- Ask for a reasonable discount. Try asking for a small discount of about 10% to 15% off. This way you have a better shot of getting the discount than if you asked for 40% off and you also do not offend the talent or company by assuming they would work for whatever amount you could pay. Be honest and sincere when requesting a discount.
- See if you are able to book the talent for multiple dates or engagements for your event or meeting and ask if there is discount for multiple bookings. Perhaps the act could change their performance a bit so they are not doing the same act twice.
- Ask the entertainment company if they offer any type of package deal for the type of performer you are looking for. Can they bundle the act with other acts and offer the entire package at an attractive price?
- Book the entertainment as far out as possible, especially on high demand events such as Christmas or New Years Eve parties. Some entertainers raise their prices annually.
- Offer to use the entertainment company for next year’s event if they are able to meet you on the price of an act. T his way both parties win.
- Book unique and undiscovered talent. Ask your entertainment company about new innovative talent that is on the rise and see if you can catch the talent on the way up, before they become a high priced act. Good entertainment companies always have their hands on the pulse of the newest talent for their clients.
- Offer a great incentive for the talent in exchange for a small discount. They might be a free hotel stay, meals, limo to the event, gift bag. Come up with novel incentives that may encourage the act to give you a break, but that do not cost you much if anything at all and have a high perceived value.
- Get a sponsor to cover the cost of entertainment. This is especially popular if you are looking to book a celebrity or high fee talent for your event. A sponsor is usually more attracted to an event if a celebrity is a part of it.
- Be flexible with the dates you book. You are most likely going to be able to negotiate a lower price if the event or meeting is during the week than on the weekends, and if it is in the daytime than in the evenings. Ask if the price varies depending on the times and days of the week that you book.
- Provide all or lots of the AV equipment needed for the act. This is especially true for musical acts and others. Many charge more if they have to bring their own AV equipment. Make sure you mention to them that you will provide all the AV at the event.
Joshua Gair – Impact Entertainment