Corporate Entertainment Production is a bit of a mystery to many (should be) event planners. The Web does not provide satisfactory information on this part of the event and entertainment industry either. “Most people don’t get it,” Mark Sonder, an industry expert and award winning event entertainment producer, concedes.
Looking at the actual work of a corporate entertainment company (CEC) demonstrates pretty well what corporate entertainment production is:
- Entertainment experts help event planners set their function apart from others.
- They assure selected entertainment is a strong fit for the event and audience.
- And, with their connections, CECs create opportunities otherwise not available, while saving event planners money and effort.
HOW … Can Corporate Entertainment Production Improve Your Event?
Simply, by working with you on a strategy that will set your corporate event apart from others. With evolving event technologies, experiential marketing techniques, and event designers thinking out of the box, corporate events become more spectacular every day.
Sonder is convinced that “… entertainment is what separates an event from a special event“. He continues to say that, “… what planners may really mean when saying they want to be unique is that they want something different from what they had in the past. They want to raise their own bar.” This is where the entertainment aspect comes into play.
Featuring a headliner at your corporate event can help you boost event attendance. ‘Big names’ can also increase marketability and revenue of your function. And to top it off, an excellent show will send your attendees home with a unique and compelling experience they will not forget. Voilà! Mission accomplished!
WHAT … Will Corporate Entertainment Production Support With?
A corporate entertainment company will help you make the strong match. Moreover, they will support with implementing the strategy developed in order to set your event apart. There are many options when it comes to selecting musicians, comedians, artists, sports figures, dancers, etc. Just as many factors have to be considered when deciding on the type of entertainment, and the specific artist(s). Finding the right entertainment to support an event’s vision and mission is key.
“For starters, CECs will look at your budget range vs. the format of entertainment. Which entertainer is a strong fit for the target audience vs. who is available for the date in a certain city? Any political challenges of the event vs. the production value,” shares Sonder when asked about the process of finding a strong match.
Once the artist is selected, the CEC will work out contracts, communicate expectations, manage logistics, prepare and implement on-site set-up. In short: They are responsible for all aspects related to their headliner. And, if we believe only some of the many rumors when it comes to working with the ‘Who’s Who’ of the entertainment industry, experience working with entertainers is certainly a plus. “Don’t micromanage headliners,” Sonder insists. “They know what they are doing”.
WHY … Should Event Planners Consider Working With A Corporate Entertainment Company?
Event organizers are expected to ‘make it work’. Just like Tim Gunn and his fashion designers on the TV show Project Runway, event managers have learned to do whatever it takes. Sometimes, however, working things out on our own is not the most efficient and productive approach.
Keep in mind that many headliners have exclusivity arrangements that will limit your options tremendously. Preference of artists also comes into play. “Just like the rental linen company that prefers to work with the caterer rather than the planner, a number of entertainers prefer to work with corporate entertainment companies as the middle man,” Sonder reveals.
Working with experts who have established business relationships, negotiated special conditions with entertainers, and who are experienced in working with headliners, can save event planners money. How? Opportunities to save are always present on the acquisition side, when negotiating fees and conditions. Also, completing processes more efficiently can result in huge savings. Be aware that the major talent and literary agencies may charge higher prices to planners not working with a CEC. “They know that without a CEC they will be doing significantly more work,” Sonder explains. While budgeting additional costs for CEC services seems to be a splurge at first glance, professional support may pay off for your event in the end.
Securing access to headliners and saving money may be compelling reasons for working with experts. But be advised, I have saved the best for last!
Procedures for working with headliners are different from those corporate event managers work with on a daily basis. Entertainers fly all over the world, communicate through business managers, have negotiated special conditions, and their requirements and logistics are constantly changing. Sounds like a nightmare to you? Well, it’s one CECs will take on for you.
A CEC will take on all aspects of hosting the selected entertainment at your event and give you some breathing room. Rather focus your time and energy on the thousands of other aspects of your to-do list. As management likes to remind us, “time is money!”
All considered, I am tempted to agree with Sonder who insists, “It is quite simple! If you need headliners, entertainment, and production for your event, you need corporate entertainment services”. With this, I agree! At least, when it comes to the type of corporate events that make a difference!
This contribution features opinions of Mark Sonder, MM, CSEP. Mark is Chief Entertainment Officer at Mark Sonder Productions, Inc., and an award winning entertainment agency specialist. He has been featured in The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Miami-Herald, United Press International, as well as at FOX and CBS Money Watch.