The decision to hire professional entertainers and musicians vs. non-paid talent can be a tough one. Budgets can be tight and entertainment is usually the category that falls short. BUT, hiring and working with professionals can have major benefits for you and your event! Sure, hiring a person willing to play for free or for tips sounds like a good thing, but it could cost you in the long run as far as the flow of your event and the general satisfaction of the crowds. Don't be afraid to make quality entertainment a priority at your next event!
Due to shortfalls in the economy, festival and event goers are expecting a more complete experience when they decide to spend their free time and money at your event. Keep them happy and spending longer with quality entertainment. Hiring a professional band or act means quality sound, lasting memories, and a higher overall impression of your event for your patrons. They will be more likely to return next year! Happy patrons will also make for happier vendors who will be eager to apply to your event for years to come.
Worried about your budget? Get creative by planning ahead, a small $5-10 increase in vendor booth spots or exclusivity to things like beverage sales during your event can quickly help you raise the funds you need to hire professional entertainment and/or staging personnel.
Lastly, common courtesy goes a long way in this business. If you get applications or inquiries from talent out of your budget range please return the favor and let them know your level of interest in a timely manor. They are anxious to hear back from you!
Not sure where to find entertainment, bands, or acts? The FNO Community is just chock-full of professional acts for any size event. Large or small, you'll find all levels of experience and many different genres in the Festival Biz Directory! Click the link to get started searching for entertainment in your area.
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Michelle Morrison is a former contributing FNO Staffer.