18 May Co-Founder Chat
4 Minute Read | Our Co-Founders talk about the formation of TB, the future of events and more!
Jeff & Jeff sat down (virtually) to chat about Talent Bureau, upcoming trends and what to expect with events in the next couple of years. Here is the gist:
Question: In two minutes or less, tell us about “Talent Bureau.”
JJ: Talent Bureau is a company committed to enhancing the careers of great talent work with. As a management firm and talent agency, we help our clients book and plan events in Canada, the USA and the rest of the world.
Additionally, we help our roster with opportunities that go beyond speaking and endorsement. Our team wants to help our roster enhance their careers, but also their lives.
JL: Likewise, we work with our clients, partners and event planners to help them find the perfect talent, speakers, hosts, MCs to ensure that the entertainment goes beyond what they expect. We want to guarantee that their events are of the highest calibre in terms of speakers and the content they share.
Question: Tell us about your partnership – the Jeff & Jeff dynamic.
JJ: I started the company at the end of 2013/beginning of 2014. Jeff (Lohnes) was working elsewhere at the time, but we stayed in touch. He had expressed interest in returning to the industry that we both started in. At the end of 2016, he leaped and joined me at the Jeff Jacobson Agency. We didn’t rebrand into Talent Bureau until 2018, but I always tell people that Talent Bureau wasn’t until Jeff joined.
JL: We both saw the speaking business differently and had a different vision for the industry’s future. It was an opportunity to leverage our knowledge and love of speaking. We wanted to be a strong base for talent to learn and grow with them. It was that shared vision that excited us both and was a strong foundation for us working together.
JJ: I’m really excited about where we are today. You know, it’s funny when you talk about infomercials or pitches on shows like Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank; people come up and talk about the problems they’re trying to solve. Everyone kind of laughs and goes, “there must be a better way.” I think that’s what our partnership is about. It’s birthed out of this notion that when it comes to working with event partners, we’re always thinking about how there must be a better way to help them.
Question: Why is it beneficial for a speaker to work with an agent?
JL: Speakers should look into working with or hiring an agency as a way to accelerate their career and their professional development. As agents, we have different channels available to us to help the speaker find success. We work in the industry daily, and with our experience and insight, we can provide direct guidance and opportunities to maximize & optimize opportunities. Some talent/speakers don’t require agents because they’re their own best advocate and great salespeople- and that’s fair. But there are times when an outside perspective, a different perspective, can help you reach clients and opportunities exclusively through an agent.
JJ: Speakers can benefit from agents for context, right? You can be killing it in the speaking world and be booked, but you might not be getting paid what you’re worth. Maybe you should be getting paid significantly more or be focusing on entirely different industries. We literally have been in the industry for half our lives, and we think about the industry every day. We can provide not just the contacts or advice about what a speaker should be doing (on stage or virtually) but allow them to get to know the industry. We’re the bad cop to their good cop – we fight for them. We’re here to help them reach the place that they aspire to get to and will do our damnedest to get them there.