6 Steps to Hiring Headline Entertainment

Entertainment comes in all varieties, in all languages, transcending all borders, whether upside down or inside out, so booking headline entertainment means making choices from among a vast number of options. For the uninitiated, it can be a crazy process. You must first determine what fits your client's needs and expectations, based on the meeting or event's goals and objectives so that you will be able to provide the entertainment management company with an audience profile that will help them find the most appropriate speaker or headline entertainer. Here is a step-by-step guide to the process.

1 Research the needs of the audience and identify the appropriate resources to fill these needs.

2 Select an artist. This works best if you (or your client) either select five headliners you would like to have perform at your meeting or event, or prepare an approximate budget and category of music/entertainment/speaker in order to narrow the list of options.

3 Be prepared and empowered to make a reasonably quick decision. It is common to lose headliners when clients are not able to act quickly enough to secure the act. Have your agent or corporate entertainment company make a written offer to the artist. Remember, an agent can offer you only the artists that are on the agency's roster. If the artists you are looking for are represented by more than one agency, you will need to contact more than one agent or just one corporate entertainment company. I would counsel all to utilize corporate entertainment companies.

4 If the offer is accepted, sign a contract for services of the artist. Once your written offer is accepted, it is very difficult to turn back. And be prepared to make a 50-percent deposit when and if a headline entertainer accepts your offer.

5 Secure production for the show or have your corporate entertainment company provide the services.

6 Monitor the production process and evaluate the outcomes.

Mark Sonder, CSEP is the Chief Entertainment Officer of Mark Sonder Productions, a national entertainment agency designing headline talent and production services for facilities, corporations, and associations. He is also the author of Event Entertainment and Production (John Wiley & Sons, 2004). He can be reached at [email protected]

Originally published March 01, 2008

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