Planning an event can be challenging, especially when live entertainment is involved. Unlike some other aspects of event planning, you’re dealing with another person with expectations and specific needs. But there is nothing quite like a live performance to transform your event into something unforgettable. If you’re new to booking live entertainment or event planning, we’ve got a few tips to help!


Get to know the performer.

More often than not, you’ll be booking someone you’ve never met or seen perform. Thankfully, online profiles are a great way to get to know a professional. When researching your local entertainment options, make sure to watch videos, view photos, and listen to audio clips if available. Not only does this give you an overview of their services, but it’s also a great way to see if they have experience with events like yours.

Consider whether their performance style, talent, and even their attire fit your event. Don’t be afraid to ask the professional for more information or additional media. You should feel completely comfortable with your choice before moving forward.

If you’re using GigSalad to find entertainment, all of the most important media and information can be viewed from the performer’s profile. You can also send messages and ask questions, get free quotes from multiple performers at once, and get instant updates all in one place. Read more about the benefits of booking on GigSalad.

Always read reviews.

Honest feedback from real people is a crucial part of the buying process these days. Most consumers won’t buy without first reading reviews of a product. Booking entertainment should be no different. Before making your final decision, check out feedback from a performer’s past clients to answer these key questions:

  • Did the vendor communicate well? Look for mentions regarding satisfaction with communication.
  • Did they show up on time? A top-notch professional is one who is punctual and prepared.
  • Did they exceed the client’s expectations? Positive reviews come when a performer goes above and beyond.


Ask questions and plan ahead.

In order to avoid future stress, discuss setup details with the performer before booking and ask about any special requirements. Knowing what the vendor needs ahead of time will ensure the day of the event runs smoothly. Here are a few basic things to consider:

  • Will they need electricity? If speakers or other electronics will be involved, make sure the vendor has access to a power supply and extension cords if necessary.
  • Will they need a stage or dressing area? Vendors typically address any unique setup requirements in the description of their services, but it’s safe to cover these details again with the performer directly.
  • Can they perform rain or shine? If your event is outdoors, make sure you have a plan B for bad weather. It’s best to have an alternative location or at least be able to provide a covered area.


Get everything in writing.

To avoid unnecessary disputes or miscommunications, make sure to get your agreement in writing including all the details you discussed with the performer. We recommend using our messaging tool so you can communicate securely, and easily reference important details of the conversation if needed. Phone calls are a good way to get quick answers, but it’s risky to rely on a conversation that exists in your memory, not in your records. If you finalize anything over the phone, make sure to follow up in writing as well.

Once you’ve received the contract or online booking agreement, review all the important details and make sure you understand any additional terms. Double check for the following:

  • Pricing. Make sure the pricing and payment schedule is what was agreed upon. If you’re booking on GigSalad, you don’t have to worry about paying separate deposits and remaining balance payments. Make one easy payment at the time of booking, and we’ll take care of the rest!
  • Performance Time. Ensure the start time, end time, and the date is correct.
  • Services. Read over booking agreement for services to be provided. Make sure everything you’re expecting is in writing.
  • Cancellation Policies. Most cancellation policies include a non-refundable deposit, which means you lose money if you cancel the agreement.  Read the policy carefully and make sure you understand your responsibilities in the event of a cancellation.
  • Any additional terms. Other terms could include stage setup needs, break requirements, etc. Be prepared to meet these terms or even request they include a few of your own terms.

Cancellations and no-shows by vendors do not occur very often on GigSalad; in fact, they occur with less than 1% of the bookings. But in the rare case that a vendor cancels, you’re covered by our Worry-Free Guarantee. We’ll refund your money right away and work hard to help you find a replacement as quickly as possible.

Of course, there may be more questions and things to handle after the booking takes place, and that’s okay! With preparation and good communication, you and the performer can work out the details and create a fun and memorable event.


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