Something big on your calendar is coming in fast. It could be a corporate function, birthday party, awards night… To find an act for the day, it’s likely you’ll have thought about seeking a UK entertainment agency – one that will secure a performer you want, at zero stress to you or anyone else.
But how do you book? What needs to be verified before it is made official? And is there room for flexibility if anything changes?
We’re going to break down the booking process from start to finish. In a few minutes, you’ll be confident when you next hire a live band, organise wedding entertainment, or bring any act to your audience…
Stage 1 – Confirm the date and venue
The first thing an act needs to know is when, where and for how long you require them at your event. Gear has to be loaded. Travel must be arranged. Arrival and departure times agreed between the two of you. Prior to contacting a UK entertainment agency, it’s best to have confirmed your choice of venue and when the event will be taking place.
Whether you’re looking to host in a major city or somewhere in the countryside, early planning is vital. Most venues are rarely short of guests. So call around and compare prices at least three months ahead of the dates you want, if possible, to increase the likelihood that the venue will be free. Then contact an agency like Silk Street after the dates and times are set. This will help the rest of the booking go smoothly.
Stage 2 – Check for corresponding acts
Our private and corporate party entertainment portfolio is easy to sift through. Silk Street are one of the few talent agencies who can also compose a personal recommendation. This is based on the information from Stage 1, as well as the theme of your event, the type of entertainment you want, and your particular tastes. We’ll get back to you via phone or email with the most suitable contenders.
Our recommendations will mention their availability on and around the date you have provided. With our assistance, you can secure an act you want ahead of schedule. We’ll work together to land the perfect shortlist, based on your budget and preferences.
Stage 3 – Get to know your UK entertainment agency and chosen act
The greatest entertainment agencies do more for your booking. Complete the following Q&A with your events partner:
- Is any electrical equipment needed? It may or may not be required for acoustic performers or lookalikes, for example.
- If so, has the act PAT tested their equipment? Check whether the appliances they’ll bring (amps, microphones, etc.) are safe.
- What about public liability insurance? Events are never the exception.
- If you’re making a musical booking, can you choose the setlist in advance and make special requests? Some bands may allow you to include a favourite song.
- Does the act have any video material to share? It’s tough to say ‘yes’ without a comprehensive view of what they’re like onstage.
Many talent agencies have quite a basic offer, with few or none of the promises outlined above. Be rigorous with them. Silk Street are adept at showing why we’re the premier booking choice; we don’t skip the details.
Stage 4 – Prepare for the contract and deposit
At this stage, your hire will be taking shape. You’ll have told the performers where they’ll be, a workable date, and what you need from them.
Now it’s time to talk money. Every act on Silk Street’s roster sets their own prices. We can negotiate on your behalf, of course, but they’ll certainly ask for a deposit. It acts as security for you both.
When the contract comes through, scan it thoroughly, and ensure you’re happy with every clause. A good UK entertainment agency will guarantee compensation: if your first pick falls ill, say, and you need another act to take their place. After you’ve approved it, the deposit will be sent – through a service like ours – to confirm the booking. That’s it; the booking has been cemented.
We understand you may be nervous about sending cash pre-emptively, but it’s common practice. It allows the act to ensure that they don’t accept another booking on the same date and time as your event. Silk Street handle your money securely, and we insist on a written and signed contract for the same reason – giving stronger guarantees than a verbal agreement.
Stage 5 – If you have to rearrange, give as much notice as you can
Assuming there are no issues, we’ll speak to you a month prior to the party or function, just to go over the day’s practicalities.
But we understand that cancellations may happen. Who knows what’ll arise in the run-up to your event? Perhaps the whole show will have to be shifted to another date. Whilst that’s not a cheering thought, it does pay to think about what could occur just in case.
A function band hire, for instance, may have bespoke cancellation policies that you’ll need to adhere to in order to be 100% refunded. This deposit may be irretrievable, though, once a certain deadline has passed. It’s important to refer back to the contract.
The overarching rule, however, is to notify your UK entertainment agency right away. They’ll tell the performer whether the occasion has been cancelled altogether or if it’s being rearranged. In the latter case, bear in mind that a new date may not work for your chosen act. Other bookings will have come in. Most acts will be flexible in arriving or leaving a few hours earlier or later, but serious amendments might be off the cards. If so, we’ll work with you to find another suitable entertainer.
A faultless booking process shouldn’t be too far from your expectations. Get in touch with Silk Street today, and we’ll help you find the perfect entertainment for your event – whether you’re in need of inspiration or have something specific in mind. Our Silk Street brochure has more information for the event professional to use.