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Speakers Bureau Policies and Guidelines: Frequently Asked Questions for Clients

What is the Palestine Freedom Project Speakers Bureau?

  • The Bureau is an agency that connects qualified speakers and performers addressing Palestinian issues to academic, activist, and other interested venues, primarily in the United States. We work tirelessly to provide the activist community with a valuable one-stop resource for booking knowledgeable, passionate and articulate speakers and performers.
  • The PFP Speakers Bureau strives to follow standard practices promulgated by trade associations such as the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB), and the National Speakers Association (NSA), especially with regard to business ethics. The Bureau is NOT a member of either association, but voluntarily undertakes to adhere to both the letter and spirit of their guidelines.
  • The Bureau is part of the Palestine Freedom Project (PFP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing individuals and organizations engaged in Palestine solidarity activism with the tools and training they need to become more effective advocates.


Who can I book through the Speakers Bureau?

  • A full listing of the Bureau’s speakers can be found on our web site at This up-to-date listing includes biographical information, topics of special expertise, and honoraria. Whether you would like to book a specific individual, or simply browse our catalog to find an appropriate guest for your event, the PFP Speakers Bureau can help.
  • The Bureau’s portfolio includes not only speakers, but also musicians, comedians, and other entertainers dedicated to the cause of Palestine.


How do I book a speaker?

  • Once you have chosen a speaker and a date for your event, the first step towards a booking is to contact the Bureau and place a hold. (See ‘What is a hold?’)
  • You may ask to convert your hold to a booking at any time. Keep in mind that holds placed before your own will receive priority in the event of a booking conflict.
  • To successfully complete a booking, you must come to an agreement with the speaker (represented by the Bureau) regarding compensation and all relevant details of the engagement. Topics to be addressed may include transportation, lodging, food,on-site equipment, and other logistical needs.
  • If a party that has placed a hold after your hold attempts to finalize a booking, you will be notified and given two business days in which you may book the date, after which your hold is forfeited and the other party may proceed.


Do I pay a charge for the Bureau’s services?

  • Clients pay no extra charge for booking speakers through the Speakers Bureau; we always quote the same prices that speakers quote themselves if approached directly.


What is an honorarium?

  • The fee paid to a speaker, entertainer, or other guest for a one-time appearance is traditionally known as an honorarium.


What is a ‘hold’?

  • A reservation for a speaker’s time on a given date is called a ‘hold’ and implies serious interest from a client. A hold is not a booking and does not bind a speaker to accepting an engagement; however, the order in which holds are received does dictate preference among different clients vying for the same date.
  • To illustrate: suppose that the Bureau has two overlapping holds recorded for a single speaker, and now receives a third hold from a person who wishes to book immediately. Before finishing the contract, the Bureau will contact the placers of the two prior holds and give them two business days to book their engagements. If one of them chooses to do so within this period, his or her booking will receive priority (and if both make the attempt, priority will go to whichever hold was made earlier). If neither party responds by the deadline, the placer of the newer hold is free to book the event.


Why else should I support the Speakers Bureau?

  • In using our Bureau, the cost to your organization is the same as if the speaker were engaged directly or through another bureau. Utilizing a bureau such as ours also relieves speakers of a substantial logistical burden. Although we take our business seriously, the PFP Speakers Bureau is not a business; it is a resource for the Palestine activist community, and part of a nonprofit endeavor in the cause of justice and human rights. Revenue from the Speakers Bureau will help fund the Palestine Freedom Project’s worthy activist endeavors, detailed on our website at


How far in advance should I book my speaker?

  • The earlier, the better. We recommend booking your date a minimum of one month in advance of the event. Some speakers may require substantially more lead time. If at all possible, you should place a hold as soon as you have decided on a date and a speaker.


How do I find honorarium or other logistical information?

  • In keeping with common industry practice, honorarium and other booking information is provided upon request, but not publicized on our web site.


How can my organization raise money to finance my speaker’s appearance?

  • If funding is tight, seek co-sponsors for your event. Local or campus progressive organizations, religious communities, and human rights groups will likely be willing to help you with volunteers and funding. This is also an opportunity to reach across the aisle to the opposition and put on a joint event such as a panel debate between your speaker and one from the Israeli side. It is always a positive step to foster cooperation and debate.
  • Many universities have a “Lecture Fund” designed to address exactly this sort of situation by funding lecture events. Find out if there is a Lecture Fund near you, and create a concrete, detailed proposal for your event in order to apply for funds.
  • For more information about fundraising, event planning, and more, see the Palestine Freedom Project’s Activist Handbook, a comprehensive guide to Palestine activism (available online).


What are my responsibilities as a client?

  • Contract: Once a booking is confirmed, you are responsible for the fulfillment of all contractual obligations as stated explicitly in the agreement between speaker and client. This includes remuneration, on-site needs such as equipment, and any agreed-upon coverage of food, lodging, or travel expenses.
  • Payment: The speaker’s deposit must be received by the Bureau within three business days after the signing of the contract. The remainder of all financial obligations to the speaker must be received within three business days after the speaker’s appearance at the engagement. The Bureau receives all payments directly on behalf of the speaker, and all financial questions may be directed to the Bureau.
  • Holds: Having placed a hold, it is your responsibility to work out contractual details and complete the booking process in a timely fashion. If another party with a later hold is attempting to book, the Bureau will inform you and grant two business days in which you may stake a claim on the date before your reservation is waived.


I’m interested in joining the Bureau as a speaker myself. How can I do that?

  • Contact the Bureau directly. If we decide that you are an appropriate candidate, we’ll be happy to discuss adding you to our Catalog.

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