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What to Avoid When Booking Bands and Talent?

By Dennis Jarvis

Booking talent is a tricky combination of finding a performer who will entertain your audience at the right cost and still leave everyone wanting more. There are some important things to avoid when booking talent towards this end and years of experience will help you avoid these issues. So let’s take a look at what NOT to do.

A good friend of mine had a scheduled phone interview for a job right smack in the middle of Spring Break towards the end of college. We were out on the Colorado River after a pretty late night. The woman on the phone kindly asked my friend what he wanted to do. Tom replied back with “Well, I know what I DON’T want to do”. Let’s just say he didn’t get that job but his answer is not too far off when planning an event around talent. There are certain things you DON’T want to do and we’re going to walk through the big ones here. Obviously, this is a short list but as professionals of 25 years in booking talent and bands, we’ll make sure to protect you from the rest.

The most common mistake is to be unrealistic in terms of what talent, bands, comedians, or celebrities you can afford. Be realistic…If your organization has a ,000 budget then you can’t afford the Dave Matthews Band or Lady Gaga.  Make a list of 10-20 performers that you and your committee will be happy with.  Once we have that list, we can find out who’s schedule will work to be in your area and who can perform for the budget that you have allocated.  Don’t get your heart set on one band.  You need to have a fairly open mind so that you end up with someone you are happy with but who works within their touring schedule and your desires. We can work with anyone out there and we’ll negotiate with a proverbial baseball bat but that doesn’t change what certain talent expects in terms of payment.

Be clear about your budget:  If you have ,000 in your budget and you want a performer who costs ,000 you may be ok if you are booking a comedian like Kathy Griffin and her cost is ,000 and all she needs is a sound system and a microphone with a bottle of tequila.  If you are paying O.A.R. ,000 and their sound, lights, staging, catering, stagehands, security, etc are going to cost you an additional ,000 that means that the cost of the show is now ,000.  If you are selling tickets obviously you will recoup this money through ticket sales but just make sure that you account for all production costs that will be incurred and add them to the cost for the artist.  We can help you work up a full budget so that there are no surprises.  Obviously if you are a college or non-profit organization you will have volunteers to help reduce costs.  Again, don’t focus on a million dollar act when your budget is only ,000.

Time frame for event:  If you need a performer for an end of the year Spring concert keep in mind that every other school is looking to book their Spring Fling event on Saturday, April 23 so the competition for talent is going to be fierce.  You may consider going a week or two earlier than the other local schools or be flexible with what dates you can hold your event on.  Often you will have to work with the artists touring schedule.  If your event HAS to be one one specific date then you need to be flexible on a larger list of acts that would be acceptable for you.  Remember the cost for talent is a direct result of supply and demand: the higher the demand for a specific artist on a specific date forces the cost of that artist higher.  If you can be flexible with dates, you have a better chance of getting the act that you want.

Know costs associated with putting a concert on: Ok, so you want Travis McCoy, Far East Movement and Shwaze for your big Spring weekend.  You need to review the artist production rider to see what the costs will be for staging, sound, lights, catering, stagehands, insurance, etc.  You also want to make sure that you account for marketing, tickets and any other costs that the venue may charge you.  Our organization can help you source the best sound companies, lighting companies, staging, catering, online marketing specialists, etc.  If you don’t know all of the costs you could be caught over budget at the end of the event.

Finally, don’t just book the bands that you like: We all love music and if you think that Justin Timberlake is hot or you love Katy Perry you might be tempted to book them.  Think twice about that.  Book acts that the majority of your audience likes.  If most of the students at your college like rock and you book Snoop Dogg you might not have a very successful event.  If you book Snow Patrol even though they are not YOUR favorite band but they sell out you are better off than booking the rap act that you like but you lose 0,000 on the show.  You can always pay to see the act that you like but when you are spending a budget that represents your organization or school, make sure that the act appeals to the majority of those in that organization.

Now that we’ve spelled out the common pitfalls of booking talent and bands, you can check out the Glitterbox for more articles on ideas for successfully finding talent. We don’t want to be all negative after all. Of course, feel free to contact us with any questions you have.

About the Author: BookmyTalent.net offers guidance based on over 25 years of experience in booking talent including celebrities, bands, comedians, and politicians including the biggest names in the industry.  Book talent, book bands, book celebrities, book comedians online with a professional

Source: www.isnare.com

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