In today’s entertainment booking services offered, so much has changed in how clients search for and find talent to book for their events, parties or social gatherings.
No longer are people subject to having to find performers through an agency as it has always been (before the times of the Internet), as now anyone can do a Google search for any kind of performer, and there are dozens of web sites claiming to offer “everything” and with so many of these kinds of “gig” booking sites, one is apt to believe they are able to find anything and everything they would need to book professional entertainment.
So in a time where anyone could do a internet search for just about anything or anyone- why in the world would us “booking agents” or “event and entertainment companies” be needed?
I will give you all the reasons why!
Being a performer for most of my life, I understand all too well both sides to this coin.
On one hand, it’s understandable that clients today are searching for the best for their buck. Wanting to save on spending by booking an entertainer direct could seem like a great idea- until that performer does not show up to your very important event, leaving both yourself and client panicked and confused.
Who is responsible for an unreliable performer and who is going to handle things should something go wrong
I too have been there myself recently when booking a performer for an event from one of those “gig” web sites where they asked me to “pay in full” for this particular performer. I was in need for a particular performer and thought since my regular guy was not available, I would give one of these “gig” web sites a try.
I felt since this talent was listed on this “gig” web site with several “good reviews” I would be in safe hands. Unfortunately that was NOT the case. After confirming this performer several times, it was not until minutes before performance time and trying to call him did I get a text message that he would not be showing up. No explanation, no apology and no replacement and I was just left figuring out what to do on my own.
In panic mode, I tried my hardest to contact the “gig” web site where I found him to see if they would be able to replace the performer, only to find there was NO phone number to call AND no one would be available to be contacted until the following Monday- days after my booking. This “gig” web site had no one available on the weekends (when most events take place). !!
Needless to say, as I am an agent with many contacts, I had to scramble to make calls so that my client would not be without a performer.
If this happened on my booking, I would have been able to do the same, and make calls for my client to immediately replace the performer- unfortunately these “gig” web sites offer no such service. Once you pay- you are pretty much on your own. Of course they gave me a refund, however that did not change the stress and disappointment of how it unfolded.
When you book through a reputable company like us (www.mrsbellasdolls.com) and (www.tributeproductions.com) at least you have the reassurance there is someone to get a hold of 24/7 and that we will always go above and beyond for each and every client to insure the event gets everything we promised and more—every time!!
The cautions of booking a talent direct
In many cases booking direct can save the cost of having to pay an agent.
This seems like a good idea saving a bit on the job, especially if your event does not have a bigger budget.
So what if that performer shows up and is unprofessional in any way?
What if that performer drinks on the job? speaks in an inappropriate way to your guests? what if that performer looks NOTHING like the photo they sent you?
Has a poor quality costume? act?
If you book a talent direct, there is no way for you to verify the performer is sending recent promotional materials, or honest reviews.
If you take that risk to book a talent direct, how will you handle things should this performer be disappointing to your event in any way?
There is no one to call should the performer be running late except the performer (and hopefully you can get a hold of them).
As a booking agent myself, I ONLY send out performers that I personal and professionally KNOW and have seen.
I tell my clients “If I can not put my name behind a performer, I simply will not book them”. This is the only way my company books talent. Each of my clients can be sure I would not send out anyone that I feel would not be up to clients expectations.
Isn’t that the kind of comfort you would want for your event booking? sure if may cost a little more than booking direct, but isn’t your peace of mind worth it? Having someone on your side to follow up with anything you needed is worth so much more than the agency fee you would have to pay.
Web sites and reviews and all the outsourcing
Sure these “gig” web sites or “store front companies” (people who just list acts and photos but are not booking agents and know very little about this industry) offer lots of impressive photos and customer reviews, but unless the booker has a solid bio and resume to offer, none of the photos can guarantee a professional experience with hiring their services. We all know on-line reviews can mean little to nothing these days.
Many out of work performers also claim to be booking agents these days- so be very observant when inquiring with anyone.
Make sure you are getting the actual performers in any photo presented- and make sure that photo is a performer the booker HAS (there is a lot of “bait and switch” in this industry.
Finding professional entertainment on the internet these days is like a “Wild West” free for all. It’s difficult to tell which company actually understands and HAS the entertainment offered. With SO many “we have it all” companies and talents offering up everything under the sun on their web site– you can bet many, if not most of these companies are hoping to dominate the internet with promises being able to “one stop shop” for the buyer, only to be someone who collects as many photos of performers as possible and still having to outsource almost everything they offer.
Performers who are trying to get work will also do this with little to no experience in work as a booking agent, and not really having the entertainment offered on their web sites.
Sure many of us agents will have to outsource some acts, but if the person you are calling has literally none of the acts, props or performers offered- it’s best to keep calling until you find a company that actually creates the acts you want to book.
The “gig” web sites also require absolutely NO credibility to “sign up” with them. Just pay a fee to them and you can be presented along side legit performers and how can a potential client recognize the difference? There is no responsibility on these sites (or any web site) that can prove credibility unless they have a bio for you to really see their past works, and how involved they truly are with the process and production of what they offer.
My suggestion when booking any thing or any one is to pick up the phone and have a very clear conversation with whomever is booking your entertainment.
So many jobs these days can be booked without every speaking to client/booking person.
It’s worth the 10 minutes to get a feel of who is handling your important details of your entertainment.
We all only have a moment to create something special for our events, casting, bookings, so I believe taking the extra time to do your home work, researching who your entertainment provider is going to be and really making sure it feels right.
The internet is saturated with people and sites claiming to offer many things- so it’s up to each of us to know who we are working with.
When you are panicking because your performer did not show up, or that you did not get what was promised quality wise- it will be too late and we all know a bad choice can affect the experience and ruin a special occasion-and then it will be too late.
When looking for a performer, entertainment option, productions, prop or show- Take the time to really investigate who you are calling- remembering the internet is filled with false claims. There are big risks when booking direct, or with an on-line service.
If you get stuck- you can call us. We always have the clients best interest and will always match the performer to the need of the client- every time.
We have been booking quality performers for THIRTY years! Book with confidence!
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