Jennifer Urwin: Helping speakers build successful speaking careers

July 18, 2023

Jennifer Urwin: Helping speakers build successful speaking careers

Meet Jennifer Urwin, a remarkable and natural leader who has immensely contributed to the evolution of the speaking industry. She founded and owns The Speakers Club Representation AKA The ClubCalendar—a digital service. With a background as a speaker agent and lifelong small business owner, she has worked within the speaking industry for many years. Her compassion and service-minded approach have helped many individuals and businesses. Being a relentless leader and displaying a never-say-die mentality have proven to be invaluable assets along her path. She recognized that the current services that are available to speakers are neither transparent nor productive, so she went to the drawing board and created an innovative way for speakers to take control of their speaking careers. For her contribution to the speaking industry, Jennifer was honoured with the Women who rock the Web award by Women in Ecommerce.  

Jennifer’s journey began when she sold her belongings and moved to Mexico for six years. There she bought a bar and restaurant that went on to be known for the best burgers in Cancun and rated 8 out of 1000 in Cancun. It was also featured in international living in June 2017 and booked to be on the Guy Fury show Diners, drive-ins, and Dives on the food network. Such experiences, as well as numerous other leadership responsibilities in sports and business from an early age, prepared her to deal with every situation that arose.  She believes that a businessperson should be customer-focused because consumers tend to follow businesses that are transparent in their operations. “People like to work with people they like and who are likeable,” she asserts.

According to Jennifer, The ClubCalendar fills a void in the speaking market. The ClubCalendar is a calendar of more than 200 events that are looking to fill their agendas and hire speakers; all of the events are listed on the calendar when they will be making speaker selections and agenda plans. All of the upcoming events, which range in duration from 10 to 12 months, have budgets. Each event will have more than one opportunity, as they will be looking for keynotes, breakouts, workshops, and general session speakers. The calendar gives you direct contact with the event planner, dates, locations, links to their websites, previous agendas, and topics.

She highlights the prominent benefits ClubCalenedar can provide to your business, including catapulting more profit. It assists in a no-commission process, where a client only has to pay the full fee for your services. It offers 200 contacts that hire speakers each month, leading you to cancel all your other non-producing Speaker subscription services. It helps save hours of time by not having to search for events and contacts. You can take control of your outreach instead of waiting for someone else to maybe promote you and build relationships directly with the event planner and key contacts with no third party. She adds,

Have one-on-one contact with an actual person to answer all your questions and to share best practices with someone who has experience booking speakers.”

Currently, speakers have three options to grow their speaking business. At first, they can opt to join a speaker’s bureau, where they can put forward an event need and pay 25–30% commission for this service. Followed by signing up for endless speakers’ services and job boards, competing with 10k–16k other speakers for the very limited opportunities provided on their job boards per month, and paying an annual fee and a commission, typically 10%. The company promises to do the heavy lifting for speakers and give them access to 200 events looking for speakers per month. It only charges a monthly fee with no additional commissions.

Jennifer Urwin: Helping speakers build successful speaking careers
Jennifer Urwin: Helping speakers build successful speaking careers

Becoming a better leader

Jennifer understands the significance of being a good leader. She states that to become such a leader, an individual must leave their personal life and problems at home. They must not mix work or business with personal life, as business is not a social visit, and they should not mix friendship with clients or staff. Lastly, one must restrain themselves from letting their emotions lead them.

Jennifer developed many admirable skills to survive the busy commercial world during her professional adventure. One such lesson is to always promise less and deliver more. She holds fast to the maxim, “She didn’t come this far to lose.” She claims that many young leaders have had difficulty finding a mentor or other form of support to aid them in their professional development. But she never had a mentor or role model to guide her on her journey; instead, she and her team learned about the business and built their network. She has seen firsthand how difficult it is for women in business to strike the ideal balance between their home and work lives. She says that today’s women graduate from college and immediately begin working. Later, when the issue of having children and starting a family arises, many of them must choose between moving forward and putting their families first. She says,

Working women face an increasing problem today; there is no denying it.”

Being Available

Jennifer explains that not much has changed in the speaking industry. The biggest transformation has been when events went virtual; it opened a whole new speaking industry within itself, and this has exploded even when live events came back into full swing. To sustain oneself in the ever-evolving speaking industry, one must learn to be available for clients. One should answer the phone, emails, and messages quickly. One should also learn to be responsive, flexible, work with people, and serve them well. “Have that human touch be available, be there to help, and provide solutions,” Jennifer adds. She says that her company only serves 100 clients per month and that its model is to serve 100 clients very well, to be reached even on weekends, and that at midnight she and her team are always on. “Clients love this availability,” concludes Jennifer.


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