It sounds so easy...
And it is - if you know the right people to contact, have the negotiation skills, the business relationships and organizational kills to pull everything together. It's 25 years worth of knowledge and experience learned along the way...some from "the school of hard knocks".
Read on for what we affectionately call Talent Buying 101...
The following synopsis is a very detailed breakdown of everything offered through Call Me Entertainment as your Talent Buyer. If this is your first major show, you will find this information helpful. However, if you have been doing shows for awhile and are looking for CME to take over providing these services, you should already know all of this, can quickly review the information, and skip down to the closing paragraphs. Please note that these services can be customized based on your requirements and budget.
1. After discussing your specific needs, dates and budget, Call Me Entertainment will begin working on your behalf by contacting all artists booking agencies to discuss your event and obtain pricing and routing information for all available performers. A list will be provided to you, showing all options for entertainers including direct pricing – no markups. After reviewing the list of available artists submitted to you by CME, you will present to me in writing your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices and we will prepare offers on your behalf that will include the following information:
2. CME will prepare an offer and submit it with the necessary attachments (event descriptions, venue riders) and fax to our agent at the responsible booking agency in Nashville* for each artist. *Please note that “Nashville” is used throughout this guide as we book a lot of country music headliner talent - but it could also mean New York or Los Angeles or other cities for rock/pop/contemporary artists where their official booking agent is located.
3. That agent reviews the offer, transfers the information to their internal "offer sheet", and submits the offer to a higher level agent in his company, who is the Responsible Agent (RA) who reviews all offers for his particular artists. (A few days can be lost in this process) The RA may kick it back to the agent and ask them to try and get a few other dates to support this one, so they can look at a complete tour rather than an isolated date. If this happens, a few weeks get lost in the response time.
4. Either right away, or when a group of offers is assembled, the RA takes the Offer(s) and submits them to the Business Manager (BM) for the individual artist. Depending on that person's workload, travel schedule, it can take another week (or longer) to get the BM to review the offers. The BM in some cases discusses them personally with the artist. But most often, the BM is empowered to make the decisions on behalf of his artist. If the offer is accepted, the BM communicates it to the RA, who communicates to my agent, who communicates to me.
5. This process can take as little as 48 hours to as much as 60 days, depending which agency we are submitting the offer to. Some are way busier than others and handle a huge volume of artists; others are more "boutique agencies" with a smaller artist roster and can get quicker answers. Either way we don't have options - each artists is contracted exclusively with a specific booking agency for all offers (and usually is not one of the hundreds of agency names you will see online by “Googling” an artist name). We usually include a reasonable expiration date on the offer to speed the process along.
6. Once we get acceptance, the booking agent sends the full contract to CME with technical riders covering equipment demands, hospitality requirements, etc. We review it first, and line out things we know you do not have to supply (depending on venue). After the first run-through, we will forward these contracts to you for further review and signature. For a first time event, they will require a 50% deposit to be returned with the contract, possibly 75% paid in advance until a relationship is established with Nashville.
7. Once the contract w/deposit is returned signed by you, CME can usually get an OK for you to start promoting and advertising the show. Technically the contract states that authorization is given only when the Artist’s Manager counter-signs the contract, but we can usually get their permission to start advertising prior to that - as long as your signature is on the bottom line.
8. Then the ball is in your court to promote & market the concert. CME will help obtain publicity materials from the artist's record label and PR firms (when available), and help set up radio phone-ins the week of the show with your local radio station, helping you promote the concert.
NOTE: These is just the first steps leading up to securing your entertainers. There are another 8 points of education taking you through the months leading up to the show, what to do on the day of the show, and even what happens after the show is over but the performers are still on-site. It's not rocket-science...but it is involved, extremely detailed, and should be put in the hands of professionals so your event comes off as a Benchmark to which others can be compared.
After a show, we’ve heard many times, “Who are you bringing us next year?” or simply…”See you next time…” That is our reward for a job well done – our client’s trust and belief that we will always act in their best interest, with honesty, integrity, and professionalism. Our reputation is what makes Call Me Entertainment different than other talent buyers – and the long-term relationships that in some cases go back 20+ years speak for themselves. We are passionate about what we do, and hope you see value in this brief presentation, to allow us an opportunity to represent you on your next show.
To read on, please email CallMeentertainment@gmail.com to request a full copy of Talent Buying 101.