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4 Ways an Entertainment Agency Can Help Music Venues

  • Olivia Hurtado
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Booking the right acts for your live music venue is important. You want to draw enough people to the event to make it financially successful for you. For most venues selling food and beverages is how they profit from having live entertainment at their venues. Ticket sales can help also, but most if not all of ticketing income will end up in the pockets of the artists performing at the event. So, your goal is to put people in your seats to make an event and your business profitable.

It can get tricky trying to run the day-to-day operations of a club as well as finding and booking the best live music entertainment for your it. That’s why a full-service entertainment agency can become a real partner to help you run a prosperous business. Here are four reasons you should consider working with a full-service entertainment company to help your venue thrive.

k tel all stars on stage1. Entertainment Agencies Can Save You Money

There are some important reasons as to why using an Entertainment Agency can benefit your venue. The first is that using an entertainment agency can save your venue money. As a venue, you want to make the right financial choices and you don’t want to overpay for artists.

Entertainment booking agents who work full time to hire bands and other types of live entertainment are on top of music trends, artist tours, and latest pricing. They know what the asking price is for performers, but good ones also know what they will take in given situations such as a potential routing gig. They also have personal relationships built over years with artists, touring reps and agents that represent the more renown artists. The result is they are much more likely than a single venue, part-time, booking agent to get the best possible price for talent. The performance fee is only part of it. They also are good at negotiating the technical and hospitality rider requirements of artists  to save money for the venue.

According to New York based TSE booking agent, Erin Cameron, entertainment booking agents are “a sounding board as to what type of artist you can afford and what kind of risk-mitigation you should account for in deciding on the best fit.” Erin explains this further by saying:

“A buying agent would help you run through all the numbers and scenarios for booking the artists you want.  This help is not just based on your competitors and market history, but also research on the artist you want. A good booking agent will make sure they are popular with your targeted demographic, that they have some radio and streaming history for your market, and their behavior as a performer.  Are audiences usually happy with their show?  Do venues invite them back? All these small details matter in booking a successful act.  Your in-house staff person, who usually doubles as a house manager, audio engineer, bartender or other duties most likely will not have the time or the skill-set or knowledge about the ever-changing music landscape.”

2. Full-Service Entertainment Agencies Can Connect You to Better Quality Entertainment

Another benefit of using an entertainment agency which does extensive artist bookings is that they have connections to many different levels of musical entertainers. Whether local, regional, national, or international talent, they have the access. When using an in-house talent buyer, it often limits the artists and acts that you can book to the knowledge and relationships of the in-house talent buyer. It also means they are likely to not have the experience to bring in different kinds of entertainment. Using an entertainment company like TSE Entertainment provides a host of options in choosing different types of live entertainment.  Its connections span many different genres, specialty acts, strolling entertainment, tribute bands, specialty bands and many more. Need an Irish band for St Patrick’s Day? What about Tejano talent? Looking for a circus act for your parking lot or venue? These are the kind of connections that a part-time talent buyer will have difficulty making. No problem for an entertainment agency that has built relationships over many years of being in business.

Most smaller venues will use an in-house talent buyer, who oftentimes doubles as a sound engineer, bartender, club manager, door manager, etc. as well. You get the picture. There are many different types of performance compensation deals that are used in the music business. Full guarantee and different types of backend deals will be desired by either the artist or venue. Being able to have the experience to negotiate the right deal for both parties, i.e., finding the sweet spot, is critical to both artists and venue operators happy.

An in-house talent buyer may not have the knowledge or negotiating skills to enable successfully reaching the right compensation scheme with the manager or agents for different artists.  They are focused on what they know and the types of deals that may be good for the venue but may not be liked by artists. Any relationship depends on finding a win-win scenario for artist to play a venue. That’s when a professional booking agent can shine. They already know what artists are looking for in compensation schemes. A venue-focused full-services entertainment agency like TSE know how to strike deals with the artists that also provide the best chance for the venue to make the money they want as well.

Venue-housed talent buyers are focused on one venue, that venue’s demographic and one specific market. They may look for acts that are more local to the area. They routinely book live entertainment acts that have direct connections to the venue or talent buyer. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just that they may be missing opportunities available with a broader perspective.

This is where an entertainment agency with lots of connections can help immensely. As an entertainment agency, there are a multitude of relationships that they already have with amazing artists that are willing to play at your venue. These artists are handpicked by the agency so the quality of the acts the provide are top tier.

3. They Can Get You Routing Gigs

Routing gigs or shows are added performances based on another venue’s proximity to an anchor show. When a band books a show at a site, say Austin, Texas, they look for other opportunities to perform around that anchor date. The Austin show, for which the talent buyer paid the performance fee asked by the band is now the anchor show. Since they are already will be playing that date in Austin in this example, they will look for bookings at venues outside of the radius clause (typically 100 miles) from the show date either the day before or the day after the anchor show.

Any additional money they can make is great since the anchor show is paying their expenses. That means that venues with smaller budgets might be able to get the same band as the anchor venue, but at a much-reduced performance and hospitality rider fees. These add-on dates are called routing shows or date in the industry.

One major thing that entertainment agencies put into consideration is the venue’s needs. Something that our booking agents look at when you have a limited budget but want a quality act, is to look at where bands are playing both before or after the date you need them Better yet, if you are flexible, the booking agent can look at the bands appealing to you and see if. and when they might be in the same geographic area as your venue. In this way, your booking agent can offer the band a routing gig at your venue.

Usually when a band is playing a routing gig the agent works a deal with the artist that benefits both parties. Artists will usually take routing gigs because they already will be in the area for their major anchor show(s). They’re able to make extra money adding a stop to cover different touring costs. The venue benefits because they’re getting a quality act while keeping closely to their budget. This is something that knowledgeable entertainment booking agents consider when looking into booking shows for venues with smaller budgets. It’s the little deals and negotiations like this that can bring your venue to life and continue to be prosperous.

If you’re interested in working with an entertainment agency that provides quality booking services consider TSE Entertainment. Visit our booking services page on our website to learn more about our booking services and how we can help you. If you are interested in TSE being your talent booking agent for your venue, you can learn more on this page of our website.

4. A Full-Service Entertainment Agency Can Provide More Than Just Booking

A full-service entertainment agency not only provides venues with booking services, but they can also provide other entertainment services to make your life easier. These additional services can include such services as online ticketing, local production services as well as many others that a venue might need to book, produce, and promote their events.

These additional services aren’t provided by every entertainment agency that books talent. You need to do your homework if you’re needing more than just booking services so that you find the right agency for your venue.

Online Ticketing

online ticketingOnline ticketing platforms are often standalone applications. Many will try to sell you promotion services as part of their service offerings. If you need a number of entertainment services, it’s important to try and find an agency that provides a range of different services that includes online ticketing if that is a need for your venue. Online ticketing can be a simple, hassle-free experience when getting help from an expert. An full-service entertainment company can provide you the best options for your venue’s ticketing, local production support, and many other services. Using the same entertainment agency for a variety of services can result in a “package” deal that saves you money on the individual services because they are now part of a variety of services being provided to you.

Using an entertainment agency for your online ticketing needs helps make the ticketing process much easier as you can put your tickets links onto your own website and create an online box office. A good online ticketing application will allow you both to sell those tickets from an online box office as well as check people in for the show using a scanning app. Online ticketing can also help collect data from your shows and those that purchase tickets like sales summaries, customer sales, email addresses, analytics, and customer sales notifications. Most online ticketing platforms also allow you to send out mass emails to everyone who has purchased tickets to update customers on the show. Other things you should look for in an online ticketing application is unlimited ticket types or tiers, reserved seat selection, ticket grouping, and secure payment options.

Online ticketing is now an essential service for live music venues. There are so many benefits of using online ticketing applications versus traditional ticketing. If you’re interested to learn more about TSE’s robust and economical online ticketing service check out our ticketing services page.

Local Production Support

Along with booking and online ticketing, concert production support is something that an entertainment agency should be able to help with if you have such a need. There are a couple of options for your venue depending on if you are new to hosting live events or if you’re an experienced live entertainment venue owner.

Stage Plot

If you are new to hosting live events, an entertainment agency can help pull together your staging, audio and lighting needs. Good entertainment agencies have the knowledge and connections to help you with requirements for such systems. They also have the right people to help set up the production requirement of the artists you book.

For more established venues that already have a stage, lighting, and audio systems in place a well-qualified entertainment agency can help you take the next steps in upgrading your local production systems. Whether it involves enhanced lighting or sound, adding special effects, adding a video wall or some other production elements to create a greater impact with your audience.  A full service entertainment company can look at the totality of your event and help you design the best experience for your patrons.

Remember that bands and other live entertainment enjoy playing at venues with good local production elements. It makes them shine and they are much more likely to come back to play again at your venue. The local product you provide can either make or break your shows. It’s things like lighting, sound quality, effects, and the extra effort you put in production can really make a difference. So, why not consult an expert about any local production needs you have?

If you’re wanting to learn more about sound and production, read TSE’s article on the 4 key Audio Specs for Concert Production important with sound that explains everything you need to know about your sound. Learn more about TSE’s local production services.

Conclusion

If you are struggling or needing a break from the day-to-day tasks of running a venue while dealing with artists and performances, there are agencies out there that can help. Hiring an entertainment agency can help your venue’s shows run smoothly. You have enough on your plate so it’s one less thing to worry about. Why not let the experts help make things easier for you and your business? When it comes down to it, entertainment agencies of the caliber of TSE Entertainment sell “peace of mind.”

I’ll leave you with this quote from one of our best booking agents, Erin Cameron. “At the end of the day it’s a relationship based on trust, knowledge, and clear communication to where all parties win, and we can build something sustainable and successful.  If the person you hire does not have that mentality, it will be a tough road ahead.  That’s why I feel TSE is different from most booking agencies and that we should be seen as an entertainment partner instead, as we are invested in the success of your venue.”

It isn’t just a business transaction; it’s building a long-term relationship that can continually help both you the venue owner and the entertainment agency. It’s a win for both parties.

Related Posts:

Online Event Ticketing: More Than a Convenience

Booking Entertainment: When To Hire a Booking Agent

 

About the Author

Olivia Hurtado

Olivia is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s in Music Business. She has a love for live music, songwriting and just an overall passion for music in general. She is excited about working in the music business and gaining experience and knowledge while on the TSE team.

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