Talent Consultants vs. Booking Direct in SW, FL.
Talent Consultants vs. Booking Direct in SW, FL. As a professional piano player in Naples, FL for almost 20 years, I am often asked whether I prefer being booked direct or working through talent agencies or consultants. My answer is emphatically…… it depends on the situation. I know, not the answer you were expecting. Although on the surface it may seem simple but as you deep dive into this space, it is not so easy to answer the question. Let me try and explain.
This article is the first of many designed to offer some basic assistance to anyone interested in hiring a professional pianist or other entertainer. Navigating any local pool of talent without a baseline of knowledge is a gamble. If you decide to proceed down this path, this article / blog is for you and will assist you in stacking the odds in your favor or the favor of any purchaser with the goal of hiring the right entertainer for the right event to insure the right outcome. My name is Josh Isenberg and I have been playing professional piano for almost 20 years in Naples, Florida and the greater SW Florida area as well as a successful businessman and consultant. This article is for the purpose of sharing my thoughts on how best to navigate the agency network space and the risks of booking direct. This article is just a start and will only scratch the surface on this topic. But a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, right?
I am often asked often what is the best way to hire a professional entertainer for a special event? If you are looking to hire a professional pianist in the Naples area, for example, there are several to choose from: All of them more than qualified but all bring a different musical experience to an occasion. Like fine restaurants in Naples…many are top drawer but all create a different albeit exquisite experience. It depends on the mood you are in or the mood you are planning or trying to create. However each restaurant would swear they are the best choice for your evening. The same can be said for a pianist or any entertainer you may hire to enhance your event experience. So how does someone adequately vet out those within the local talent pool in order to choose the best and most qualified entertainer for your special event?
My opinion is, you shouldn’t! I am a huge advocate of the agency network here in SW Florida. As a seasoned veteran of the talent and entertainment business here in SW Florida, I often work direct to client, however I am of the opinion that in most cases, it is best to let the variety of honest, high quality and knowledgeable talent consultants do their job so the artist can focus 100% on doing his or her job. The local consultants are very good at what they do and in my experience, do a stellar job at serving their clients. They are business people handling the relationship from a business perspective. The talent / performers handle the performace details and bring life to the event you are planning. And as I mentioned earlier in this article, each artist or pianist in my case, brings a variety of subtle nuances to their art and thus to your event. This should be my / our primary focus in my opinion and not the business details. Talent consultants make it their business to know the local artists and the nuances so they can match the best artist with their clients. There is nothing worse than pairing the wrong artist with your event. Talent consultants work very hard at their craft with the exclusive goal of matching the best talent with your event and protecting all parties involved.
In addition, when you deal directly with an artist, there are so many details and variables. The reality is, it is easy for something to slip through the cracks especially when working with an artist who is popular and very busy. The agency network is there to protect you and is there to help assure the success of your event and most agencies have multiple employees who manage the various aspects and details of the planning process.
The Elephant In The Room: FEES! Agency Fees: Ok, there, I said it! If you have taken the time to read my blog this far, I commend you! I also have a gift for you just for your sticktoitiveness: What follows is the best advice I have ever heard that is guaranteed to serve you well in any endeavor but especially when hiring talent for an event. Do not trip over dollars to save pennies. Do not risk your event by cutting out the agency network. While cutting out the middleman in some instances makes sense, it does not in 99% of cases. If you try to be penny wise, you are sure to end up being pound foolish. Absolutely trust your gut… your instincts. Ask questions. Do the right thing for you. But please, please also consider what I have shared with you in this blog. Should you choose to cut out the agency network, you take a big risk. Should things go horribly wrong, you have no one to blame but yourself. It’s not worth it. Especially since most artists and talent consultants who are worth their salt will work with anyone who truly has a budgetary concern or constraint. No one has ever turned down business over a few dollars one way or the other. Everyone involved truly wants to serve their clients and do an outstanding job at making each event memorable and special.
Whether you do business with me, pianist Josh Isenberg of Pure-Piano here in Naples, (SW Florida), or not, this article is designed to help folks new to hiring talent for their events. This is just my opinion and does not represent any other opinions other than those endorsed by Josh Isenberg and Pure-Piano.com.
About the Author
Josh Isenberg is a well respected professional pianist / entertainer in Naples, FL. (SW FL.) with a solid reputation for fair dealings. Isenberg is the progenitor, owner, principal pianist, and creative director for Pure-Piano and has always had an abundance of passion for playing the piano and creating music. (www.pure-piano.com) Pure-Piano has its main office on the Gulf of Mexico in the charming and exotic event destination, Naples, Florida. Josh, born and raised in Upstate NY, has lived in Naples for 25 years; playing piano almost his entire life and playing professionally for close to 20 years. As a special events and special occasion destination, Isenberg often consults and works closely with clients, talent agents, wedding planners, caterers, and special events coordinators for the benefit of his and their clients who wish to experience a 5 star event experience. Thank you to all of the visitors to my website and for all your questions, thoughts and input. I am grateful for all your support!