5 Ways to Save Money on Corporate Entertainment

October 29, 2013


Corporate events can be expensive things and if you’re tasked with planning one, chances are you’ve been tasked with keeping costs down too. Now ordinarily, the last people you’d ask about how to keep entertainment costs down would be the people who book entertainment – but Sternberg Clarke aren’t ordinary people through whom one might book entertainment. I mean, look! Look at these 5 great tips for saving money on entertainment! Why would we do that? I’ll tell you for why... because we care.

Of course every act is different and there are no sure fire ways to cut down costs that apply across all genres of entertainment but the following 5 tips offer a few ways to get a performer (and an entertainment agency) in a negotiatin’ mood. Read on for more.

 Be Tight on Timings

Generally, acts will charge a flat fee for their performance – usually 2 or 3 x 45 minute sets and changes to performance times won’t make a huge difference to this fee. This is just to make sure that performers don’t lose out on more lucrative work for the sake of a shorter gig, it also allows us to give accurate, reliable quotes quickly. What can make all the difference is making sure an act can get in and out of an event quickly and easily with minimal time spent waiting around for sound checks etc. Also bear in mind that acts will generally charge more if they finish performing after midnight, so if you can avoid a late end time, it might cut down on costs.

 Seek Out Multi-Taskers

We only work with the best function bands and music ensembles and those bands and ensembles are generally made up of the best musicians. One of the great things about working with these awfully talented muso-types is that they’re often able to play in a range of styles, sometimes even multiple instruments, that means that some function bands are able to offer a set as a background Jazz ensemble, some jazz musicians can team up with a DJ for an Organic Jam set. If you’re considering having different styles of music at your event, it’s worthwhile asking whether any of the acts in question can perform in another configuration. Extra sets won’t be included in an act’s standard fee, but this will generally work out cheaper than hiring another act.  

 Let Your Production Team Make Things Easier

Outside of actually performing, many of our acts probably spend most of their time lugging equipment up staircases and in and out of vans. So If you’ve got a production team at your event and you’re planning on booking a band or an act that requires amplification – it’s a good idea to let the entertainment and production teams liaise as soon as possible to avoid doubling up on any unnecessary equipment. The less gear an act has to take to a gig, the easier it is for them and the more willing they’ll be to negotiate on prices. 

 Think About Multiple Bookings

The life of a professional performer is unpredictable, so if you’re able to offer a little stability once in a while – it’ll be warmly appreciated.  If you’re planning a run of bookings over the course of a few weeks, it might be worth teaming up with an act or group of performers for the entire run. It’s easier to come to an agreement on an acts fee when they’re guaranteed a run of gigs as opposed to a one off. It also makes for a smoother event when acts and event planners are able to work together over multiple dates.

 Look for Up-and-Comers

In our blog on Booking Comedians we discussed the importance of not getting hung up on big names. The same goes for all genres of entertainment – big names normally mean big fees and while star factor is a huge draw for an event audience, if you’re working on a tight budget there can be better ways to spend your money. Part of our job is knowing the big names as well as those who are on the way up so we’re always happy to offer up alternatives who maybe aren’t commanding the big bucks just yet.

For more information on booking entertainment for your next event, head over to our contact page and get in touch!

By Garreth Owen