through the first cut. We rarely have
time to wait for a requested video.
I want what I want, when I want it.
Online video achieves this for me.
How often do you engage a speakers’
bureau to find the right speaker?
Do you like receiving newsletters
We have great spam filters, so speaker
e-zines are not a problem. Many of our
employees, however, sign up for them
and regularly read and enjoy them.
Sometimes an employee will forward
one to me for consideration.
Why do you hire professional speakers?
We’ve used professional speakers,
internal speakers, and a few minor
celebrities. The greatest value a professional speaker delivers to SPI is a
different perspective. The professional
speaker might say something similar to
what the executive management team
has been saying for months; however,
the pro speaker wraps the message
differently or offers it through a new
window—and our people listen. Our
attendee buy-in comes from a professional speaker offering a fresh, new
What criteria do you use when looking
at a stack of media kits and DVDs from
Again, we mostly use the Web. If we’re
interested and a speaker makes it
through the first cut, we’ll take a cursory look at their collateral marketing
material but that is not huge for us—the
online video is.
Are third-party testimonials important?
Third-party testimonials are most valuable to us when they come from a
Our cigars are almost at an end.
Before we conclude the interview, is
there a question I should have asked?
Yes, and that question is: “How do
we know that we have selected the
right speaker for the meeting?” After
a year has passed and our people
are still quoting things the speaker
said, listening to the speaker’s CDs,
and reading the speaker’s books,
we know we’ve selected the right
Ed Rigsbee, CSP, is a
expert on strategic
alliances and organizational strategy. He also is
founder and executive director of the
Cigar PEG. Ed also has been an adjunct
professor for the University of California
at Santa Barbara and California
Lutheran University. For more information, visit www.rigsbee.com.
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