As an entertainment buyer – there’s no better feeling than hosting an artist and watching the audience have the time of their lives. And as an entertainment buyer, there’s no worse feeling than an artist struggling on stage. So how do you make sure that the content of the performance matches the purpose of your event and the mission and values of your organization? Here are some tips.
- Know your organization. Are you a college affiliated with the church? What are the core values and mission of your organization? Do you have a desired content rating, and what does that mean to YOU? Do you have a goal for your event(s)? Do you have a unique audience (families, young and experienced professionals, etc.)
- Book from an agent you trust. Establishing a relationship with a booking agent will make your life as an entertainment buyer significantly easier in the long run. The agent will be able to make recommendations for your organization for future events that will only save you time. If this is your first time working with an agent, ask questions and get references from other clients that may have similar needs who have worked with that agent in the past.
- Before you confirm an artist (especially if represented by an agency you don’t know) ask them how much material they have. How long is their show? Do they have any special rider requirements or other preferences. Additionally, ask for references from other buyers who may have similar needs as you.
- When an artist arrives for their showtime, reiterate any special content needs. Let them know about current events within your organization that may be pertinent to their performance and be very specific about what topics and words may be taboo and off limits. Even if you’ve covered these with the artist and their agent before – do it again. Transparency is key is managing expectations. “You can say whatever you want!” means different things to different people. Avoid surprises, communicate clearly.
Clearly communicating wants and needs of your organization’s event at every step of the booking process will set you and the entertainer you’re hosting up for success. The sign of a great performance is a happy audience. Transparency, clear communication and managing expectations will not only guarantee a happy audience but will make sure they come to your next event as well.