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How to Select Entertainment and Talent for Your Next Charity Event in Chicago

Chicago is home to some incredible organizations that have put together must-attend charity events in 2022. Some of these organizations are well-established and working with tons of resources, including an experienced event planner. 

What if you’re planning a charity event for the first time? What if you don’t have tons of resources but still want to plan a charity event for the books?

Charity event planning doesn’t have to be complicated. The key is to find the best venue, food, and entertainment to suit your guests and your cause. 

Let’s talk about how to find the best Chicago entertainment for your upcoming charity event. We’ll go over what to consider and where to find the best talent selection in the region.

Consider the Cause and the Goal

Before you consider hiring talent, it’s important to think about the cause you’re championing and the goal of your charity event. Common charity event goals include:

  • raising money for a cause
  • raising awareness of an issue
  • raising awareness of your charity
  • making an important announcement 
  • celebrating a milestone

The goal of your charity event should inform everything from your budget to what you’re looking for in an entertainer. For example, if your goal is to raise money for a cause, you will want to raise more than you spend, which may require a tighter budget. If your goal is to raise awareness, you may decide to work with a bigger budget to draw in as big a crowd as possible. 

Put Together an Event Itinerary

Once you understand what your goals are, it’s time to put together a loose event itinerary. Why should you do this before you start looking for charity entertainment? 

Some charity events aren’t as structured as others. Guests may be encouraged to move freely from one focal point (like a booth or an exhibit) to another, and you may decide that you want live music playing in the background the entire time or caricature artists stationed around your venue.

Other charity events are structured around timed events, such as speakers and acknowledgments. If this is the case, you may only need additional live entertainment for shorter periods of time. 

The more you can communicate about what you expect from your entertainers and when you expect it, the easier it will be to find the right match.

Establish a Theme

Even formal charity events tend to have a theme. In fact, professional event planners will tell you that failing to establish a theme is one of the reasons that they see charity events failing to meet their goals.

Establishing a theme gives your guests a sense of what to expect and how to dress. For example, your guests won’t know that your October charity event is Halloween-themed (and therefore that costumes are encouraged) unless you make that clear.

Your theme doesn’t just help out your guests. It also comes in handy during charity event planning, informing everything from your food choices to your entertainment choices. A string quartet may seem out of place at a carnival while a comedian may seem out of place at a formal event. 

Create a Guest Profile

Who is most likely to attend your event? Put together a guest profile that includes things like age as well as any other relevant demographic factors like religion or gender. 

Your guest profile can come in handy when you’re picking charity entertainment because it can help you to narrow down your options. The goal is to ensure that no one is put off or offended. Better still, the goal is to find an entertainer that will appeal to your guests and encourage more of them to attend.

Work With an Entertainment Agency

Here is the most important tip we can offer anyone in the midst of charity event planning in Chicago: work with an entertainment agency. More specifically, work with an entertainment agency that has experience finding talent for charity events.

Artists, Events, and Entertainment has over 25 years of experience finding the top talent in Chicago for events of all kinds. We’ve helped everyone from brides to CEOs to, yes, charity event planners find the perfect entertainment for their big nights and weekends. When you work with us, we’ll take care of all of your entertainment needs, including the ins and outs of entertainment contracts.

What Not To Do When Selecting Charity Entertainment

Our guide to finding charity entertainment wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention a few mistakes to avoid. Let’s take a quick look at what not to do when hiring talent for your charity event.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

The earlier you start the planning process, the better. When you start looking for entertainers early, you have a wider selection of talent to choose from. Plus, you can use your selected entertainment in your marketing materials to secure more guests.

Don’t Hire Entertainment Without Professional Help

There are hundreds of entertainers in Chicago who all have different areas of expertise and different booking processes. By working with an entertainment agency, you ensure that you’re only hiring the best and that you don’t have to worry about the headache of confusing, limiting, or intricate contracts.

Don’t Forget to Budget for Entertainment

Of course, many Chicago entertainers are happy to participate in a good cause. Still, you shouldn’t consider them part of your volunteer crew. Make sure that you budget for entertainment and communicate honestly with your entertainment agency about how much you can afford to spend.

Let Us Help You Plan Your Chicago Charity Event

Are you getting ready to plan a charity event in Chicago? You’re in great company. Chicago is home to some of the finest organizations that host incredible, memorable charity events every year.

We want to make sure that your charity event is incredible and memorable, too. Contact us to get started booking entertainers for your charity event in Chicago.

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