Booking a celebrity can be a unique way to drive attendance at your event. Here are some tips to help make your selection a success.
1. No matter what celebrity you book, require in the contract that they participate in a number of promotional activities to help advertise your show. These can be standard things like radio interviews and morning TV new shows and more.
More unconventional ideas would be to have the celebrity make a YouTube video of themselves announcing that they will be appearing at your show and encouraging people to attend.
2. Offer a VIP experience with the celebrity and limit the number of people who can participate. Either charge a higher registration fee or make it available to highly qualified attendees. A special VIP experience with the celebrity could include meeting them in private backstage or getting special limited edition merchandise from them signed.
3. Have the celebrity participate in multiple events during their appearance, such as a one-hour speech, 30-minute meet-and-greet and a question-and-answer session. Most celebrities are happy to do and it does not cost any more to have them participate in more things rather than just a speech or appearance.
4. Book a celebrity that has a more interactive presentation and build around that. Some celebrities can only do speeches while others, such as a celebrity chef, offer more opportunities for you to generate revenue ideas around. The more interactive the presentation from the celebrity, the easier it is to create ideas around it.
5. Have the celebrity officially cut the ribbon to "open the show" and make sure they are included in any publicity shots or media articles about your show.
6. Try to book a celebrity that is hot in the media right now and is top of mind for your audience. The stars from “Duck Dynasty” are an easy example of this. Sometimes controversy can help boost attendance. Just be sure you book someone that fits into your audience demographic, as you don't want to alienate anyone.
7. If possible, write into your contract that the celebrity must promote their appearance at your show through their own social media profiles. Many celebrity have huge followings online and, if they mention that they will be at your show to their fans on Facebook or Twitter, it could reach tens of thousands or perhaps millions of people.
Joshua Gair is the CEO and founder of Impact Entertainment Services, which works with conferences and trade shows to book celebrities. Some of his clients include Disney, Society of Plastics Industry and Sony.