FAQs for Speakers
Welcome to GreatGardenSpeakers.com! If you are a speaker who speaks to garden clubs, botanical gardens, and other horticulture venues, you're in the right place. Read on for answers to some of our frequently-asked questions.
Don't see the answers you need? Please feel free to contact us at info "at" greatgardenspeakers "dot" com.
Who should join GreatGardenSpeakers.com?
If you are currently speaking as part of your career and want to find new venues, increase your visibility, and book more engagements, GreatGardenSpeakers.com is the place for you. The directory is open to all speakers, regardless of their organizational or publisher affiliations.
As our name suggests, we are mostly a group of speakers focused on topics related to horticulture, design, and ecology, but if you speak on any topics related to the natural world, you may benefit from a listing. Floral designers, master gardeners, botanists, landscape designers, landscape architects, and garden writers who speak to their peers and/or general audiences as part of their livelihood are all welcome here.
What will you do to help me find speaking engagements?
GreatGardenSpeakers.com is more than a website--it is an active, ongoing, promotional effort that benefits all of our speakers. We are actively working on outreach to every kind of venue that books garden, nature, and design speakers. Through press releases, email campaigns, social networking, advertisements, in-person presentations, and postcard distribution, we are reaching garden clubs, botanical gardens, garden shows, conferences, and other venues that are looking for speakers.
We send out a regular email newsletter to our speakers to let them know what we're doing to promote all of us. In addition, we ask our speakers to help promote the site using simple tools we've created for you. Once you have registered, we will send you a link to a page of suggestions for ways you can help us spread the word, along with some text and graphics you can use.
Go here to read a running list of the publicity efforts we've undertaken to promote all of us.
Will you act as my agent or take a commission?
No. Unlike some speakers bureaus or lecture bureaus, GreatGardenSpeakers doesn't act as your agent, and we are not a party to any contract you may sign for a speaking engagement. Our goal is to do outreach to get garden clubs, botanical gardens, and other groups to visit our site to find speakers. Once they find you, it’s up to you and them to make your own arrangements.
If you are interested in contract help, publicity or promotion on a one-on-one basis, please contact Katie Elzer-Peters, owner of The Garden of Words, LLC, the managing company of GreatGardenSpeakers.com.
What's expected of me?
We hope that you'll join us in promoting the site. This is really a group promotional effort in which we all support each other. One of our speakers said it very well recently when she learned that she'd helped another speaker book an event. She included GGS in her presentation, the event organizers started using the site, and another GGS speaker was booked the next month as a result. She said, "It's the members of GGS that make it work, not the website alone.This demonstrates the power we have in making this venture a success; we're working for each other. It's so much more than paying a membership fee and then sitting back and waiting for a call."
How much does it cost?
We want to keep the site affordable for everyone, while raising enough money to cover our monthly hosting fees and do some effective outreach.
Basic membership costs $5/month or $60/year. We hope that speakers will see that, even if they only book one talk per year through the site, the membership will pay for itself. We sincerely believe that this is the most cost-effective publicity campaign any author could carry out.
“Featured Listings” are large boxes on every page that feature your image and text. They cost $35/month and are ideal for promoting a new book or a timely topic.
What does membership include?
A speaker listing gives you the ability to upload your photo, recent speaking engagements, audience testimonials, videos, topics of expertise, bio, etc. We also promote individual speakers through our email newsletter to venues, in press releases, and in the ads we place with groups that book speakers.
Membership also includes a feature called “Coming to a City Near You” that allows you to list what cities your traveling to, with the dates, so that event organizers can find speakers already scheduled to be in their area. We hope this will help them reduce travel costs, and help you book more events per trip and make the most of your time on the road.
I see the site includes Audience Reviews. How does that work?
Program chairs, event organizers, garden club members, and others have told us that they really appreciate endorsements from audiences. That's why every speaker profile includes an Audience Review feature. We encourage you to remind audiences who enjoyed your talk to visit your profile on GreatGardenSpeakers.com and post a recommendation to other audiences. (You can also include audience testimonials you have gathered--just add them to the text in your speaker listing.)
The site uses anti-spam technology to help prevent abusive or inappropriate reviews from appearing on speaker listings. However, if an abusive or inappropriate review were to appear, we encourage you to contact us so we can take care of it.
Can my publisher or employer take out a listing for me?
They can, but each speaker needs to create their own account to manage their listing. We suggest that you create your account and have your publisher reimburse you or send a check for the listing fees, while you retain control of your listing.
You may wish to encourage your publisher or employer to cover the cost of a month-long Spotlight featured listing to announce a new book title or a new topic. The monthly cost is only $35.
Finally, we welcome site sponsorships from publishers and other horticultural businesses. Go here to find out more about sponsor advertising.
Do you offer advice to help speakers with their speaking engagements?
We do! Please visit our Best Practices pages, with tips and ideas for both speakers and the groups they speak to. Read this expert article, "So you want to be a speaker," by Janet Endsley, a long-time seminar manager for two major flower and garden shows.
We also publish an email newsletter, aimed primarily at garden clubs and other venues, that you are welcome to sign up for. We send out updates on what's new with our speakers and what's new on the site. Click here to sign up.
Who’s running this site?
Garden writers Scott Calhoun, Nan Sterman, Amy Stewart, Debra Prinzing, and Mary Ann Newcomer founded Great Garden Speakers in 2010 and ran it on a volunteer basis. In 2011, The Garden of Words, LLC assumed management of Great Garden Speakers. The Garden of Words continues to manage Great Garden Speakers to give registered speakers and program chairs searching for speakers the most benefit at the least cost to speakers. The small fee for speakers to participate covers the monthly hosting costs for the website, administrative costs, outreach and advertising to venues.
This is a great idea! How can I help spread the word?
Thank you! We rely on speakers to help us get the word out. Check out our Outreach Guide for tips on how to promote the site. And please do get in touch with us if you've got ideas for promoting GreatGardenSpeakers.
I've got more questions before I sign up.
Great! Send us a note using the form on this page. If you don't hear back from us within 1 day, please check your email filter to make sure you're allowing emails from greatgardenspeakers.com.
I'm ready to join!