Corporate Entertainment: The Hidden Costs - Calgary Event Planner

Corporate Entertainment: The Hidden Costs

In our last blog we talked about Entertainment for Corporate Events and the different areas within a contract that you can negotiate. We can now look at all the places where these costs might not appear – as dollars and what you can be prepared to spend to have notable entertainment at your next event.

So you’re happy with the negotiated costs for your headlining act. Let’s say you book a name brand band to play at your Stampede function. We will refer to the band as Band X. Band X has six touring members plus a road manager and a road tech.

According to your contract Band X is $20,000 plus tax plus whatever was agreed upon in the contract.

Here is where things start to add up:


  • Eight flights (to and from Band X’s home city)
  • Ground transportation (to and from the airport)
  • Ground transportation (to and from the event venue)


  • Four to eight rooms depending on what was negotiated
  • Possibility of more than one night depending on what was negotiated
  • Incidentals depending on what was negotiated
  • Rooms drops (we often do something nice for our out of town guests to make them feel more welcome)

Green Rooms – Food & Beverage

Most acts will have a lengthy portion of their hospitality rider for just this purpose. Be prepared for:

  • Lunch that will more likely entail multiple deli platters of sandwiches, cheese plates, fruit, vegetable plates and many non alcoholic beverage options (for when they are loading in and rehearsing)
  • There is often a request for hot meals during dinner hour (I prefer buyout whenever possible)
  • Additional food after their performance is done
  • There is always an expectation for a stocked bar including various alcoholic beverages for the pre / post performance.

Technical Requirements

This is one of the places where the costs can add up very quickly especially if you’ve never booked a big entertainment piece before. This is where it really helps to have an event partner review documents before signing, so you have a complete understanding of associated costs.

These will include:

  • Sound support, amplification, monitors and everything in between
  • Stage lighting (this can be simple or very complex)
  • Backline (all the instruments that will be used)
  • Staging (dependent on the venue & Band requirements)
  • Audio / Visual support (screens if needed)
  • Power – sometimes this is not included in your venue rental
  • Security
  • Crew costs and meals
  • Stage runners and production manager

As you can see – Band X went quickly from $20,000 for a contract fee to probably an additional $30,000 (give or take) in extras. Remember that whatever you agree to in the original contract must be provided, or they are not obligated to fulfill their end of the contract either.

These are some areas of your entertainment contracts that you want to consider before signing on the bottom line.

Jennifer James is not a lawyer; therefore, any of advice given (in this blog or previously written blogs) is always subjective. It’s important to work with professionals, including lawyers, agents and event planners when working with Corporate Event Entertainment.

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