Convincing your committee that event entertainment is a good idea isn’t always the easiest thing to do. In lieu of the event itself (and the expenses that come with it), entertainment can seem wholly unnecessary. In order to gain committee buy-in on entertainment, you will have to be prepared with an overall plan for the event, and you will have to know how entertainment will exponentially improve it. Below are seven tips you can use to help you gain committee buy-in.
1. Have a vision for the event and know how entertainment fits into that vision
In order to properly pitch entertainment to your committee, you need to walk them through your vision. How did you come up with the idea of hiring entertainment in the first place? Why do you think entertainment is right for your event, why do you think it is needed, and how do you think it will help? All of these questions need to be addressed subtly as you walk your committee through the event in the eyes of the guests. Entrance your colleagues with your vision and make them see that the event will not be complete without an amazing entertainer.
2. Know/Create your budget
Once you paint a clear picture of the event, questions on budget will naturally arrive. If you do not have a set budget going into this meeting, you will need to create one with entertainment factored in. Food, venue, rental equipment; all of these things need to be considered and planned out to match your vision.
3. Know and explain the benefits entertainment can provide
An important thing to bring up when discussing budget is the ROI of hiring an entertainer. If you are throwing a fundraising event, lively entertainment might make guests more likely to donate to your cause. If you are throwing a holiday party, your ROI will be the added employee satisfaction gained from incredible entertainment. And if you are throwing a launch party, entertainment might lead to more excitement about the product you are releasing. Whatever your event may be, you need to explain to your committee that entertainment is a worthwhile investment. Testimonials, videos, and reviews can be a big help here. It also may pay off to use feedback (if any is available) of this event from past years. For instance, if the comittee was told the event was dull in the past, you could directly bring up how entertainment could solve this problem.
5. Develop a timeline of how your event will flow
Once you have explained your vision, laid out your budget plan, and touched on the finer benefits of entertainment, you should walk your committee through the event in a more organized manner. Take the romance out of your presentation and list out the schedule you have planned for the event. This will allow the committee to see how entertainment fits into the night in a more pragmatic manner.
4. Create a list of specific entertainment options that fit your vision and budget
Specifics are key when trying to get committee buy-in. You can’t walk into a meeting and expect people to go for an idea if you do not have every detail ironed out. After discussing why entertainment is necessary and how it fits in to your event, you should be ready with a few possible entertainers. Make sure to know these entertainers well. You should be able to tell your committee what each entertainment does, give testimonials for each, and layout pricing. Do not go overboard on information, but make sure that you have entertainers you can mention and reference if need be.
6. Don’t overwhelm the committee with too many details
Throughout your meeting make sure you are not bombarding the committee with too many details. Yes, you need to give a concrete budget and tentative schedule, and yes you should have a few entertainers in mind, but do not overwhelm your committee. Too many details can lead to the perception that what you are suggesting is complex and thus hard to pull off. Be as prepared as possible with as much information as possible, but use your information wisely; use it when clarification and explanation are needed.
7. Be open to feedback from the committee and be ready to answer questions
After presenting your idea for event entertainment, be ready for feedback and questions. Before going into this meeting, play devil’s advocate with yourself. Point out all of the possible flaws to having an entertainer and come up with rebuttals for each. Because it is generally a large source of concern, it is a good idea to focus on budget when preparing responses for potential pushback. You should also be aware of the kind of individuals that make up the committee. Try to identify possible fears, concerns, motivations, and goals that each committee member might have, and be ready to speak into these things as you are presenting and answering questions.
Many of the concerns that come with hiring entertainment deal with the professionalism of the entertainer, the time and research that go into hiring an act, and the cost of having a professional perform. One last thing you can do when trying to get committee buy-in is talk to an entertainment agency. An entertainment agency should be able to answer any questions you have, and if you choose to work with one, they will be able to take care of all of your entertainment needs with little effort from you.
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