It’s time to select talent for your event!  Exciting, right?  To some, this can be a very daunting task.  Slow down, take a deep breath, and if you have no idea where to start – start broad.

 

Know your parameters

What is the budget?  Know your budget so you don’t consider artists that are way out of range.  Don’t be afraid to look at artists that are quoting $5-10K higher than your budget, as a routed date might allow you to save at least that much.  If your budget is fluid and you just need to make enough money from ticket sales, you need to aim for artists with recent ticket sales that can justify their fee.

What are your available dates?  If you have multiple options, ask your venue to hold as many dates as possible so you can offer the artist multiple dates and increase your chances of getting that artist.

Does the artist need to be of a certain genre?  Consider the type of event, your audience, your recent show history, and data from your survey.

Contact a middle agent  

Utilizing a middle agent like How To Concerts will save you time and money.  Remember, the artist has an agent working on their behalf.  You deserve to have someone working on your behalf.  Risks of not using a middle agent include:

  • Overpaying for an artist
  • Missing an important contract detail
  • Accumulating expenses you weren’t aware of, such as production
  • Missing out on an artist that’s traveling through your area

Gather lists

making a listA middle agent can get you an entire list of artist options from across the entertainment industry (any and all agencies) that fit within your parameters.  They can also recommend artists from that list based on what they think will fit best with your needs, artists that are selling a lot of tickets, or artists they have worked with in the past that have provided a great experience.  If you don’t have a middle agent and don’t want to use one, it’s time to make at least 7 phone calls to the major agencies so you can gather lists of artists within your parameters.  Remember that these agents work for the artist.

Narrow the lists

Your committee must be invested in the success of your event.  Involving them in the artist process will make them more invested!  Have your committee members each chose their top 10 from the list that they feel would be successful.  Narrow down your options to just the ones that people wrote down.  On a college campus, some choose to survey their student body.  If you use specific artist names, just be sure those artists are both available and within your budget before over-promising your students by listing them as options.

Research, research, research

Your middle agent can provide artist stats from your narrowed-down list, but it’s also good for your committee members to invest some time defending their top choices.  They should gather ticket sales history, numbers of followers on social media, recent news, latest singles, latest albums and album sales, etc.  Gather it all.  Through your committee’s research, each person will learn who might be best from their list and can prioritize their list.  Putting everything together in one comprehensive list should show some trends and names that cross-over.  

Narrow down to your top 10

Narrow the long list down to a top 10, based on your research.  In addition to research, sometimes you just have a “gut feeling” that a certain artist is about to blow up.  Don’t ignore that feeling.  Ask your middle agent to weigh in as well.

Prioritize

Prioritize the top artists based on your research, the artist availability, your dates, routing, and price.  All of this plays a role in your decision process.  Make a list of your top 3-5 artists.  Pick the top choice and make an offer!  BUT, know that you may not be able to secure your top choice, so have your #2 and #3 choices ready to go just in case you need to move on to them.  

Enjoy the process!  

Remember that this process is supposed to be fun and exciting.  There may be a lot of money at risk, but no one’s life is at risk.  Have fun with it, learn a lot, and be confident in your decisions.  

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]