You’ve hired an entertainer to perform at a holiday function. Whether it’s in your home, a hotel, banquet hall or even a restaurant, there are a few things to keep in mind in terms of putting on the show.
Has the performer given you a list of things that are required? In the industry this is sometimes called a “technical rider” and would be part of the contract you signed. These are essentials for the performer.
This could be as simple as a table or chairs, or access to an electrical outlet. It can be quite elaborate and complex and include stage requirements or placement, microphones, lighting, dressing room. I’m sure that you’ve read some of the stories about A-list personalities that require specific red candies or exotic brands of brands of bottled water.
When is the performance scheduled?
If it’s strolling entertainment (the performer walks around and mingles with your guest and performs up close and personal), consider what else is happening at the same time that might interfere. Are there speeches or door prize drawings?
Unless it’s background music, do not schedule any kind of entertainment while people are eating! Your guests will not give the entertainer the attention deserved, and it’s downright rude: both to the guests, and to the entertainer. As a performer, I simply won’t do it.
The only times to consider are before the meal and after the meal. I have also seen and suggested the break between the main course and dessert. Often the meal is so large that the guests actually appreciate the “intermission” and then have a renewed appetite when dessert is served.
Have you considered the ambience of the room where the show is being held?
If you’re in a banquet hall or hotel, how thin are the partition walls and what is happening in the adjoining rooms? Is there an overly loud band playing next door?
If you’re in a restaurant, are you in a separate private room or are you simply curtained off from the main room? This can be a real challenge to the performer. The ambient noise that is a part of most restaurants, and is part of the ambience of the venue, can be a real distraction to both the performer and to the other restaurant patrons. If you are having entertainment in a restaurant venue, then at least select a restaurant with a private dining room. This is really a win-win-win situation.
If you haven’t booked your entertainment for the holiday season, you may be too late! Most of the top performers have already filled their calendars.
And if you haven’t dealt with the items mentioned here, there may be some challenges with the quality of the performance you receive.