Monthly Archives: April 2016

Tips for Booking Entertainment

Finding entertainment for a corporate convention, holiday party or conference can seem like a overwhelming task. There are literally thousands of excellent, good, and down right horrible corporate entertainers available. This list will give you some advice on how to narrow down your search and find entertainment that will help make your event a success!

#10 – PLAN EARLY. The most popular corporate entertainers book up very quickly for popular dates. During the corporate holiday party season (Nov-Jan), entertainers can begin to book up over a year in advance. Avoid disappointment and start looking for entertainment as soon as you know the date of your corporate event.

#9 – KNOW WHAT YOU WANT (AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE WANTS). You can make your search for an entertainer easier if you have an idea of the type of entertainment that would work well for your group. Popular corporate entertainment includes:

COMEDY – Comedy acts can be a great way to get your group laughing together. Comedy acts don’t have to be just stand-up comedians. Many corporate comedy acts blend magic, juggling, or other variety performances into their comedy show. This variety helps insure that there is something for everyone in the performance.

No matter what type of comedy act your choose, be sure that the comedy is going to be appropriate for your group. Many comedians have different ideas on what “clean comedy” is, so be sure to ask for a demo video to preview the show (see #1 below!)

MUSIC – Many headline singers and bands are available for corporate events.

MAGIC – There are many different styles of corporate magicians and corporate magic shows. Some magicians offer strolling magic (going table to table at your event), some perform large illusion show with special effects and a cast of dancers, others specialize in comedy magic that gets your audience laughing in involved. Whatever styles of corporate entertainment you are looking for, be sure to find a magician who specializes in only that style. There are magicians you will tell you that they do everything – illusions, comedy, strolling, but that is because they are not proficient at any specific style, so all their shows are usually only mediocre. For the best possible show, hire a professional corporate magician who specializes in one style of magic. These performers will be the best in their field in illusion, comedy, or sleight-of-hand because that is all they do.

HYPNOSIS – Hypnotists can be great for the right group. Hypnotist shows are very interactive and require a very outgoing and uninhibited group to really be successful.

#8 – BOOK DIRECTLY WITH THE ENTERTAINER TO SAVE MONEY AND HEADACHES. If you book your corporate entertainment directly through the entertainer, you will save money on entertainment. Most corporate entertainment agencies add an additional 15-35% to an entertainer’s fee. By booking a corporate entertainer direct, you also have the convenience of being able to talk with the entertainer (or their office staff) about any questions or concerns. Most corporate entertainment agencies will not let you talk with the entertainer until the day of the show. By booking direct, you can be guaranteed that there are no miscommunications about the performance. You can find direct contact information for entertainers by doing an internet search for “corporate entertainers”, “california comedian”, etc.

#7 – PLAN A REALISTIC BUDGET. The old adage, “you get what you pay for”, applies to entertainment as well. The entertainment is not a place to save a few dollars. You would never cut corners on the food you would feed your guests, and should never cut corners on the entertainment. Bad entertainment can ruin an event just as quickly as bad food. You are not going to be able to get a GOOD quality corporate entertainer to do a show for $400. Fees for a TOP QUALITY, professional corporate entertainer will range from $1500 – $100,000 + depending on the size of the show and the performer’s experience and reputation.

#6 – KNOW THE PERFORMER’S EXPERIENCE. You want a corporate entertainer who primarily entertainers for corporate audiences. Don’t be afraid to ask questions… Is the performer a full-time entertainer? Have they performed at events like yours in the past? Do they have letters of recommendation and reviews from past clients for you to read?

#5 – IF YOU HAVE A SPECIAL REQUEST….ASK! Many entertainers are happy to customize part of their performance for your event. If you have a special request in mind, be sure to discuss this with the performer at the time of booking.

#4 – DISCUSS SET-UP REQUIREMENTS BEFORE BOOKING. Set-up need for entertainers vary greatly. Some can perform in the corner of a room with just a microphone, some need a minimum stage area and special sound and lighting equipment. Be sure that your venue will be able to meet your entertainer’s set-up needs prior to booking.

#3 – LEAVE YOUR GUESTS WANTING MORE. 90 minutes of entertainment may sound like a great idea when you are planning your corporate event, but most audiences do not want to sit through a 90 minute show. A longer show does NOT equal better show. Even the TOP comedians and entertainers in the WORLD (Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, etc) only perform 60-75 minute shows. Professional entertainers and corporate event planners agree that a good length for most corporate live entertainment is 35-50 minutes. It is always better to leave your audience excited and wanting more…rather than having them get tired and start looking at the watch.

#2- KNOW WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE FEE. There are travel expenses associated with hiring national entertainers for your corporate party. Many entertainers include the travel expenses into their performance fee and for some travel will be an additional expense. Be sure to know what is included in the fee you are quoted to avoid any unexpected (and potentially expensive!) surprises.

#1 – MOST IMPORTANTLY – ALWAYS ASK TO SEE A DEMO VIDEO. A demo video is the only way you can truly judge whether a corporate entertainer will be right for your company party. The demo video should be short highlights of the segments of an entertainer’s show. The video should be filmed in front of a live audience so you can see how a real audience reacts to the show. If an entertainer’s video is nothing but split-second clips and flashy graphics set to music, then they are probably trying to cover for an inadequate performance – or worse, it could mean that they have NEVER even performed in front of a real audience.

How to Choose the Right Corporate Entertainer

You have everything set for your employee appreciation event or customer appreciation event. Your CEO introduces the entertainment for the evening and then, slowly, everything comes crashing to a halt. Instead of the laughter and applause that you hoped to hear, you hear silence and heavy sighs. The talent, which you thought was the perfect corporate entertainer for your group, panics and starts insulting the audience. You slowly slink down into your chair and wonder if your resume is up-to-date.

As Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said and forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” While the food may be great and the room looks beautiful, these will be quickly forgotten. What your group won’t forget is how miserable they felt watching the entertainer you chose to add some “fun” and excitement” to your event. It’s odd that, sometimes, an events manager will spend months on planning certain aspects of an event – food, hotel, decorations, etc – but wait to the last minute to book the proper corporate event entertainment.

Here are a few corporate event entertainment ideas that will help you to make the right choice of a corporate entertainer for your next meeting or event.

1) Hit Your Homework – Stop relying on a speaker’s agency or entertainment agency to always book your talent. Many leading corporate entertainers don’t necessarily work with agents and, therefore, you can miss out on some great talent. While agents can be a good source for talent, they are not the only way to go. Don’t think that just because a corporate entertainer is on the agent’s roster that the agent has actually worked with that talent. Should you be willing to “broaden your options,” do a Google search for terms like funny motivational speaker or entertaining motivational speaker. Here you will find many corporate entertainers that can help you add the “WOW” factor to your event.

2) Delve into the Demos – Once you have chosen an entertainer or two, carefully watch the talent’s demo and see if he/she is a good fit for your group. This is the fastest way to confirm that the particular entertainer will work for you and saves you time – because if you don’t like the video, you can quickly move on to your next candidate. While watching the demo, see if the talent has worked for similar groups. Notice the demographics of the group. Does the video reveal crowd reactions? Is the laughter and applause real or is it canned? Are there multiple performance clips or is the video mostly one performance? Did the corporate entertainer receive multiple standing ovations or just one?

3) Survey the Site – If you like the demo, peruse the talent’s site to see exactly what type of corporate entertainment he/she provides. Observe if the corporate entertainer has a number of program options. Additionally, look at the companies for which the talent has worked and then read those company’s testimonials. Many corporate entertainers flash logos of companies on their site; however, when checking for testimonials from those companies on the talent’s site, those testimonials may not be present. If a talent is showing a logo of a company, it delivers the assumption that he/she has worked with that company and, therefore, logically, the talent should have a testimonial to back up that claim. If they don’t, then what should you assume?

4) Testimonials are Tops – Video testimonials have taken the place of referrals. Instead of having to call someone to get a referral on a talent, a video testimonial will tell you everything you need to know. What you should look for in a video testimonial is who is giving the testimonial and what they said. The testimonial should be from the person who booked the talent and – for corporate event entertainment – that should be from an events manager, marketing or sales executive or higher. Audience member testimonials are fine; however, you want to hear from someone in corporate who actually booked the talent. Since most corporate entertainers who are good at their job have been doing it for some time, the written testimonials will, undoubtedly, outweigh those on video. However, there should be enough video testimonials to provide you with solid information as to the quality of the service you can expect from the entertainer.

5) Talk to the Talent – Once you have accessed that a particular corporate entertainer may be perfect for your employee appreciation event or client appreciation event, then contact the talent directly. A few minutes on the phone will shed some light on how well the talent will not only work for your group, but also work with you. As with all events, flexibility is the key. If your talent has too many demands or needs, then you may need to look elsewhere. After all, you are dealing with the demands and needs of your group and your executives. You don’t need a “needy” entertainer, as well. During your call discuss fees, staging requirements and, most importantly, how the entertainer can help you add the “WOW” factor to your event.

Bottom line: Taking the time to find the right corporate entertainer for your corporate event entertainment does require “time.” However, event managers take the time to: plan multiple site visits; make copious calls to hotel catering; agonize over decorations, strategize hotel bookings and loads more to make sure the event is a success. Don’t let your decision for your corporate event entertainment be one of the last things you do, and don’t always leave it up to one source. Remember, your group probably won’t remember exactly what they ate or the details of the decorations on the table, but they will never forget how miserable they felt watching a lousy corporate entertainer.

Entertainers Nightmares

Booking children’s entertainers for your child’s birthday party can be like playing a game of Russian roulette, you often don’t know what you are getting before it is too late. There is nothing sadder than a disappointed child on their birthday and sadly, if you have booked an incompetent entertainer, there is little you can do about it on the day.

The internet is full of people selling services as birthday entertainers and children’s entertainers but how can you tell if they are any good at what they do? Sadly there is no regulation or governing body to complain to if you have a bad experience with a children’s entertainer this means the onus is on you to do your homework before making a commitment to book.

Nightmare 1

So you surf the web and find an entertainer you feel will suit your needs, you speak to them on the phone and all seems to be in order so you make a booking. On the day you are horrified to find the entertainer who arrives at your party is not the entertainer you thought you booked.

Sadly this is not an uncommon situation; there are certain entertainers who double book or take on more work than they can handle, they then sub contract the birthday show to a colleague or friend leaving you with a stranger at your party who you know nothing about. The solution to this nightmare is to ask the entertainer directly if it is they who will be entertaining at the party, also get the booking confirmed in writing with a written contract and check the entertainers name on the contract matches the entertainer you are booking.

Nightmare 2

The entertainer simply does not show up or cancels the booking close to the event date.

Sadly there are some people that are in the children’s entertainment business to make a quick buck and if an offer comes in that is better than the agreement with you, they will drop your booking and take the better paying gig. This leaves you without an entertainer or in a position where you need to arrange a children’s entertainer at short notice.

The solution to this is to get a written contract in place at the time of booking, professional children’s entertainers issue a written contract confirming what is on offer, this acts as protection for both you and the entertainer. With a written contract in hand you have recourse through the courts should the entertainer not supply what was promised.

Make sure your entertainer is reputable by asking for references and following up on those references. A professional children’s entertainer should have testimonials on their website, take the time to read them before deciding to book with them.

Nightmare 3

The entertainer does not deliver the standard of entertainment you expected.

Being a professional children’s entertainer is not easy, if the children don’t like what they see they will not sit like polite adults and see it through, they will voice their displeasure by getting up and running around. Make sure your entertainer is experienced, ask how long they have been in business and again check for testimonials and ask the entertainer for past customers you can phone. Make sure there is a formal contract in place between you and the entertainer that fully outlines what the show entails and check the level of professionalism of the correspondence with the entertainer. Try calling the entertainers office and see if the telephone is answered professionally, if you leave a message check how long it takes for you to be contacted back. A true professional children’s entertainer should run the business side of their business well and this is notable through all correspondence, telephone calls, emails, letters and the very important contract.

The Best Entertainment Talent Agency

When you host an event, particularly a business event, you want to make sure that you not only have the tasks associated with the business or core purpose of the event arranged to ensure success, but you also want to make sure that you have the best and most appropriate entertainment that your guests will enjoy. If you are having a difficult time trying to decide the best type of entertainment and where to secure the entertainment, you will greatly benefit from booking your entertainment using the services of an entertainment talent agency.

Booking the best entertainment agency means you will have the ability to select the entertainment for your event from a variety of different types of entertainment. When you book the best entertainment talent agency, you will be able to choose from such entertainers as: comedians, bands, musical tribute entertainers, celebrity impersonators, DJs, and more. The best entertainment agency will offer a variety of entertainers of different types and will assist you with choosing the best entertainment that blends well with your specific event.

Booking an entertainment agency is easy when you search the internet. When you look for an agency on the internet, you will be able to browse various entertainment agencies and review the services and types of entertainers they offer. You will get an idea of the costs and you will have their contact information so you can call or email them about the details of your event. They will then respond and provide you with more details about their agency and services and how they can help you.

The best entertainment agency will be easy to work with and understand your specific needs. They will listen to your wishes regarding your event and provide you with suggestions about the type of entertainment your specific guests will enjoy. The agency will also be more than willing to answer all of your questions and provide you with a price estimate. You can ask for references as well as find out how long they have been in the entertainment talent agency business. Also, when discussing your event, it is important to tell them your location so they can find the right entertainment for that particular event such as a big convention room, auditorium, or a smaller office type space. The best talent agency will provide the right entertainment to fit the theme of the event such as providing a comedian that delivers a clean non profanity comedic presentation. Understanding your guests is essential to getting the right entertainment for your event.

An entertainment talent agency can really help you get the right entertainment for your event. They can advise on the best entertainment that integrates well with the event, will help to rejuvenate attendees, and make the entire event much more enjoyable and memorable for the guests. When you hire an entertainment talent agency for your event, it will help ensure that the entertainment that you book makes the event a success. If you require entertainment services for your next event, consider booking an entertainment talent agency.