Working conditions for speakers and entertainers
When you book entertainers and speakers for an event, consider how far they will need to travel, and how long you require them to be present. This consideration often requires you to factor their meals, accommodation and working conditions into your event plan and budget.
Travel, breaks and accommodation
There can often be travel expenses associated with hiring out-of-town entertainers and speakers for a corporate event or party. Many entertainers include travel expenses in their performance fee, but it is important to double-check this well ahead of time.
If you require long-distance travel from your speakers or entertainers, or if the event is more than one day long, you will also need to factor in their accommodation. You may find it is cheaper and easier to manage for you to book the accommodation for them, rather than pay an extra fee for them to do it themselves.
How long do you require performers and speakers to stay at your event? Australian workplace laws say that the minimum entitlement to meal breaks for employees is half an hour break every four-and-a-half hours worked. While this law may not apply specifically to contracted performers, it is best practice and common courtesy to look after your entertainers in a similar manner.
If you require your speakers and performers to be at your event for a long period of time, consider providing meals for them. While this may not be a requirement of the contract (depending on what you agreed earlier), it is again a courtesy and a sign of a good employer.
For more information on the most appropriate working conditions for speakers and entertainers, visit the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance’s website, or phone 1300 656 512 (in Australia).
Depending on the nature of your entertainment, the entertainer’s set-up requirements will differ dramatically. Well ahead of the event, discuss with your entertainer:
- The amount of stage space they need
- Any sound equipment they need (eg microphones, stands etc)
- Any audio-visual equipment they need (eg projectors, screens, lights etc)
Find out from the entertainer what they can bring, and what you will need to hire (either from the venue or separately) yourself. If the entertainer is bringing any audio-visual equipment, double-check that this is included in the agreed price.
Once you know the extent of the audio-visual and space requirements, discuss with the venue how this will be supported. You need to find the appropriate space, and know that there are enough electricity outlets and other facilities to support the entertainer’s needs.
Consider whether you will need additional assistance to set up the audio-visual equipment, and manage it on the day. Most venues can provide sound crew: be sure you bring them across your entertainer’s needs so there are no problems on the day.
Depending on the nature of the performance, you may also need to factor in safety considerations, like taping power chords to the floor if they are in the way of foot traffic.