A backstage look at booking entertainment…asking critical questions

Applause Productions & Entertainment

When the curtain goes up, the entertainment shines, but any good planner knows that  behind the scenes there are technical, physical, and performance considerations that ensure success. The applause that results from amazing entertainment can only be realized when the details of preparation are understood and mastered. The key to booking entertainment is asking critical questions.

1. Technical considerations: We’ve talked about the necessity of knowing what technical accommodations are available to the entertainment, but the importance of this fundamental foundation is so often taken for granted or even ignored. Is your entertainment self-contained? Do they bring their own sound and light equipment, including personnel? Or are they expecting to access the available AV capability of the site, and what are the fees associated with it? Typically, bands will bring their own, yet comics, mentalists, and other solo artists will need to give you their specs. Ask this question: What AV requirements do you need to perform?

2. Physical considerations: Is the entertainment familiar with the physical layout for load in and load out of necessary equipment? This is one of the most overlooked aspects of providing talent, and yet communication could solve many problems. Additionally, know where the talent will dress, take breaks, and leave personal belongings; a secure and private green room is necessary for this. It is unprofessional and demeaning to expect the entertainers to use a space that is open to the public.

3. Performance considerations: As the event comes to a conclusion, the entertainers should be clear about the planner’s expectations. Will the music  and visual aspects of the event continue their vibrant energy until the ballroom is clear? Or will there be a transition to an afterglow that includes softer music, lighting, and a subtle ending to the event? Entertainment experts with years of experience can incorporate these key ideas and understand the critical nature they play in the overall success of the event. What goes on behind the scenes will most definitely impact the final stage performance.

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