Al Gore reacts to Chris Anderson's question, Al Gore: too expensive?
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The New York Times has a nice analysis on how the speakers’ business is faring under the now-expected economic recession. While big ticket speakers like Al Gore are hit severely by a reduction of available funding, demand remains strong in the cheaper sections.

“They all say, ‘Can you get us Al Gore?’ ” said Robert Walker, founder and chief executive. His agency doesn’t represent the former vice president, but Mr. Walker said that when his agents pointed out what kind of fees Mr. Gore tends to receive, none of the organizations could afford such sums in this economic climate.
So the agents recommended others on their client roster, including John Passacantando, executive director of Greenpeace USA, and Summer Rayne Oakes, a board member and occasional correspondent on the Planet Green network. “She’s not even a quarter of the price of someone like Gore, but she has a lot to say,” Mr. Walker said.

Since the China Speakers Bureau only took off last summer, getting a sense of what the economic crisis is going to mean. But the tendency the New York Times signals, more serious and more affordable ones, might be in our advantage.

“Instead of having eyes bigger than your stomach, you should look at this range rather than this range,” [Steven Barclay, a lecture agent in Petaluma, Calif., who represents literary figures like Billy Collins, Michael Chabon and Adrienne Rich] said. “So you gently lead them to suggestions that may fit and cost them less money.” He said fees could range from $5,000 to $50,000.

A few of the request we got in the past month, came directly as a result from the financial crisis, as some companies see new business opportunities in China.

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