The do's and don'ts of booking

Below is an interview with Sarah Welch, graduate advisor in the Center for Student Activities and Involvement. You can listen to the interview or read some of the highlights below to learn about the do's and don'ts of booking talent.

DO start looking for talent for your event

According to Sarah, you should pop into your advisor's office and see what he or she can offer you. Advisors have access to numerous campus resources for finding entertainment that appeals to the college crowd.

Specifically, Sarah mentions the National Association for Campus Activities, whose sole purpose is to link campus-friendly entertainers with college programming boards.

DON'T get caught in a verbal agreement

When you find talent you want to book, as a student, you are allowed to contact the entertainer or his or her agent and ask for details such as a price range, what accommodations the entertainer would require should you book him or her, the entertainer's upcoming schedule, etc.

You cannot in any way, shape or form let the entertainer or agent know that you would like to book him or her, according to Sarah. This includes letting the entertainer or agent know how much you would be willing to spend. Doing so would enter you into a verbal contract, which is exactly the same as a written contract. If you were to cancel the event, you as a student would personally be liable for the charges...eek!

DO let your advisor handle the contracting

To avoid footing the bill yourself, let your advisor handle all of the contracting and negotiating once you have found talent you would like to book. All paid performers at UF must sign a contract before they can perform.

Tips

"Don't limit yourself and set your eyes on only one act. E-mail as many booking agents as possible. Many times the artists are not available or they are out of your price range. However, in that process, one act will come up and fit the bill."

-Bailey Parke, RUB Entertianment bands committee director

About

Currently, I'm president of Reitz Union Board Entertainment, which provides free entertainment to the UF community every night of the week--yeah, it's a lot of planning.

I've found the best place to seek help is from those who have done it before. All of the advice and tips provided here are from people who have planned UF events and know the trials and tribulations of the process.

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Check out my student leadership blog.