It’s always an added challenge whenever we produce events outside of our “home turf” of New York City – fortunately, we’ve done this a zillion times, and have got the routine down pat. But for you, the event organizer, our level of comfort and confidence in our ability to take our act “on the road” doesn’t matter one bit; “importing” corporate event entertainment from some distant place to your meticulously-planned function can be downright nerve wracking – and understandably so!
Here are the 5 most crucial questions you MUST ask your entertainment vendor if they are coming in from out of town:
- 1. What else do I need to know from you? – What do I need to know about how you do events outside of your normal business area? What haven’t I asked yet that needs answering? Basically, what will I be getting – or NOT getting – by bringing you to me, rather than taking my people and my event to you? (click here for more useful tips).
- 2. What is your setup like? How long will you need? – This can sometimes be forgotten after nailing down the more pressing question, “What time will you be here?” Especially if the vendor is coming to a new venue they’ve never been to before, find out how much time they conservatively will need to get up and running – and build that into your overall agenda.
- 3. How will your staffing be affected? – Does the vendor require a large staff, and if so, will they be coming along for the ride, or arranged locally? Will it be their usual staff in their usual numbers, or will they be “bare bones” and/or “hired guns?” How will this impact the service – and, ultimately, the audience’s experience?
- 4. What extra charges will I incur? – There is typically a travel fee of some sort added on to the professional fee, which may include transportation, lodging, food, per diem, a stand-alone extra fee, or all of the above. Be very clear up front about what you will have to pay on top of the regular fee in order to bring this vendor to you, as well as any potential add-ons.
- 5. What do you need from me? – This is the big one. As the one arranging (and paying) for the vendor, it is your natural inclination to assume the service provider knows what they are doing – and if your vendor is professional & reputable, they likely have the confidence & pride to justify that assumption. However, by offering yourself as a resource to the vendor, you A) allow them to feel comfortable approaching you with any lingering questions / concerns they DO have, which will B) encourage them to ask for help when they might not have otherwise. Don’t assume they know everything already – ask how you can help them do their jobs efficiently & effectively.