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Most speakers have standard prices per presentation, plus expenses.
Clarify what is to be covered. Some speaker’s fees include such things as handouts and workbooks, while others simply send you camera-ready originals for you to produce.
More and more speakers are offering flat rate fees. If so, clarify exactly what that means. It can include air travel, car rentals, food, lodging, tips, parking, ground transportation, and other things that sometimes pop out only after the engagement. The advantage of flat rates for planners is that of more precise budgeting and fewer surprises.
With the tremendous fluctuation going on with airfares, you might want to consider buying the speakers ticket yourself. Many speakers are very reluctant to have 10 – 15 advance tickets eating up their credit cards so they aren’t as concerned about buying in advance or at discount rates. This can mean savings in hundreds of dollars.
As stated earlier, most speakers have standard, non-negotiable rates but occasionally if they have “product” to sell or can do multiple presentations, (i.e., a keynote address and then a breakout seminar), you might be able to work out a more affordable price.
Get everything in writing so that there are no unanswered questions.
Get travel times of your speakers and have them check in upon arrival. Invite them to come in early if it works out. This also helps to prevent travel problems due to weather, airlines, etc.