10 Ways To Save Big At Your Next Event
Welcome to our Event Planner resource blog! We're here to help you make the
best decisions regarding entertainment for your events (even if that decision isn't us). Why
would we take the time to do that? Guess we're just cool like that.
# 1 Know Your Seasons
The specialty entertainment market has seasons. If you are aware of these seasons you can reap big rewards and save your clients (or yourself) a lot of money. Some seasons are local (by city or region), some, seem to be more universal. For example, in the Las Vegas market entertainers are usually busiest between October and late January, this has to do with the increased number of holidays around that time as well as an uptick in the trade show and convention market. When performers have lots of work, they stick to their top tier prices. The best time to get professional entertainers from larger cities at bare bones rates is in the late summer. Planning a June wedding? You may be able to get your couple a Las Vegas, New York or LA professional act for the same rate as a local performer.
# 2 Multi Talent, Multi Use.
Many performers are equipped with more than just one skill set. The biggest mistake an event planner can make is hiring two people, when they could have had one who could do both jobs to satisfaction. Always ask what other skills or services your performers offer. The booking agent might not even be aware because they themselves have never thought to ask. You will have to pay for the additional services, but it will come at a fraction of the cost of hiring a second person.
# 3 Hire Local (If the quality is there)
This may seem obvious but hiring local is not only an economic way to go, but also its just good business. It’s always best to see if there are local entertainers that can provide a high level of service before flying people in. However, if you’ve done your homework, and can’t seem to find someone local who fits the bill. Then of course look elsewhere. Now, here’s the trick. Most entertainment agents have networks that extend far beyond their personal location. It is quite possible that an entertainment agent based out of new York or LA will actually know of local performers near your area (That’s basically what our job is) So don’t assume because you are talking to company X from Los Angeles, they can’t help you procure a performer who is within driving distance to your event and help save you the travel and hotel fees.
# 4 Use an Entertainment Organizer
Yes, this is shameless self promotion, but you know what, we are actually here to help you! At the end of the day, someone who knows the business, knows the details, knows what pitfalls and logistical nightmares to avoid is a priceless asset when you are already busy organizing an entire event. Good entertainment comes with a lot of nuances. Aerial rigging requirements, licensing, insurance, cancellation fees, costumes, music, effect, Staging and technical build outs, AV, props, the list goes on and on. Use someone who has answers for all of these things BEFORE hand. Not only will it save you money in the long run, but your sanity too.
# 5 Think Self-contained
Always ask if an act is self-contained. This means it requires no additional equipment or logistics to be presented. Plug and play is your best friend if staying in budget is top priority. Especially if you are working with a venue that does not have traditional staging, theatre, lighting or sound equipment.
# 6 Impact or Ambiance
All professional level specialty performers have the ability to do something absolutely mind blowing. If they are making it in this industry it is because they can most likely do one or two things that nearly no one else on the planet is capable of. However, they cannot do those one or two things indefinitely. Ambiance entertainment is great, but sometimes there is more value in that one moment that everyone will be talking about afterwards. Always ask what “Pop” factor a special skill performer can provide, they may charge a premium for this, but it also may be worth it, you want your attendees and clients to say “That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen” not “That was very nice.”
# 7 Think outside the box.
If you’re working with a constrained budget or, just want to see how far you can stretch your budget. Use your entertainers’ creativity to your advantage! If they have been in the industry for a long time (Which they should if they are really professionals) chances are they have seen a lot of great ideas come and go. Don’t be afraid to be honest and tell them “I have x amount of dollars to absolutely blow my clients mind, how can we get the most out of that?” Performers and entertainers want to do just that, they want to entertain at their best, but often their hands get tied by the short sightedness of managers and organizers. Flip the script and see what they come up with, you can always say no if you don’t think it’s a good idea.
# 8 Do your homework
A performer may have amazing promotional material, but the quality of their actual performance is lacking, or (as is more common) their promotional material might not be super high end, but the actual quality of the performance is above par. Take your time to watch and analyze videos and see what is really there, don’t fall for flashy high-def images with high contrast lighting and special effects (everyone has Photoshop these days) Remember, this material will be presented live and not on a computer screen, so make sure you’re getting something quality. This is also where the discerning eye of a booking agent or industry professional can come in handy.
# 9 Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.
Chances are someone else out there has already found a solution to your entertainment conundrum. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other event planners for help. We know they might be your “competition” but your competition can also be your greatest allies if you can learn to navigate and find common ground.
# 10 Good Old Fashioned Barter.
Your company or client may have something that your entertainers need: software, technology, products or services. You never know when you might get a whole show simply in exchange for something that you already have on hand. Our company personally exchanges entertainment services at discounted prices in exchange for technology and software (of equal use and value), marketing services, products, the list goes on. Don’t let traditional constraints stop you from making the best decisions possible!
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About the Author:
Benjamin Lerman is a Talent Booking Agent, Show Director and Owner of the Las Vegas based live entertainment company Acro Factory Entertainment LLC. His company has provided entertainment and consultation for both small private event planners and large fortune 500 companies such as The MTV music Billboard Awards, Adobe Systems, Subaru, and Americas Got Talent and provided and sourcesd entertainment for national and international traveling shows and productions.
You can learn more about his company below: