Planning Your Event
Over the course of a lifetime as an entertainer, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Amazingly the things that I take for granted as common sense are often overlooked. Many times there is no event planner, or the event planner is an inexperienced friend.
Since music sets the atmosphere for the entire event, it is important the event planner, experienced or not, can communicate well. Mutual respect and good communication will be reflected in how an entertainer performs for your guests, maximizing the value guests take away from your event.
What We Need:
The most common requests to perform are by e-mail or by phone. In that case, you will need to offer the following basic information:
- Your name
- Who you represent
- Event date and location
- Event type
- Length of the event
- Format for the event
- Food & Beverage
- Requested music
- Announcements needed
- Key contact person(s)
- Compensation: Type and date due
Invariably, people will ask a musician for one or two songs for a wedding or to play for their teenager’s birthday party which some entertainers will not do. It is imperative that you get a musician that fits your specific need.
As Tom and I entertain, our expertise is providing soft easy listening, adult romantic music. We want our guests to be able to talk and listen while we are playing. If they choose to dance, we can provide that too, but our emphasis is on them having a 5-star experience – not on us and our performance. It’s not enough to get any entertainer, you need to get the right entertainer for the right event. Your musician should be very specific about what they can and cannot do.
So, ask your musician BEFORE you hire them about:
- Specific style of music and repertoire
- Breaks – how many and how long
- Deposit and balance due
- Set up, sound check and breakdown details
And finally, you will need to clarify:
- Who your ONE decision-making person is
- Exact times to play
- Rules about eating during their breaks
- Rules regarding the bar and drinking while they play
This seems like a lot of things to remember, but these are all key to making your event one to remember.
Event Checklist & Timeline
- 4-6 months out
- contract signed and deposit received
- 3 months out
- I will call you to get a list of any specific songs you want us to do or learn
- I will require music or a cd of specific songs if we don’t already do them
- 2 months out
- I will call you and just check in with you
- 2 weeks out
- I will call you and set up times we can get in the facility, set up equipment and get sound checks. Preferably we do this the evening before the event
- Day before event
- We need 4 hours to come in, set up and get a sound check
- The area where the equipment will be needs to be secured and locked
- Day of the event
- We will arrive 30 minutes prior to event to finalize sound check, talk with you about last minute details and get final specifics.
- Play as contracted
- After Event
- We will breakdown the equipment and move everything out. This will take approximately one to three hours, depending on accessibility.
- Over time
- You choose to keep us after the contracted times; fee per hour will be specified in the contract
- Let the band know if you have a themed evening, what colors you will be using and how you would like them to dress. (casual, dressy, island attire, business casual)
- Have one person as the designated contact for us to work with. We will take direction from this one person (re: any breaks, speeches, announcements, etc)
- Make clear to the band if they have access to the bar and if there is a limit. Better yet, have one wait staff assigned to the band for water and/or drinks.
- Do not ask to sing with the band. This is not something we allow. If we do it for one good singer, we have to do it for everyone, losing the atmosphere and flow of the evening.
- Let the band know if you have a special song you’d like to dance to (this should be addressed ahead of time as listed above)
- You will need to have outlets available, the band will bring everything else
- If you want to use your laptop for power point, let the band know ahead of time so we can plan for appropriate AV.