The Secret to Booking Top Talent Ft. Zach Nadler

Zach Nadler knows his way around the keynote world! He joined us to talk all about booking speakers and how to navigate the process. If you work with talent, you will want to check this episode out!

Tell us about VaynerSpeakers.

We are a speakers bureau like most others. We try to be a little more forward thinking a little more innovative. We’re 18 months old. I’ve been working with Gary Vaynerchuk a little over ten years. Gary and I got together and thought this is an industry that hasn’t changed a lot. He wanted to put our spin on it. I left my previous agency in August of 2018. We released VaynerSpeakers October of 2018.

How is it working with Gary?

He’s a lot of fun. One of my favorite things about Gary is he’s the same person on and off camera. He’s authentic and he cares about everyone and everything. I’m in a position where its a little different, my biggest client is also my business partner. Otherwise, we are one of many companies under the Vayner umbrella.

I know a lot of people starting out in their speaking career, how do they go about getting into a bureau?

10 years ago to be a speaker you had to get on stage, now you just have to put on your instagram handle. All you have to do is get on stage. No one is going to pay you right away, if you have something that is unique and interesting. To me, it’s volunteering yourself. Then you get to the point where someone sees you and thats how things get going. A lot of times people look at us and say you’re what I need. But it doesn’t really work that way. We can help mold someone and build a marketing plan, but ultimately its about demand. It’s all about providing value onstage. A lot of people get up on stage and start telling their story and thats it, and there’s no value.

How do planners budget properly and pick the right speaker?

If you are booking talent for an event and you don’t have experience, find people who do. Conversely, we do a lot of that too. We’re going to help you get there. One of my customers told me we offer free consulting, it’s not really free as much as making sure you have a great event and my client has a great experience.

When it comes to how much you should budget, no two events are the same. You have to look at them all differently, If you’re having an internal conference, you don’t budget a lot if everyone has to come to your event.

If I want to bring in a national name, and I want to use the name to sell my tickets, what kind of money do we need to be thinking about?

Typically name recognition starts around $25,000. There’s two types of speakers endemic, or non endemic.

If I’m paying high dollar what am I getting for that?

There’s no single answer. No two speakers are the same. It comes down to demand in a way. If you’re good enough to get on stage without a conference call, why get on a conference call. Those calls are rarely as helpful as the planners think they are. Emails are an amazing tool to go back and forth.

When it comes to a planner negotiating a contract what is flexible?

First thing everyone asks about is the fee. As agents we don’t dictate the fee. The fee is a matter of supply and demand. The first thing you can do is ask what someone’s fee is. *fee depends on event type
Most people will have a set fee, and if they don’t they haven’t been doing this a long time. Then it’s more about understanding what you need vs what you want.

What about speakers today in this environment?

We’ve been doing this for years, it’s nothing new. I have done virtual events, pre – recorded. We have even done holograms. We’re ready for it and a lot of groups are pivoting that way. It’s different to me, one thing that jumps out is the talent involved becomes more important.

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