Three Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring Entertainment for Your Event

Choosing the right entertainment may be one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks involved in planning an event. This one task can either “make” or “break” your event, so before you even begin the search, invest some time in answering the following three questions:

What Is Your Budget?
Deciding on your budget is one of the most important steps you can take to put on a successful event, yet many fail to complete this vital task. There are a variety of tools that can help you create your budget from a simple Excel spreadsheet to more comprehensive event planning software (i.e. Planning Pod or Smartsheet). When done properly, knowing your budget can free you to focus your search process and aid your negotiations with potential entertainers. When done improperly, you risk making the costly mistake of either over-paying for entertainment or, worse yet, not paying enough. Sometimes people think that they have to bring in national or big-name entertainment in order for their event to be a success, but that may not always be the way to go. They may bring in the crowds, but if their cost is more than the amount of money you can realistically bring in, then it may not be worth it. If you have a limited budget, don’t be afraid to look for local talent, but don’t just go with the lowest cost. Regardless of the amount of your budget, be sure to spend your money wisely by getting testimonials from previous customers and finding out what type of audiences they have performed for.

What Is Your Theme?
Events that are designed around a theme can create an amazing atmosphere of excitement for your guests. Choosing entertainment that fits your theme can have a synergistic effect that brings all the elements of your event together. Think about this for a moment: what would be the reaction from your guests if you hired a country band for your 80’s theme event? Or what if you hired a heavy metal rock band for a romantic banquet? You may think these examples sound crazy but many times these types of mistakes happen because people allow their own ego or musical tastes to get in the way of their decision. Remember that not everyone one will like what you like nor will it even make sense for your particular event. So if you don’t have a theme, take the time to get together with those involved in the planning process to brainstorm some theme ideas and entertainment suggestions. You may even want to survey your attendees to find out what they like.

What Is Your Purpose?
Too often, those responsible for hiring entertainment do so without ever giving thought to what their purpose is for having entertainment at the event. Will the entertainment be the “main event”, or to create a background environment for other activities taking place? Do you want to encourage people to take action and get involved, or to just sit back and relax? Your entertainment choice may fit your budget and your theme, but if it doesn’t fit your purpose, you could be interrupting other important activities and could ultimately be wasting your money. A vision for what you are trying to accomplish must be a part of your decision-making process because your choice of entertainment can be a powerful tool that can help you achieve the desired outcome for the event.
If you want to have a great event, don’t be one of the ones who fail to take these basic questions into consideration when deciding on entertainment. When you take the time to consider each of these questions, you will be well-prepared to communicate your needs effectively as you interview and negotiate with the various entertainment representatives. The time you spend in preparation will result in your final entertainment choice being a definite hit, making the whole event a successful and memorable experience for everyone involved.

The Carey & Paul Group is one of the Midwest’s largest full service entertainment and event production agencies. Our highly trained team is ready to help you with all or parts of your event planning needs. Our entertainment and events planning team has assisted corporations, unions, clubs, summer camps, parks and recreation departments, schools, festivals, fairs, conventions, conferences and association leaders plan and create awesome and memorable events. Our goal is to put on an awesome event, offer the best in entertainment and event planning services, and make you look good! For more information, please visit


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