If you are looking to raise the profile of your event, and to generate press then you maybe considering reaching out to various celebrities to invite them to attend your event. Although they are often accused of just trying to boost their profile we are in a celebrity obsessed culture and getting a celebrity to attend your event can do wonders for your brand or charity; Jane Cooper, of Unicef UK, said: ‘Celebrities have a unique ability to reach millions of people, many of who may not be interested in an event otherwise.’ Here are some of the most important things to remember when trying to get a celebrity to attend your event.
At The Handbook we receive hundreds of calls each week from people wanting to invite and book celebrities to attend their event, or work with them. Here are our top tips to help you along the way.
1. Hire a Celebrity booking agent or celebrity fixer. A booking agent is the middle man who will help you plan the event, select a site and review contracts. Primarily, a booking agent will work with the celebrities agent or manager to get the best possible price for you. The booking agent has the smarts, handles the things you don’t know about and makes the process as simple as possible. First of all contact the agent or manager, they may have a preferred booking agent that they like to work with. At The Handbook we work very closely with celebrities and so can negotiate a much lower rate on your behalf, for more information contact The Handbook Bookings here or ring 0203 021 0899 / email firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Find the right celebrity. Supply the booking agent with as much information as possible. Additionally, it is not always size that matters. A C- lister may still draw the same attention if they are willing to do a meet and greet where as bigger celebrities usually are not. Be particularly thoughtful when it comes to comedians as they have individual styles which may not suit everyones taste. For example at the 2015 Silicon Valley Tech Awards comedian T.J. Miller called Uber CEO’s girlfriend a ‘bitch.’ It didn’t end well and Miller was made to apologise.
3. Work out your budget. Money talks. The budget is one of the most important aspects after finding the right celebrity. If it is a charity event celebrities may do it for free if it is something dear to their heart. Bear in mind they will still be loaded with requests so don’t be offended if they turn you down. Prices can range anywhere from £500 for a reality TV star to £500,000 for a private Justin Timberlake concert. If you have a little extra in your budget consider adding in extras. These can just be small things like flowers.
4. Work out what a celebrity wants by following the rider. A rider goes into detail about what the celebrity expects in addition to items that their entourage may require, such as dressing room space. If you follow the rider everything will go smoothly and they will likely remember the experience positive – making them more likely to work with you again. Some celebrities demands have been reported to be outrageous but most are fine. Kanye West reportedly ordered that someone iron the creases from his dressing room carpet.
5. Choose a good venue. The venue can be make or break. Is they stage large enough for the celebrities performance? It’s nice to be original but it would be beneficial to pick somewhere that has been tried and tested to avoid blips. Check out our venues selection for some of London’s top venues.
6. Plan Ahead. It sounds obvious but book the celebrity in advance. If your celebrity is a big you may want to contact a C lister as a back up. They will most likely comply as it is good publicity for them. Additionally, while you are waiting on a celebrity to get back to you, contact your second and third choice.
7. Ask for something small. Asking a celebrity to attend an event, even if it is a non for profit charity event, is a maybe a large request. But you could mention that if they didn’t want to attend they could do something smaller – like tweet about it.
8.Find out if your celebrity supports your charity. If a celebrity supports your charity or cause they are more likely to attend because they have already demonstrated that they care about it. For example Angelina Jolie often attends events events for Great Ormond Street Hospital or for charities relating to children in general. For a list of full celebrities and the charities they work with click here.
9. Find out when a celebrity is in Town If a celebrity is already in Town or nearby, they are more likely to attend your event. The Handbook What’s On maybe useful, detailing over 7000 annual events, and listing celebrities in Town, the events they are attending and their schedules. Full details can be viewed here.
10. Have a plan , celebrity agents are very busy people and will not approach their clients about a project celebrity booking unless there is a good chance it will go ahead, therefore make sure you have an idea of dates, timings and budget for the celebrity. Without this you will put the agent off getting the celebrity involved with your event from the beginning, also if your chosen celebrity is not free to attend your event ask the celebrity agent of manager if they are able to make other alternative suggestions. There maybe other celebrities that they have on their books which are looking to raise their profiles and are available and keen to attend your event free of charge. If you can present them with a list of tangible reasons why they should attend, and how they can benefit, such as a) charity element and helping a charity, b) there is press there and the ‘said’ celebrity is looking to raise their profile c) You can promote the celebrity on your website or through your brand.
If you want to check if any of the previously mentioned celebrities are in town this week click here!