Category Archives: booking agent for entertainment

Corporate Event Planning Tips

  1. corporate event planningHave a goal and a plan for your corporate event. Corporate event planning takes focus, even when surrounded by an overwhelming amount of details that need to be considered and confirmed. That’s when experience becomes essential; an experienced corporate event planner can keep their eye on the corporate event goal and create an event that meets that goal suitable for the targeted audience.
  2. Don’t wait to plan. The sooner the better. Often venues that can accommodate your large guest list are booked a year, or years, in advance. As soon as your corporate event is confirmed contact your venue, caterer, entertainment agent and other vendors to initiate the planning. If you need another party that can manage the details and save you the time, contact an event planner that can oversee the event planning process.
  3. Be conscious of your date. Don’t just choose a date that works for you; select a date that works for your targeted audience. Statistically, Mondays and Fridays are on average lower attendance days. Once you have a date, set a promotion schedule that leads right up to the day; use a cross channel promotional strategy aimed at your target audience to get maximum attendance.
  4. Focus on the guests. Every decision made about your corporate event—EVERY DECISION—should be centered on what is best for your targeted audience, your guests. Take your entertainment for example. What entertainer or entertainers fit your guests’ tastes? An experienced booking agent can match you with entertainment that fits your guests’ demographic, creating a wonderful atmosphere with entertainment appropriate to their tastes.
  5. “Sweat the details.” An overlooked detail can be the crux of a corporate event gone wrong. Don’t leave one stone unturned as you plan the food, seating, schedule, signage, and all the other essentials of your corporate event. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from vendors and agents as you proceed through the event planning process.
  6. Outsource your corporate event entertainment. Consider hiring a booking agent for several good reasons, most notably as a time-saver. A booking agent can locate the right, quality entertainers for your event, and handle any needs the entertainers might have—decreasing your workload and ensuring that your guests enjoy your corporate event.
  7. Be cautious when planning a corporate event in a city you’re not familiar with. Whether you’re planning a corporate event getaway for clients, or a company picnic for employees at a satellite location, utilize your best judgment when planning a corporate event outside your comfort zone. Research your venue and vendors, or use an event planner familiar with the city. While Artists, Events and Entertainment was founded as an entertainment agency, we have quickly become one of the in-demand full-service corporate event planners in Chicago, and for good reason. With an intimate knowledge of all the corporate event venues and vendors in Chicago, we can assure our clients that your event, and corporate event details, is coordinated with their best interests in mind.
  8. Don’t think that your corporate event planning ends the day before the event. With more than 25 plus years of experience, we can tell you what every corporate event planner should know: your event planning does not end before the event. Be prepared to “sweat the details” and adjust accordingly the day of the event and to do follow-up work after the event is completed. That’s when having a full-service event planner committed to the whole corporate event planning process becomes invaluable; that’s why it’s important to find an experienced planner in your preferred location who can plan your corporate event from beginning to end, and know that the end result won’t be an embarrassment.

10 Wedding Planning Tips That Make Your Wedding Day (especially entertainment!) Run Smoother

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Looking for a different kind of wedding entertainment? Wedding painter Trish Page can add an a unique touch to your special day.

Planning a wedding can seem like a huge undertaking, and in all reality, it is. However, it’s also a manageable process that can be accomplished—without too much stress—if you are good at taking advice. No, we’re not talking about your grandmother’s advice for your honeymoon (shudder, shudder). We’re talking about tips that get the intended results: a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception that you and your spouse remember forever. And while you’ll find article after article on the web about wedding tips, here’s our two cents—tips from entertainment agents who have been part of the wedding planning process for a wedding, or two, or 10, or, well, many more than we care to admit.

  • Set a budget. Your budget is a key detail in every step of your wedding planning process, and a question you’ll find every vendor asks about. Sit down with your fiancé and any family members or friends who have expressed interest in giving you financial gifts for your special day. Making sure everyone is on the same page financially can eliminate hassles, and drama, as you progress through the wedding planning process.
  • Know how much of the wedding planning you can take on. There is no shame or blame in asking for help. Wedding planning is a process, and can be an intimidating process for anyone. If you’re overwhelmed, consider hiring a wedding planner or entertainment agent (or both) to coordinate and finalize all the details that come with your wedding.
  • Call an entertainment agent. Choosing wedding entertainment is so much more than making the decision to hire a band or DJ. You have to choose the right wedding entertainment that fits your theme and is quality and appropriate for your guests. An entertainment agent can also make recommendations for ceremony music, suggest unique entertainers that set your wedding apart, and take care of all the small and last-minute details you don’t have time for.
  • Don’t procrastinate. To borrow an old saying, “the early bird gets the worm.” The prompt couple also gets the caterer of their choice, the best bands and entertainers, and the in-demand venue. Don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Appoint ‘helpers’ for your wedding day and give them jobs. It is VERY helpful to have many hands at your disposal on your wedding day. Ask for their assistance, and, if they accept, give them in-depth details of what needs to be done. Don’t feel like you need to be in charge of it all, and that you need to put out every fire. Ask friends or family you trust to help getting family members to photos, assisting with babysitting (if needed) during the festivities, passing out payments to vendors (make sure you choose a trusted friend or family member for this task) and any other small details that need to be done on your ewdding day.
  • Put all payments in envelopes the week before your wedding day. If you still owe vendors payment, put the money in envelopes a week before the wedding day. Label each envelope and put them together in a bag so you’re ready. This simple step saves you the time of writing out check after check or pulling out your credit card repeatedly—which takes you away from the fun and festivities.
  • Coordinate and confirm as many details in advance. Don’t think you’ll have time to talk to your band about your favorite dance songs, or you can call your caterer with last minute changes the morning of your wedding. Follow up with your vendors well before your wedding date to confirm, and discuss any preferences you have.
  • Make a plan and give it to your attendants in advance. Once you’ve conferred with all your vendors, such as your entertainment agent, put the schedule for your wedding day (and day before and after) into a schedule and share it. Whether you have two or 20 attendants, give your bridesmaids, ushers, groomsmen and other ring bearers a detailed schedule of where and what times you need them—in person, if possible. Don’t rely on random texts or other people.
  • Have an emergency kit for ANYTHING that could come up. Pack extra cosmetics, a sewing kit, umbrellas—anything you think could come up on your wedding day. Go through your day in your mind, and picture all the worst case scenarios and what you can do to fix the problem.
  • Don’t be afraid to lean on experience. If you need assistance while wedding planning, turn to people with experience. For example, if you don’t know where to start locating and hiring entertainers for your wedding, hire an experienced entertainment agent for recommendations, to set a entertainment schedule for your wedding day and to finalize all the details of your wedding entertainment. Also don’t be afraid to ask your vendors for recommendations for other vendors; entertainment agents know florists that do a beautiful job, and caterers are familiar with local venues that fit your vision. Or, if you want to consolidate and simplify the process, hire a wedding planner. Together, you and your wedding planner or entertainment agent can produce a beautiful wedding day that speaks to who you are as a couple.

5 Entertainment Acts for Your Summer Party

endless summer band for summer partiesIt’s summer in the Midwest. What better time for a summer party? You’ll need excellent weather, food and entertainment for your guests. We can’t help with our Illinois weather—after all, this is the Midwest—but we can help with matching dependable, quality entertainers to your guests and event needs. So where do you get started planning your summer party—your retirement going away, anniversary party, wedding, family reunion, company party or picnic? What are your options for summer party entertainment?

The irony is that there seems to be this misunderstanding that entertainment agents, or booking agents, are only needed for large summer parties and events. The truth is, well, that’s just not true. From requests for a 28-piece orchestra to small, intimate wedding or celebration entertainment, an entertainment agent can assist with any summer party—and turn it in to a huge success with any of a number of entertainment acts, such as:

  1. Singers. A singer is an excellent way to entertain your guests. The specific singer for your event depends on the kind of event, sound you want, and demographics of your guests. Contact a talent agent to determine what kind of singer is right for your event.
  2. Strings, pianists & orchestras. For a more formal event, book a pianist, quartet of strings or a 20-piece orchestra. It’s up to you, but the result is the same: a beautiful, soft sound that can serve as your main entertainment or background music at your wedding, anniversary party, renewal of vows or other special occasion.
  3. Bands. If you are holding a beach or Caribbean theme, and want a unique entertainment act, consider a steel drum band. For a party with a taco bar, hire our mariachi band (we’ve even listed ideas why in our post). For a barn dance, or a party with a country theme, we have a country band with a rural sound that could with your theme. Hosting a Mardi Gras party? We’ve got jazz groups that you’re your guests partying like its Mardi Gras in Chicago. Your options are endless.
  4. Themed entertainment. If your goal is to set the theme and take it over the top, research entertainers that fit your theme. Book characters that fit with your theme, such as gangsters for your authentic Chicago throwback party, or an impersonator that fits with the era of your retro party.
  5. Painters. Want a unique entertainer that sets the memory of your day on canvas, and in your mind? Ask us about a caricature or scene painter for your party. Either kind of painter is a very different kind of entertainer that your guests will be talking about even after your summer party is over.

If your taste for entertainment is a bit more unique, or out-of-the-box, ask your entertainment agent. Be prepared to give information about your event: size, date, demographic of expected guests, venue specifics, etc. Your entertainment agent can take that information and select the perfect entertainer or entertainment acts to make your summer party fun, no matter what our Midwestern weather throws at us.

10 Company Picnic Themes (and how to choose the right one!)

children's entertainerYour employees expect nothing less than fun at your company picnic, so don’t let them down by holding an event that is anything but. Fulfill their expectations by planning a picnic based around a theme, which has a dual purpose: 1) it gives you a starting point for party planning 2) the right company picnic theme is a great way to wet everyone’s appetite for a fun picnic.

So how do you choose the right company picnic theme? Before you make your decision, inquire about the demographic of your picnic guests. Is your company holding a picnic for employees and their families or for employees and spouses only? Are you holding an event during the day for employees only? This key fact shapes the parameters of your party, and narrows down your company picnic theme options. For example, an employee and spouse crowd makes a casino or Hawaiian luau theme a better fit for an adult-only crowd. A company picnic for your employees and their families is an ideal setting for a company fair theme or a zoo-themed picnic. For an employee-only company picnic, coordinate a picnic with a ball game theme at a local baseball field (perhaps even include a baseball game as part of the picnic festivities, and a concert for your non-athletes). Other ways to choose a theme include:

  1. Select a venue (like a zoo picnic area or fair building), and choose a theme that fits with the venue.
  2. Contact a booking agent to find out what entertainers are available on the date of your picnic, and that fit your demographics and budget (i.e. a band, children’s entertainers, etc.) Choose a theme that fits with the entertainers you choose.
  3. Choose your food, then select a company picnic theme that fits with your cuisine (i.e. taco bar=Mexican theme, Caribbean entrees=Caribbean theme).
  4. Create a schedule of company picnic themes, so you can give your employees something new every year.

Looking for more ideas for your company picnic theme? Use this list:

  1. Beach
  2. Concert in the park
  3. Around-the-world cuisine
  4. Carribean
  5. Mexican
  6. Take me out to the ball game
  7. Casino
  8. Hawaiian luau
  9. Zoo
  10. Country fair

Once you’ve chosen your company picnic theme, contact us for entertainers that can wow your picnic guests. We’ve got children’s entertainers, entertainers that can make your theme (such as casino girls) or music entertainers for any group of picnic guests. A steel drum band can make a Caribbean-themed picnic fun, and country fair entertainers can make the kids at your picnic smile with face painters and fun. For an event with a taco bar, book our favorite Mariachi band to reinforce the theme. If you’re trying to give your employees a concert in the park, contact us for popular musical bands and singers that fit your company picnic guests’ tastes. We’ll help make your company picnic everything your employees expect, and deserve.

Must-Have Musicians for Your Wedding Ceremony

You don’t want just any hack musician setting the mood for your special day. With months (or even years) of wedding planning, you want your wedding ceremony to be perfect. This is the time when you are committing to your wedding partner formally, and you shouldn’t have to settle for amateur musicians who haven’t touched an instrument since grade school. So how do you find the ‘must-have’ professional musicians that can make your Chicagoland wedding ceremony wonderful?

Contact a pro. Experienced booking agents are the key to finding the right musicians for your wedding ceremony. A good booking agent has located the right musicians that fit every couple’s wedding style and acknowledge that wedding ceremony musicians are not a ‘one size fits all’ endeavor. They ask questions about the demographic of guests, size of the wedding venue, style of the wedding and couple—and can pair a couple with the right musician or musicians (depending on the size of wedding and wedding venue) for their wedding ceremony. Here are a few examples of kinds of musicians that may be the right fit for a wedding ceremony:

  • Orchestra.
  • Pianists.
  • String instrumentalists (violin, viola, etc.).
  • Harpists.
  • Sax player(s).
  • Band.

Once the type of musician or musicians is selected for the wedding ceremony, a good booking agent takes the search for the professional wedding ceremony musician to the next level. They know who the best of the best wedding ceremony musicians are in Chicago, and can easily book the musicians and coordinate all the details so the couple doesn’t have to. They can also satisfy unique requests for wedding ceremony musicians such as steel drum bands, rock bands or mariachi bands. Whatever the couple’s style, a good booking agent knows who to contact, and can take over all the entertainment details for the couple.

While it might be tempting to book your cousin’s best friend, or the really cheap and unreliable friend who hasn’t picked up an instrument for years, honor your partner and special day by trusting a professional. An experienced booking agent makes that special time of “I dos” spectacular by knowing the in-demand, must-have musicians who are reliable, professional, talented, appropriate—every descriptive word you’d use to describe your ideal wedding ceremony musicians.

Children’s Entertainers that Brings Giggles to Your Family Event

children's entertainerIf you’re trying to attract families, or are holding an event where families with children are sure to attend, don’t neglect the little ones when choosing your event entertainers. Undoubtedly, parents have a far better experience if they and their children have entertainers that cater to them. We’ve seen it—and can provide first-hand accounts—of weddings, summer festivals and corporate events where the planners provided children’s entertainers that wowed everyone. Children’s entertainers like:

Magicians. Magicians are one of the first children’s entertainers that come to everyone’s mind, and for good reasons. Magicians are versatile children’s entertainers because they can adapt to almost any event venue—on a stage or interacting one-to-one with your guests—and provide tricks that wow guests of all ages.

Jugglers. Just like magicians, jugglers are versatile and can cater their entertainment to your event venue. They are also entertainers that are suitable for adults and children of all ages, and can even incorporate your guests into their act.

Face painters. These classic children’s entertainers are more suited to children, but some adults seem to enjoy their services as well. If you want an entertainer for adults at your event as well, ask us about caricature artists. The face painters can keep the children entertained while the caricature artists give the adults some artsy entertainment as well.

Fun singers. Singers are unique entertainers who can customize their act to almost any event, and any size event venue. Just ask us about singers that can include children and adults into their acts, or for a children’s singer for one stage, and a singer more suited to adults at another stage.

This list is just a few of the children’s entertainers that can attract families to your event—and keep them entertained at your event. If you are looking for more ideas of children’s entertainers, or want to book the top children’s entertainers in Chicago, contact us. We can make sure that your event is a successful mixture of adult and children’s entertainers, and everyone—-parents and children—walk away happy.

The Key to Successful Summer Festival Entertainment

home_splash_croppedYou can’t live and entertain in Chicago without feeling the effects of the internet. However, when planning your summer festival entertainment, you have to forego the smart phones and internet and call the booking agent.  Why? Because the human connection with your agent is important for the success of your summer festival, for very good reasons:

  • The right entertainers are a huge promotional asset for your summer festival. Summer festival is the crux of success. Establishing the right atmosphere, and pulling in crowds, is dependent upon your summer festival entertainment. One call can secure the right acts and entertainers that bolster your summer festival attendance and reviews.
  • You can get to know your booking agent, and they can get to know you. Every festival has its own culture and vibe. With just a short conversation, you can give them information about your festival and attendees, and they can connect you with entertainers right for your festival.
  • Matches you with entertainment that fits your attendees’ demographic. Your booking agent can connect you with the entertainer suitable for the age group of your crowd, creating a wonderful (or rocking or cultural) atmosphere with summer festival entertainment appropriate to their tastes.
  • Your booking agent can learn about your summer festival and select characters and entertainers that take it over the top. Every summer festival is a different take with vastly different attendees and venues. If you e-mail about your festival, the booking agent doesn’t get the whole picture. The result: entertainers that don’t match your atmosphere, and summer festival entertainment that doesn’t fit your event.
  • It won’t take long. Booking agents are busy and so are you. They won’t take up any more of your time than needed, while still getting the vital information they need to find the entertainer(s) that fit your summer festival attendees. Remember, these are professional booking agents with years of experience. They won’t waste your time, just use every second of the conversation to match you with quality entertainment.

While e-mailing your event details may seem like a good idea, put down that tablet and laptop and pick up your smart phone (to call, not message!). Call your booking agent, so they can connect you with summer festival entertainment from one of hundreds of entertainers that could be your perfect match. The success of your festival, and the enjoyment of your attendees, is on the line—don’t let the internet get in the way of finding the right summer festival entertainment.

Why should I use a booking agent for event entertainment?

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Contact one of the top booking agents in Chicago for your event.

With the internet and mobile technology, it seems everyone is looking for shortcuts to achieve results—even for locating entertainers for their wedding, fundraisers, galas and company parties. In the world of event planning, they want memorable entertainment that wow guests and they want it quickly and easily. The answer is a booking agent. Why? Why would you want to use a booking agent for your corporate events, weddings, festivals, fundraisers and galas?

  • It’s convenient. With just a short conversation, you can give them information about your event and guests. They use their extensive experience to coordinate entertainers, and all the details, that make your event memorable.
  • They think about you and your guests. An experienced booking agent can match you with entertainment that fits your guests’ demographic. Your booking agent can connect you with the entertainer suitable for the age group of your crowd, creating a wonderful atmosphere with entertainment appropriate to their tastes.
  • Your booking agent can select characters and entertainers that take it over the top. You only have to make one call, and the booking agent can book all the acts you need and handle all the details that come with hiring entertainers. They’ve also seen what works and doesn’t work, and good booking agents only hire the best entertainers for your wedding, company holiday party, fundraiser, etc.

The best part: hiring a booking agent won’t take long. They won’t take up any more of your time than needed, while still getting the vital information they need to find the entertainer(s) that fit your event and crowd. Remember, these are professional booking agents with years of experience. They won’t waste your time, just use every second of the conversation to match you with quality entertainment. Speaking of wasting time, don’t waste your time trying to take on the entertainment for your event yourself. Contact a booking agent today, one of the top agents in the Chicago area with years of experience.

Why We Love Our Chicago Mariachi Band

Los Paisanos_400_198You read the title right. This Valentine’s Day, our love is a group of men playing mariachis in the midst of a state filled with two feet of snow. Seriously though, we have good reason to love our mariachi band, and would recommend them for Cinco de Mayo celebrations, Mexican-themed parties, corporate events, even for a destination wedding party held in Chicago. So why would we pick a group of Mexican revelers for Valentine’s Day? It doesn’t take much imagination to find out:

  • Timely. Our mariachi band leader is a stickler for promptness. He picks up the band members himself, and makes sure that he is on site at least 30 minutes before the performance.
  • Communicates well. What good is a performer if they can’t communicate about the logistics of your event?
  • Dependable. If you set a date and time with this band, they’ll be there—and arrive early.
  • Flexible. Our Maraichi band can perform with a group as small as a trio up to a full 12 piece band, giving you options depending on the size of your event and venue.
  • They’re authentic—and really, really good. This is a fully authentic costumed Mariachi attraction. The band members are experienced, and have played at Cinco de Mayo parties, on decorated floats at Chicagoland parades and at special occasions.

If you’re looking for a dependable, prompt, flexible, well-spoken and experienced mariachi band, give us a call at 312.832.1100. We’ll help you book our mariachi band, and any other entertainers you need for your event. After all, we hope you realize that any booking agency that chooses a mariachi band for their Valentine’s love is an agency serious about live entertainment.

All the Answers to Your Wedding Entertainment Questions

home_splash_croppedWhat entertainers are appropriate and available for our wedding?

Your style as a couple is unique. It’s your own—classic, elegant, vintage, fun, “out of the box.” That’s when it’s invaluable to turn to a talent agent with a diverse portfolio of entertainers suitable for your unique wedding. A talent agent can capture your style as a couple with your wedding entertainment, and find acts and entertainers that fit with your unique theme. An experienced agent can also ensure your wedding entertainment matches the demographic of your guests and your wedding schedule. Most importantly, a talent agent can make your wedding day a memorable event that your guests always remember with your unique wedding entertainment. Want some ideas of entertainment for your wedding? Check out our recent posts about classic entertainment acts for your wedding, and unique wedding entertainment ideas.

Truthfully, there are a lot of entertainment options for your holiday party. Working with an entertainment agency is a convenient way to find the best entertainers that fit your wedding, and reserve many acts (ceremony music, dinner music, reception acts) and entertainers for your party with one phone call.

How can I find a quality entertainment agency?

Anyone can grab a cell phone and call themselves an agent. Be selective. Choose an entertainment agency with years of experience in the entertainment field with a full lineup of entertainers that fit your wedding.

When should I book entertainment for my holiday party?

The answer is as soon as possible. Entertainers in high demand are reserved early, so if you want a specific entertainer for your party, the earlier the better.

Do I need to reserve my venue before the entertainment?

Yes! You need an exact date and location before contacting an entertainment agency. If you have a theme but don’t know what kind of entertainers you need, an entertainment agent can make recommendations for entertainers appropriate for your theme.

Have any more questions? Contact us. With over 25 years of experience, we can bring your ideas to life and answer any questions you might have.