A Good Fit – The Audience:
While all people like to be entertained, there are differences of opinions as to what is entertaining. True, as the old saying goes, “The quickest way to fail is to try to please everyone,” you can still please the majority. To do that, look at your audience and determine what kind of entertainment they would actually pay to see. Consider the overall demographics of your group. For example: If you have an international group, a comedian may not be effective, unless that comedian knows how to work in front of that type of audience.
Stage, Lights and Sound – The Set-Up:
Make sure that your talent has the proper staging to deliver his or her act. If using a talent like a comedian or magician, keep the audience close to the stage. For these acts, placing the audience at a distance from the performer is an obstacle, as are any walls or building posts that may impede on views. Adequate sound and lighting that will meet the needs of your entertainment is critical. Finally, do not have your talent perform while your group is eating. That is distracting for the talent, as well as the audience.
This Ain’t HBO – Keep It Clean:
The corporate entertainer that you hire must be able to work clean. That means no offensive language, etc.
Show and Tell – View the Demo:
By viewing the corporate entertainer’s video, you will see whether or not he or she would be a fit for your group. Notice what other companies have hired that entertainer as their corporate event entertainment. Many entertainers will place logos on their sites “suggesting” they have worked for those companies, but they have no testimonials – written or video – to back up that work. The entertainer’s site should provide real testimonials – preferably video testimonials – and those testimonials should back up the majority of the companies for which the entertainer states he or she has worked.
Need to Speak – Conference Call:
Schedule a conference call with the act – not the agent. Unless you are hiring a “big name,” then you should be able to speak with the talent, prior to booking. Usually, the agent will also be on the call, which is fine. During that call, never talk about fees, just keep it to what you would like the talent to provide and gauge their response to your requests.
Don’t Forget Us – Customization:
The corporate entertainer should be able to customize his or her presentation to include some key messaging that you want your group to hear. Obviously, if you’re booking a band, that is not the case. I’m speaking about comedians, corporate magicians and mentalists, jugglers, etc. These talents should be able to incorporate some messaging into their presentations. For customer appreciation events the messaging may be lighter than for a sales group or maybe not. If the talent has corporate experience (and why would you hire that person if they didn’t?) during your conference call, ask their opinion.
The Check Is in the Mail – Pay on Time:
Most corporate event entertainment providers are self-employed. They require a deposit and then timely payment on the remainder. Don’t treat the talent like an employee or even a vendor that may supply product to your company. Your employees get paid on time – with benefits – and the vendors usually work with companies that pay them on time with benefits. You like to be paid on time… and so does the talent.