Looking to make a big impact on the audience at your next event? Hoping to drive more traffic to your tradeshow booth? Wanting a big name celebrity at your next event but have no idea where to start? You are not alone, but before you start “booking a famous person” to represent your brand, company, or event, there are a few things to think about:

1. Know the What, Where, When, and Why

The first thing you need to do is figure out the basic event details and why you want to book someone for it. Have the details together such as location, date, and time, in addition to a specific outline of what you want the celebrity to do at this event. Want them to shake hands in a tradeshow booth for 2 hours? Want them to sing at your CEO’s birthday party? Those are two very different scenarios, so you need to provide as much information as possible for your desired event. A strong sales pitch from your team can make the difference in whether the artist team is interested in participating.

2. Know your budget

It’s easy to believe that a celebrity would love nothing more than to make a surprise, free appearance at your non-profit fundraiser! 99% of the time though – they won’t. Typically a celeb will have a specific set of causes that they are involved with, and they can hand-pick where they appear for free. Everything else is a paid appearance, especially if they are endorsing a brand or representing a corporation. Make sure you know your budget range and stick to it. (i.e. I prefer to spend $25,000 but I will go as high as $35,000 for the right person). This is also where a middle agent can help – they can make recommendations for who might be a good fit and stay within your budget.

3. Who to book?

Have an idea of a few celebrities you’d want to appear at your event and do your research on them BEFORE reaching out or submitting an offer. They may be your favorite artist, but if they have an unsavory past, don’t align with your brand, or are involved with your competitors, you probably won’t want to go down the road of booking them for your event. We may be biased, but using a middle agent is the quickest and most efficient way to find out more info, pricing, and availability of your favorite celebs, as well as collect a list of other various options that might align with your brand and fit within your budget.

4. Make an Offer

Once you know the artist or celeb you want, it’s time to make an offer. At the very least your offer should include the who, what, when, where, and why from above, as well as your sales pitch/plea for why you want them involved with your brand, company, or event. A middle agent can help you determine fair pricing, reasonable artist requirements for the event, and help you work through the technical event details.

Most importantly, be clear on expectations!

Outline the total time commitment that celeb is expected to be somewhere, what you expect them to do, what you recommend they wear or what the atmosphere is, what production elements if any you will have available, and any personal meet and greets or photo lines you expect. If you don’t include every element of the event you want them to participate in, you likely won’t be able to add it later without increasing the pay. Celebrities are humans. They have lives, and families, and a ton of time commitments as well as demanding jobs. If there are certain things on your offer that they cannot commit to, it’s important to respect those boundaries and either drop those particular parts of the commitment, or respectfully move on. Begging or overcommitting someone and hoping they go along with it is not a way to build bridges.

 

Use common sense

The entertainment industry is relatively small. Folks involved heavily in booking entertainers – such as middle agents – understand who the legit contacts are. Work with a middle agency, directly with a legitimate large-scale agency, or directly with the celeb if you have a personal connection. Be leery of folks with a generic email address that say they can get you Beyonce if you wire them $100,000 immediately. Ask lots of questions, do your research, and if you’re able to build a trusted relationship with a middle agent or agency, you’ll be that much further along the next time.

If you’re planning to book a celebrity, we can make your job easier. Contact us if you have any questions or if you’re ready to get started!

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over 15 years, 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   |   jolene@howtoconcerts.com

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over 15 years, 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   |   jolene@howtoconcerts.com