Nightclub owners and operators worldwide are competing with one another to be “the place to go” within their shared general markets. In the past, patrons would flock to a new nightclub simply because it was fresh. Unfortunately, the days of “if you build it they will come” are long gone.
Although the United States has been enduring a recession for the past several years, total nightclub growth and sales spiraled upward in 2011. Nightlife insiders credit the additional growth and sales to new “post dining” trends; restaurant operators are transforming dining-room floors into nightclubs while hotel resorts are transforming pool properties into dayclubs.
So how do nightclub owners and operators compete for an industry market share? That question can be answered in part with “celebrity entertainment.”
Celebrity entertainment has become a nightlife cornerstone. Patrons are celebrity driven, seeking photos, live sets or just a glimpse of today’s hottest celebrities hanging out at local venues.
Nightclub celebrity guest appearances have been a driving force in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami and New York City for many years. However, it’s challenging for clubs in smaller markets to follow this business model. The celebrity-entertainment path to success requires a large budget to book the likes of Fergie, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Lil Wayne.
Kim Kardashian, star of reality TV show "Keeping up With the Kardashians."
Fortunately for our industry, “celebrity” is forever changing, as cable networks and executive producers are turning everyday ordinary people into overnight celebrity sensations.
Want proof? Just turn on the television. Where were Snooki and the Situtation before “Jersey Shore”? Who was Tila Tequila before “Shot of Love?” Had you ever heard of Chris “Six Gauge” Kummer prior to “Daisy’s Rock of Love” and “I Love Money 4?” And did you actually keep up with Kim Kardashian before “Keeping Up With The Kardashians?”
Today’s 15 minutes of fame is tomorrow’s stardom. Celebrity appearances and performances currently are one of the strongest driving forces used to attract nightclub patrons.
But how do you book the hottest celebrities for your nightclub? And how much is it going to cost? The answer: research, research and more research!
Research is the foundation to hosting a successful celebrity guest appearance. Always use an established agency with credibility. More research will uncover countless agents making promises they cannot keep. Dig deep to unearth agents’ reputations and find someone trusted within the nightlife industry. The most trusted agencies have the best reputations and are the easiest to work with. They represent a multitude of celebrities, enabling them to work within your budget.
Before you reach out to the agency you’ve selected, make sure you know what type of celebrity you are looking for, the date you need the celebrity as well as your budget. Many agencies already have quotes available for various pricing arrays, such as:
$1,500 to $2,500 (plus expenses)
$5,000 to $10,000 (plus expenses)
$15,000 to $25,000 (plus expenses)
$50,000 to $75,000 (plus expenses)
$100,000 and above (plus expenses)
Following are several examples of celebrity genres with a history of nightclub appearances. These celebrity artists are easily accessible through “non-exclusive” celebrity agencies, such as Esterman.com or Entertainment Artists Nashville.
Snooki, from MTV's "Jersey Shore."
Track “Cameo” Performances
Cameos have been a long-time industry favorite because they entertain patrons with performances of one to three songs/tracks. Superstar track performers include:
• Kaya Jones – Former member of the female super group Pussycat Dolls
• Kelly Rowland – Former member of Destiny’s Child
• Jordan Sparks – Former “American Idol” contestant
• Flo Rida – Performing “Club Can’t Handle Me”
• Jeff Timmons – Former member of 98 Degrees
• Ton Loc
• Sir Mix A Lot
Special Guest Appearances
Guest appearances also have become a nightclub industry standard. These celebrities are in demand, buzz worthy and can fill any size venue:
• Fergie – Member of Black Eyed Peas
• Nicki Minaj – Rapper
• Kim Kardashian – Star of reality TV show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”
• Mario Lopez – Host of “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “Extra”
• Tito Ortiz – Ultimate Fighting Championship superstar
• Nelly – Grammy award-winning hip hop star
• Snoop Dogg – Rapper, producer, actor
• Jenna Jameson – Adult film star
• Carmen Electra – Actress, model
• Dave Navaro – Performer, host
Mario Lopez, host of “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “Extra.”
Celebrity Guest DJs
Celebrity DJs have seen phenomenal growth and exposure. These mix artist deliver results and drive exponential customer traffic across the nation. Special guest celebrity DJs include:
• DJ Lil Jon
• DJ Taboo – Member of Black Eyed Peas
• DJ Nick Cannon
• DJ T-Pain
• DJ Dennis Rodman
• DJ Tommy Lee
• DJ Will I Am
• DJ Joel and/or Benji Madden – Member of Good Charlotte
• DJ Lil Wayne
• DJ Apl de Ap
Remember, this is a very competitive market, so be sure to do your research first! Create a budget that allows you to operate within the parameters of your event and venue. Choose your celebrity according to the consumer you are trying to draw to your venue. Also, make sure to work with agencies that have proven track records within the industry. We’ve given you the tricks — now go work your magic!