Tag Archives: headline entertainment

No Convenience Fee Credit Card Month for all of December

No Convenience Fee Credit Card Month for all of December

Shop for Headline Entertainment and Save in December

Pay for your band with a Credit Card 540-636-1640Ever want to use a corporate or personal credit card to pay for your band, musicians, DJ or even headline entertainment?  Well now you can!  Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency has announced a “No Convenience Fee Credit Card Month” for the entire month of December!

Whether you use a VISA, Master, American Express or Discover credit card, Mark Sonder Productions makes it easy, and has you covered at no additional fees for the month of December. Of course, people and companies enrolled in a frequent flyer program through their credit card company can earn a free trip immediately, depending on how much and which artist they engage. The event does not have to take place in December, only the contract agreement and deposit must be paid in the month to take advantage of this no convenience fee month.

Let’s us make it easy for you with fine musical entertainment. Call today 540-636-1640.


the best musicians in washington dcAbout Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency
As an award winning event entertainment producer, booking agency and talent buyer, the 30 year old privately owned firm Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency has provided musicians, headline entertainment, onsite entertainment staff and production services to leading corporations, clubs, concerts, casinos and special events internationally.

Contact: +1-540-636-1640

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Hiring Headline Entertainment: The Offer and The Contract

Hiring Headline Entertainment: The Offer and the Contract

An Offer is a blueprint for the pending Contract.

If the artist accepts the offer, you are obligated to move forward toward a contract. If the artist declines the offer, neither party has a further obligation. If you still want to procure this entertainer, you can make an alternative offer, in writing. (Everything must be in writing to form a binding agreement.)

If the artist accepts your offer, an entertainment professional can provide invaluable assistance in drawing up the contract. Most contract arrangements have two parts:

• The actual contract. This spells out in detail the who, what, where, when and how.

• Rider(s) or addendum(s) to the contract. This can be in the form of one large rider or separate components, broken out into a sound rider, light rider, a food-and-beverage rider, etc. These riders are made part of and attached to the contract. The contract may be one to three pages, with the rider(s) adding another 50 pages. It is not uncommon for riders to specify limo service for the artist or speaker, specific brands of bottled water to have on hand or 300-threadcount Egyptian cotton bed sheets.

ChecklistMan2cWhy you need an entertainment management company

There’s a good reason to use corporate entertainment companies. First of all, you probably will never meet with an artist’s exclusive agent in person. After an initial conversation with an exclusive agent, future conversations will most likely be handled by one or more assistants. The agent is interested in completing the paperwork and collecting the money. Once that is done, his or her job is complete. The agent never goes to the job site to oversee the artist’s performance. In contrast, a good corporate entertainment company takes a full-service approach. In addition to handling the paperwork and financials, staff will control communication and one or more representatives will be present during your event. They can also act as the show’s producer and oversee the rider requirements if the planner or organizer transfers that responsibility to them. Note: The entire obligation to fulfill the rider requirements rests with the event organizer, as the purchaser.

Joshua Jones, director of sales at Painted Desert Gold Club, feels that “using a corporate entertainment company is beneficial.” That’s especially true if you are new to booking name entertainment and have not had the experience of negotiating a rider, he says. “An entertainment company can often negotiate more cost out of riders than the fee that they charge.”

And of course, an entertainment booking agency works with many celebrities and agents regularly, while a planner may only have an occasional need to book one. As a result, the celebrities’ agents have more riding on a deal with an entertainment company that may bring them two, three or 10 engagements a year. “That gives the entertainment booking agency more leverage, and agents will be more flexible in negotiations with them,” Jones says.

For a FREE Event Entertainment Offer Form Template, please click here or click on the man holding the clipboard!

Mark Sonder Productions, Inc. Headline Entertainment and Event Production www.marksonderproductions.com +1-540-636-1640.


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Hiring Entertainment: 6 Steps That Guarantee You’ll Rock The House

Hiring Entertainment: 6 Steps That Guarantee You’ll Rock The House

Entertainment comes in all varieties, in all languages, and transcends all borders, so booking headline entertainment means making choices from among a vast number of options. For the uninitiated, it can be a crazy and tedious process.


Entertainment comes in all varieties, in all languages, and transcends all borders, so booking headline entertainment means making choices from among a vast number of options. For the uninitiated, it can be a crazy and tedious process.

You must first determine what fits your client’s needs and expectations, based on the event’s goals and objectives. That way you can provide an entertainment management company with an audience profile that helps them find the most appropriate speaker or headline entertainer. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the process.

JoseCid80webSix simple steps to booking
1. Research the needs of the audience and identify the appropriate resources to fill these needs. A keynote speaker should speak to issues that hit home with your target audience and “connect” with them. When it comes to entertainment, be it a soloist, band or stand-up comic, the audience demographic is critical. Typically, the age of the audience plays the largest role, since age tends to dictate music taste.  (See below chart of Genres to consider)

2. Select an artist. This works best if you or your client either select the top five headliners you would like to have appear at your meeting or event, or prepare an approximate budget and category of music/entertainment/speaker to narrow the list of options.

3. Have your agent or corporate entertainment company make a written offer to the artist. Remember, an agent can offer you only the artists on the agency’s roster. If the artists you choose are represented by more than one agency, you must contact more than one agent or just one corporate entertainment company. Key point: It is common to lose headliners when clients are not able to act quickly enough to secure the act. So be prepared and empower your corporate entertainment company to make a reasonably quick decision.

4. If the entertainer accepts the offer, sign a contract for entertainment services. Once the artist accepts your written offer, it is very difficult to turn back. Are you prepared to make a 50 percent deposit when and if a headline entertainer accepts your offer?

5. Secure production for the show or have your corporate entertainment company provide the product and services.

6. Monitor the production process and evaluate the outcomes.

nathanschulhofDuring the selection process, your entertainment company should provide you with not only a list of headliners, but also their picture, biography and possibly their routing information, availability and cost. Your entertainment company can supply the planner with the headliner’s tour history, including venues, and their typical audience size, if applicable, as well as ticket prices.

Genres to consider: The Mark Sonder Productions 20 music formats
• Adult contemporary
• Alternative
• Blues
• Children’s entertainment
• Christian
• Classical
• Comedy
• Country
• Dance
• Folk
• Holiday
• Jazz
• Latin
• Pop
• Reggae
• Rock
• Urban
• Variety
• World music
• ’20s, ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, ’10s

Mark Sonder Productions, Inc. Headline Entertainment and Event Production www.marksonderproductions.com +1-540-636-1640

Top, José Cid in concert
Bottom, speaker Nathan Schulhof, inventor of the MP3 Player 

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Lighting and Staging 101 for Headline Entertainment

Lighting and Staging 101 for Headline Entertainment

Get It Right The First Time at your Meetings, Conventions, Trade Shows, Expositions, and Special Events.

BookCoverFinal2Obviously, you need to make sure you have the right entertainer, and that he or she is well versed in the type of message you want to send attendees. But once you’ve met these two objectives, two of the most important aspects of incorporating a celebrity into your event are the lighting and staging.  If only there was a book one could read.  There is!  Event Entertainment and Production. Also the Facebook page for the book.

Luckily for all of us, most celebrity contracts include a lighting and staging related rider,  which is simply a mandatory clause or provision attached to the contracts. Typically, this rider includes a specific tabulation and description of required lighting and staging equipment as well as labor requirements to install and run this equipment. In some rare cases, the entertainer will provide most or all of the required items, but in most situations you will need to locate local labor and most of the equipment. Therefore, it helps to have at least a bare-bones understanding of some of the key terms involved in lighting and staging.

Here are brief explanations of some of the most common terms you’ll run across when dealing with headline entertainment.

Trusses, are structures that are internally braced so that they can span distances without bending, are almost always required to support light fixtures for each headliner appearance. However, they also can support drapery, backdrops, and scenery.  Trusses may be “flown,” i.e., hung from above, or floor supported by vertical columns. The following light fixtures are typically attached to trusses:

• Automated/Intelligent Lighting — Sophisticate computer-controlled lights can change color, gobos, and focus by remote control.
• Fresnels — A light that projects a soft-edged beam, which can be varied in size from narrow focus to wide flood.  Excellent for lighting general areas, dance floors, backdrops, foliage, and decorative vignettes.
• Gobos — Also known as templates or patterns, these are most often flat metal “stencils” that fit within a theatrical spotlight, or automated light, to project images such as clouds, corporate logos, geometric patterns, or any number of stock or custom images.  Recently, heat-resistant glass and the ability to color glass gobos have increased the designer’s options for creativity.  Many ready-made stock gobos are available.
• Lekos — The slang term for an ellipsoidal spotlight.  This theatrical fixture projects a hard-edged beam of light, which can be shaped by built-in shutters or an iris, as well as by using a gobo.  This fixture is useful for illuminating specific areas where control of the light beam is needed.  Excellent for lighting single performers and architectural, or décor details.
• Par Cans — A 150w to 1000w lighting instrument that acts like a floodlight, providing an event light over a specific area; frequently seen in a polished aluminum version, hanging in large groups from ground support or flying truss system.
• Pinspots — This fixture projects a very narrow beam of light and is ideal for lighting table centerpieces, specific décor elements and details, and food displays on buffets.
• Follow Spot — This fixture basically follows the celebrity on stage. However, it can provide a broad or narrow or round or square light beam, and you can incorporate basic multi-colored gels. This fixture would NOT be attached to any truss.

The rider should also contain a stage plot, and provide you with the width, depth, and height of the intended structure. Within this stage plot, you’ll typically find the following terms.

• Wings — Platforms placed on either end of the stage for placement of lighting trees and/or audio speakers.
• Downstage — The portion of the stage that is closest to the audience.
• Backline — Instruments and associated equipment required for a performance.
• Risers – Small platforms put on stage, generally for the drum kit and the keyboards.
• Stage left / Stage right – The left or right side of the stage from the performer’s perspective.

While all of these terms may sound a bit daunting, you just need a basic understanding of them, as their intended use and positioning will likely be spelled out in the headliner’s lighting plot included in the rider.

Call on Mark Sonder Productions, Inc. (www.marksonderproductions.com) for all your production requirements as well as for acquiring your headline entertainment for meetings, conventions, trade shows, expositions, concerts, casinos, and special events.  Call today  +1-540-636-1640.

Lastly, for even more assistance don’t forget to download our FREE Event Entertainment Checklist.


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