• Casino entertainment venues
• Tips for booking your talent
Live entertainment adds a spark to your event atmosphere. Whether you book a three-piece orchestra for a cocktail reception or a full band for an evening of dancing, your entertainment choices will speak volumes to your participants. Midwest casinos are spectacular venues for live entertainment.
Casino lounges can be a more intimate location for events. With regularly scheduled live entertainment often featuring regional bands, singers, and performers, the casino lounge is the place for your attendees to enjoy the glamour of the casino with their favorite cocktails. Many casinos offer multiple lounge options letting you select the atmosphere (Vegas style, craft brewery, Motown, Hollywood glam, small-town bar, etc.) providing the most memorable experience for your attendees. Ask for VIP experiences with reserved space for your guests or a buyout option featuring that night’s band.
Designed for concerts and theatre productions, casino theaters host some of the biggest names in entertainment. In September alone, you can be entertained by Lady Antebellum, Jeff Dunham, Ed Sheeran, Deep Purple & Judas Priest, and more, in casinos across the Midwest. With theatre-style seating for as many as 1,500 and standing room or lower level seating areas, your attendees will be steps away from the entertainers. Utilize the stage for your keynote speech followed by the entertainment for an all-in one package with state-of-the-art sound systems and lighting.
With so much experience booking entertainment and providing entertainment with his own band, Calzaretta offered tips for planners looking to book live entertainment:
Know your budget and your entertainment draw.
Budgets are important, but in Calzaretta’s opinion it is more important to know your market and what you can reasonably expect your entertainment to draw. “On the local level, a $1,000 band might fit into your budget but only draw 25 people who drink an average of $20 a head. To me in this equation, you lose $500 as opposed to a $5,000 band that may draw 500 people who drink $20 a head, then you make $5,000 in profit,” shared Calzaretta. “I would use budgets as a guideline but take calculated risks and look for opportunities to increase traffic, revenues, and stay times.”
Know your audience.
In order to choose the right talent for your event you need to know your audience. Will your audience appreciate the A-list country artist, the R-rated comedian, or will they be entertained more by the 1980’s cover band? Knowing your audience will help guide you to the right type of entertainment.
Provide talent and quality.
It is easy to devalue quality in today’s marketplace, according to Calzaretta, “The better an act sounds, looks, and performs, the better experience guests are going to have. If guests have a good experience that in turn will increase their stay times, drive up check averages, and encourage repeat business.”
Back to back events.
Casinos regularly provide live entertainment. Ask about booking the artist already scheduled for Friday’s concert earlier that day, later that evening, or the day before or after. You may be able to stay within budget and get a more popular artist when they are booked for more than one show.
Timing is everything.
Artists are often only booked Friday through Saturday. Hold your event during the week and you may find more entertainment options available.
Treat your talent like human beings.
Once your entertainment is booked and ready to come onsite, a few little things go a long way, like providing a hot meal or some light hospitality. Calzaretta explained, “Even simple stuff like bottled water and a variety of beverages make entertainers feel appreciated and wanted. They are way more apt to put an extra smile on their face and go the extra mile if they feel like they have someone behind them who truly cares about them.”
Be a straight shooter with your entertainment.
Calzaretta’s final piece of advice is to give your talent praise when warranted and constructive feedback when necessary. “A lot of people are afraid compliments complicate future negotiations and constructive feedback creates confrontation. I look to build long-term relationships where I can cultivate and grow talent that is appropriate for venues and clients. Flexibility and honesty is key to a successful relationship with your entertainment vendors.”
When booking your casino event live entertainment, look to the past entertainment calendar and work with the venue booking staff to find quality talent within your budget, who will draw in your crowd, create lasting memories, and leave you with a successful experience.