Larry Greenberg? Who the heck is that? Never heard of him...
October 22, 2014
Booking the Right Entertainer For Your Event – 8 Ways to Insure Success
November 2, 2014
Securing an entertainer for your event is not always as simple and easy as one may think. Here are my top eight suggestions for making sure you don’t need to bring a gong to the show.
The bottom line, is that the success or failure of your entertainment will be directly attributed to the quality level of your performer, as well as the match of the performer to your particular crowd. Let’s face it… If the band sucks, it doesn’t matter how good the food is… the event is going to be fair at best.
Use the following suggestions to help you find quality entertainment that will be the right match for your crowd.
Step 1 – Figure out the wants and needs of your audience
Quality entertainment can add to your event in more ways than you may think. It can help your guests to relax, have fun, and enjoy themselves. In addition, providing entertainment can help you highlight the objectives and message of your event. Do you have a goal or important message for the event that you want your guests to leave with? Maybe the function is to show gratitude for exceptional performance? Maybe it is to determine the state of your industry or come up with specific objectives for the next quarter? Perhaps it’s simply to help your group’s members laugh, bond, have fun, and chill out!
Figure out if your needs are to purely entertain your audience, or if you need to convey an important message, as well. The right entertainer will be able to customize their performance to fit in with the message that you’re trying to promote.
Step 2 -Determine Your Budget and Date
I really hate it when someone selling me something asks me what my budget is. It makes me feel uncomfortable, like they’re going to change the price based on what I say. That being said… It’s important to know your numbers. You don’t have to share this with your prospective performer, but it’s still important to determine from the start.
What you invest on entertainment for your event is going to depend on your overall budget for the event.
Figure out how much (at least, approximately) you want to spend on entertainment, and know the date (at least, the approximate date) of the event before you begin your search. This will save you the time and hassle of having to decide on entertainers that are out of your budget, entertainers that are way below your budget, and entertainers that are already scheduled.
Step 3 – Decide How Much Time You Can Devote To Entertainment
In addition to money, you have to figure out how much time you have to invest in entertainment. If you know you want your entertainer to do an hour performance, you’ll be able to easily weed out performers who can only do a 30 minute show or who have a 2 hour minimum.
Ideally, you want to try and make sure that your performer can be flexible, and customize the length of his/her show so that it works within the time frame you’ve made for entertainment.
Step 4 – Determine the Type of Entertainment that Would be Most Valuable to Achieve Your Needs
Unique, clean, appropriate, and safe content should always be your priorities with any type of entertainment you might be thinking about. There are obviously many different types of entertainment available, that can all meet a variety of needs and budgets. Would you like entertainment that goes on throughout the entire event, such as a cartoonist sitting in the back of the room, a strolling magician going table to table, or would you prefer an after dinner stage show?
Depending on your message and needs of your audience, decide what form of entertainment is going to work best for your group.
Step 5 – Finding The Right Entertainer For Your Event
When you begin your search, please keep in mind from the start, that not all performers are created equal. In fact, as with all industries, there are people who are good and bad at what they do. Make sure that the entertainer you’re speaking with doesn’t sound like it’s his first day on the job!
Meeting planning companies and entertainment agencies are excellent resources for finding entertainers. Nobody uses the phone book anymore, right? But you can find performers online, and you can also get referrals from colleagues or associations in which you may belong.
Step 6 – Your First Contact With Your Prospective Entertainer
You know who to call… What next?
A professional entertainer can discuss your needs, the needs of your audience, and what your goals are for the event in just a couple of minutes. They will let you know if they feel their services would be beneficial for your event, or if they are NOT the right person for you. Only an amateur would want to work at an event that he/she is going to be inappropriate for.
Be cautious with the entertainer that does not have any interest in determining your objectives or just wants to send you out promotional material without first determining your needs. Not every entertainer is right for every event.
The professional entertainer will not waste your time considering his services if they are not right for your event. Instead, they will turn down many programs because they know more than anyone what type of events are best for them. They won’t risk an unsuccessful event for you, or themselves. The amateur entertainer will not have the experience to explore your needs or the experience to determine whether they can successfully help you. They will accept anything that comes their way with no regard for the consequences of a poor performance.
After briefly discussing your event, and if you both feel that there is a possibility that there is a match between the entertainer and the event you are planning, the entertainer should send out promotional materials for you to review.
Step 7 – Select Your Entertainer
Some things to think about when hiring an entertainer:
• did they include references or letters of recommendation? • are they insured, especially if there is going to be a stage show? • are they easy to get a hold of, returning your calls if they aren’t in the office, in a reasonable amount of time? • do they conduct themselves in a professional manner? • what is the legal structure of their business? Is it a sole proprietorship ? Corporation? A successful entertainer will reflect that status, an amateur entertainer will be a sole proprietor or worse, have no status.
Step 8 – Contracting Your Entertainer
You should always receive a contract outlining the following:
• the date of your event • the time the entertainer is to perform • the length of performance • where the event will take place • production requirements • fee for the show and deposit requirements • travel and hotel fees, if applicable • cancellation policy
If there is any item that you are uncertain about in the contract, don’t hesitate to ask. Everything should be easy to understand.
Following the above rules for hiring entertainment will make the process easier, and you can rest easy knowing that you have secured a quality professional that is a good match for your audience that will help make your upcoming event a memorable success.