Contracting musicians, comedians, immersive acts, specialty performers or other live entertainment for events is not a task a lot of people do often or feel comfortable completing. How do you start to plan your budget for hiring event entertainment? Our company, G. L. Berg Entertainment has helped clients select the right professional performers for over 50,000 shows over the past 32+ years. With that extensive event planning experience, we have learned the questions to ask and points to make to help people secure acts that work best for their audience, space, event and budget.
Balance your entertainment budget with these top 4 considerations:
1. Dates & Timing
The date you choose usually affects the price of an act. If you can get a touring act that is in the area and has that day/night off you can often secure them for a better price than their normal fee. Also, generally, Sunday through Wednesday are priced less than Thursdays through Saturdays simply because of supply and demand. Certain dates (such as Fridays and Saturdays in December for private corporate events) are in very high demand and prices are going to be higher for professional performers. Same with holiday dates like New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day for Irish music, Cinco de Mayo for Mexican music, Oktoberfest for polka/German music, etc. Contracting early also helps to ensure you get the acts you want at the prices you can afford. If you have flexibility in your date you might be able to get the act or acts you want for less money.
2. Additional Fees
Hiring professional entertainment often has additional expenses beyond the performer’s base booking rate. When discussing entertainment options ask if there are any additional fees. Does the act or entertainment bring their own production equipment like sound, lights, stages and special effects, or will you need to rent those items separately? Also consider expenses for traveling performers that often includes meals, rooms, transportation, etc. Everything can be negotiated to find what works best for all parties and your budget.
3. Balancing Priorities
Budget enough dollars to have memorable, unique, professional entertainment so your event serves its main purpose, which is to be a positive experience for all attendees! Too often we have seen clients spend too much money on flowers, photographers, the event space, decorations, food or specialty desserts and then say they only have a small amount of the budget left for entertainment – THE ONE PIECE YOUR ATTENDEES WILL REMEMBER MOST AND TAKE WITH THEM!
4. Package Pricing
Booking multiple dates and/or multiple acts can often provide better pricing for live performances. Buying dates or acts individually does not allow for package pricing. Event buyers like corporate event planners, performing arts venues or festivals can often hire for multiple dates or acts, and can take advantage of package pricing.
An example of how package pricing can make your budget go further could look something like this:
You want pre-dinner reception music (priced at $1,250.00) + you want an immersive entertainer to perform prior to dinner (priced at $2,000.00) + you want a comedian to do an after dinner show (priced at $3,000.00). The total amount of this individually could be $6,250.00. However, working with an Agent you might be able to buy all three for a discounted package price of $5,900.00. You can find more savings by contracting all of your acts and dates together under one agency.
These are just some of the ways you can make sure you are making smart entertainment buying decisions. Our experienced Agents are able to put together packages that fit your budget and your event’s needs. Give us a call and we will work together with you to make sure you get entertainment that works on all levels for your upcoming events.