7 Steps to Securing an Outstanding Entertainer

By Wendy Ronning

Hiring an entertainer for your function can be a daunting task. These
seven tips will help you complete the task successfully.

The most important point to keep foremost in mind is the success of your entertainment will be directly attributed to the quality of your entertainer and the match of the entertainer to your audience.

Using the following tips will help you systematically secure quality entertainment for your event that will be a successful match for your audience.

1. Determine the Needs of your Audience

Entertainment can add a lot to your event. It can help your guests to relax and enjoy themselves. In addition, providing entertainment can help you make your message and objectives of the event be heard. Consider, is there is a goal or message for the event that you want your guests to take home. Or perhaps the function is to show appreciation for exceptional performance and increased profits? Is it to discuss the state of your industry or focus on specific objectives for the coming quarter?

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 your message you want your guests to take home.

2. Maximize Your Time and Determine Your Budget and Date

What you budget for entertainment for your event 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 from having to review and consider entertainers that are out of your budget and entertainers that are way below your budget (i.e. lesser quality) and entertainers that are already booked up.

3. Identify the Type of Entertainment that Would be Most
Valuable to Achieve Your Needs

Uniqueness and corporate content should always be your priorities with any type of entertainment you consider. There are obviously many different types of entertainment available. Would you like entertainment that is unobtrusive , such as a handwriting analyst sitting in the back of the room, or would you prefer an after dinner stage show? Depending on your message and needs of your audience, decide what form of entertainment is going to work best for your group.

4. Finding Your Entertainer

Meeting planning companies and entertainment agencies are excellent resources for finding entertainers. In addition, entertainers can be found in the phone book and on the web, and you can also get referrals from colleagues or associations in which you may be a member.

5. Your Initial Contact with Your Prospective
Entertainers... Now What?

A professional entertainer can query you regarding your needs and the needs of your audience and what your goals are for the event 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 out promotional material without first determining your objectives.

Not every entertainer is right for every event.

The professional entertainer will not waste your time considering his services if they are not right for your event.

The professional entertainer will turn down many programs because they know more than anyone what type of events they are best suited. They won't risk a unsuccessful event for you, or themselves.

The amateur entertainer will not have the experience to explore your needs or the experience 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 possibility that there is a match between the entertainer and the event you are planning, the entertainer should send out promotional materials for your consideration.

6. 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 get a hold of, returning 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? Is it a sole proprietorship ? Corporation? A successful entertainer will reflect that status, an amateur entertainer will be a sole proprietor or worse, have no status.

7. 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.

Following the above rules for hiring entertainment will make the process easier, and you can rest assured that you have hired a quality professional that is a good match for your audience that will contribute to the overall success of your event. Have a great event!

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