Entertainment Booking Agent jobs(Also known as Promoter, Local promoter, Live acts promoter, Entertainment agent)
A booking agent seeks to match performance artists on their roster with corporate events and public shows, for the purposes of welcoming, educating or entertaining a crowd of people. A booking agent is the first port of call for public venues which wish to stage a live performance, conference or event, and which require hired acts to perform on such occasions. The booking agent can operate in any sector of the entertainment industry, but can also work to place notable speakers, celebrity personalities, respected industry people or fringe entertainers with hiring venues. Most choose to diversify across a broad range of sectors and specialisations. Popular requests for bookings include singers, dancers, clowns, musicians, speakers, magicians, hosts, MCs, DJs, and a whole raft of unusual side-arts, such as contortionists, belly dancers and striptease performers. The booking agent agrees a fee with the client, and then places the booking with a given entertainer by way of a “one-day” contract. Assuming the process has worked smoothly, the booking agent derives their commission by charging more to the venue than the artist, speaker or entertainer has demanded for the appearance. Booking agents should not be confused with artist managers, whose role goes much more deeply into public relations and artist career betterment. The booking agent works in the interest of the performer in an attempt to create more demand for bookings of that particular act, but they do not manage their roster on a personal level. The booking agent’s customer is the hiring venue, and in this respect, the artists “on the books” are effectively the business’s “operating stock.”
SalaryThe potential scope of earnings goes from absolute zero to some fabulous highs; there are several agencies in the UK who operate internationally, providing high-cachet acts for global expos, events and concerts. Candidates are most likely to be familiar with booking agents as the “one man band,” the guy with the small operation who provides entertainment at village fetes and local community parties. In this respect, the earnings potential is limited initially by the agent’s ability to sign up acts for possible placement. At the top end of the scale, some of the larger operators have 15,000 acts on their books yielding enormous earnings potential, even if just a small number of those acts are being placed regularly. According to Payscale.com, the average UK salary for a booking agent ranges from £14,751 to £24,536, but this is an indicative index only; an agent with two DJs and a magician available for parties in a 15km radius will obviously not get close to this revenue potential.
- Understand the hiring client’s request, in terms of event type and entertainment requirement
- Actively market the agency to attract new artists to register as being “on the books”
- Manage the exchange of booking contracts between the client, the agent and the artist
- Seek out new markets and speciality acts to better equip the agency for expansion
- Handle the flow of money from client to artist, retaining a reasonable commission for the agency
QualificationsThere are no formal requirements in terms of qualifications. Anyone can set up a booking agency as it is down to the entrepreneur’s ability to network, their self-motivation and their ability to cross-sell that is more important than anything else. Marketing experience from college or university is helpful but absolutely not essential; the same goes for general business qualifications.
- Ability to understand exact requirements of an event or request
- Be able to administer contracts effectively
- A reasonable head for figures is needed to derive commissions and account effectively
- Should be sympathetic to the requirements of the artist, and to recommend them only for appropriate events
- Good general marketing skills will enable the agent to market acts, and also to grow their own agency