USEFUL BOOKING TIPS

TIP DESCRIPTION
Timing Most entertainers require a specific date and time for the event, so they know if they are available, can inquire into travel, availability and costs.
Accommodations For out of town performers you may be required to supply accommodations. Performers may not be familiar with your city and may require you to suggest a place to stay or make their travel arrangements close to performance venue.
Transportation Transportation such as flights, hotel and ground (car rental, airport shuttle pickup) or performer providing their own car and gas.
Type of Event Performer costs may range depending on the type of function, market and if it is open to the public or is a private party.
Number of people Performers need to know the attendance so that they can properly prepare their show to make it suitable and may advise you of any additional requirements. A large venue may need a bigger sound system and closed circuit television to display a speaker, while a birthday party clown may charge depending upon the number of kids and provide enough balloons and giveaways.
Budget Have a budget ready, even if you do not want to disclose it. Be prepared to make a commitment - it's just like buying a car - if you come to kick the tires or have your check book ready. You can always ask for an all-in price, where a performer provides you the final fee without having to break it down. Some fees may be negotiable. If a performer price is higher than your budget, let them know what the budget is. Some performers may be willing to do the date for a variety of reasons (kids going to college, putting food on the table or just pure love of their craft) and you may get a higher caliber performer for your event.
Cheaper...? Cheaper is not always better. You may get what you pay for or be pleasantly surprised. It is not a certainty, that's why we recommend doing your research before hiring. Pay attention to the performer's experience level, which may be reflected in the price. Entertainment is what people remember the most - have it deliver the right message for the right amount.
Deposits Most entertainers require a deposit to guarantee the date. This allows them to get compensated for possible other dates being turned away or cancelations. Performers will have several inquiries for the same date. A deposit guarantees that your date is being held for you. This is especially important during peak times of holiday functions.
Location Location is an important aspect of how much performers may charge. Select a venue or a list of possible venues for your date. Entertainers may charge extra for travel fees, taxes, equipment rental and supplies.
Audio and Video Performers provide online video for you to watch so that you can make an educated decision about their appearance at your venue.
Promo Materials If you want additional materials, ask for them. Many can be printed for presentation to your committee right from our site.
References Where the performer you are considering to book has worked before and what feedback did they receive?
When to book? Last-minute bookings are always appreciated and help fill empty dates, but we suggest to book your entertainment as soon as possible (at least one month prior to your event).
Stage Time Some performers have a minimum time frame that they book. Performer may need that amount of time to present their program properly.
Block booking There is a way to lower your costs of booking a traveling performe - split the travel costs with another venue, while providing the performer with additional revenue.
Sound and lights Make sure the performance area is properly lit for the type of show being presented. Sound system has to be adequate for everyone to hear clearly.
Staging Performers may need a stage, stage area, risers or dance floor. Different types of entertainment require special arrangements. Jugglers, for example, may need ample space around them along with additional height requirements, while bands may require raised staging for their setup.
Power If using Public Address systems for comedians, DJs and bands, make sure there is enough power at the venue to accommodate the equipment (unless it's a rave then everyone has a glow stick, but you will need a portable power generator to make music).
Contingency Planning If your event is held outside - What will you do if it rains? Be prepared for the unexpected and have a solid plan to make it work.
Event Schedule Prepare a list of what will take place and when. It helps to know the schedule. Speeches, food or even guest arrival may take longer than expected - be prepared.
Can you...? Many performers offer different packages and will gladly accommodate your requests. All you need to do is ask.
Will you...? If in doubt ask. Performers have a lot of experience in dealing with all sorts of situations. They are your best resource to get answers.
Contracts When in doubt, put it in writing. This way everyone knows what to expect and what is expected of them. Most performers have their own contracts. Read them carefully and do not be afraid to ask questions. Most contract problems can be easily resolved beforehand simply by asking and or crossing out a clause after a clarification has been made.