Whether you are experienced in event planning or not, organising an event abroad presents a unique set of challenges. You might not step foot in the country your event is taking place in until the day it happens (and that’s if you’re attending at all!).
However, whether you are looking to hire your entertainment in-country or bring an act in from another, there are many factors to consider.
As such, we’ve put together a list of five top tips to think about when sourcing entertainment for your international event.
1. Consider their visa status.
If you are bringing your entertainment in from abroad, you might need to consider whether they have the right to work where your event is being held.
For instance, the United States has rigorous requirements for those coming to work.
On the other hand, it is usually a more straightforward process if your act travels from one European Union country to another.
Either way, it is prudent to double-check what the situation is. There are often companies that specialise in entertainment visa applications that can advise you.
2. Liaise with the act on their equipment needs
Many of the same factors that determine what entertainment you would book domestically still apply when organising an event abroad.
For example, if you have limited space, but you’re looking for musicians, remember that a solo act will be a much more prudent choice than a nine-piece soul band.
Once you have booked your entertainment, you’ll have to work with them to ensure the technical details are okay.
For example, suppose you are having multiple acts perform on the same stage with the equipment provided by a staging company. In that case, all of the individuals involved must be put in touch with each other as far in advance as possible.
Likewise, if your entertainment act provides their own PA gear/ sound system, they’ll need to know a few details about your venue – the available space, how close power is to the performance space etc.
If your act is bringing equipment from another country, they may need to know details on the local power supply/ plug configuration.
Your venue may also want details from your chosen act, such as insurance information.
Preparing this information in advance can help smooth out your planning process. It is also worth considering the health and safety rules of your event venue with regards to your plans – your venue contact should be able to tell you more.
3. Work out payment details in advance.
A critical point to remember when dealing with event suppliers is to arrange payment terms in advance.
Most event entertainment acts will send you their payment terms upon making a booking but do ensure that you have a plan to settle the final bill.
You will usually have to pay a deposit to secure your act for the event. Still, they may accept several different payment methods for settling the final bill – typically due no later than the day of the event.
Most entertainment acts will require payment via bank transfer in advance of the day, but payment terms will probably be stipulated in the contract they ask you to sign (also standard practice).
While it is getting rarer (especially for international events), some acts will accept cash payment. When you’re booking in advance, you must make sure you agree on which currency they will be paid, using a reputable currency converter.
4. Book any accommodation early.
It may sound obvious, but if you oversee providing accommodation for your act, then make sure suitable rooms are booked as far in advance as possible.
The last thing anyone wants is for all the hotel rooms in the area to be unavailable on the day of the event, as this can bring extra expense and logistical problems.
With your agreement, some acts will book their own accommodation and add it to your bill as an expense. If needed, they should provide you with a copy of the invoice or receipt for your records.
5. Don’t micromanage the performance.
Lastly, it is important to trust the act you book.
While event entertainment is important, you should be able to trust your act to be the professionals they are.
While it may be tempting to get into every little detail of their setlist/ what they plan to perform, it is essential to remember that you are booking trained professionals.
If you have booked a professional act, they will be experienced in delivering their service.
Of course, you should feel free to ask questions about anything you’d like to know more about, but it’s worth remembering that your act will probably have performed at hundreds of events in the past.
In fact, there is nothing wrong with asking them for advice, especially if you are new to planning international events.
If you are looking to book international event entertainment, consider browsing the listings on Gig Heaven. With a vast selection of event suppliers based worldwide, you are bound to find the perfect act for your event.
Guest post by Jon Fellowes of Gig Heaven