A Guide to Finding Top Entertainment for Your Event

by Bishop-McCann , , January 11th, 2018

Some may consider the seamless design and production of an event, with expertly integrated entertainment, a form of art. It is certainly something to be carefully orchestrated. No pressure, but it is also true that the audience’s reaction to your entertainment could make or break your corporate event.  So, how do we accomplish all the steps in making a good offer for corporate event entertainment?

Our Director of Speakers and Entertainment, answered a similar question in an article in Corporate & Incentive Travel. In the article, Young said, “The perfect entertainment choice adds excitement to the event and creates emotionally charged moments for attendees.”

Five Steps to Finding Top Entertainment

She explains more about how to find that perfect entertainment in the article, but we decided to break it down into the first five steps you should take when trying to find and lock it down.

  1. Know your audience – Before even thinking about entertainment possibilities, you have to understand what the people you are entertaining actually find entertaining. Know the demographics as well as how they respond and what their interests are. This first step is the foundation to ensuring success. Also consider, is your corporate event a celebration, a learning environment, a networking opportunity? Then ask, “How can I integrate the entertainment to achieve our event goal?”
  2. Understand your budget – While entertainment can be glamorous, the cost of it isn’t so much. Whether it’s small or large, everyone has a budget they need to account for. A key piece of advice to remember is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money for great entertainment. Many of the best live shows are artists who’ve been around but don’t have a current hit or artists who are on their way up. When working with a larger budget, look for talent that will cause a “Triple Wow!”: attendees say “Wow!” when they hear about the entertainment, “Wow!” during, and “Wow!” after the event.
  3. Who is the ultimate decision maker (who are you trying to please)? – "This is a tough question, but one that needs to be asked," says Young. Get an answer to this query: When all is said and done, is it the audience you want to blow away or does it matter more that you please the person who is writing the check (or giving consent to pay for the act)? Hopefully, you can do both, but often what will please the audience is not the same as what will please the decision maker. It’s important to sort through that before moving forward.
  4. Be thorough and estimate your costs early – Young suggests working with someone who has experience negotiating and managing the entire process, from the offer and contract to the advancement of a rider and on-site management. “Their experience will save you money and minimize your risks and headaches,” she states. Additional considerations include whether the venue has a curfew and expected show billing (an important detail with multiple performers). One should also consider if a meet and greet is expected (if so, does it include photos and autographs? For how many people?). Though the situation is rare, it’s important to prepare for an artist’s cancellation by including an extended artist out clause. This details the number of pre-event days that the entertainer can opt out, giving you time to find a replacement (in most cases, it’s possible to stretch the out clause to 60 or even 90 days). She suggests always having a second and third choice as your emergency backup, checking from time to time to see if they’re still available.
  5. Final advice – “It’s important to put everything into the firm offer, as you are less likely to get a ‘yes’ to extra requests once the offer is accepted. At that point, your request will be considered an optional add-on.” Don’t make a firm offer before involving your production company. Have your technical director and producer work with the talent’s production manager to avoid any surprises.

You can do everything right, but at the end of the day, if your entertainment isn’t exciting, it’s not really entertainment.

Following these five steps can make your entertainment choice unique, exciting, and successful. To learn more about how the right entertainment can create successful corporate events, take a look at some of our case studies.