Please do not ask a celebrity to attend for free just because you are awesome or because you think they might like you. Celebrities and their agents are inundated with freebie requests from charities, causes, politicians, and on and on.
Time is money, and while most celebrities make much more than everyone else, their overhead is much higher as well. Personal stylists, big wardrobes, agents, entourages, security, That is part of why you want them, isn’t it?
So do not waste everyone’s time, we won’t beat this to death.
In business and life, for it to work, everyone must bring something valuable to the table. The influence and credibility of the celebrity is valuable. Your cash is valuable. Maybe you have something else that would be valuable to a given celebrity, but cash is the fastest and easiest. It is so much harder to try to get a celebrity in a non-cash way that it is almost not worth doing, and can ruin your chances with that agent and other celebrities. We get past the gatekeepers because when we call, it usually means money and real deals. This is valuable. Enough said.
Use cash, be businesslike, be ready to sign a contract. It is the American way.
Before you approach a Celebrity or their agents, have your dates all mapped out, at least tentative reservations done, caterers and entertainment lined up, and all the basics of event planning, if not finalized, in pretty good shape. Do not waste the gatekeeper’s time.
In general it is better to match a celebrity to an event than an event to a celebrity.
Sometimes a given celebrity’s calendar can change without notice and you do not want to be left out in the cold when it is possible to find an alternate and save your event. In business and in life, you always want to have alternatives available.
Consider carefully which celebrities really make sense for your party. Celebrities are a lot more sensitive than they used to be about doing an appearance at a party, because in years past they used to be very private affairs and photos could be much better controlled.
Now everyone at the party will be recording, Facebooking and Tweeting pictures and videos. While the benefit of having the celebrity there is better than ever, the potential risks and pitfalls are higher for celebrities than ever before.
Yes, we are aware that having celebrities meet their fans also helps them as well, it is just that we are in a different transparent social media world now, where pictures of celebrities are routinely remixed, photoshopped, and taken out of context.
That is the way it is, and if you have done your homework to ensure that your
celebrity will be well taken care of and you have thought through exactly what you want to have happen, it will go much better in getting the actual deal done.
Almost all parties will have some kind of sound system set up for the musicians, music, or entertainment, but often times that isn’t really the best place if you want to have the celebrity get up and say a few words, mention the sponsor, give or get an award, have a photo op.
Consider the best place just for this with an easy entrance and exit, and double check that the sound system is loud enough, works without feedback, and is in
the optimum location for your audience.
The “green room” is a room where only the celebrity and the event sponsors can go.
Generally the contract should say what the celebrity expects to have in the green room.
What kind of food, water, anything else the celebrity needs and it is usually written into the contract itself. Commonly the celebrity will need to change clothes, see how they look in the mirror, touch up hair and makeup, etc. This is part of what they need to look and feel their best for you, and to do their part to help make your party a success. Common sense should be mentioned; we have never seen a green room without a bathroom in it, and almost all of them have showers, as well. Every major performance venue in America has this little “back area” for the performers and celebrities built into it, but if you are having an event in an unusual location you will have to improvise. If your event is outdoors, an RV, Trailer, or temporary building can serve, and many of the best event planners know where to get or rent them.
Most agreements will require you to provide this.
Security will generally be written into the contract. Sometimes the celebrity has their own personnel and they will have to be paid, as well. Most parties do not have to take this into account nearly as much as those involving celebrities.
Staging and Logos
While many parties big enough to consider hiring a celebrity will have it, there should be some place in addition to the green room where you can do a small, intimate “meet and greets” with the celebrity and the sponsor. It should be quiet, fit the particular celebrities tastes, have refreshments and sometimes food, be welcoming and comfortable. Use the green room rider as a guideline for how to set up the meet and greet room or area. Generally the same items will apply here as in the green room.
In EACH place where the celebrity is going to be or speak, if you want to have your banner or logo visible behind the celebrity, not only will you have to have these made beforehand, but figure out the best placements and lighting for them. Sometimes these photos are of the most lasting benefit, so do not falter in your planning here.
For almost any event, you will want to at least have the banner or logo behind or near any photos taken of the celebrity. This will all be written into the contract. Sometimes if you want to have a well-known musician or musical group perform, their contract rider will specify that their logo has to be in the background, not yours.
This is something that you will have to iron out in the contract, but we are mentioning it here because it will affect the physical space where the party will be held, so you should keep this in mind in your planning before finalizing the contract.
PHOTO OPs, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM
In the contract itself, if agreed, you can have the celebrity post to their social media while AT the party. This is a separate point in the contract, but again you will want to have in mind the best physical space to use, and prepare it with lighting, backdrops, and keep in mind easy entrances and exits, and security.
Total Time or Time Range
In your contract or agreement, there will generally be a minimum and maximum time for the total appearance. You must be prepared beforehand with the event schedule, and be aware that the Celebrity is there to do their job, but that job does not include waiting around for hours or staying there all night, unless of course that is in the contract. Most contracts are pretty reasonable, but they can’t make up for poor planning on your part.
You must be ready.
PAYMENTS and CONTRACTS
Generally with any of these appearance deals, you are going to have to pay by wire in advance.
If something happens with the celebrity’s schedule, usually they will have an option to reschedule or refund your money at their choice.
There are exceptions, but that is generally how it works. No celebrity’s agent is going to take a chance on having someone sign a contract, give a credit card and charge it back a day after the appearance.
Escrow services are just a little too cumbersome in this business generally. They might be used in huge endorsement deals sometimes, but not with parties. So, you are going to have to budget for this, and be prepared to pay on time according to your contract.
Our lawyers want us to say emphatically that this is NOT LEGAL ADVICE, but remember that under current American law according to the FTC the paid endorser/endorsee relationship MUST BE DISCLOSED. You can find our executive summary of the most important points relating to your celebrity endorsement contract here
There are other links from that page to what we feel are the most important legal matters that you must make sure are taken care of in the contract, and to satisfy the government, if you think you don’t look good in stripes.
Part of the reason that big companies do press releases and events announcing an endorsement deal of a celebrity or athlete, is that if the endorser/endorsee relationship is up front, and publicly known, the public isn’t being tricked, and can make their own decision. This applies not just to events but to the entire endorsement contract.
Doing an “announcement event” ends up being a sort of promotion in itself, which is another reason big companies do it.
Your attorney can and should advise you on what you should do in your particular situation, but the above link will help you get your essentials together. Absolute minimum in our opinion is doing a press release before the event, so you have something to show that you attempted to make the relationship clear before the event and any subsequent social media takes place. Again this is not legal advice, you will have to do your own due diligence for your locality.
Even though we have written many DOs and DON'Ts on the way that things are generally done, keep in mind that a party is quite a bit different than a business event, grand opening, conference, etc, and as there are many different types of parties, there are many different types of agreements.
All these agreements are not 100 percent set in stone and each celebrity or athlete can be different in the way they approach these events. All the information above are guidelines that will cover you in a majority of situations, but don't be afraid to ask and clarify each point. It is not our purpose here to scare you , but to help you get your deal actually inked, and make the most of the opportunity you have.
If you have questions, contact us today and we will be happy to try to answer them for you!