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Mark Sonder Productions Batting 1000 Plus…Claim your FREE Checklist

Mark Sonder Productions Batting 1000

Plus…Claim your FREE Checklist



sonder-logoRight now at Mark Sonder Productions we are batting 1000! We want to share our good news with you and let you know of a current campaign we are running. We just set a goal to get 1000 “likes” on our Facebook page as well as 1000 “followers” on our Twitter page. Can you please help us continue to “Bat 1000?” Click and like/follow us today and checkout our good news below, as well as claiming your FREE Checklist!

1. We are celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the publishing of the most relied upon text in the area of entertainment for meetings, conventions, trade shows, expositions and events in the world. That book is, “Event Entertainment and Production,” written by Mark Sonder, MM, CSEP and the Chief Entertainment Officer at Mark Sonder Productions.

2. Speaking of anniversaries, next year will be the 30ieth anniversary of the creation of Mark Sonder Productions (originally Mark Sonder Music), commencing business in New York City in 1985!

3. A year of good business worldwide:
– This week the company is providing music for a large association at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, as well as a new product introduction for a corporation in Arlington, VA.
– Next week the company is sending speaker Nathan Schulhof, inventor of the MP3 Player and President of Future Technology Company, to India to deliver a keynote presentation at The Indian Institute of Technology.
– In addition, the company lists 21 cities in 15 States in the US that they will be placing musicians/headline entertainment in so far this year plus working in Europe and India.

4. Innovative Booking Practices. In Q4 2013 and extending into Q1 2014 sending out a speaker at no free (including no hotel and no r/t airline tickets) for corporate and association clients as Mark Sonder Productions lined up a Sponsor for this speakers expenses and fees!

MarkSonderBW“I am both honored and fortunate to continue to be relevant in this industry, where corporations and associations call on my company to provide them with world-class musicians, headline entertainment, speakers, and production support,” says Sonder.

Click here for your FREE checklist.

Thank you again for liking us on our Facebook page as well as following us on our Twitter page.

Have Mark book your next meeting/event which requires music or entertainment +1-540-636-1640 or msonder@marksonderproductions.com.

Bob Lefsetz

The Birthday Bash (of Howard Stern), by Bob Lefsetz

The Birthday Bash (of Howard Stern)

written by guest contributor and blogger Bob Lefsetz




What kind of crazy f____d up world do we live in where Howard Stern gets a better tribute than the Beatles?

One in which Adam Levine does a spot-on rendition of “Purple Rain” and establishes his rock and roll bona fides overnight.

I was planning on hearing this on the replay, but my flight was canceled by snow and I find myself…unable to stop listening.

What a crazy world we live in. Wherein Howard hypes this low-rent celebration of his sixtieth birthday and the straight media completely ignores it and more celebrities turn out and reveal themselves than at the Golden Globes, the “gold standard” for celebrity looseness.

But it’s not surprising, when Howard specializes in extracting nuggets from others we’re dying to know but are way too creeped out or afraid to ask. Like were your parents virgins when they married?

That was one of the questions Mr. Stern put to his parents twenty years ago, it was featured in the replay of bashes past on his second channel, Howard 101.

By putting it all out there himself, Howard has license to ask you…

Howard SternHow much money you make.

How frequently you have sex.

Whether you’re going to invite him to your wedding.

That’s what Howard asked Katie Couric. Who showed up with not only Whoopi Goldberg, but Barbara Walters. Along with Mariann from Brooklyn and so much of the rest of the Wack Pack.

But not Eric the Midget/Actor.

Don’t know who he is?

That’s just the point. In the Stern world, Eric is a star, with more airtime than a movie star. We know Eric and his peculiarities intimately, whereas the celebrities the mainstream media promotes are airbrushed to the point where when TMZ reveals the tiniest blemish, everybody goes OOH!

But we’re all imperfect, we all have blemishes, we all fart. Otherwise, why would we click the linkbait of stars without their makeup?

Jewel sang her rendition of Howard’s adolescent composition, “Silver Nickels and Golden Dimes.”

And Train may have covered “I Feel The Earth Move” at the Carole King/Musicares tribute, but here the band performed what we really wanted to hear, its spot-on take of Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On.”

And unlike the Grammys, Bon Jovi sang his big hit, the soundtrack to “Deadliest Catch,” “Wanted Dead Or Alive.”

John Mayer didn’t utilize the occasion to promote a single, but covered Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone.”

Although hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman made an appearance, and revealed why he made up with Jay Leno.

And at this late date, hours into the bash, a Google news search of “Howard Stern” reveals nothing other than the appearance of Chris Christie.

But not tomorrow. Tomorrow this will be a big story. When the herd media decides to go on it, since they’re interested in whatever stars do.

But not Howard Stern. Because they don’t want to consider him a star.

Because he’s not beautiful.

He’s not a great singer or actor.

He’s just like them.

And that’s why it’s Howard Stern’s time. You stay in the game long enough and your moment arrives.

In the cacophonous world we inhabit you only rise to the top and sustain if you’re constantly in the public eye, doing new things. And Howard’s creating twelve hours of new material every week, at an insanely high level, since he’s honed his craft for forty years.

Yes, while music focuses on the barely pubescent, when it lauds Miley Cyrus, with songs written by old men, the truth is it’s a long way to the top if you truly want to rock and roll.

And listening to the free stream on my computer it’s reminiscent of nothing so much as a 1970’s FM simulcast. Real, but at a distance.

I didn’t think I needed to be there.

But I was wrong.

Packed with celebrities, John Fogerty is singing “Bad Moon Rising” right now, the show is fast-paced, but loose. There’s none of the airiness or phoniness of network TV.

But that’s not hard to believe, because Howard Stern is the biggest star in America.

And you either know it or you don’t.

He’s America’s Number One Interviewer. A bigger star than Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’ Brien and David Letterman.

Because he’s got the audience.

But you don’t see the Sirius mindshare/listeners in the Nielsen reports.

But that does not mean it’s not real.

What do they say, you judge a star’s wattage by the fanaticism of its audience?

Just read the tweets.

This is bigger than the anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on Ed Sullivan. Because this ain’t history, this ain’t calcified, Howard Stern’s Birthday Bash is life itself.


Ed. Note:  I personally wish to thank Bob for allowing me to re-publish his work here with us at Mark Sonder Productions, Inc.

Bottom Photo:  King of All Media, Howard Stern giving the thumbs up sign.

Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/


If you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter,


Blogging on a Book: “Event Entertainment and Production” Written by Award Winning Music & Entertainment Super Agent Mark Sonder, Ten Years Later

Blogging on a Book: “Event Entertainment and Production” Written by Award Winning Music & Entertainment Super Agent Mark Sonder, Ten Years Later

Author Mark Sonder CSEP book still relevant in the meetings, events, hotel and hospitality industries a decade after publication.


BookCoverFinal2Author, speaker, super agent and lecturer Mark Sonder, MM, and Certified Special Events Professional as well as President of the award winning music and talent agency Mark Sonder Productions, Inc. is proud to announce the 10th Anniversary of the John Wiley & Son’s publication of his first book, “Event Entertainment and Production.”

This 433 page hard cover book has become the best form of “how to” book on the subjects of music, entertainment and production for meetings, conventions, trade shows, expositions, and events around the world and has already been translated and published in Russia.

Used by colleges and universities around the world in their hospitality management diploma programs, this relevant text still provides the necessary skills and written experiences required to plan and execute a successful program using entertainment and production support.

Furthermore, Sonder is a Lecturer in Tourism Studies at The George Washington University’s Master of Tourism Administration degree as well as their Event Management Certificate program.

“I am so honored that many of my colleagues have supported me throughout my continuing career and this book,” said Mark.  Some of those testimonials are below:

“Mr. Sonder has crafted an important new body of work which is an essential for every event professional.”
—Richard Aaron, CMP, CSEP, President, BizBash Media

“I think it’s a quality piece of work that is a strong education tool. Anyone interested in producing great events should have it in their library.”
—Vincent Alonzo, editor-in-chief, Successful Meetings Magazine

MarkSonderBW“I always feel like I’m in good hands when working with Sonder…Mark really knows his stuff.”
—Eddie Money, recording artist

Patti Shock calls Mark, “…one of the country’s leading suppliers of headline entertainment for meetings and events. Clearly Sonder’s book is still relevant today as a basis and foundation for event entertainment and production.”

“Happy New Year and Happy tenth anniversary Mark! Yes indeed, your book is an industry classic. Your work has truly touched the world! This book is the most comprehensive compendium of entertainment and production art and science that has ever been assembled.”
—Professor Joe Goldblatt, PhD., CSEP, FRSA, father of the Special Events Industry

If it is not already on your shelf, here is the information you need:
Title: Event Entertainment and Production
Author: Mark Sonder, MM, CSEP
Publisher: Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Copyright: 2004
ISBN: 0-471-26306-0

Order directly from Amazon.com.

Photos: Top, Event Entertainment and Production book cover; Below, Mark Sonder, MM, CSEP

Editors note:  A press release making this announcement was pickedup by well over 100 media outlets througout the United States!



Entertainment or Slavery? UPDATED INFORMATION!

Entertainment or Slavery? UPDATED INFORMATION!
Documentary Prompts Performers To Cancel SeaWorld Gigs



The below, reported by the Associated Press, is a follow-up to the subject matter I wrote about on October 27, 2013. See original Blog at http://marksonderproductions.com/blog/entry/52-entertainment-or-slavery

Documentary Prompts Performers To Cancel SeaWorld Gigs
Posted: Mon., Dec. 09, 2013 02:46:35 PM MST

SeawordOrcaORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The rock bands Heart and Barenaked Ladies along with country singer Willie Nelson have canceled their planned performances at SeaWorld in Florida, citing the recent documentary “Blackfish,” which raises questions about the effects of captivity on whales.

Joan Jett on Monday also joined the list of recording artists distancing themselves from the marine park when she sent a letter to SeaWorld President Jim Atchison asking that the park stop using her song “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” as the opening music for its “Shamu Rocks” show.

“I’m among the millions who saw ‘Blackfish’ and am sickened that my music was blasted without my permission at sound-sensitive marine mammals,” Jett said in the letter.

A SeaWorld spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the letter.

Heart was the latest act in the past week to cancel appearances at SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & Barbecue music series in February, making their announcement over the weekend. The series is held over several weekends and features top classic rock and country acts.

A posting on Heart’s official Twitter page said the decision was influenced by the recently-released documentary “Blackfish.” The documentary raises questions about the effects of captivity on killer whales at marine parks such as SeaWorld.

SeawordEntertainmentNelson and Barenaked Ladies made their decisions after fans launched Change.org petitions urging them not to perform at SeaWorld.

Barenaked Ladies said in a statement provided by their spokeswoman: “We watch movies too, ya know!”

“This is a complicated issue, and we don’t claim to understand all of it, but we don’t feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time,” the statement said.

SeaWorld officials “have been gracious, and extended us invitations to the park to learn more about what they do, and how they do it,” it said.

SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck said in a statement that marine park officials respect the performers’ decisions but added that they were disappointed that “a small group of misinformed individuals” was able to influence the performers.

“The bands and artists have a standing invitation to visit any of our parks to see firsthand or to speak to any of our animal experts to learn for themselves how we care for animals and how little truth there is to the allegations made by animal extremist groups opposed to the zoological display of marine mammals,” Gollattscheck said.

“Blackfish” explores what may have caused Tilikum, a 12,000-pound orca, to kill veteran SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. She was killed when Tilikum pulled her into a pool. The orca was also involved in two other deaths.

Tilikum was one of three orcas blamed for killing a trainer in 1991 after the woman lost her balance and fell in the pool at Sealand of the Pacific near Victoria, British Columbia. Tilikum was also involved in a 1999 death, when the body of a man who had sneaked by SeaWorld security was found draped over him. The man either jumped, fell or was pulled into the frigid water and died of hypothermia, though he was also bruised and scratched by Tilikum.

The documentary released this year chronicles past incidences of killer whales in captivity acting aggressively toward human trainers and other orcas.

* * *

For all the wrong reasons, I am delighted that this very important humanitarian entertainment issue has gotten legs. It is the hope of this blogger and company to let animal abuse by humans cease.

Other animal abuses that are getting well documented point the finger at Tysons Foods, Wal*Mart and DiGiorno Pizza.
Please view these very disturbing videos. After you finish vomiting, please cease to purchase from these companies as well as share on all your social media accounts in the hopes that public pressure will start to make a difference in their bottom lines and therefore cause change.

– Cows Kicked, Stabbed and Dragged at DiGiorno Pizza.  http://youtu.be/8UaN6wZ1cBA

– Pigs Kicked, Punched, and Spiked Like Footballs at Tyson Factory Farm. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T48yOYjz5sk

Thank you all.  Wishing our readers a happy and healthy holiday season and beyond.




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Live Entertainment That Fits!

Live Entertainment That Fits!

By guest blogger Simone Poetscher, Founder of the Corporate Event Blog Mona’s Event Dos & Don’ts

SimonePoetscherWith virtual and hybrid events steadily gaining momentum over the past years, planners of live events are focusing on one of the advantages that keep live events competitive: the personal experience.

While attendees may also consider facets such as the registration process, event location, and the quality of food & beverage, I believe the key to creating a lasting impression is event entertainment.

Entertainment matters!
Event entertainment comes in many shapes and forms. Aerial artists surprising guests at a cocktail reception, an “Idol” type contestant entertaining during a networking event, Atom: World’s Fastest Painter welcoming arrivals before a lecture, or Sir Elton John showing up as surprise guest at a fundraiser. [Find more about selecting “The Perfect Sounds For Your Corporate Event” at Mona’s Event Dos & Don’ts.] It’s these live experiences that will create lasting memories for guests. Memories that will make them want to spread the word about their experience and return for more.

Diversity, diversity!
Companies have many options when it comes to selecting event entertainment. For evening events, organizations could feature a TED talk, panel discussion; or expert presentation. Social events could feature a DJ or live music entertainment. Conference hosts could give their attendees a chance to break away from a day of presentations while enjoying dance performances, acrobat shows, magicians, or a comedian.

With the broad range of entertainment available to the events industry, narrowing down viable options for a specific event sometimes becomes a strategic challenge. The Corporate Event Blog Mona’s Event Dos & Don’ts has collaborated with Mark Sonder on showcasing that corporate entertainment production can help organizations ease the process of finding event entertainment. Find details in the blog post “Spice Up Your Corporate Event! – The How, What, And Why Of Using Corporate Entertainment Production”.

MicsStuartMilesThe perfect match!
Planners may, however, opt to tackle the challenge of finding the perfect match on their own. As they are starting to determine the best fit of entertainment for their event, I see many planners employing a similar process.

I. Corporate image and goals
First, a planner will focus on the host company’s image and goals that should be represented and reached. Is the event host innovative, conservative, adventurous, authoritative, fun, or cautious? Should the audience be informed, entertained, encouraged to try new products, or focus on networking?

II. Target groups
The next step in the process is taking a close look at the target groups. Knowing their age groups, gender, education, and cultural backgrounds helps determine preferences as it pertains to being entertained. Once these questions are answered, the planner can determine the event format: panel discussion vs. gala, networking event vs. product presentation, etc. Also, the type of entertainment that should be secured for the event can be determined: headline entertainer vs. local dinner dance band, content speaker vs. clown, musicians vs. aerial artists, big band vs. laser show, etc.

III. Budget and event location
Lastly, planners need to know where they stand in regards to their entertainment budget, and be aware of any restrictions their preferred event location may impose on event entertainment.

Armed with this information, it’s time to research options either through personal networks or the internet, before reaching out to a corporate entertainment company or individual artists/speakers/entertainers, negotiating terms & conditions, and contracting the perfect fit.

More than ever, providing a unique and all-around positive live event experience for attendees is essential. I advise to not skimp on the time, effort, and funds it takes to do it right. I am convinced that securing your live entertainment and finding the perfect fit can make all the difference.

– Mona

This guest blog post courtesy of the Corporate Event Blog Mona’s Event Dos and Don’ts. Find more tips and tricks on managing your events via http://www.MonasEventDosAndDonts.com/blog.

Photo: Mona
Image of microphones Courtesy of Stuart Miles / www.freedigitalphotos.net



Entertainment or Slavery?

Entertainment or Slavery?

I must apologize to the readers of our blog, as this blog is not about bands or DJs, speakers for meetings, or business theatre. It is a commentary on event entertainment and man’s behaviour throughout the ages and definition of entertainment.

Blackfish[Ed. Note: originally published in 2013] Last week, as I watched the TV Show Crossfire which was hosted by former Speaker of The House Newt Gingrich talk about the upcoming documentary Blackfish where SeaWorld, although invited, choose not to participate, then watched the actual 2 hour documentary, again where SeaWorld elected not to be interviewed or filmed, and then watched Martin Savage with his expert panel of 4 continue the conversation for 1/2 hour post viewing the 2-hour documentary, again where SeaWorld, although invited according to Mr. Savage, elected not to send someone to be on his panel, it got me thinking. As I am a national entertainment industry expert, it really got me thinking about the price a society pays for entertainment and its very definition and I asked myself a question. Is it entertainment or slavery?

According to Wikipedia, slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work.[1] Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation.

From pre-historic times through the slave trade in Arab countries, from the USA’s slave trade through Africa to the beginning of the 20ieth Century Belgium control over the Congolese to just over 65 years ago the Nazi’s control over Jews in Europe, man’s inhumanity to man has been deplorable. While it has taken most of human history, slavery has been theoretically outlawed in most societies. Or has it been?

Although not new, slavery still continues to exist in all human societies on earth, and, it is totally legal. Instead of man’s inhumanity to man, I am speaking of man’s inhumanity to animals. From the well-documented farm animal’s deplorable conditions and treatment, to the well-documented cases of abuse of domestic animals and cock fighting to the well-documented animals serving time for no crime committed as marine mammals “living” in theme parks.

From a single man owning a “dancing bear” with a leash tied to the bear’s nose ring in India and Pakistan; to a roadside tiger, “living” in a small cage in Tennessee; to multibillion dollar corporations torturing large marine mammals such as orcas by housing them in small cement enclosures, such as at SeaWorld, man’s behaviour is both unethical and immoral. And why? All for the mighty dollar. These animals are the slaves of its owners’/corporations’. SLAVES!

Blackfish2At face value, the large corporations, such as SeaWorld, present an electrifying show with its many ton marine stars — while at the same time managing not to deliver a higher pedagogical message about their lives, their stress levels living in their situations, ripped from their mothers and general coping under pressure to perform for food while the company continues to make millions of dollars. Sad.

Zoological studies…research…examination…I get it. Setting them up to do tricks for humans is difficult to understand. Now that the research and studies have been done in captivity, it is time to release these beautiful creatures in the hopes that they may be able to resume their last few years back where they belong. SeaWorld has done some great work bringing back unhealthy animals from the brink and reintroducing them back to the wild. They have done this for possibly millions of marine lives. Now it is time to add just a few more highly intelligent marine mammals to these millions and abolish slavery forever!

Thank you for reading this rant. I promise the next blog will be in line with our readership’s expectations and more in support of my company’s mission. Just gets you thinking about event entertainment…

–Mark Sonder, MM, CSEP
Mark Sonder Productions, Inc.


The Temptations Revue: A Tribute featuring Hall of Famer Nate Evans Launches New Website

The Temptations Revue: A Tribute featuring Hall of Famer Nate Evans Launches New Website

Award-winning music and talent agency Mark Sonder Productions reveals a new website for their exclusive artist The Temptations Revue: A Tribute featuring Hall of Famer Nate Evans. 

NateEvans2bVisitors to the new website, www.temptationstribute.com, can view biographical information for group members, videos, recent news and a free preview of two songs not yet commercially released tune “Talk About Baby” and “Come on Over to My Place” performed by Nate Evans.

The Temptations Revue: A Tribute feat. Nate Evans, is a finely polished musical ensemble and tribute to the Grammy Award-winning group The Temptations.  Nate Evans, a Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame inductee and former lead singer of The Impressions, was selected by original Temptations lead singers Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, and Dennis Edwards to join the group. Evans has performed with The Temptations (Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Dennis Edwards, and David Sea) including television appearances.

Mark Sonder Productions offers exclusive and non-exclusive bookings with headliners, musicians, comedians, theatrical productions and lecturers. For more information and to view the complete catalog, please visit http://marksonderproductions.com or call +1-540-636-1640.

About Mark Sonder Productions
Mark Sonder Productions is a privately held company that was founded in 1985. It’s an award winning entertainment agency, which has more than 28 years of contracting experience, specialized in events, meetings, conventions, trade shows, expositions, concert and casino facilities worldwide, as seen in The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Miami-Herald, United Press International, as well as on FOX and CBS Money Watch.

Mark Sonder Productions offers exclusive and non-exclusive relationships with headliners, musicians, comedians, theatrical productions and lecturers. The chief entertainment officer, Mark Sonder, is an entertainment industry expert and he has represented clients and end users in the U.S.A. and abroad.

View Press Release


Innovator, Inventor, and Entrepreneur, Nathan Schulhof Available for Bookings on his “Jane Stop this Crazy Thing” Tour for FREE!

Innovator, Inventor, and Entrepreneur, Nathan Schulhof Available for Bookings on his “Jane Stop this Crazy Thing” Speaking Tour for FREE!

Never Before Approach Created by Mark Sonder Productions Partnering with a Corporate Sponsor




This type of booking has never been done before in the meeting, event, and hospitality fields and is only possible through the collaboration with Mark Sonder Productions and a corporate sponsor to deliver the product to you at no cost!  Talent fee, commission, round trip transportation and hotel accomodations are all being picked up for the client throughout the end of 2013!

Mark Sonder, MM, CSEP and the Chief Entertainment Officer at the premier talent agency Mark Sonder Productions, Inc. is proud to announce that his office is sending out the inventor of the MP3 Player, Nathan Schulhof, on tour. As Nathan has a sponsor, the cost to any presenting group will be zero.

Even with the great demand to hear from a man like Nathan we can still accommodate more dates, especially in California. Please call 540-636-1640 to book him today.

Mr. Schulhof will be presenting to groups for approximately 1 hour. During that session he will have an open discussion on a number of varying topics of interest to inquisitive people as to where technology was and what to expect in the future.

This offering is ideal for corporate, nonprofits, fundraisers, and elite clubs looking for a free event speaker for their meetings, conventions, trade shows, expositions, special events or functions. A speaker of this caliber available at no charge is sure to boost attendance for any type of event.

General Outline:
• “Jane, stop this crazy thing!” An Introduction
• Thoughts behind the creation of the MP3 Player
• What is innovative and helping people today?
• What innovations will there be in the future?

Discussion on Today’s High Profile Topics:
• Biotech/Medicine/Healthcare
• Phone Companies – remote control communication via the internet
• Embryo stem cells in animal and human trials, new techniques and treatments for cancer
• Patented technology that exist today that backs up a person’s immune system for 20 years without degradation for use when an illness arises that damages a healthy immune system. Currently being used in US, France and Dubai.
• Energy/Green Energy/Green Technology: The Coming Revolution in Low Voltage Technology
• Developed technologies in gas/oil/coal/wind/solar
• Technologies that are currently being used by military and commercial entities
• In 2010 formed Solar Components – the leading solar low voltage personal charger that actually works. It was rated #1 by C-Net and Gadget and sold throughout the world.

What Nathan is doing in the future:
• Future Technology Company
• The future and what it holds: How content on TV will change
• Education is the most important tool to take control of a person’s life.
• By knowing what the future holds people can invest and create businesses, financial security for their family and be on the cutting edge of technology and green energy.
To book Mr. Schulhof for your group at no fee, please contact: Mark Sonder at 540-636-1640 or msonder@marksonderproductions.com

About Mark Sonder Productions
Mark Sonder Productions is a privately held company that was founded in 1985. It’s an award winning entertainment agency, which has more than 28 years of contracting experience, specialized in events, meetings, conventions, trade shows, expositions, concert and casino facilities worldwide, as seen in The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Miami-Herald, United Press International, as well as on FOX and CBS Money Watch. Mark Sonder Productions offers exclusive and non-exclusive relationships with headliners, musicians, comedians, theatrical productions and lecturers. The chief entertainment officer, Mark Sonder, is an entertainment industry expert and he has represented clients and end users in the U.S.A. and abroad. For more information, please visit http://marksonderproductions.com or call +1-540-636-1640.

Citations:  Please note, this blog has been republished from press releases and articles from The Boston Globe, Miami-Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, Worth Magazine, Hollywood Industry Magazine, San Jose Mercury News, LA Daily News, and over 100 other media outlets.

Photo: Nathan Schulhof

* The name of the tour is a quotation from the cartoon series The Jetsons as George, while walking his pooch, screams at Jane about their treadmill running amuck!


10 Tips to Selecting The Right Speaker for Meetings & Events

10 Tips to Selecting The Right Speaker for Meetings & Events

Event Entertainment Agencies Do Not Only Handle Musicians.


nathanEvent entertainment companies do not only handle musicians. They can also provide you with other entertainment resources such as speakers and variety acts. Selecting the right speaker for your meeting can be a daunting task, as speakers are available in every fee range and specialty topic.

Your speaker selection is one of the most important elements in a successful meeting so you should ensure that the speaker’s expertise, background, and abilities fit your audience’s demographics and expectations. The National Speaker’s Association (NSA) suggests these ten tips when selecting a speaker,

1. Determine the needs of your audience. 
Thorough knowledge of the needs of your group is essential in selecting the right speaker. Does your meeting require that the audience leave with specific or technical information? Do you need someone to motivate the group to sell? Are you looking for after-dinner entertainment with a message?

2. Establish your date, time, and budget.
Start looking for a speaker as soon as the date for your meeting is set. Many speakers book engagements up to a year in advance and you will want to get on their calendar as soon as possible.

Consider how much time you have to fill and where that time falls in your overall program. If your time slot is flexible, a professional speaker can often tell you the right amount of time for the job. A professional can also make recommendations about the order of topics/speakers if one presentation will follow another. You may not want to follow a humorist with a detailed educational presentation.

Factor in the fee you are willing or able to pay for a speaker. Your search for a speaker can be narrowed or broadened based upon your budget.

BobCohenWeb3. Identify the type of speaker who will best match the needs of your audience. 
A speaker’s expertise in a given field may be the big draw, but a well-known name does not guarantee a professional presentation. High prices do not always mean high quality. Will your audience and the overall program benefit most from a celebrity; an expert in the field; a popular sports personality; a best-selling author; or a professional speaker who has a thorough knowledge of the appropriate topic?

4. Locate your resources.
Personal referrals are a great way to narrow your search. Ask colleagues for recommendations.  Speakers bureaus locate and book speakers according to your specifications and needs. A bureau can locate speakers and quote fees. Many bureaus specialize in particular speakers such as celebrities, authors, or athletes. 

5. Review your options and interview your speaker candidate agents.
A professional speaker will be a real partner in this process. Often they will ask questions about the needs of your audience and what they can accomplish for you. Ask your candidates for references and, if they are speaking in your area, ask if you can attend the program and observe them in action.

Assure that a potential speaker has addressed groups similar to yours. Talk with them about their experience. Ask for a biography, testimonials, and videos of their presentations, preferably before a live audience.
Find a speaker who will tailor his or her presentation to your group.  

RichardLustigWeb6. Select your speaker.
Hire a professional and you will hire an ally. Professional speakers understand that your reputation is riding on their performance. Their experience with hundreds of audiences can add to your peace of mind and to the success of the event.

When selecting your speaker, consider that you are not only paying for the time the speaker is on the platform but also for the hours spent researching, preparing, and customizing the presentation. Some speakers may negotiate their fees when they are doing more than one program for you or when they are allowed to sell their products. Ask about your options.

7. Get it in writing. 
You should have a letter of agreement or contract that clearly outlines the expectations of both you and your speaker. Consider:
– travel arrangements and transportation
– accommodations and meals
– fees, reimbursements, and payment terms
– whether you want the speaker to attend social events
– if the speaker may sell products and if so, how this will be handled
– an agreement on any audio or videotaping of the presentation
– cancellation policies
– audio/visual requirements
– legal implications, if any, your contract may contain.

8. Work with your speaker. 
Share information about your group or company. This will help the speaker become familiar with your organization, while facilitating a customized presentation.

Send the speaker your newsletters or anything which would include the names of key people, buzz words, or insider news and views. Give the speaker a clear outline of what you expect. Be specific about the size and demographics of your audience. Let the speaker know in advance about other speakers on the program. This gives the speaker the opportunity to build on (and not duplicate) what the other speakers say.

KatieHarman29. Set the stage.
Make sure the room is set up for optimum impact. Consider the number of chairs and how they are arranged. Also consider room temperature and lighting.

Stay on schedule. Although a professional will be able to “make up” time or slow things down if needed, keeping your program on schedule will allow your audience to get the full impact of the program you have created for them.

Your speaker should be able to provide you with a good introduction of themselves and their topic. The introduction should be short, energizing, and create positive expectations.

10. Evaluate the results.
Have your audience complete evaluations on the speaker and his/her presentation. This will allow you to gauge your results and plan for future programs. Send copies of the evaluations to your speaker.

Call Mark Sonder Productions, Inc. today to engage your speakers, musicians, entertainment and production at +1-540-636-1640.

Photos: Top, Nathan Schulhof, inventor of the MP3 Speaker; Middle, Dr. Robert Cohen, PhD & Shaman, Health & Wellness; Middle with book, Richard Lustig, Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning The Lottery; Bottom, Katie Harman Miss America 2002, Health & Wellness

Bob Lefsetz

When Southern Rock Bands Dominated the Airwaves, by Guest Blogger Bob Lefsetz

When Southern Rock Bands Dominated the Airwaves

by Guest Blogger Bob Lefsetz


guest blogger Bob LefsetzI know, third-rate boogie band. And I kind of agree with you. But I can still muster some enthusiasm for “Flirtin’ With Disaster,” but that’s not what I heard on Sirius today, that was “Whiskey Man.”

Once upon a time, the rednecks didn’t listen to country, but rock and roll. Before country gave up its western roots and became rock and roll lite and the acts started singing about babies, SUVs and Christianity. Hell, the country stars of yore, who built the format, the complete genre, would get no airplay on country stations today. Used to be they kept you off the format because your music didn’t fit, now they keep you off because of your morals… Huh?

But it was different in the late sixties and seventies. Country records rarely had any presence north of the Mason-Dixon line, but southern rock bands dominated the airwaves, to the point where we got imitation acts, like Molly Hatchet, third generation stuff that was easily dismissible, except for the hits.

Now if you want to draw an oblique parallel, southern rock and EDM are related. They’re both about going to the gig and getting completely messed up, the music is just an additive to the fuel you’ve imbibed, ecstasy at the electronic show, beer at the southern rock gig. The idea was to let loose, something they talk about but no longer do in country anymore. It’s all controlled and contrived. But if you watch that Skynyrd movie, you can feel the band teetering on the edge, not only with lifestyle, but music, back when rock stars were kings, not shills for the corporation.

And that’s what the rednecks and the northerners had in common. This sound. It brought us together. Because it could not be denied. And it was always played by southerners. First, the Allman Brothers. Then Lynyrd Skynyrd. Then the Outlaws and Molly Hatchet.

And the guys in Hatchet were too fat and unattractive to appear on the covers of their albums in photographs, but this was back before MTV, when how you looked was not paramount, but how you played.

And unlike today’s second-rate poseurs, the guys in Hatchet could play. And guided by Tom Werman, with a background in economic rock as opposed to southern noodling, at times Hatchet locked on and made music that today is still just as energizing, it makes you want to call somebody up and hit the bars, with this music blasting out of the convertible on the way to getting smashed.

“Whiskey Man”

It’s the energy. From an era where you spoke with your music. Today it’s all about the interview, the tweet, the personality, whereas back then these guys were high school losers who got laid via their tunes, they knew how to rev it up, it’s hard to sit still listening to “Whiskey Man.” Yes, Skynyrd’s “Whiskey Rock-A-Roller” is superior, but I’ve already established that Hatchet was a me-too, second-rate act, but as Tom Petty so eloquently sang, even the losers get lucky sometimes.

“Whiskey Man” is pure boogie, it sounds like it’s straight off a Foghat record, and that’s a good thing! And when the whole thing breaks down at 1:50 and you hear the bass and then the guitars start to twin and wail, you feel the power of seventies rock, which could be quite calculated, but never lost its power.

If you believe music started with the Ramones, you’ll hate this. But if you knew music before then, if you’re open to a bit more, if you’re not narrow in your tastes, you’ll have a hard time denying your affection for “Whiskey Man.”

“Dreams I’ll Never See”

From Hatchet’s debut. And you could call it a cheap shot, covering a classic Allman Brothers song. But the real story is most people still don’t know the Allmans’ debut, which featured the original, they started with “Idlewild South” at best. Furthermore, the Hatchet take is different. It’s faster. Just like Gregg Allman slowed down “Midnight Rider” for his solo debut, Hatchet ratcheted up “Dreams”…and it totally works. Instead of being plaintive, it’s active. In the Allmans’ take, the dude’s just waking up, whereas in Hatchet’s take he’s conscious, he’s already walking around, he’s facing the new day instead of being lost in the haze of yesterday. If you’ve never heard this, you’ll like this. Sacrilegious back then, good now.

“Flirtin’ With Disaster”

The piece-de-resistance. Overplayed to death back then, we boomers know it by heart and get a nostalgic thrill every time we hear it today.

Once again, it’s the energy, and the dynamics, the way the song accelerates and goes up a step, but…

“I’m travelin’ down that lonesome road
Feel like I’m draggin’ a heavy load
Yet I’ve tried to turn my head away
Feel ’bout the same most every day
You know what I’m talkin’ about man?”


That’s the difference between yesterday and today. Today the artists constantly reinforce they’re better than us, whereas back then they were a reflection of us, their music encapsulated our experience, that’s why we were drawn to them, that’s why we wanted to go to the show, to be with like-minded, alienated people and connect with the band that was speaking our truth.

And after these three, you’re on your own. If you bought the albums, you probably know more, if you want to explore, be my guest, but I’m done. I only need these three, that I heard incessantly on the radio back when we were addicted, when it was our best friend.

Spotify link: http://spoti.fi/p6HcZ8

Previous Rhinofy playlists: http://www.rhinofy.com/lefsetz

Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/


NOTE:  Please call your Mark Sonder Productions representative to book Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, the Allman Brothers, and/or Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Editor’s note:  Bob’s words have been a fresh inspiration to me for years.  Bob allows me to reprint his articles for Mark Sonder’s classes at UNLV and The George Washingtonn University.  Thank you Bob for being there and continuing to share your clear thoughts with all of us!