For many people, hiring entertainment for a corporate event can be an overwhelming task. The entertainment you select has to be professional and suited for all audiences. On the other hand, it is easy to get stuck in the corporate rut of doing “the same old thing” year after year.
How important is keeping your existing clients and employees for your organization? Showing appreciation to clients and your staff can boost morale, strengthen business relationships and help your company grow. Having the right entertainment at your event will accomplish that!
So how do you break from the ordinary and book entertainment that is new and engaging for your group? Below are some suggestions to make the hiring process easier for you.
1. Plan Your Event
Plan how would like the evening to go. If you know the exact type of entertainment you are having, then plan the event around that entertainment. Otherwise, plan out time for the different events and make a time-table. If you haven’t decided on the entertainment then be sure to leave some room in your time-table for adjustments. The setup of the room can vary depending on the performer you desire, and the itinerary can change as well.
2. Know Your Budget
Know how much you can spend on entertainment before approaching entertainers to find out about their acts. What you can spend on an entertainer will often dictate the level of entertainment you get. Every event has a budget and you need to stay within it and meet your needs. However, hiring an entertainer based solely on them being the lowest priced can lead to disaster. Put things in a better perspective, you may wish to determine your “per-person” cost budgeted for entertainment or activities. The finest food and beverages will soon be a fading memory to your guests, but high quality entertainment creates an emotional impact and lasting impression. How much fun they had at your event is what creates lasting memories.
3. Be Prepared to Discuss Your Event and Your Budget
Any professional entertainer is going to be asking you questions about your event, such as what type of event you are having, how many guests you expect, if there is a theme to the event, a general timeline of the event, etc. By doing this, they are determining if their act is a good match for your group and function. They may even be able to present ideas to enhance your event that you hadn’t thought of yet! Ask the entertainer if they offer any special packages. Your entertainer may have a package that will make your event extra special. By discussing your budget with them, you are also finding out if they are within your price range. If so you can move on with the process; if not, you are saving everyone time and should call the next entertainer on your list.
4. Request References and Promotional Material
If after your initial contact with the entertainer you feel comfortable with them and you both agree that there is a possibility that they will be a good match for your group, ask them for references and promotional materials. You will find that most entertainers have websites that will contain most of the promotional materials, if not all of it. If an entertainer cannot provide you with references then DO NOT engage this performer.
5. Call References and Review the Promotional Material
After calling references and reviewing the promotional material, you may have more questions for the entertainer. Give them a call and get your concerns addressed and all questions answered.
Make sure that your entertainer is a corporate entertainment specialist that knows the needs and expectations of the corporate environment. A comedian that regularly performs “R” rated shows in comedy clubs or a magician that typically works at child birthday parties would probably not make a suitable choices for a typical corporate conference!
6. Ask About a Guarantee
Want some real peace of mind when trying to plan your corporate event? If an entertainer presents a quality presentation and has enough experience, they should be willing to guarantee their services. As them what they guarantee!
7. Request a Contract
The entertainer should provide you with a contract outlining your agreement along with the date, location of your event as well as any other arrangements agreed upon. Unless you are booking a celebrity performer, the agreement will probably be no more than a couple of pages in length.
The contract should clearly state what you will be required to provide for the event, such as a sound system or lighting requirements, and what the entertainer will be providing. In some cases some of this information will come in the form of a Technical Rider which is sent with the contract. The agreement should also cover deposits (typically 50% of the total fee) travel fees, per diem charges, meals and transportation. All of this should have been discussed in the initial phone call, and there should not be any surprises for you on the agreement. Most entertainers will require the contract signed and returned with the deposit within a certain timeframe of sending it.
Your entertainer is there to enhance your event. Keeping him or her informed of any changes in your event helps them to bring you the show you would like, especially if they are doing any customized material for you. If they are doing a customized performance for you event it is essential to get the needed information to them as early as possible.
A professional entertainer will also want to make sure they are there early to setup and do sound checks before the scheduled show time.
9. Promote the Event
Get people excited about the event by promoting the great entertainment you have booked for them! Your entertainer should be able to make this easy for you by providing you with articles, press releases, or photos that you can use in your event literature to build anticipation. Some entertainers are willing to provide “teaser” performances in order to get people excited to come to your event!