Ten Tips to Book Entertainment for Corporate Events

It can be overwhelming to find entertainment for corporate holiday parties, conferences or corporate conventions. There are thousands of corporate entertainers that can be great, bad, or just plain awful. This list will provide some guidance on how to narrow your search and find entertainment that will make your event a success.

#10 – PLAN Ahead. For the most sought-after dates, corporate entertainers are booked up quickly. In the peak corporate holiday season (Nov-Jan), entertainers may book well in advance, often up to a year. Do not let disappointment happen and begin looking for entertainment as soon you know the date.

#9 – KNOW YOUR WANT (AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE WANTS). If you know what type of entertainment would be most suitable for your group, it will make it easier to find an entertainer. Popular corporate entertainment includes:

COMEDY – A great way to have your group laugh together is comedy. Comedy acts don’t need to be stand-up comedians. Corporate comedy acts often incorporate magic, juggling, and other variety performances into their comedy shows. The variety ensures that everyone can enjoy the show.

Whatever comedy act you choose, make sure it is appropriate for your group. There are many definitions of clean comedy. Ask for a sample video to see what they mean (see #1).

MUSIC – There are many headline artists and bands available for corporate events.

MAGIC – There is a variety of corporate magicians available. Some magicians perform strolling magic, while others have large illusion shows with special effects. Others specialize in comedy magic that makes your audience laugh. No matter what type of corporate entertainment you’re looking for, make sure you find a magician who is only skilled in that particular style. Although you may hear some magicians say they can do all things – comedy, illusions, and even walking, they are often only good at one style. Hire a professional corporate magician that specializes in one type of magic to put on the best show. Because they specialize in one type of magic, these performers are the best in their fields.

HYPNOSIS – Hypnotists are great for the right groups. To be successful with hypnotist shows, you need to have a group that is open-minded and not afraid to interact.

#8 – BOOK DIRECTLY with the entertainer to SAVE MONEY and HEADACHES You will save money if you book corporate entertainment directly with the entertainer. The fees for corporate entertainment agencies can be as high as 15% to 35%. Booking a corporate entertainer directly gives you the opportunity to speak with them (or their office staff) regarding any concerns or questions. Most corporate entertainment agencies won’t allow you to speak with the entertainer before the performance. Booking direct will ensure that you are not misled about the performance. If you search the internet for “corporate entertainers”, or “california comedian”, you will find contact information.

#7 – PLAN a REALISTIC BUDGET. Entertainment is no different. Entertainment is not a place where you can save a few bucks. The entertainment is just as important as the food. You should not cut corners when it comes to the food your guests eat. Bad entertainment can make an event as disastrous as poor food. A $400 show is not enough to pay a professional corporate entertainer. The fees for a professional, top-quality corporate entertainer can range from $1500 to $100,000 depending on the show’s size and their reputation.

#6 – KNOW YOUR PERFORMER’S EXPERIENCE. Corporate entertainers should be able to entertain corporate audiences. Ask questions. Is the performer full-time? Are they past performers at similar events? Are there letters of recommendation or reviews from clients that you can look at?

#5 – IF YOUR SPECIAL REQUEST ASK! Many entertainers will customize their performances for your event. You can discuss any special requests with the entertainer when you book.

#4 – BEFORE YOU BOOK, DISCUSS YOUR SET-UP REQUIREMENTS. There are many requirements for entertainers. While some entertainers can perform in a corner of a room using a microphone, others require a minimum area for sound and lighting equipment. Before you book, make sure your venue can accommodate your entertainer’s needs.

#3 – LEAVE YOUR GAST WANTING MORE. While 90 minutes of entertainment might sound great when planning a corporate event, most people don’t want to watch 90 minutes of entertainment. Longer shows are not necessarily better. Even top comedians and entertainers (Jerry Seinfeld or Jay Leno) can only do 60-75 minutes shows. Corporate event planners and professional entertainers agree that 35 to 50 minutes is a good length for corporate entertainment. It’s better to keep your audience engaged and wanting more, rather than making them tired and look at their watches.

#2- KNOW WHAT IS IN THE FEE. You will need to pay travel expenses for hiring national entertainers for corporate parties. Most entertainers will include travel expenses in their performance fees. For some, it may be an additional cost. To avoid unexpected and potentially costly surprises, make sure you understand what is included in your quoted fee. surprises.

#1 – THE MOST IMPORTANT – NEVER EVER DISCOVER A DEMO VIDEO. Only by seeing a demo video can you determine if a corporate entertainer is right for you. A demo video should show only a few highlights from an entertainer’s show. To see how the audience reacts, you should film the video in front of them. A video of an entertainer is not more than a few seconds with flashy graphics and music. This could indicate that they are trying to cover a poor performance or worse, they may have never performed before a live audience.

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