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 to learn how to source the right 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, 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.
2. Cut out the middle man
Fact: gone are the days when contacting a booking agent was required to source 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.
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 ensure a smooth event entertainment booking process 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.
Finding solid event entertainment takes time. What are your hints when sourcing talent? Let us know on Twitter.
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