Are you thinking about inviting a Hollywood Celebrity or High Profile Individual to attend your next event? Over this illustrious career of mine, I have invited and handled A LOT of celebrities as special guests to many events around the country, large and small and have learned a thing or two I would like to share.
We have all seen a celebrity walk the red carpet (is this term beginning to be over used?) at a charity, social and private event. In most cases, celebrities are invited to give the event some added glitz and glamour and help gain some PR for the function that otherwise might not be covered as well in the media.
So before inviting a celebrity to your next event, here are 5 important tips you should follow prior to extending that invitation.
Inviting a Celebrity to your Event Costs Money
First and foremost, do you have the financial means? You need to be able to purchase (2) first-class, round trip airfare tickets – celebrities do not fly coach and they do not travel alone. Trust me I have had celebrities throw a hissy fit at the airport because they were seated in coach. You will also need to pay for room and tax at a reputable and established hotel for their stay as your guest and pay for professional ground transportation services for their airport arrival and departure. Picking up your celebrity in your family station wagon will not do. Black town cars or SUV’s are always my first choice – long stretch limousines have become passé.
If you do not have the established budget to provide the airfare, hotel and ground transportation, then sorry, please do not continue reading. Perhaps think of inviting a local celebrity as your special guest instead of one who would have to travel.
Do Your Research
Know the connection the celebrity has to your event and make sure it is the right fit. Is it an issue or cause they publically support? Are there other guests the celebrity knows or would want to be associated with? Say the President or an A-list celebrity is attending, then that is a hot invite. Is the location of the event somewhere special the celebrity guest would want to visit? (Many celebrities love free trips to great locations!) Is it an event that could help the celebrity’s image? In short, it has to be the right fit for both you and your invited guest. And here is a tip. I always have three choices of celebrities I want to invite – but never let them know they were second or third on the list!
Layout Everything in the Invitation Letter
In a gracious and thoughtful invitation letter, always begin with the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where and why.) Then, being concise, provide all details you are offering the celebrity to attend your event. This includes airfare, hotel and ground transportation arrangements and exactly what you wish the celebrity to do while your guest such as take photographs with VIP’s, deliver remarks from the podium or stage, speak to the press who might be attending – anything and everything. Remember, this is your first impression, and we all know how important first impressions can be. Trust me, you will likely have several conversations with an interested celebrity’s representative and answering important questions upfront in a letter can assist with gaining a positive response.
Work with a Celebrity’s Publicist or Assistant
Agents work on commission. Their main job is to get their client paid work and therefore receive their 10-20% gross commission. Therefore, my advice is to work instead with the celebrity’s publicist or even personal assistant. Publicists and assistants are typically paid directly by the celebrity and in most cases, handling special invitations is part of their expected job. Plus, they are usually much nicer to work with and can be extremely helpful in handling your special invitation request.
Always Remember the Golden Rule
And finally, the best and most useful tip I can provide is “Treat others as you would want others to treat you.” If you are always mindful and follow the Golden Rule when inviting a celebrity to be your special guest at your next event – or any guest for that matter – you will be just fine and on the road to success.