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Steps to Securing an Outstanding Entertainer
Hiring an entertainer can be a daunting task. We can help you complete the task successfully. The most important thing to keep in mind is the success of your entertainment is directly attributed to the quality of your entertainer and the match of that entertainer to your audience.
Determine the needs of your audience.
Entertainment can add a lot to your event. It can help your guests to relax and enjoy themselves. Moreover, providing entertainment can help you make the message and objectives of the event be heard.
Determine if your needs are to purely entertain your audience or to support a message.
A good entertainer will be able to customize their materials to fit in with the message you want your guests to take home.
Maximize your time and determine your budget and date.
What you budget for entertainment is going to depend on your overall budget for the event. Know how much (at least approximately) you can allow for entertainment and know the date of the event (at least, the approximate date) before gathering information.
This will save you a great deal of time vetting entertainers that are out of your budget and entertainers that are way below your budget (e.g., lesser quality) and entertainers that are already booked.
Identify the type of entertainment that will meet your needs.
Uniqueness and age-appropriate content should always be your priorities with any type of entertainment. There are obviously many different types of entertainers available. Would you like entertainment that is unobtrusive, such as a handwriting analyst sitting in the back of the room, or would you prefer a big stage show? Depending on your message and needs of your audience, decide what form of entertainment is going to work best for your group.
Finding your entertainer.
Meeting planning companies and entertainment agencies are excellent resources for finding entertainers. In addition, entertainers can be found in the telephone book and on the web. You can also get referrals from colleagues or associations in which you may be a member.
Your initial contact with your prospective entertainers . . . now what?
A professional entertainer will inquire about your needs, the needs of your audience and your goals in just a couple of minutes; letting you know if they feel their services would be beneficial for your event.
Be cautious with the entertainer that does not have any interest in determining your objectives or just wants to send you promotional material without first determining your needs.
A professional entertainer will not waste your time if they are not right for your event.
The professional entertainer will turn down many programs because they know better than anyone for what type of events they are best suited. They won’t risk an unsuccessful event for you, or themselves.
The amateur entertainer will not have the experience to explore your needs or to determine whether they can successfully assist you. They will accept anything that comes their way with no regard for the consequences.
After briefly discussing your event, and if you both feel that there is a match between the entertainer and the event, the entertainer should send out promotional materials for your consideration.
Selecting your entertainer.
Some things to consider 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 contact? Do they return your calls if they aren’t in the office in a reasonable amount of time?
- Do they conduct themselves in a professional manner?
- Do they belong to professional associations such as National Speakers Association or Meeting Planners International?
- What is the legal structure of their business?
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.