More wine for me, pour me some more!
The most important thing you can do when choosing a live entertainment is to research and choose the entertainment suited for everyone. You can view the bands live if possible or A live video is an alternative if the band is too far away for you to catch a live performance. A lot’s at stake when you’re the one in charge of the entertainment for a corporate event. The budget might not be an issue as it would be for personal events, but the pressure is definitely on you to get things right and of course enjoy the wine!
Define Live Music
The way some bands define live music is not as it used to be. This is why you have to ask the band you’re interested in for their definition of live music. For instance, one company promised their employees live entertainment at a company event, but in the end they got a group of singers performing to recorded tracks. That in no way constitutes a live band. Live entertainment should in reality consist of real musicians performing alongside a group of vocalists. This group spends time working together to perfect their craft and deliver a live performance when called upon. Let the band know in no uncertain terms that you do not want any pre-recorded material, especially when you’re footing the bill for live entertainment.
Don’t take it for granted that live bands will be automatically accepted at your venue of choice. Make sure that the venue has a license for live music. You’ll want to find out about any noise restrictions for the area, and any end time restrictions. Get the approvals before you make a deposit for the band because deposits are usually non-refundable.
Public Liability Insurance
The venue manager will let you know if they expect the band to provide proof of public liability insurance before they perform at the venue. This insurance takes care of any claims if someone trips and fall or is injured in any other way by the equipment. Get proof of insurance before you pay your deposit.
Some venues also require live bands to undergo Portable Appliance Testing before performing at the venue. These independent tests are performed on the electrical equipment to ensure that they do not pose a risk to the public’s safety. If the venue has PAT as a requirement, make sure that your live band has it in place so they’re allowed to play when they arrive at the venue.
Access and Power
Don’t wait until the day of the event to ensure that the band has all it needs in terms of access to the venue and sufficient power to run their equipment. Have one of the band technicians visit the site with you before the event to ensure that the venue has everything that the band needs to run a successful show.
All sound checks should be completed well before your guests arrive. Nothing is more unprofessional that late starts or sound checks that are performed when your guests are already in the room. Arrive at the venue early and insist that the band does the same.
Get It In Writing
Ask the administrator of the band to provide a contract outlining all the details of what you discussed verbally. This written contract, signed by both parties, will give you some measure of recourse if anything goes wrong.
Booking The Entertainment Like A Pro…..
The entertainment industry is a minefield of DJs, bands and singers. Depending on your choice of entertainers, your event will either be a hit or a miss. The key to choosing the best corporate entertainment is thorough research. The challenge with entertainment is that you’ll never know one hundred percent what you’re getting, until you’ve experienced the finished product. All the live demos in the world would not give evidence of the band’s actual performance at your live event. Viewing a live gig before you book the band helps somewhat, but you have no guarantee that they band will perform the same way.
Then there’s the experience beforehand. Will the band show up on time and complete all the necessary sound checks before the event? This is why service agencies like earcandy are so invaluable. They’ve developed relationships with a small number of reliable and reputable bands that will perform at your event. They’ve placed their personal stamp of approval on the entertainers and manage all the details, so you’re spared the unwanted hassle. If you want to play an active role in choosing your corporate entertainment like a pro, here some tips to get started.
Use the Internet
You’ll have access to the names and numbers of a hundreds of bands and entertainers on the internet. To find a few in your local area or in a nearby region you’ll need to include your city in the search. For instance, use “Corporate entertainment London”, to find bands in that area. You can also search entertainment directories where you might be able to view testimonials on that very page.
Shortlist Your Options
The next step is to find as much information on the bands that you’re interested in to shortlist your options. Look for online demos, testimonials, images, contact information, location, and special services offered to help with your decision. Weed out the bands that don’t strike a chord with you. The goal is to narrow your list down to 3-5 bands.
Get A Quote
Armed with your shortlist, you can now contact the entertainers to request a quote. You’ll also want to ask about the band’s availability on the day of your event. Even if you’re on a tight budget, don’t let price be the only determining factor. Look for value when you’re comparing the quotes. Consider the length of time that band is willing to perform and the extras that they’re willing to throw in for no added cost. For instance, one quote might seem higher than the others, but if the band is willing to stay longer then you’re getting more value.
Book and Secure
In spite of all your verbal commitments from the band, you can’t be certain you have them booked until you pay your deposit or booking fee. The standard is 50% of the fee quoted. Get your receipt and signed contract after you’ve paid the deposit. Once this is done, you can be almost certain that the band will show up on the appointed day. If they don’t show up or fail to provide what was agreed on, the contract will give you some sort of recourse. With the band booked, you’re well on your way to having a memorable event. If you have any questions about the booking process please feel free to get in touch with one of the friendly earcandy team who will be more than happy to help.
Start Planning Early
Popular entertainment bands are booked months in advanced, so book early if you want a good band. The busy months for corporate parties are the months from November to January, so start planning as early as March if you want to book a band.
Know What The Audience Wants
Your search for a band will be much simpler if you know the type of entertainment that will be appropriate for your audience. You’ll have to consider age, profession, sex, time of day, and other factors that are unique to your company. Some types of entertainment acts include comedy, live music, magic shows, hypnosis, and drama.
If you’re familiar with bands you’ll know what to look for when booking a band. In that case, you’ll save money if you book the band direct instead of going through an entertainment agency. Agencies might add an extra cost of 15-35% on the band’s fee, so booking direct could save you a tidy sum. Another benefit of direct booking is that you can relate to the band one on one to determine if your personalities fit. There’s a flip side to booking with an agency. If you’re never worked with a band before, an agency can be an invaluable help. They will vet the band, check their instrument quality and take the guesswork out of booking a band.
Don’t set a budget based on the price you paid for a band five years ago. Book a cheap act and you’ll certainly get what you paid for. You won’t cut corners on the food, drinks, and venue, so why sacrifice the music? In case you didn’t know, the success of any event is mostly determined by the quality of the entertainment. Examine the quote carefully to see what’s included because you may be getting good value even if the cost seems high.
Check The Performers Experience
The band you choose must have experience entertaining for corporate crowds. Ask a lot of questions if you need to. Find out if the band does gigs on the side, or if they are full time entertainers. They should be able to provide names of references to vouch they have performed at events of such nature in the past.
Make Special Requests
It is okay to make special requests of the band if you have them. Entertainers can customize packages to suit every need. You may have to pay an extra cost, but if it helps the success of your event then ask away. Tip: Make sure that you discuss all special requests before you sign the contract.
Go Over Setup Requirements
The setup requirements vary from one entertainer to the next. Ask the entertainers to provide a list of everything they need at the venue. Better yet, make arrangements for them to come and checkout the venue a few weeks before the event.
Leave Them Wanting
A long show might seem like a good idea before the actual event, but guests might get tired after some time. The best shows are usually 45-75 minutes long with short breaks in between. Don’t plan a long, drawn out program. It’s better to leave your guests wanting than hoping the show will end.
Get A Break Down Of The Fee
To avoid any surprises, make sure that you get a full breakdown of the fee before you sign the contract. National performers charge a fee for travel expenses. Find out if that cost is included in the fee or if it will be added later on. Ask the band manager to provide a list of additional expenses that are not included in the fee quoted. You can also ask them to provide an all-inclusive fee.
View A Demo Video
A video of the band’s live performance will give you a clear picture of what you can expect from the band if you’ve never seen them perform live before. View the audience reaction to the band and the way that band members relate to one another. Make sure that the video is not a slick studio production because that could cover up any potential problems.
Now lets really impress the boss with an end of the year Christmas party to remember…..!
All year long your employees have been slogging away at their cubicles like little worker bees attempting to do their bit to save the bottom line. How can you reward them? With a Christmas party. This is their one time a year to stop acting like civilized human beings and break out the bum copier. Give them some drinks and a live soundtrack to accompany those mumble-mouthed expressions of admiration that are sure to come your way for throwing the best party of the year. You went to the expense of hiring the best staff, closing the big deal, and providing the most accommodating workplace known to man. Remind your employees why they choose you to take them to the Promised Land with a soiree that is sure to knock their socks off.
Fill their cups full of booze, their bellies full of food, and their ears full of great live music and next quarter when the going gets tough it’ll be your company that’ll have the tough that gets going as they think back to the wonderful display of appreciation showed them by they boss who understands what it’s like to work hard and play harder. If you’re not the best at throwing get-togethers hire a live entertainment consultant who can help you plan the best time to have Santa and his reindeer pull the hippest band up to the stage so your employees can hit the dance floor and let off a little steam. They’ve earned it.
Why you should book through an agency like earcandy…..
So you’re organizing a corporate function, and you’ve decided to use a live band to provide the entertainment. There are two options for selecting the band: You can book direct or use an agency. If you’re undecided about the route to take, this article could help you to put things in perspective.
What Is An Entertainment Agency?
An Entertainment Agency specializes in the provision of live entertainment for various events. They provide party bands, but they can just as easily provide jazz bands, steel bands, classical bands, pianists, string quartets, tribute bands, and so much more.Some agencies go so far as to provide non-musical entertainment such as magicians, dancers, face painters, clowns and others.
How To Work With An Entertainment Agency?
The entertainment agency will expect you to provide all the details about your event – your vision, date, time, location, type of venue, age and approximate number of guests, music style, and start and finish time are just a few things you’ll have to provide. The agency will then try to match your needs with a few bands on their roster. They’ll get a few quotes from a few available bands and relay that information to you. Once you make a choice, the agency will prepare contracts for both you and the band, and take your payment. They may charge a fee for their service, but it’s worth it if you need experienced professionals to act as a liaison between you and the band.
Advantages Of Using An Agency
The agency acts as a filter. If you rely on search engines to locate a band in your local area, you’ll have to weed through hundreds of amateurs before you get a professional band. Weeding through the results and calling up bands can be time consuming and frustrating. An agency would have already filtered the bands and will have only the best listed on their roster. Since their recommendations affect their business, it’s in their best interest to provide you with the best bands. An agency will also save time and make it easy to communicate your needs. This will not only speed up the time it takes to book a band, but will also save time when it comes to contracts. The agency will draw up the contract and manage the invoicing and payments to save you time and a lot of hassle. A final advantage of using an agency is the support you’ll get if something goes wrong. The agency will quickly find a replacement if the band you chose cannot make it to the event.
Here at earcandy we’ll do it all for you. Why not get in touch with one of the earcandy team today and see how we can help you organise an event the whole office will be talking about.