Are you responsible for booking entertainment for your event? Are you wondering where to get started?
Choosing the right entertainment for your event is a big responsibility. The right or wrong choice can make or break an event. And it can put your reputation on the line.
That is why you must effectively research your entertainment options before making your decision. How? Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to hiring an amazing (and reputable) entertainer.
The first thing you need to do is develop an organizational system. Where are you going to keep all of your research? How are you going to keep track of it? You’ll need to have a place to store links to important webpages, videos, and your own notes.
We suggest using a google document, a tool like Evernote, or Microsoft’s OneNote. Here at Funny Business, we often save e-mail drafts and add items there. We also e-mail ourselves thoughts or ideas and compile them later.
Think of your audience
If your audience is young and “hip,” it’s safe to assume they’re not going to be into an act that uses dated material and is old fashioned. On the other hand, if your audience has some seniority, that may be the perfect fit!
Take a moment to think of your audience and what entertainment would be the best fit for them while doing your research. Is your corporate audience going to appreciate a comedian who cusses every other word?
Reflect on the past – What worked or what didn’t work?
I’m sure you have heard the quote“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.“
Well, maybe your past entertainment worked really, really well and you want to repeat it! You don’t want to bring back the same performer, but there could be some characteristics of that type of entertainment or that act that are worth keeping in mind.
If an entertainer was poorly received in the past, you can still gain good information to act on for your next choice. What should you avoid? What about the act was ill-received?
Note: If you’re looking for how to find fresh entertainment options, check out this post.
Go beyond Search Engines
Search Engines are great for research. We use them to research everything. But if you limit your research to just Google or Bing, you could be missing out on something really good. Ask your network of friends, family, and co-workers. But be careful! You may find that they refer to you amateur acts. People love to be helpful, but sometimes they’re being more helpful to the artist than to you. A friend they know who plays the open mic at the pub down the street isn’t the high-quality entertainment you deserve.
Look at local entertainment venues
Local venues provide you with the chance to see entertainers live, rather than watching a video on your smartphone, mobile device or computer screen. Seeing an act live gives a deep and authentic impression of an entertainer. It also gives you a chance to gauge the audience’s reaction, interview others, and speak with the venue’s manager.
You could visit your local comedy club, theater, or rock venue!
Think of length, purpose, and budget
How will this entertainment fit with your event? It doesn’t make sense to book a game show if your audience is shy and doesn’t want to get involved with the show.
Or maybe the purpose of the event is team building, where something like a Murder Mystery, Game Show or Escape Room would be perfect.
Wondering what type of entertainment is right for your event? Check out this post!
Be careful of perceptions
There can be acts that look good online. Really good. They have a great website with tons of logos to build their credibility. Their five-minute demo tape is pretty solid. They have a giant list of companies or venues they’ve worked for or at.
They look credible, and they very well could be. On the other hand, some entertainers are better at selling themselves than entertaining audiences.
Maybe that five-minute demo you watched was the only good segment of their act! Or the list of their credits and previous clients is pretty flimsy – they weren’t the main act or they were terrible. That’s why it’s important to…
Be skeptical. Just like if you were to hire anyone, interview them. Are they prompt and professional in their communication? Do they hype themselves too much and make big promises, or are they down to earth, taking the time to think if they’re truly the right fit for your event’s purpose and audience?
Ask for references. Call and check on those references. Ask questions like:
- Were you happy with them?
- How did s/he fit with your audience? Who was that audience?
- Did they conduct themselves professionally?
Search for Quality and Value
Staying on budget is important, but it’s not everything. You need to be sure that you’re getting the highest quality and the most value for your investment. An inexpensive act can seem like a bargain, but often you come to find that the low price matches the low quality.
Contact an Entertainment Agency
Hey, that’s us! An Entertainment Agency can provide you with a ton of relevant, credible ideas all from one source. See all that stuff above? An Entertainment Agency takes care of most of that stuff for you.
Want to cut down your research time? Download our Most Popular Acts of 2016 for information on the acts we booked most last year! You’ll receive descriptions, videos, and links of respected entertainers!