booking celebrity entertainers

Tips for Booking Celebrity Entertainers

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Booking celebrity entertainers can raise the profile and awareness of a venue that is trying to get noticed in its market. It can certainly increase interest in the event itself as well. The event and the photos taken at it can be a marketing bonanza as well on social media as an added bonus to booking a celebrity. TSE has made that recommendation to clubs trying to get established with live music fans

Our experience has revealed that many venues and would-be promoters are interested in booking celebrity entertainers for some event they have in mind. Some that have done some booking of local or regional talent try booking celebrities themselves. Others without any booking background turn to a booking agency like TSE Entertainment.

Booking celebrity entertainers is an arduous task compared to booking an artist with a $50,000 performance fee. There are many more hoops to jump through. It’s understandable that talent buyers for smaller venues and new promoters don’t understand it.

booking celebrityWhat the Process of Booking Celebrity Entertainers Requires

When booking celebrity entertainers, their agents will want the following information.

The Talent Buyer: The agents of celebrities are approached many times by people either just doing research or by buyers who are inexperienced in booking and doing the things necessary for a successful event. The celebrities’ agents will quickly qualify those approaching them and confine those requests to the trash bin. To either consider initiating the process the agent will want to be comfortable with two things:

  1. The experience of the talent buyer in putting on big events and booking celebrity entertainers. Big-name talent does not want to be associated with unsuccessful public events regardless of what they are paid. They do not want to be performing in a 10,000-capacity venue with 1,500 people in the audience because the person or firm booking them doesn’t have the experience and know-how to fill the venue. It hurts their brand to be associated with such a public event.

They will insist that the talent buyer/promoter partner with a known quantity such as TSE to allay their fears of inexperience on the part of the person who wants to book their celebrity. In fact, the agents of major booking agencies have referred those contacting them to TSE because they recognize their lack of experience with the process.

  1. The financial resources of the talent buyer. They want to know that the buyer has enough financial resources available not only to pay the entertainer but to withstand a potential loss with the event itself. They will do this by requiring a large deposit at the time of the offer. They may also ask for other financial information and even require an escrow account to protect their interests. They will want to know if there are any sponsors for the event, and if so, who the sponsor are.

TSE is often approached by promoters who don’t have their finances finalized. They want to have the celebrity line up for their proposed event to move potential investors to commit to the event. It doesn’t work that way. You must have the finances in place to cover the event before you reach out to the agents of celebrities. TSE will not act as their booking agent unless we are certain of both their ability financially and operationally to carry out such an event.

Event Information:

book celebrity entertainerLet’s assume that the buyer has the finances and the experience or an experience partner to proceed to book a celebrity entertainer. To entertain an offer for a celebrity, their agent will also require a lot of information about the event itself. Having this information at the time of the offer prevents agents from wasting their time and demonstrates that the buyer is serious about booking their client. It also provides the information the celebrity will want to decide on accepting or rejecting the offer.

The information needed at the time of the offer includes:

    • Public or private event: Celebrities have different approaches to public events whether they are ticketed or not and private events such as weddings, private parties, fundraising events, etc. Be prepared to pay a premium performance fee for private events.
    • Venue: The venue should be reserved before you reach out to the celebrity’s agent to make an offer. Changing venues after an offer is accepted is grounds for breaking the contract with the celebrity keeping the deposit they received. Provide the venue’s name, contacts, address, and capacity as the minimum information needed. If it’s a ticketed event, you will need to provide information regarding ticket tiers, average ticket price, etc.
    • Date of the Event: Provide both the event date and the time and how long you expect the celebrity to perform on that date.
    • Celebrity Activity: Celebrities come from a variety of entertainment outlets. The celebrity you want to book can be a movie star, a standup comedian, a magician, a reality tv star, a major singer, or another type of entertainment role. Given the variety of celebrities, you will need to provide a clear understanding of what you expect the celebrity to do during your event. Spell out whether you are requesting a performance, an appearance, hosting, speaking, or another type of role.
    • Arrangements: Celebrities have very specific requirements when it comes to travel and performance arrangements. The bigger the celebrity the bigger the expectations. For example, at what private party in Europe I was handling, the Latin celebrity singer who was being paid 7 figures required a private jet from Miami to Europe and 50 first-class tickets for his production team. The hotel accommodations required were 35 5-star hotel rooms and a suite for the performer. It’s not unheard of for the hospitality arrangements to reach as much as 50 percent of the actual performance fee for the biggest celebrities.

Once you have acquired what is required and what may be required you can actually begin the celebrity booking process. While negotiation is part of the process, the bigger the celebrity, the less is subject to negotiation. Understand that the process of hiring a celebrity for an event can be overwhelming. There are numerous issues and concerns that will arise during the process. That’s why an experienced booking agency can more than earn any fee they charge. They can save you substantial resources.

Consider these reasons for using a booking agency to book a celebrity for your event.

    1. Manage relationships with celebrities and their management teams: Entertainment booking agencies often have established relationships with celebrities and their management teams, and they use these connections to negotiate bookings on behalf of their clients.
    2. Research and identify suitable celebrities: Entertainment booking agencies may research and identify suitable celebrities for their clients based on the goals and theme of the event, the target audience, and other factors.
    3. Booking a celebrity can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. A booking agency can handle the negotiations and other details on your behalf, freeing up your time and resources to focus on other aspects of the event.
    4. Booking agencies often have more negotiating power than individual event planners, as they may have established relationships with celebrities and their management teams and be able to secure better rates and terms. Entertainment booking agencies may negotiate the fees and terms of bookings on behalf of their clients, including the performance fee, travel and accommodation arrangements, and any other requirements.
    5. Coordinate logistics: Entertainment booking agencies may handle the logistics of a booking, including coordinating travel and accommodation arrangements, scheduling rehearsals and sound checks, and managing other details.
    6. Provide risk management: There are many potential risks involved in booking a celebrity, including cancellations, changes in availability, and other unexpected issues. Entertainment booking agencies can help clients manage these risks and have contingency plans in place in case something goes wrong.

Overall, entertainment booking agencies are an important resource for event planners and organizations looking to book celebrities and other entertainers for their events. Let TSE help you book the celebrity you want for your next big event.

Related Post:

Booking Entertainment: When To Hire a Booking Agent

About the author

Picture of Robert M. Brecht, PhD.

Robert M. Brecht, PhD.

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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