If you’re planning to hold an event that requires a performer, then you need to learn how to book an artist for your event the right way. Unfortunately, if you don’t understand the artist booking process, you could end up booking the wrong artist or paying too much for an artist.
There is a lot to consider when you choose a performer for your event. Budget, artist requirements, venue capabilities, audience interest, and local competition all play important parts in the decision-making process. Follow the four steps below to book an artist for your event, and you’ll have much more success.
1. Find Potential Artists
Before you can book an artist for your event, you need to create a list of possible artists who could perform at the event. Begin by asking other event planners who have organized similar successful events for information about their experiences with their performers and their costs. You can also search the web and visit artist websites to learn more about them.
Look for artists that are relevant to your target audience and match your event’s goals, but don’t choose an artist simply because you like them. That’s a mistake that many event organizers make, and it’s one of the top five reasons events fail. The most important consideration is whether your target audience likes the performer enough to pay for tickets.
2. Consider Your Budget
Every artist will charge you a performance fee, but there are other artist-related costs that you need to factor into your budget. For example, the artist will require specific equipment to perform such as lighting, audio equipment, and more. Will the artist bring their own equipment? If not, does the venue where you’re holding your event provide that equipment? How much does the venue charge for it? Do you have to contract with a third party to get the equipment? These are all added costs that could increase your budget.
In addition, many artists have personal requirements that will be listed in an artist rider as part of your contract with them. This rider could include things like travel, food, accommodations, and other personal requirements. Again, all of these requirements add costs for you, so don’t forget to include them in your budget.
3. Match the Artist, Event and Budget
Once you’ve done your research and evaluated the potential artists for your event against your budget, choose the artist that is the best match for the event’s audience and goals as well as for your budget. Don’t base this decision on a gut feeling. Instead, do some more research and base your decision on data.
For example, contact the artist’s booking agent or promoter and ask how many tickets the artist usually sells. Find out if the artist will be in the area of your event at the same time as your event, because this could greatly reduce your budget. Many artists actively look for additional performance opportunities when they’re on tour to fill empty dates on their schedule. If you can fill one of those dates with your event, you’ll save money on travel and some other personal rider requirements.
Also, ask the artist’s booking agent or promoter what the artist is currently working on. When an artist has a big release or announcement that coincides with your event, it can often lead to a jump in interest in the artist, your event, and ticket sales.
4. Negotiate the Contract
Most artists will quote a specific fee for a performance, but everything is always up for negotiation. When you book an artist for your event, never accept the first quote. Brush up on your negotiation skills, and go through the artist’s requests line by line. Which requests are non-negotiable for the artist and which have some wiggle room? Put together your counteroffer and be prepared to go back and forth with the booking agent multiple times until you can agree to a final deal. Don’t forget to include details about any artist development support you can offer!
Once you’ve reached an agreement with the artist’s booking agent, make sure you get everything in writing. Put all of the details into a written contract. It’s a very good idea to hire a contract attorney who has experience writing event-artist contracts to ensure you’re protected. A lot is riding on your performer, so you need an iron-clad contract.
Your Next Steps to Book an Artist for Your Event
Once you’ve completed the four steps to book an artist for your event described above, it’s time to plan and promote your event. Be sure to download AttendStar’s free event planning checklist and learn how to write an event marketing plan. With these tools in hand, you’ll be on your way to booking an artist who can help make your event a success.