Have you been tasked with hosting this year’s company holiday party or picnic? Coordinating a big event for such a wide range of people can be challenging. How do you decide what kind of entertainer to book? This checklist will help you book the best entertainer for your event.
Check References and Past Clients
When interviewing potential entertainers, make sure to ask who they’ve worked with before and consider if your needs are similar. You’ll either want to find someone who specializes in the type of event you are hosting, or, work with an entertainment agency that has experience supplying entertainment for a variety of events. For example, if you’re planning a small, private event, you may want to work with someone who’s performed at many weddings or restaurants. Or, if you’re hosting a large corporate event, you’ll need to make sure that the performer has experience working at larger venues and in front of big audiences. References from past clients will reveal these strengths or weaknesses, and also give you insight into things like reliability and costs.
Watch Demo Videos
A high-quality professional entertainer or entertainment agency should have a website that showcases their work, and most likely a streaming video channel that features a range of performances or musical styles. If they don’t have a demo reel on their website, this could be a red flag. Watching these demos will give you a sense of their style, strengths, and level of professionalism.
Ask About Their Equipment Setup
One of the most important considerations when booking an entertainer is to ensure that they have the right setup for their performance. From microphones, lighting, speakers, cables, and instrument stands, there are a lot of factors to consider. Make sure to work with an entertainer who can either provide their own equipment, or work with a production company to tackle the technical needs of the performance.
Discuss Performance Options and Range
You may or may not have a good idea about what kind of performance you want to book. Are you after light classical background music, 60s rock, contemporary pop hits, or maybe a DJ who knows just the right tunes to get the crowd moving? Or perhaps your event is suited to a talented ballad singer that blow your attentive audience away. A good entertainer will be confident in what they can and cannot provide, so don’t be shy and ask away.
Ask How Many Years of Experience They Have
Just like any job, time and experience allows for improvements to performance and technique. Working with an entertainer who has years of experience and industry knowledge can be a real advantage. An entertainment company like NRG Music & Productions has over 20 years of experience and knows a thing or two about event entertainment.
Consider Presenting a Playlist
If you have a list of songs and performance elements in mind for your event, share this with the entertainer and get a sense if this is something they’ll be able to take on. If you have no idea what songs or speeches should occur during the event, ask them for suggestions. A good entertainer should be able to provide ideas, playlists, and Master of Ceremony (MC) prompts that will help your event run smoothly.
Ensure Availability and Guarantee of Performance
It’s any event planner’s worst nightmare; it’s the day of your event, the sun is shining, the drinks are flowing, but the entertainment calls in sick! What do do? Plan ahead. Speak with your entertainer about options to handle this worst-case-scenario. Ask if they have a backup contact that can easily pick up the details of your party and perform. At the least, make sure to ask about payments and refunds, should the entertainment not be able to attend the event for any reason. Another option is to book with an entertainment agency, instead of an individual. This way, your event will be covered, no matter what.
There are a lot of factors to consider when booking entertainment for your event, but the good news is that there are plenty of great artists out there. Just be sure to do your homework and your event will be a success!