your event. It may be vendors who regularly exhibit at your conventions or local businesses seeking goodwill with your audience. Anyone who would appreciate exposure by having their name prominently mentioned on banners, invitations or programs is a candidate. A corporation who manufactures a related product and sells to your members like a pharmaceutical company who makes insulin would be a possible sponsor for a diabetes fundraiser. Once secured, give your sponsor the exposure they desire by featuring their name prominently in all event related literature as well as at the event. Highlight them verbally in the form of thanks from the podium, since you wouldn’t have a Celebrity Speaker drawing a great many attendees without their support.
Sometimes private sponsors (angels) donate the cost of a Celebrity Speaker; some appreciate recognition while others prefer to give anonymously. These sponsors may be individuals or philanthropic foundations and if your cause interests them, they’ll send funds your way. Investing in a Celebrity Speaker often yields far greater returns for the organization than the amount a sponsor donates for the Speaker’s fee. When we booked Jay Leno for a charity that granted academic scholarships to children, the group realized far more than Jay’s appearance fee by the strength of his popularity to draw over 1,000 attendees. After performing, he conducted a live auction which brought in more dollars for the charity.
Sponsorships are relationships that can happen once or become ongoing, depending on the success of the event and the organization’s relationship with the sponsor. Keep your sponsor closely apprised of the publicity you’re generating and the projected attendance. Continue to ask your sponsor what else you can do for them in exposure and publicity since they’re doing so much for you. With care and attention, it can become an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship in which everyone wins!
1. Take your audience and budget into consideration: If your audience is made up of 80% women’s apparel sales associates, coaches like Mike Ditka and Phil Jackson wouldn’t be as good a fit as fashion experts Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, and Tim Gunn. In addition to topic relevance, age and gender of an audience will impact on what they want to hear and whom they’ll best enjoy.
2. Prescreen before hiring: Your desired Speaker may have broken the home run record but could have little public speaking experience or expertise. If you can’t preview a speaker in person the next best thing is to request a DVD or video link of a previous presentation. Watch and listen carefully to how the speaker builds rapport and interacts with the audience. Ask yourself if this person would be right for your group. If this is an after dinner speaker, the whole point is to entertain. To this end, there needs to be the right balance of humor with substance and information.
3. Allow adequate time for booking and event publicity: Six months of lead time is the minimum I would suggest when planning an event and booking a Celebrity Speaker. Speaker’s schedules often fill up a year in advance; so it’s best to begin the selection process as soon as you know your date and event theme. Once you determine your Speaker’s availability, their office may be agreeable to putting a “hold” on the date until your bring them a “Firm Offer.” Sometimes you’ll get a quick response to your offer while some Celebrity offices take 2 or 3 weeks before responding. Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to create publicity materials; so the sooner you start this process the more comfortable it will be for all involved.
4. Brief the Speaker on the group and event goals: Often Speakers have Event Questionnaires which they ask the client to complete, giving them insight into the organization’s and event’s goals. Many Speakers want to find out as much as they can about the event so they can customize their presentation. Conference calls are efficient vehicles to get everyone updated and on the same page. It’s also a good idea to provide your Speaker with as much literature as you can. Create a package of corporate newsletters and other relevant information and reports for the Speaker well in advance of the event.
5. Team with a Celebrity Speaker expert: Choosing to work with a speaking professional who works with celebrities all day, every day, will make your job easier and provide you with a bit of insider information. The professional receives feedback from hundreds of events and knows who is out there doing a great job and who best to avoid. They’ll help you achieve the best possible match for your budget and guide you through the process, helping to manage unforeseen details. They’ll make your event go more smoothly, your job easier and have you looking like a hero!
Event planners ask this question all the time and rightly so because so many celebrities are better at appearances (showing up & looking great) than keynote speaking (which is an art!)Some tips that can help:
Is the celebrity listed on a number of speaker’s bureau sites? If so, chances are they’re doing many speeches and have perfected their presentation skills. Naomi Judd & Debbie Reynolds are perfect examples; they’ve been on the keynote circuit for many years and audiences love them! The first time I booked a major sports celebrity I met his presentation coach at the event. She’d been working with him for months and it showed! Be especially cautious in the field of sports since many of the athletes are more suited to the field than the podium. Those who are uncomfortable giving speeches usually let us know and we only book them for appearances or autograph sessions.
Request a demo video or link to an online copy of one of your celebrity’s recent presentations. Celebrity Speakers who present regularly have links available, but those who speak less frequently do not. They believe you’ll know them from their work on T.V. or from the movies. Request names of event planners for whom they’ve been successfully booked as a reference. If they’re new on the speaking circuit, it may come down to a leap of faith! If their celebrity name is big enough they’ll carry the day with the excitement of being at your event. We arrange conference calls between celebrity offices and clients to apprise the celebrity of the client’s expectations so they can more thoroughly prepare for the event.
Celebrity Speakers often participate in “moderated conversations” which is another style of presenting. When Oliver Stone recently addressed a banker’s association he did so from an armchair, responding to questions from their moderator. Often this is followed by audience Q&A. It’s an “Actor’s Workshop” style of presentation; the moderator asks questions and the celebrity responds, embellishing their responses with stories from his or her background or career. One of my favorite moderated keynote experiences was Francis Ford Coppola’s presentation in Singapore. He told stories about the making of “Godfather” which captivated the international audience. Audience Q&A following a keynote will often yield unexpected answers and great stories as well.
While celebrity performances can be intriguing, news conferences and interviews are more telling of how celebrities respond as people rather than as actors. Check You Tube for video clips of interviews, news conferences and keynote speeches. Contacting a booking professional is always advisable, since they receive feedback all the time about the celebrities they’ve booked. They will advise you appropriately on your event needs. Always look for a good storyteller (you’ll hear them on interview shows). Celebrities like Steve Wynn who have compelling stories and relate them in a colorful manner make the best Keynote Speakers.
Jan. 16, 2012 – Would a Golden Globe Winner Bring People to Your Event?
Dec. 10, 2011 – A Wide Variety of Primetime TV Personalities Are Available for Your Upcoming Event
Nov. 23, 2011 – Celebrity Valedictorians & High Achievers
Nov. 3, 2011 – Relationships and Authors Make a Great Partnership
Oct. 1, 2011 – Great Stories Your Organization Would Love to Hear
Sept. 16, 2011 – Meet the Brains Behind the Hottest Movies and Television Shows
Sept. 6, 2011 – What Can you Learn from a Reality Star?
July 25, 2011 – Celebrity Chefs
July 2, 2011 – Celebrity Speakers – Who’s Hot??
June 20, 2011 – 7 Steps in the Celebrity Booking Process
June 7, 2011 – Your Speaker Investment
May 27, 2011 – How to Get a Sponsor for your Event
May 20, 2011 – How To Select a Celebrity Speaker
May 15, 2011 – How Do You Know if a Celebrity Can Speak?