How much do you charge!
The last question you should ask a performer!Be carefull, you might offend an entertainer if they feel your shopping by price, before they even get a chance to tell you what services they can bring to your event.
Specific Price is the last question you should ask.
No "professional" entertainer can answer that without having some "basic questions" answered first.
- WHAT IS YOUR MAXIMUM BUDGET?
- WHAT TYPE OF EVENT IS THIS?
- HOW FAR TO I HAVE TO TRAVEL TO YOUR EVENT LOCATION?
- HOW EASY IS IT TO LOAD MY EQUIPMENT INTO THE VENUE?
- IS THERE EASY AND ADEQUET PARKING AT VENUE OR CLOSE BY?
- HOW MANY GUESTS WILL BE ATTENDING YOUR EVENT?
- CAN YOU PROVIDE MY STAGE & SPACE REQUIREMENTS?
- WHO WILL SUPPLY EVENT AUDIO / VISUAL REQUIREMENTS?
It's like buying a car, there are basic priced models with no frills or luxury makes with more unique options at an added cost. Price tells you nothing about an entertainers services, ask questions first. However, You should have a maximum "fee range" in mind so you don't waste each others time. Before you even start inquiring about specific price, at least know how many guests are coming and the event location and type of venue. Nothing upsets an entertainer more than when someone asks them, How much does it cost, without first understanding what specific services and extras they require..
Unless you have seen a specific Disc Jockey, Band or Live Performer at a function that has impressed you, finding the "right fit" for your event takes a little research. It's not likely the "best price" will do the job properly. Individuals are an intangible product, each entertainer is unique and this is where the wow factor comes in. Anyone can own great sound equipment and wear amazing outfits, but it's the persons experience & passion for entertaining that really brings the value to your event.
Full time professional, higher end "entertainers" will have indepth promo kits that include great photos, bios, customer testimonials, phone number and branded email. A neat and organized press kit is a great sign that this person has survived in the entertainment business for a reason, they care about customer service by providing you with all the details about their live act. They always contact you in a timely manor, provided a "service contract agreement" to protect themselves as well as you, the customer. They can be counted on to communicate with you, explain in detail what services you will receive for your agreed budget, actually arrive on the day of your event, prior to guest arrival, dress and conduct themselves in a professional manner (on or off the stage).
They Provide quality (new looking) equipment and a setup that works with and "compliments your event decor". Unbelievably "cheap" part time dj's, bands & performers are usually not committed "entertainers" in that there is not enough time or money involved to inject the effort that must be expected for paid service. It's a lot of work, time and expense for an full time entertainer to be available for your calls at anytime, deciplined in their craft, insured, provide transportation for equipment, load their gear and get to your event earlier than the guests arrive, and be excited to put on a wow factor presentation.
It cost money, serious commitment & passion to provide a high end entertainment service and guest experience! Expect to pay for that premium piece of mind, or just go with the cheapest price and hope for the best. Be realistic to yourself. If you want quality entertainment for your event, research, communicate, feel a connection before you confirm with a contract. Support your entertainers needs to the fullest and let them do what they do best, entertain.
Prior to event date, make sure you check ahead to make sure venue manager supports their stage requirements on the day of the event, or what's the point. What do they require at the event location for space, stage area, hydro, "audience placement" and stage lighting. How can you support your entertainment to make sure they can do what hired them for. For instance if you hire a comedy stage hypnotist, they require a very specific stage space, for example, usually 24' x 12' minimum area with enough space for 20 comfortable armless chairs for the audience volunteers to sit on. You can't provide a 8'x10' space and hope for the best. It won't work. You agreed to provide the stage requirements requested by this entertainer, then droped the ball expecting the entertainer to still perform a great show in a environment that doesnt support their act space requirements. Research stage, lighting and space requirements before you hire any live entertainer, and make sure your venue can accomodate their unique needs.
INTERACTIVE COMEDY & MAGIC ARTIST REQUIRE AUDIENCE SEATED INFRONT, UPCLOSE AND PERSONAL!
Usually 4-6 feet away, Not 20-30 feet from the front of stage.
Lets Book A DJThe best bet in hiring a DJ is to hire one you have viewed or enjoyed at a previous function. Next, a referral from a friend or relative will give you some excellent candidates as well. If neither of these options are available to you, then turn to our Professional DJ pages and look for profiles that are rich in content, quality photos, videos and testimonials.
- Speak with a DJ, You should "feel" a connection or "FIT" for your personality, your quests and venue.
- Are they liability insured? Professional event DJ's carry insurance & License to play music in public, very important?
- How many years of Experience to they have and how many events to they perform each year.
- Ask if you can see a recent example of a wedding or event playlist.
- Will their sound system be adequet for room size and number of guests attending?
- Is their equipment new looking? will it compliment the decor? How much space does it take up?
- Do they have back-up equipment, music backup and extra staff available in the event of a problem?
- Do they know the proper etiquette terms and procedures for your type of wedding.
- Will they take music requests from your guests? Can they provide a wide selection of music tastes?
- Can they double as a Master of Ceremonies during the Dinner party portion of the function? Is this an extra cost?
- Do they display client references and or testimonials on their profile page?
- If it is a multy opp DJ service, can you meet your particular DJ in advance?
- Will they dress appropriately for the occasion?
- Do they drink alcohol or smoke while on the job?
- Can they setup before quests arrive? Could be a problem with part time DJ as they have a day job.
- Professional DJ's "always" provide you with a written agreement "contract" for their services.
- If they request a deposit for services, the deposit generally usually does not exceed one half of the agreed service fee.
- The balance is usually due on or 30 days before the date of the function.
- Are they a member of a Professional Disc Jockey Association. DJ Associations are concerned with maintaining a high standard of quality in performance and business ethics in order to ensure that you the customer, receive the best possible music service for their function.
- View profiles carefully, a little homework and pre-planning can save a lot of disappointment. Shopping price only is very risky.
- Shop DJ's by Music Knowledge, Entertainment Value, Experience!!!
- Do they provide dance floor & venue uplighting if needed? Type? Cost? Requirements? Hydro Requirements?
- Do they use a smoke machine? Does venue allow this? Do you need a permit? Fire Alarm considerations
- Stage power requirements? 220 V? Separate 110 v circuits needed? Location of outlets?
- Price is the last question you should ask. Price tells you nothing about services, ask questions!!!.
Interviewing LIVE BANDS
- Read profiles carefully, best to hire bands that provide video and or audio samples.
- What type of music do you want? Theme, Variety, Classic Rock, Dance, Country etc.
- Are they liability insured? It's probably required at your venue? Accidents can happen.
- Can you expect the band to play at a reasonable volume? Will they turn down volume if requested by you.
- Years of Experience and or number of events performed is the number one thing you are looking for.
- Ask if you can see a recent example of a wedding or party playlist they might use at your event.
- Remember, Bands have a more limited song selection than DJ's
- How long are their sets? How many sets? How Long are breaks?
- Do they provide filler music in their breaks? Do you have a say in whats played in the breaks?
- Do they have a "Socan" music License?
- Do they have a "Connect Music" licence (Canada) to play dj music in the breaks.
- Does band have a sound system or are you required to provide one? Cost? Who pays?
- Is an elevated stage needed? (Size and height) Steps, Backdrop or Curtain?
- What are the hydro requirements? Can your venue provide?
- How much loadin and setup time needed? Can they setup before guests arrive?
- How many people in the band? Extra crew?
- Do you need to provide meals for band and crew? What type of meals?
- Do you have to provide overnight accomodations? Travel Expenses?
- Does the band have an event RYDER? ( Lists all the stage, meal, beverage, changeroom & equipment requirements etc.)
- Does the band take requests or just use their playlist?
- Does the band require stage lighting? Who provides and pays for that?
- What is included in the band fee? Is production included?
- Will they dress appropriately for the occasion?
- Do they drink alcohol or smoke while on the job?
- Review photos, testimonials and preferably a video of a recent performance
- Price is the last question you should ask. Price tells you nothing about services, ask questions.
Quote Request Issues
I haven’t heard anything back from my Request a Quote. What should I do?Oh no! Try sending a follow-up message. Sometimes life gets in the way and entertainers are slow responding. Typically, you should receive a response back within 48 hours if the person is interested in getting your business. If you still don’t hear back in a reasonable 48 hours, it’s time to let go and move on to another search, (if entertainers snooze they lose). There’s lots of talent that is eager to make your event a success, were growing every day.
SETUP YOUR ROOM AROUND THE ENTERTAINMENT!
THE EVENING HAS A FLOW OF 6 BASIC SEGMENTS
- Pre event coctails and mingling hour
- Audience enters the room and wowed by the atmosphere
- Dinner and Speeches
- Live entertainer presents
- Short break to stretch your legs and mingle
- Live Band or DJ Music
If you have booked a live Performer or presenter to perform during or after the meal and plan on having dance music at the end of the evening. Set the room up for the success! setup for the live performer first, putting your audience up close so they can see and engage.
The biggest mistake purchasers make when hiring high end performers at functions is leaving a huge blank dancefloor separating your audience from each other and the live performer. Whats the fun in that? Parties are supposed to bring people together, not separate them. Intimate atmospheres spawn the most fun and audience participation! A huge empty unused space in front of a stage is very intimidating to most people and usually makes them reluctant to participate. Get people close together for participation entertainment. A well lit stage, great sound and audience cohesion are 3 the keys to maximize your live entertainment wow factor!
How to Maximize the fun factor with Live Performers & Live Music
- Fill the empty dancefloor with tables a maximum of 3-6 feet away from the front of stage area
- Place Reserved signs on the same number of tables furthest away from the stage
- After the meal and presenter has finished ask guests to move to the reserved tables so staff can quicky remove dancefoor tables for dancing.
(Note: After watching an hour or more presentation guests will want to take a 15 minute break to mingle with other guests, get a drink or breathe some fresh air)
- Option 2: 10 minutes prior to showtime excite guests to bring their chairs on the dancefloor to get a closer view (Easy Option)
- Presenters and Interactive entertainers depend on an audience connection, it's worth the effort to support their success by placing your audience in front and up close, or whats the point!