Every so often I encounter clients that are looking to book a celebrity and when they find out the costs, they tell me that they will just do it themselves. This is especially common with non profits and perhaps is escalated in this economy. Many of them think that they will be saving money by going direct. This would be a fine assumption if it were true. The fact is that the majority of the time, the agent for a celebrity will not even return the phone call of the client. The reason for this is because booking a major name act requires someone with the knowledge and experience to put on this type of event and handle all the details that will be involved ranging from rider requirements, audio visual requirements, production needs, staffing needs and so much more. The agent knows that if the client really wants to book the act, they will find someone who has the expertise to work on their behalf. The agent also has no relationship with the client so the negotiating power of the client is limited greatly. As far as saving money goes, you will pay more when you go direct because unless you have experience negotiating with Hollywood agents, you will end up paying for things that are unnecessary. An entertainment company that can work on your behalf will more than compensate for its fee by using it negotiating power, deep relationships, and experience and therefore get the best deal for the celebrity you want. Also, if you are not experienced dealing with celebrity bookings, you will spend a large amount of time just trying to understand the complicated contracts and riders. You need to ask yourself how much your time is really worth. I always tell my clients to delegate as much as possible and only do what you have to or are an expert in. You are much better off spending your time increasing your attendance through marketing the celebrity than working on finding the correct agent, reading the contracts with a lawyer, completing the rider and on and on. So, the next time you say, “I think I will try to do it myself first”, make sure it is really worth your time and effort.
Joshua Gair – Impact Entertainment Services