Intro to – Entertainment Buyers Guide

My intention in this blog is to share simple strategies to help you create entertainment experiences that wow your guests, friends, managers, and everyone who is a stakeholder involved with your events.

You will save money…

I guarantee, with the information I am posting,  you will save ten’s of thousands of dollars annually and probably hundred’s of thousands of dollars over time.

You will eliminate stress and frustration when producing entertainment… you will have clear and simple solutions to every challenge you have encountered in the past… and learn to create a synergistic team with: the talent, the production team, the venue, and everyone else involved in the event.

You will be an expert and have fun…

Educate yourself, become confident and creative while learning from proven and time tested strategies and real world examples. Learn to organize your event team to be swimming all in the same direction for the same outcome…

… successful entertainment experiences.

Why I’m doing this…

it seems there has been an adversarial relationship between talent and people who are talent coordinators… and buyers. Then when you mix in the production team and the venue, the whole experience becomes dysfunctional.  When I began the concept of creating this blog over the last year I spoke with many talent sellers… local, regional, and big name talent agencies… and the most common responses were – “Don’t tell them too much” and” Don’t give away everything”. Interesting comments and really an old school way of doing business in a 2.0 web world. Mix that kind of mindset in with all the different kind of agendas from the people at venues, and people at Production and AV companies .. and you can see why it easily turns into “how much can I get for how little I can give” way of doing business. Kind of a lose- lose deal for everyone… especially for you, the person putting on the event!

Some areas and challenges I am going to address with the intention of empowering you to be confident to deal with and move beyond…

  • The music is too loud
  • Negotiating talent fees- how much should a name band cost?
  • AV partnering
  • Lighting on a budget
  • Creating added value from your talent
  • Coordinating it all
  • Travel buy outs
  • riders and what you need to do to keep it simple
  • Work permits for international events
  • Multiple evening events using  the same talent
  • How to find the best and most interesting local talent anywhere in the world… what your DMC does not have or won’t show you.

next post: How to make sure the music is never too loud.

Here’s to synergy and success with all your events,

Bill Hopkins

15 Responses to “Intro to – Entertainment Buyers Guide”

  1. Kim Boriin Says:
    October 18th, 2009 at 9:07 am

    This is fantastic! Insights that take the complex industry of entertainment and the arts. Thank you Bill for sharing your expertise and revealing the business side of the arts. I know that you can reveal the nuances for the buyer/producer that only a successful producer/performer are privy to. I am looking forward to reading your entire series. Write On!

  2. Alison Hall Says:
    October 19th, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Nice, Bill!
    Look forward to reading more of your expertise in future blogs.

  3. Nancy Farmer Says:
    November 3rd, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Congratulations Bill, this is a phenomenal resource for planners and brokers alike!

    It is not often that we have the opportunity to learn and gain insight into this complex, yet critical, component of our incentives. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise.

    I like the look and feel. Simple and efficient – transparent if you will! Just what you are hoping to achieve.

    As my good friend Mr. Boriin writes, “write on my friend!”

    Looking forward to learning and sharing more….

  4. Jack Gage Says:
    November 3rd, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Hey Bill,

    This is interesting and sure to get attention. Most of us, as you suggest, don’t know the workings within your industry. I will look forward to learning more as this Blog grows. Maybe you can get Ken Miller, our Entertainment Director, to submit imput.

  5. Michael Burke Says:
    November 3rd, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I think this is a great resource who’s time is long overdue. Thanks for pulling this together Bill, I really think that it will benefit those of us who struggle with some of the exact issues you’ve outlined. I’m looking forward to hearing more.

  6. Jessica Phillips Says:
    November 4th, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Great job Bill. I am so proud of you. You have become such a techy!

  7. Sharon Chapman Says:
    November 4th, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Great concept, Bill. It is not often enough that we can partner with our booking agents for entertainment and gain insight into the cost saving factors we are not familiar with. The world of a/v riders and clauses is sometimes overwhelming for the buyer, and a quick course of how to read and negotiate these items and other you mentioned will be refreshing. Thanks for doing this.

  8. Brett Barrowman Says:
    November 4th, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Bill, well done. This is one of those mysteries in the life of Planners and Hospitality Partners alike that you are helping to de-mystify. Trying to do the impossible to please is becoming more and more difficult but still expected by the client. Your expert advice is more than welcome… is needed!

  9. Stephanie Beer - Covenant Coordinating Says:
    November 4th, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for giving me the heads up on the blog. I do think it is an excellent idea, insights come with experience and the process of gathering experiences each building on the next not as beneficial for the immediate client. Your team effort attitude and insights here are greatly valued and appreciated.

    Keep us “posted”

  10. Cindy Wheaton Says:
    November 5th, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    This is great!!! I can tell you have worked very hard putting this together. I found it to be valuable information. You have hit it dead on.

  11. Carolyn Vaughan Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 4:19 am

    Bill – this is great! I am a firm believer that events are like one time Broadway shows where the players may not ever have acted together before and the audience (or guests as it were) are a dymanic part of the final product. Each and every event is unique.

    It always, always, all comes down to the relationships that are created and honored in the complex and stressful process of pulling this “show” off. Over the many years that we have worked together, you have understood this implicit truth better than most.

    I am so glad to see that you are willing to open a dialogue amongst the palyers, and share your gift for collaberation and insight based on your wealth of experience.

    Thank you!


  12. Karyn Rizzo, Sun Life Financial Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 1:19 pm


    This is fabulous! As you know we all struggle with figuring out what sould we paying, who’s responsible for what, etc. This looks like it will be “the” place to go for getting a better understanding of how we can be efficient, save money and still have “happy Campers”.

    Thanks for all you do to make our lives easier!


  13. Patricia Kerr Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you and congratultions Bill. This is a fabulous resource and speaks to your dedication to the industry as well as your constant focus on customer service. I am looking forward to all of your posts as I know I will learn something new each and every time!

  14. Linda Shaw Says:
    November 10th, 2009 at 12:17 pm


    This is a great tool – kudos to you for taking the initiative! I look forward to reading more.

  15. Bill Brownson Says:
    November 10th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Bill –

    Excellent idea and the timing is perfect. In the day and age where we are dealing with shrinking budgets but expectations are still high, you are providing some very necessary advice.

    Thank you!

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