We have all been witness or privy to at least one horror story about booked entertainment; they didn’t show up or they did and it was tragic. Hiring an agency seems like the easiest route to take, let them worry about who to book. Yet, that is not always the best option for your event, especially if it’s one you personally take interest in and what it to turn out perfect. Here are some secrets that agencies don’t tell you. Keep in mind that reputable agencies can produce excellent results, but finding one is the hard part if you are new to this. If you are going to struggle to find an agency, might as well just find the entertainment yourself.
Agencies gain commission for every booking they acquire. The higher the booking price, the higher the commission attained. If the agency is not a trustworthy one, they will automatically book the highest priced entertainer that fits your budget in order to receive a bigger cut off. That or they will overbook performances when there is no real need to do so. For example, they might want to seduce you into booking two magicians when your event can do with one.
Some agencies will mark up the cost of their list of entertainers by 100-300%. This means you can be paying double or more for a show! Real, respectful agencies will require their talent list with discounts in order to be able to charge their clients the same price they would have paid if they have hired the artist themselves. Don’t worry though; there are ways to easily find out if your agency is doing disgraceful price markups.
How to know if you have a reputable agency in your hands
If you have no experience with the agency and are not sure about their reputation, you can do the following in order to find out if it’s an honest business looking to find what is best for you.
It is very important to not mention exact budget, but a budget range. For example, you can ask them to find entertainment packages within the $500-$1,500 range. This way you can decide which entertainer is the better choice and you will have a wider selection to choose from. Once they deliver a potential list, you can contact the performers directly. Do not say you have already spoken to the agency; just ask for cost approximation for your type of event. If the price is the same or similar, you can rest assured that the agency has not done a hefty price markup. If the price is only a reasonable amount more than what booking directly will cost you, please do not book directly and leave your agency hanging. Good work should be honored. They did take the time to research and offer you a well-planned potential entertainment list. If the price the agency asks of you on the other hand is absurdly higher, drop the agency and book directly.
If you must hire entertainment for your event from a new agency, just make sure to use my tips before accepting any offers from them. If the agency is a decent one, be fair and offer them an honest review to promote them and have less people fall for overpriced agencies.