Over the last 20+ years Native American owned casinos have become a target rich environment for the entertainment industry, certainly the saving grace to those aging entertainers trying to reconnect with their once younger crowd. All of these new venues with “deep pockets” have created a wave of casino entertainment agents, talent buyers, casino agencies, casino entertainment specialist, vendors with entertainment solutions, and casino entertainment consultants. Lots of impressive titles and even some good credentials but at the end of the day they are nothing more than a middle man, someone who is in the way of getting you ALL of the information directly. They are always very nice people ready to “take care of everything” and “they have everything you need” and always mention that they “have long standing relationships with the biggest artist and agencies in the world”. Their years of experience are “going to save you so much money you will not even notice their fee”.
It is very intimidating and can seem to be an almost unattainable position to be able to pick up a phone and find out how much it would cost to get Carrie Underwood, Nickelback, Pink or Willie Nelson to play a 75 minute show at your venue. Although it is not something that is offered in any college course and there is NO talent buyer giving up their secret contacts, processes, or procedures, we are here to show you anyone can do it. Anyone can book national shows direct to the artist.
“Do You Want To Learn How To Book Your Own National Shows?”
It is our goal to help you create a strong lucrative entertainment program that is proudly run from inside your organization by your people. From teaching negotiation and offer processes, staging and production logistics, rider negotiation, travel logistics, contract process, to which conference to attend, how to get ticket history, pricing reports, and onsite day of show preparation to show execution. CRW Productions will be there providing you with a strong support network through the learning process and beyond.
The days of being told we are not in the entertainment business but we are in the gaming business are over. We are very much so in the entertainment business. Clearly Native owned casinos have saved many fading careers and created an entire new market of entertainment venue not available to rural America ever before. The way we see it is Native owned casinos actually control a large part of the live entertainment industry. If Indian Country can come together we can actually effect how the entire concert industry schedules all of the national tours every year.
Important for community growth and job interest.
Being an entertainment buyer, entertainment director, sound crew, lighting crew, road crew, or backstage manager are very unique and attractive positions. These are jobs that are different and exciting but unfortunately are being outsourced by most Native owned casinos. If you have a venue then you have a very attractive classroom, a classroom students will turn out for when its class time. Instead of paying outside vendors for sound and lights (which is incredibly expensive and only adds up over the years) how about paying to send young tribal members to any number of specialty programs across the country and learn the art of live sound. Spend the money to install in house concert quality sound and lights, it will pay for itself within a very short period of time. It will also provide the perfect platform to create brand new exciting “cool jobs” and opportunities for young community members. More options for success with job training and experience that can transfer anywhere in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does this program work?
A: After negotiating a price and signing a simple agreement we arrange a time convenient to your schedule to come and spend three days and two nights with up to 2 of your employees designated to booking entertainment. Each additional employee will cost an additional fee. In this few days we will take your appointed staff step by step through the various processes and procedures of procuring national entertainment. Following this training session we will be available for consultation via telephone, Skype, FaceTime or another form of direct communication to assist with any questions or concerns that will arise. We will also have your same representative available for your first couple of solo events if you prefer direct assistance in your beginning stages.
Q: There has been a lot of turn over at our casino especially at this position. What happens if we lose the staff members that have received the training and still have unfulfilled contracts?
A: CRW Productions will gladly intervene and continue the contracting process and keep your program moving along while new staff is hired. Once the new employees are in place we will do a shorter much cheaper repeat training program with all post services still available.
Q: How much does this cost?
A: The overall cost will always vary from property to property. In general our fee is from $6500 to $10000 plus ground, air, meals, and lodging. The post training support, return visits, 2nd programs, and any service interaction will all be subject to pre arranged fees. This low cost many times represents the fee paid to your third party buyer for one show. Our goal is not to get rich but is to help our communities become more self reliant and be exposed to unique and exciting opportunities.
Q: What if I appreciate the work done by my third party buyer because this entertainment thing was thrown in my lap by management and I just don’t have time to take all of this on along with my current position?
A: This is an often common story. This is to much responsibility to take on with a full time job already. If you are doing one show maybe two per year it may seem to work in your favor to have a trusted buyer contract these shows, maybe. But if you are doing the ground work for the show including arranging seating, hospitality, meet and greets, marketing, and the many other things that go into preparing for a larger event from inside your casino. You may want to at least find out that the possible several thousands of dollars that your buyer will be profiting at least matches you and your teams efforts. At the end of the day it is still worth our cost to have the ability to understand, audit, and survey what your third party buyer is doing with your money. When you find out how much work it isn’t you may find yourself as upset as we get.
Q: Would you recommend one of the trainees be a general manager, marketing director, or some other higher ranking executive?
A: It always is a good idea to have someone who is higher up the chain of command go through the training. The ability to spot a possible third party interaction or an unusual agency involved is always important in keeping everyone honest and on their toes. These calls and attempts will disappear quickly after a couple of data bases are updated informing the entertainment buying community that you are now booking direct. Following your initial shows you will start being contacted by the direct agents of the artists and not the third party buyers.
Q: What is a third party buyer?
A: There are literally small handful of agencies that represent over 91% of the biggest artists in the world, everyone from Willie Nelson, Neil McCoy to Lady Gaga and REO Speedwagon. If you are wondering why you get calls from 8 different agencies every week of the year, it’s because there are literally thousands of middle man agents (third party buyers) across the country that assist in booking many of these national acts for an additional fee. The fees usually average between 10% and 15% on top of what the artist will already be paid.
Q: How do you find out if you are using a third party buyer:
A: Just because your potential talent buyer has an office in Nashville, New York, or Los Angeles and has a picture and bio of Charlie Daniels on their website does not mean they are the direct agent responsible for that artist. If you have to call northern Minnesota, Maine, or Oklahoma to book Charlie Daniels who is based in Nashville it is not direct. Any agent that needs to propose exclusivity is not a direct agent, Charlie Daniels direct agent is way too busy being Charlie Daniels direct agent than to entertain booking your casino exclusively. Also if you booked Charlie Daniels, go to his website and click on the contact button, if the company name is not the same as the one on the contract it is defiantly not his direct agent.
Q: When or is it ever necessary to use a third party buyer?
A: You may want to use a third party buyer when booking regional bands and entertainers for your lounge, sports bar, or smaller music venue. If you only run one show per year you clearly do not have anyone on full-time that can handle a larger concert or show an outside buyer may work for you, but be sure to do your research or just call us.