WHAT DO I WISH MY MUSICAL TALENT KNEW?
And offering a range of pricing that seems within budget…
The Answer, According to An Event Professional
In a perfect world, the relationship between planner and musical talent would be one that took little effort, was built on trust and mutual respect, and somehow was wildly profitable. Unfortunately, after over ten years in the business, I have learned the hard way, that the events industry is a bit more nuanced. So, when the question "What Do I Wish My Musical Talent Knew" was posed to me, my answers ranged from the obvious to the outrageous. A smattering of things came to mind.....
- NO, I'm not kidding, that really IS my budget!
- YES I'm serious, I need you to wear this Santa Hat the whole performance time
- Hmmm, I don't know....maybe you can eat off the client's buffet at the end of the night but honestly I cannot handle your h’anger because I'm preoccupied with my own right now!
But let's break this down a bit further. If I had the PERFECT VENDOR, here's what a sample event would look like....
A Week Before Event
Client requests a jazz trio for her pop-up event next week. I send a frantic (but friendly!) email asking for last minute availability and pricing. PERFECT VENDOR responds immediately confirming availability and offering a range of pricing that seems within budget - even offers a discount if I really really really need it. Pictures? Sound clips? No worries, they're easily available on-line. AWESOME.
A Few Days Before Event
In the days that follow, I pull together a pre-event communication that I share with the vendor. Within a day, PERFECT VENDOR responds confirming receipt and asking one really great, relevant question - turns out I forgot to include parking info - thanks for asking me now instead of while you're in the valet lane gawking at how much the rate is!
Day of Event
Event Date is here! PERFECT VENDOR is on time and goes directly to the stage because that's where I asked him or her to go in my pre-event communication that they took the time to actually read. I make a mental note, "HIRE PERFECT VENDOR AGAIN!". Sound check takes place and it sounds awesome. Perfect vendor easily interacts with PERFECT AV TEAM (a blog for another day), and the stage is (literally) set for success. When introduced to the client, PERFECT VENDOR sings my praises among the best planners in the biz, compliments the overall event atmosphere, and reminds the client that they aim to please and are happy to take on any special requests throughout the evening.
After the Event
PERFECT VENDOR displays creativity and professionalism and is an extension of my team. The event goes flawlessly, and post-event feedback and payment is exchanged.
Now, I do recognize what a bummer it is that so very little of the content of my PERFECT VENDOR is about their actual performance. I make the assumption that my musical talent will be awesome because I'm working with someone I know and trust. I wish I could spend more time talking about what songs would be thematically relevant, or what songs would surprise and delight my client, but sometimes I don't have the time, and I am relieved that I can count on my PERFECT VENDOR to handle that component.
Being in this industry, you must recognize that you and your events are only as good as your vendor and team partners. It's a constant exercise in trust and hope and a dash of insanity. But at least the soundtrack to the madness is totally awesome.