Negotiating With Speakers

marshwhambrookc1870.jpg Meet Marsh William Hambrook (1805-1874)  my immigrant ancestor, and by necessity, a pretty fair hand at negotiating a deal, especially to obtain a good horse. Those bargaining skills  are often neglected in our credit card society but are very useful if you are shopping for talented speakers, workshop leaders etc for your library or  genealogical society. Here’s what I mean.

Most talented genealogy speakers invest about 40-50 hours into researching, composing, illustrating and rehersing a lecture. That may represent over $1000 in lost income they could have made doing client research, so ultimately, they need to give a lecture a number of times to recover the effort invested if they offer it for $125 [for example]

Perhaps your society budgets only $50 for a lecture. Yet your members want and need what this speaker has to offer. What else can you offer in barter that make up the difference?

Here are a few ideas that might help in your bargaining

  • One person I knew was willing to trade services for  postage stamps for her grandsons’ collections. Corner blocks of new issues, accumulations of old cancelled stamps and stamps depicting transportation.
  • One group offered a long weekend at a cabin on the lake, donated by a member, in partial trade for a workshop.
  • New books, either society publications or duplicatesc in very good condition from the society library, or  inventory from the society’s  stock of books for resale. are another option.
  • One speaker looking for marketing venues traded advertising in a regional genealogical society journal. This he used to promote a group excursionhe was leading.
  • Anotherm speaker received free exhibit space and two volunteers to cover his table and sell/promote his books and services.
  • a member of one society, who owned a Bed and Breakfast provided free accomodation for a weekend o the speaker’s choice, and this was offered to the speaker.

  • I read about a motivational speaker who was paid partly in beauty products the society bought at wholesale through a member, and traded at retail value.

  • Perhaps your speaker might be willing to cut the cash portion of their fee in exchange for 40 lbs of fresh picked apples, or a dozen quart jars of home-canned peaches.

Given some thought ful consideration, the problem of  bridging the gap between what the speaker asks and what you can offer, can be  achieved.  Think about creative dickering like  old Marsh Hambrook.


One response to “Negotiating With Speakers

  1. Pingback: Negotiating Speaking Fees: The Speakers View « Genealogy Education

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