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Celebrity bookings – the inside track

Celebrity bookings – the inside track

Sharron ElkabasAll business owners, charity organizations sports clubs and big brands want their name to stand proud of the crowd. Increasingly so in the modern world, you need more than just a great product to do so. As such, never have celebrity endorsements, guest speakers, public appearances and brand ambassadors played a more important role in helping you reach the largest and most relevant audience possible.

You might think that all this would be way beyond your means, difficult to arrange and a nightmare to manage once you have star studded celebrities in your charge.

But you’d be wrong!

I would like to take this opportunity to debunk a few myths, offer advice and insight, and generally encourage you to aim for the top with any appearances or endorsements you may be planning.

Worried about your budget? The first thing to get right is your budget. If you have lots to invest, it’s pretty much the case that the sky is the limit, but even if you don't, you can still hope to have a recognizable personality appear on your behalf.

Though celebrities are constantly contacted with small offers and cannot accept them all, if you pitch yourself to an agent in the right way, you might still win them over.

As such, it’s worth your while doing some research to discover some other reasons why the celebrity might want to attend your event. Is it a charitable cause close to their heart? Do they have some connection to the brand or location? Is it something that will enhance their own profile or offer them an experience they couldn't get anywhere else?

If you come to an agent with all of these questions already answered in your own head, you stand a better chance of at least having your offer looked over by your chosen celebrity.

How do I match a celebrity to my event/brand? This bit should come fairly naturally.

If you’re opening a sports clothing shop, for instance, an appearance from Olympic athlete turned regular TV face Louis Smith would fit the brief.

If you’re launching a new beauty product, a well-known face like singer and broadcaster Charlotte Church demoing the product in store would add immediate credibility and visibility to your brand for example.

We find, though, that some of the most effective bookings are a little bit more creative. Current singers, DJs, turntablists and musicians are worth looking into if you’re trying to attract a younger audience.

Ultimately, if you’re not sure who would be the right fit, or you have a number of different ideas in mind, the best thing you can do is contact a talent agent for suggestions.

No matter how experienced you are, there are plenty of benefits to a collaborative effort.

Contracts and riders – explained Anyone and everyone you book for an appearance will come with certain conditions and a rider. And it’s imperative you stick to these contractual obligations to ensure everything runs smoothly. There’s nothing worse than a celebrity tantrum!

Agents should be happy to provide rider information well in advance so you have time to prepare.

Working with a professional talent agency such as MN2S will ensure everything is agreed and contracted in advance. This serves to protect you, the buyer, as much as the talent you are booking.

These agencies take care of the advancing and keep you informed of any issues as they happen. That means that if, for some reason, a contracted celebrity is forced to pull out, we are on hand to find a replacement straight away.

The value of a good business relationship When dealing with celebrities and high profile events you need to make sure everything runs smoothly and professionally. Agents, meanwhile, look for reliability in their clients. So it’s in everyone’s interests to develop a solid relationship based on trust, good information and constant communication.

Once a certain level of mutual trust has been reached, an agent will be willing to give you the best rates as well as sensitive information on when certain celebrities are available in the relevant territories.

It’s no exaggeration to say that developing a good business relationship with an agent can give you an edge over your rivals.

Sharron Elkabas is an owner and director at MN2S, an international talent booking agency, global music distributor and label management company based in London.

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