Hiring Corporate Comedians

A stand-up comic, performing at corporate events is starting to wain in popularity. Often, they’re wrongly booked and over sold by comedy clubs and agencies who have zero business selling corporate events and talent at them. These entertainment outlets have destroyed the trust and reputation of good quality corporate event comedians for the sake of making sales. There’s now a perceived risk that comedians’ material may be offensive and not fit the event. When you deal with a talent broker who doesn’t exclusively work for company events, those fears are often correct. Comedy can be a massive hit on a drastically lower budget lower than almost any other entertainment choice. HOW and the type of talent you select is the key. Working with a professional broker who’s not attached to comedy clubs, non-specialized agencies and public events to help guide your decision is a start. Sound harsh? It’s not. 

I am a comedy MAGICIAN with over two decades experience servicing one market.  My show is of an interactive nature. I’m not a comedian per se, but audiences perceive me as one.  I leverage audience interactions to make them the stars of the evening. Everyone laughs like they were laughing with friends from the office. Magic keeps the performance clean and corporate friendly. It’s an approach to comedy that wins every time.  Audience members are onstage with me and the likelihood of anyone being offended is non existent. ZERO risk.  I’ve designed this show over a 25-year career in this event industry with one singular purpose.  I want the audience to laugh and enjoy themselves. My magic and comedy happen in the moment and everyone relates.  It all happens in real time.  No stories or personal experiences for the audience to understand.  It’s the safest bet for entertainment.  That’s me, and my work. BUT. A specialized comedian can do that as well and make an impactful performance. 

I know comics who kill at corporate events every time, all the time. I work year after year with them, at the same type of company events and retreats. They are rare, and the good ones are good for very particular reasons. In Canada I can legitimately think of 3 brokers of comedy who truly understand what works and which comedian is right for what audience.  Just 3 sellers.  Every other entertainment buyer goes to those 3 brokers or they book talent at their own peril. That’s the truth. I’m fortunate to work closely with those 3 talent suppliers, and have become friends with the owners of each bureau. I’ve learned a lot along the way.

The market is flooded with talent and promoters who look professional based on promotional materials. They seem right since they’re attached to comedy clubs across the land or agencies with large rosters of talent.  It’s becoming difficult to tell who’s a professional craftsperson and who is not. Understandably buyers are fearful to consdier comedy-oriented entertainment. I think that’s a giantmistake. Here’s why:

For events that have budgets under say, 10 or 15 thousand dollars, a strong stand-up comedian or interactive comedy act can a be a low-cost, low headache solution. In a way no other entertainment can, comedy has the ability to make an event sparkle and the people who see it talk about that performance and where they saw it at for years to follow. A window in entertainment budgets of around 10 thousand dollars and under goes widely unfilled. Comedy can be the perfect solution for those events. If you get the right comedian, not only will you have a wonderful onstage experience, but they come with low production and travel costs that save money and preshow aggravation. Comedy has the impact of a massive production show with no logistics. No guest remembers the steak or seafood they ate, but memories of a live show filled with laughter last a lifetime. 

I can offer you a host of information to make hiring this niche entertainment easier. The common piece of advice is to watch video; but that too betrays us. It’s not always understood that what’s funny in a comedy club, or even a theatre is NOT necessarily going to work in a corporate environment. Just because you laughed out loud for an hour at a comedian in a comedy club, or on TV or in a theatrical setting does NOT mean they will be good for your corporate function. Conference and convention performance are a very different dynamic. I’d be happy to talk to you about what will work and why.  Feel free to shoot me a note at [email protected]and I’ll be glad to go over not only what I can do to help make your event spectacular, but things to watch out for to help make buying entertainment the most impactful it can be, even if it’s not me you’re going to hire.  I want ALL events to be great for the health and benefit of the entire industry. 
Until we talk, 
Good Night and Good Luck, 

Jane Doe

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