Updated: Jun 2
The performer you book can make or break an event. So whether you’re planning your wedding entertainment or organising the office Christmas party, here are a couple of hints and tips to ensure that you book the perfect entertainer -
What are the demographics of your guests?
Are you guests of a specific age, religion or ethnicity? The performer needs to be aware of their sensitivities. Discuss carefully with the performer what material, music they will play etc. to make sure it is suitable.
Think about the space
Another important consideration is the space you have available. Will your guests be able to see and hear the entertainer? Will they provide the sound equipment etc. or is that your responsibility? Also, is it included in the price? I include sound, staging and lighting in my booking fee. The speakers I use are battery powered and easily powerful enough for up to 250 people. Why battery powered? They can be positioned anywhere in the room for optimal sound without obtrusive cables running everywhere. It also means when performing at outdoor weddings or office barbecues if it starts to rain, the speakers can be quickly moved indoors guaranteeing the show goes on!
Are they a full time pro?
It's a blunt question but asking an entertainer if it's their sole source of income is a really good move. There are many part-time magicians who are excellent but you need to make sure you don't end up with just a hobbyist who has a great website. Performing magic is a particular skill, entertaining a room full of people is another. Make sure the entertainer you hire has both!
Where can I see you perform?
You are taking a big chance booking an entertainer on the strength of a few video clips so ask the entertainer where you can see them perform live.
If they aren't forthcoming with a couple of possible venues it means they aren't getting bookings or they don't want you to see their show. Either way, unless you or someone you trust has seen their full show it's a red flag.
No insurance, no booking ...
Whether it's a magician, comedian or band, they've got to be fully insured.
In these litigious times, if a speaker falls over and hits a guest or employee they will almost certainly take legal action. If the entertainer doesn't have insurance, the solicitors will turn their attention to you… the booker!
Don't commit to the booking until you have received a copy of their insurance policy.
Book in advance Good Corporate entertainers are in high demand, especially during peak wedding season or the holiday period so make sure to book well in advance to avoid disappointment. This is particularly important if you have your heart set on a specific performer.
Ask for help...
Ask the entertainers advice. Obviously requesting an onsite meeting or creation of a branded performance piece will incur a fee but picking up the phone costs nothing.
Little hints and tips can make a big difference to the success of your event. As entertainers, we see the same mistakes being made over and over again. All of which can be avoided by just asking for a little (free) advice.