Monthly Archives: May 2014

Hiring Entertainment For Your Event

Entertainment can make or break your event.  But selecting the right acts isn’t as easy as just calling to see if they’re available.  The following are some tips to help guide you when selecting the entertainment to “wow” your guests.

#1.  It doesn’t matter what type of entertainment you like.  Select the act that best fits your audience.  It’s rather simple.  Just sample your audience and/or potential audience to get their feedback.   What type of performer or group will keep your audience interested?

#2.  Get references from recent dates where the entertainer performed.  This is very important if you’re hiring a nationally-known band.  Many of the original members of bands from the 60s, 70s and 80s aren’t touring with their original bands anymore, so you may be getting a lead singer, who doesn’t have that iconic voice you remember from your records.   On the flip side, some original singers still front their bands, but they’ve lost their voice over time.  Doing some quick checks can alleviate a lot of potential disappointment. 

#3.  Know what types of songs the band will play.   Recently, a youth organization contracted with a rap/hip hop group to play an event for 13-20 year olds.  A quick phone call to the group’s manager to inform them of the ages of the audience, combined with a request that the group minimize the explicit language, worked wonders.  The kids loved the music and their parents had no problems with the act.

#4.  Paying more money for a good band is worth the investment.  Many organizations want to pay as little as possible for entertainment, but it makes no sense.  No matter what your event is, I guaranty that people will be talking about the entertainment for a long time … good or bad.  As one member of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame told us, “Sure we started out getting paid with a few sandwiches and a case of beer.  But we just weren’t good enough at that time to play for an audience like this.”

#5.  Keep in mind additional costs.  Depending upon your venue, you may need to bring in stage, sound and lights.  Don’t skimp on these because poor sound or bad lighting is a guaranteed ticket to audience unhappiness.

#6.  Provide some food and beverages for the band.  Performing can take a lot of energy, so by providing refreshments restocks their energy, which gives you a better performance in the long run.

#7.  Always sign a detailed contract.  Make sure all your responsibilities are spelled out.  The contract should include at least the following:

  • Date, time (starting and ending) and location of the performance
  • How many musicians will be present
  • Who is responsible for providing sound and lighting equipment
  • Who will operate the mixer and sound/lighting system
  • Time of the day when band will be expected to setup equipment
  • Dress code desired for performers during event
  • How many people will be in the audience
  • That specified food and drink will be provided to the band at no charge
  • When the deposit will be made and how much it will be
  • When the final payment is to occur and how much it will be 
  • Will you allow the act to sell merchandise?  If so, will you get a percentage of sales?

#8.  Make your decision then book the entertainment immediately.  The best acts are getting offers almost every day and I guaranty they won’t sit around waiting for you.

Of course, if you need assistance in selecting the best possible acts for your events, contact us at 

Inspirational Speaker

Looking for a truly unique motivational speaker? How about a guy, bullied as a young teen, who grew up to become the #1 heavyweight boxing contender in the world, headlining many HBO fight cards.

Wait, it doesn’t stop there. Just as he was on the cusp of getting his title shot, he was injured and the bleeding on his brain stopped him from fighting for a couple years.

Great story right? Wait, it gets better. After a battery of neurosurgeons, neurologists and other doctors clear him to fight again, the primary boxing commissions, in Nevada and New York, refuse to license him again. So he renews his career in out of the way places.

The story isn’t over yet. After he wins his fourth fight in a row on his comeback, with HBO looking for him to headline again and the boxing commissions ready to relent and let him fight for the title, he retires undefeated.

He gets married, has a family, becomes a successful businessman and creates the Champs Against Bullying Foundation.

Let “Baby” Joe Mesi inspire your people with his story and give them solid ideas as to how they can overcome their challenges to become a success. Your event will be a knockout!

Contact us at to check on Joe’s availability.


Tips for Great Events

Large Conference Room low res

Planning any corporate meeting means keeping track of many details.  But as a successful event planner, you must go beyond the obvious to create a successful event.

Here are six tips that you may not have thought about that will help ensure that you’ll have a great event.

1. Reduce Your Room Attrition Fee.  A few days before your event, check to see if your hotel is booked. If so, you can use that to get them to waive any attrition fees you may have incurred.

2. Arrive Early for Site Visits.  Show up at least one hour before your scheduled site inspection, unannounced. In that time, walk around, try to interact with staff like you are a guest (ask directions, ask “difficult questions” as if you were not a seasoned traveler), look in the restaurants — eat there if you have time, ask for recommendations for a local restaurant (just to see the responsiveness).  By doing this you’ll find out if the property is the quality you’ll need.  If not, you can skip your meeting and save time.

3. Use a Tree Stanchion for Lanyards.  As any planner or registrar knows, string/lanyard badges can get tangled easily and create quite a mess in the registration area.  Go on the Internet and buy some “tree stanchions.”  You’ll rarely have issues with knots. Plus, they make the registration area look even more professional and organized. You can even place a sign on top of them!

4. Reserve Last Rows to Fill Front Rows.  Don’t risk empty tables or chairs at the front of your event.  Place reserved signs on the last two rows of tables or chairs in the ballroom.  It forces people to look at tables or chairs closer to the stage.  Only after those front tables or chairs are filled should you remove the reserved signs to fill the tables in the back of the room.

5. Buy a Box Dedicated as a Supply Kit. A toolbox is extremely handy to place miscellaneous items you would need for your meeting (pens, stapler/staples, paperclips, box cutter, scissors, velcro, batteries, sewing kit, emergency kit etc.) and emergency kit. Everything is organized and in one spot to help save time when needed. Make sure you have a list of contents and restock the box after your event.

6. Make sure you’ve got the appropriate speaker and/or entertainment for your event. While this might seem obvious, many people become far more enamored with “names” and fail to see if the message is the most appropriate for your audience.  Often times that means working with a third-party, who has worked with, but doesn’t directly represent, the speakers/entertainers your considering.

If you need input on speakers or entertainers to make your events the best they can be, contact

Terry Sylvester

Terry Sylvester 2

Forty five years ago Terry Sylvester left as lead singer of The Swinging Blue Jeans with their hit “Hippie Hippie Shake” to join The Hollies.

He played a key role on vocals and rhythm guitar on The Hollies’ hits, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, “The Air That I Breathe” and “Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)” among others.

Terry’s musical career blossomed and in 2010, he become one of only five people from Liverpool, England inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.  And in case you’re wondering, he grew up, and kept in contact, with the other four … John, Paul, George and Ringo.  In fact, the Fab Four asked Terry and his first band, The Escorts, to open for them as The Beatles played their last show at the famed Cavern Club.

Terry’s storied musical career has also touched many other greats.  Cat Stevens was his next door neighbor in London; and Terry also sang backup on some of Cat’s albums.  He’s played soccer with Rod Stewart.  Terry also worked with a young session player as The Hollies recorded “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.”  That piano player, Elton John, went on to have a pretty good career himself.

Terry is still playing his music across the world.  In recent years he completed tours of Great Britain and Australia, but he primarily plays at events across the United States.

Whether you’re looking to book The Hollies Greatest Hits with Terry Sylvester as entertainment, or have Terry be a most unique speaker for your next event, please contact us at

Looking for someone specific?

We have access to a wide variety of talent! If you're looking for a specific artist or personality and don't see their name on our roster, CONTACT US! We can help you book almost anyone for your event.

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Not sure who would be a good match for your event? NO PROBLEM! Our creative team can find the right artist or speaker for your event. With an amazing track record of creating first-time programs exclusive to you, we can, in many cases, help bring national attention to your event.