Holiday Party Entertainment – Last minute Pros and Cons

If you’re a corporate event planner, you probably know all the ins and outs of booking holiday parties. But if you’re (just for lack of a better phrase) an amateur planner, you may want to become versed in the pros and cons of?waiting until the last minute?to book your holiday entertainment.

December – Top Demand Time

December is the busiest month of the year when it comes to booking in the hospitality, and especially entertainment industry. Therefore, availability is limited, prices are higher, and dates get booked up way in advance.

Depending on the industry of business looking for holiday entertainment, some plan up to 2 or 3 years in advance, while most others have their holiday entertainment shopping completely taken care of by July 4 (at the absolute latest). Labor Day starts the crunch to capture the best entertainers left in the country, and once Halloween hits (i.e. November), then it’s crunch time.

Once Thanksgiving approaches, most event production companies have December booked up with 10, 20 and sometimes even 30 times a normal month’s revenue. However, every once in a while some of the best in the business have open dates, and if you contact them at the last minute, they may be very willing to negotiate for a date that, any other time of the year, they would never talk about giving you a discount.

Waiting = Gambling

If you’re contacting an entertainment agency that books multiple people on their staff, another risk you may be taking is that you get the “bottom of the barrel” (in terms of the talent pool). Because the “top of the heap” gets booked early every year, you may find yourself paying prime price for mediocre talent. If it’s a reputable agent, you’ll still have fun party; just don’t set your expectations too high.

But the other side of the gambling odds looks like this: If you wait until the last minute (let’s say the week of Thanksgiving) to contact a high end entertainer and they have the date available, they may stick to their guns or even mark up their normal pricing, simply because they’re upset that you stressed them out by waiting until a week before your holiday party for you to book.

The third gamble (the “lucky seven” you’ll want to roll) is that you get in touch with a prime-notch entertainer who happens to have the date open and is eager to fill it at any cost. If that’s the case, you may end up getting a bargain with an abnormal 20-30% discount off their normal rates.

Now that’s it’s November, the risk is yours. Good luck rolling the dice.

 

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