As we approach the holiday season, many of us will plan Christmas parties and holiday celebrations. Finding the right entertainment for these events is a big job. Do it right and you are a hero! Get it wrong and your guests must suffer through a boring program. There is no pressure, huh?
Do not worry! As a professional speaker and entertainer, I have worked with some of the best event planners in the industry and have learned from them all. Follow this guide to help you through the decision making process and guarantee that you have a very successful event.
One of the first steps when planning an event is to decide on as many specific details as possible. This detail must include the date, time, location, number of guests invited, etc. Most entertainers and speakers will ask these questions to get an idea of what you are planning so they can adjust their performance to suit your event.
- Type of Program
The type of program you plan will also determine what type of program needs to be considered. If you are planning a Christmas party, you will definitely be looking for a different type of program than if you plan your child’s birthday party. You have to consider who your guests are and what they will find entertaining.
Remember this: your entertainer represents you at the party. Therefore, you have a good chance to show off without lifting a finger! The person you choose must be professional and have experience that gives you trust in them. You will know about the level of experience of entertainers or speakers with their resumes, testimonials, references, and letters of recommendation.
- Choosing the Right Program
All entertainers and professional speakers who are smart and business minded have a website. A well-designed website allows your future entertainers to list their specialties, describe exactly what they do and how they do it, and post video clips, photos, letters of recommendation, etc. A good website is the main brochure for entertainers to inform prospective clients about who they are.
You should be able to see enough from the entertainer’s website to get a very good idea whether he will be able to do the work for you or not. Be sure to evaluate whether the entertainer you are considering specializes in entertaining groups like yours.
- Initial Contact
There are several ways to contact your prospective entertainer or speaker. The easiest is to just pick up the phone and contact the comfort office. Contacting potential entertainers with phone calls is the best way to get to know them. By really talking to your comforter, you can learn things that you might not be able to tell through other contact methods. Conversations allow you to hear someone’s voice and allow you to get an impression of how worthy this person is for your event. Telephone conversations also allow your entertainer to ask specific questions that need to be answered to quote fees, check availability, and ensure that they are suitable for your event.
Another option is to send an email entertainer. Email is the best way to make first contact with your prospective entertainer. If you choose to make contact via email, try giving as much detail as possible about the event. Include your telephone number and the window of time when you will be available to speak so that the entertainer can contact you again and ask additional questions he may have.
Another way to connect with your entertainer is to fill out the web form on the website. The web form will have specific fields such as name, telephone number, your address, type of function, place address, estimated number of guests expected, etc. Web forms are often the preferred contact method via email because they are designed to provide entertainers with specific information needed to quote fees, check availability, etc.
Shopping Prices? Everyone has a budget. The general rule is this: Don’t go at the lowest price. Going at the lowest price is probably the beginning of disappointment. In the area of entertainment and talking remember the old adage “You get what you pay for.”
- Contracts, Confirmation Calls and Letters
After all the details have been decided, you must expect to receive a contract from your entertainer or speaker. This is not something that needs to be emphasized. This is a normal operating procedure for any professional entertainer or speaker. In fact, if you don’t get a contract, you have to start asking questions.
The contract basically details all agreed details when discussing your event. You must take the time to review all the details, including the type of program, start and end time, place address, price, etc. A performance agreement must make you feel comfortable because you now know that your entertainer has all the right details and can prepare to provide a dynamic and appropriate program.
- Event Day
As far as the program goes, you should have discussed with your entertainer now who will answer any and all questions that you may have. This must be clear, because the details agreed upon in the contract, what time your entertainer will arrive, when and where they will arrange, and when the program will begin. Make sure that you or the main contact person of the event is carrying a cellphone if your entertainer has a last-minute problem and needs to contact you.
- Last Minute Details and Show Time!
You have researched and selected the best program for your event. At this point, there should be nothing you need to worry about. Kick back, relax and enjoy!