Entertainment is essential to ensure the success of any event; from gala dinners and private parties, to product launches and conventions. But event planners need to make sure that no problems (or as few as possible) arise at the booking process, in the run up to the event and most importantly, during the event.

Below is a handy checklist for event planners to use when booking acts, shows and performers; whether you choose to use an entertainment agency, or plan to book the entertainment yourself.

First Things First

When deciding on what entertainment is right for the event, you need to consider certain points:

1) Your audience and what entertainment is suitable for them (age, sex, culture etc)
2) The type of event (formal/informal, time of day etc)
3) Venue (size, location, restrictions etc)
4) Any event themes
5) Whether you need one act or entertainment throughout the event
6) Budget.

Event Planners Entertainment Checklist

It’s All in The Detail

So you have decided on the type of entertainment you want (band/aerial artist/impersonator etc). When you contact the act, or an entertainment agency, your brief must be as detailed as possible to ensure that you get exactly what you want.

Be specific about:

The event type, audience, location etc
Performance length
Performance times
Whether you want an act that is local to the venue/you do not mind
Song preferences
Your budget (and if this will include accommodation, travel, meals, visas etc)
Dress Code
Any event themes
If company logos/branding need to be incorporated
Any extras that may be required from the act/show i.e. a special song, extra performance, rehearsal etc.

Do Your Homework

Once you have discussed your requirements in detail and have settled on an act, make sure that you know what you are booking. If you can’t see the show or performers in person (because of distance or time restraints), request promotional material to include videos, photos and set lists/show options. You need to know that the entertainment is to the standard that you require and that they are exactly what you want for the event. It is no good complaining after the event is over that the act was no good. Do your homework beforehand to reduce the risk of disappointment.

Have Everything Covered

You have chosen and booked the entertainment you want for the event. But have you overlooked anything? Make sure you know about any other equipment that may be required for the performance, or if the act will supply it, for example; lighting, speakers, microphones etc.

Don’t Forget The Logistics

One of the many good things about choosing an entertainment agency for your event, is it means less work for you when it comes to the logistics. But if you have booked the entertainment directly, you will need to sort flights, hotels, visas, transfers, extra luggage allowances etc. When you book the flights, check the correct name spellings with the act. The performers need to be aware of exact flight times and itineraries once they arrive to include who will pick them up and where, rehearsal times and performance times. Don’t forget to mention any restrictions that the venue may have, like noise and closing times.

Sign on The Dotted Line?

Once a contract has been drawn up between you and the act, you need to read it thoroughly. Things to check before signing include:

Double check the cost
Who you have booked
What you need to provide (meals, drinks, accommodation)
When payment is due
Arrival times and start times

In Conclusion

Putting in the leg work early on, could potentially save any headaches or hiccups later on. Any areas which may seem insignificant or unimportant to you (like meals, transfers, set duration) could potentially cause problems later on. You need to be really clear on what entertainment you are getting and what you can expect from the performers, but they also need to know what they can expect from you. Pay attention to details before the event, and this will go a long way to ensuring that all goes smoothly on the day.

Author Bio

Amy Capron works for Scarlett Entertainment (www.scarlettentertainment.com) a destination entertainment specialist. For event industry updates and entertainment related tweets readers can follow @amycap_scarlett on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Curtis Gregory Perry