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7 Questions for Any Entertainment Booking Agency

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Are you looking for an entertainment booking agency to get you that exceptional musical artist for your special occasion? Before settling on any entertainment booking agency for your event, do your homework and ask these seven questions. Good booking agencies will be happy to provide you the information you seek.

  1. How Long Has The Entertainment Booking Agency Been in Business?

Experience matters. Booking agencies come and go. You should want to work with a booking agency that has been established for decades, rather than years. Booking artists and handling live entertainment events is not something you pick up in a month, or even a year or two. You want an entertainment booking agency that has seen the best and worst situations for entertainment.  Good music booking agencies have seen a lot and learned much along the way. This experience allows them to assist you throughout the entire entertainment booking and production journey. A desirable quality for your booking needs is an agency that has seen nearly every environment and equipment set-up imaginable and continues to adapt to new stages and technology.

  1. What Talent Have They Booked and What Is Their Affiliation With the Artists on Their Website?

No matter the size of your event or entertainment budget, you want to work with an entertainment booking agency that books the full scope of performers. Any good entertainment booking agency should be able to provide local artists, regionally known entertainers as well as top national and international performers.

However, it’s important to know that no agency speaks for all artists and levels of talent. If you want a world-renown entertainer, you or your agency would need to deal with agencies that only handle big stars, such as Creative Artists or William Morris Endeavor (WME). TSE has good relationships with these bigger agencies to book well-renown, national performers for our client’s events.

Many agencies just deal in local talent in the city in which they are located. Often agencies feature acts on their website that they need to book through another agency. They have no direct relationship with any of the acts they feature.

Use an agency that is known and respected by the WMEs of the world as well as the acts they feature. Well-thought-of agencies feature acts with which they have a direct booking relationship and do not need to go through another agency to book the artists on their site. They should be on a first-name basis with the agents or management of all the acts they feature on their website.

  1. What Is the Extent of the Services of the Entertainment Booking Agency?

Many entertainment booking agencies earn their commission by simply booking performers and drafting the contracts on your behalf.  That’s the extent of their services. They get the particulars, communicate with the artist’s agency, book the artist, and deal with contract issues. Once the contract is signed, the event details are turned over to the artist’s manager or tour manager and who handle the booking from there.  The entertainment booking agency’s job is done.

Some booking agencies will provide for other services, such as staging, lighting, sound, etc. using third party sources for the event. A few may even offer a producer to handle a turn-key event for an additional charge.

A very few booking agencies will provide a logistics person on site as part of their “booking” services to coordinate the artists, and everyone else involved in the production for larger events.  Imagine not needing to run around at your own event to locate things, people, etc. It provides another level of service to provide peace of mind to event producers.

Great booking agencies want your event to succeed as much as you do and will provide everything necessary to make that happen, including an on-site person to handle everything from start to finish.

  1. What Is the Variety of Events They’ve Booked in the Past?

Why this question?  It’s because many agencies only book acts in hotel ballrooms or similar types of venues. You want an agency that books into barns, parks, pastures, other outdoor venues, clubs, arenas and every other kind of venue. Why?  Because they’ve seen it all. They know what to expect and can anticipate problems and deal with them before they arise. Their experience is not something you can get by sitting in an office building booking wedding bands for hotel ballrooms or for being in business only a couple of years.

  1. Do they have repeat clients?

An agency that has customers coming to them year after year to book artists for their events must be doing something right. That means two things: 1) the agency is getting the right talent and making sure the performance goes smoothly; and 2) the agency is responsive to the interests of the clients and cultivates long-term relationships. These are highly desired qualities, even if your booking need is for a one-time event.

Will those clients act as a reference for the agency? Really satisfied clients don’t mind giving testimonials to agencies that make them and their bosses happy.

  1. Does the Entertainment Booking Agency Make It Easy for You to Book and Pay?

Do they have a variety of payment options for you?  Do they accept bank transfers, credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, and the old-fashioned paper check way of paying deposits and invoices?

Are the booking documents, e.g., offer cards, contracts, hospitality riders, technical riders offered electronically? Can you sign them electronically without having to print documents, sign them and either scan them or send them via mail?

Do they use other online applications to keep you and the acts informed as to itinerary and event details as well as conversations about the event? These are all great questions to ask in advance because you want an entertainment booking agency that is going to make your life and the booking process easier.

Do they  keep you and the acts informed as to itinerary and event details as well as conversations about the event? Check some references to verify their responsiveness and how they communicate. You want to use an agency that makes your life easy when it comes to booking and payment functions.

  1. Can They Save You Time and Money?

Some entertainment booking agencies have no more clout with bigger agencies than you would have yourself. You want to avoid such booking agencies.  A major help to you in the booking process is that a good entertainment booking agency has a reputation and relationship with other agencies handling the acts you want.

If you end up with a entertainment booking agency that doesn’t have the relationships and reputation in the industry, you will find that the performance fee quotations you get are often more than the quotes for the same entertainers and services provided through a well-thought-of agency. Using an agency with a good reputation with bigger agencies can save you as much as 20 percent of the costs of booking and putting on a successful show yourself. Such relationships are also key in negotiating cancellations or other conditions that may arise.

There’s a lot of work to putting on a concert or artist performance. Trying to do it yourself or using entertainment booking agencies that are only interested in “booking” put the onus on your team. In means committing huge amounts of your time as well as your staff’s time. That’s money out of your pocket you don’t need to spend. It also means spending time working on it that you and your team probably don’t have.

It’s easy to see the advantage of hiring a good respectable and dependable entertainment booking agency to help you plan and book the performers that will make your event a success.

Getting the right answers to these questions can help assure you that your event is in good hands. It gives you the peace of mind knowing that you have selected the right entertainment booking agency for whatever kind of event you’ve planned. Remember that doing your homework upfront can save you a lot of time, energy, and money.

Good luck with your next event, and remember that TSE Entertainment is always here for all your entertainment booking needs!

Related Posts:

Booking Entertainers: Knowing Your Target Audience

Entertainment Booking: One Show but 3 Different Customers

Booking Corporate Entertainment: What Makes the Perfect Band?

About the author

Picture of Robert Brecht

Robert Brecht

Doctor Bob brings a diverse background in production, marketing, and business management to his position as Managing Partner of TSE Entertainment. His responsibilities include overseeing TSE’s services other than talent booking. He also manages the marketing and business operations side of TSE.
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