6 Things to Keep in Mind When Sourcing Event Entertainment

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Sourcing Event Entertainment

From themes and budgets to guests and parking, every event planner knows how much time and money goes into creating a unique experience. And one thing that can truly make or break an event is the live entertainment. Follow the points below for sourcing event entertainment and the things to consider when doing so.

1. Play into your vision

When organizing an event, everything has to contribute to the overall vision, entertainment included. Consider the type and age of your audience and book performances based on what they would enjoy. If the event is themed, sourcing the right entertainment can highlight the motif and help guests get into the spirit.

It’s also important to know the role you want your event entertainment to play. Decide whether the performance will be a key focus or in the background for guests to enjoy in between socializing to better ascertain where and when they should perform. A holistic understanding of the event will aid you in choosing the perfect performance to entertain guests.

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Sourcing Event Entertainment

2. Cut out the middleman

Fact: gone are the days when contacting a booking agent was required for sourcing event entertainment.

Today, there are so many online resources available that allow event planners to contact musicians directly. Best of all, planners can also have access to information such as their genre, work, and skill level to help you decide which artist will be the best fit for any event and budget. A typical agent can take anywhere between five and ten percent in commission, so working directly with an artist can increase efficiency and cut down on costs.

3. It’s all in the details

If you choose to book talent through an agency, give as much information possible. Tell the agency about the artist’s involvement in your event and exactly what is expected of them to instill the booking agent’s confidence in your organization.

Additionally, following up can increase your chances of landing your performer of choice. Why? It lets the agent know that you are serious about securing a particular artist. Most importantly, whether you are scheduling an artist through an agent or a platform, be sure to double and triple-check their availability to avoid a last-minute no-show.

Better events, no stress

Bring events to life with collaborative software that wows clients and calms the chaos.

Sign Up Free

4. Mastering the art of negotiation

Regardless of whether you are dealing directly with an artist or an agent, you will likely need to learn to negotiate effectively.

While saving money is the ideal outcome, it’s important to be realistic about what’s needed pay for the talent that will fit your event. Be aware of your budget well before reaching out to an agent. When giving your first offer, a good rule of thumb is to suggest an amount ten percent below your actual budget.

Putting a deadline on the offer can also help you secure a deal more quickly, as agents and artists can respond favorably to a sense of urgency. If your offers are repeatedly turned down, feel free to withdraw yourself from the negotiation. Remember, there are plenty of other artists that could be just as good a fit.

5. Beware of additional expenses

Many event planners make the mistake of not being acutely aware of the event budget required to book entertainment.

It may be understandable to assume the performance fee encompasses the entire cost of the event entertainment. But what the rate won’t tell you are the charges that aren’t always obvious. Take into account charges such as transportation and travel, catering, equipment rentals, and a stay in a hotel room. Before looking for talent, be aware of these additional costs and check to see if the venue has in-house equipment, which could allow for some extra room in your budget.

6. Keep in touch

If your client enjoyed a particular performer at an event, record their information into a database. Include their details such as their target audience, genre and rates for future reference.

Keeping track of the best event entertainment acts you’ve worked with will help you in the future. You’ll save time when organizing performances for future events and clients. Our industry is one that is built on relationships. Building relationships with performers and agents will increase your efficiency when hiring talent for your next event and throughout your career.

The best way to make sourcing event entertainment is to plan ahead. By being aware of your vision as well as your budget, you’re sure to find a performance that’s a perfect fit.

Sourcing event entertainment takes time and effort. What are your hints when sourcing talent? Let us know on Twitter.

If you’ve ever said, “Woohoo it’s Friday! – Oh wait, I work in events.” You need this newsletter.

Hand-picked news, tips, and, trends, direct to your inbox. →

David Baird

David Baird is the founder and CEO of Gigmor, a live music marketplace that connects independent musicians and bands with talent buyers, event planners, venues and individuals who need to hire musicians. As a longtime musician and bandleader, David knows firsthand how difficult it is to find compatible musicians and gigs and is acutely aware of how changes in the industry have impacted traditional revenue sources for artists. Leveraging his expertise, David created Gigmor to improve the process of discovering and booking talent for the live music industry using advanced, yet accessible, technology.

Prior to Gigmor, David built his business skills and technical proficiency as the head of AOL’s ecommerce group where he oversaw business development and product management for the computing, finance, shopping, small business and travel channels, which grew to over $1 billion in annual revenue. After his successful venture at AOL, he founded a digital agency, Troubadour Digital Media, where he worked with notable clients including music legend David Foster and “Iron Chef” star Cat Cora.

David holds a BA in English from the University of Toronto, an MA from Queen’s University and an MBA from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris.