How to choose an unforgettable entertainer for your event
If you've just been given the task of finding the entertainment for your next corporate event, be it a product launch, sales conference or the company's 20th anniversary, you'll already know it can be a daunting responsibility.
'Entertainment' is a very broad category that can means different things to different people. In our industry it can include anything from magicians, singers, jugglers, fire-eaters, impressionists, comedians, hypnotists, cabaret performers, celebrity chefs and a host of others that most people haven't even heard of ... like speed painters.
Unless you've been given a very specific brief such as get 'a male Irish comedian in his 40's' or 'that singer who was the runner-up in the second series of Australian Idol', where and how do you start?
Here are a few considerations which will help make your job easier:
- Decide on your budget first. There's no point finally deciding on a particular entertainer or type of entertainment then finding out they're not within your budget.
- When and where is the event taking place and how long will the entertainment slot be? Of course you want to make sure that they are available for your date but all entertainers charge a minimum fee so you also want to be sure that you get good value out of their appearance. And if they aren't available on that date but you really want them, do you have any flexibility with the date?
- How big is your audience? Is it going to be a smaller, more intimate gathering, will there be 500 people in a convention centre or something in between?
- Who is your audience and what's their demographic? Will your guests be bringing their partners? What impression do you want them to have of your company after this event? An entertainer that appeals to an older, more conservative business audience will probably not be appropriate for a younger, more go-getting crowd.
- What kind of event is it? Do you want to them to laugh, cry, sing along, be hoodwinked or be completely gobsmacked? Is it going to be a celebratory event with lots of buzz and fun or is it aimed at motivating your sales force to do better? Knowing the tone that you want to set for the event will help to narrow down the entertainment options available.
Once you are clear on the above - or if you need help to get them clear in your mind - contact a speakers' bureau for advice.
There are so many different entertainment options available and within each option there are many further options, so making a decision by yourself can be difficult. For example, musical entertainment includes individual singers, an Abba cover band, an internationally acclaimed jazz musician, popera groups, crooners of classics, singing waiters, undercover tenors and much, much more.
The bureau consultants will be aware of so many more options than you will ever be and can save you hours of angst and many, many more hours of unproductive 'Googling'.
They will also already have existing relationships with the majority of entertainers and their management, making the liaison and negotiation process much easier.
All you need to do is provide a good brief and leave it to them to worry about who or what to get.
Then prepare to be surprised, amazed or thrilled and, at the very least, congratulated after the event on your great choice of entertainment.