Brainstorming, shopping around, and making your choices
Much like the other elements of event planning, selecting lecturers, presenters, entertainers, and dj's who will be a part of your event requires taking time to make sure you have your goals, vision and budget for the event clearly in mind before jumping in. There should be a period of group brainstorming around your vision of the best choice - even if you think you already have that person in mind, take the time to evaluate your choice against your list of goals for the event and make sure they match.
Think especially about your "target audience" and estimate as best you can the level of interest others might have in your "short list" of possible presenters. Students have generally been most satisfied when they have hired performers who someone on the committee, or friends have seen in live performance elsewhere in the country. Unedited YouTube videos of performances are also a great resource for scouting out talent.
TIP: Don't forget about the wealth of academic and artistic talent in our own Five College "backyard". Ask Faculty and staff who have lived in the valley for awhile for suggestions and networking assistance. Eliminating costly travel will help you stretch budget dollars.
Once you have a few choices in mind, (and or a sense of the kind of presenter you are looking for), take a hard look at your budget plan to date and get a sense of how much money your event can afford to spend on this part of the event. It's ok to 'dream big'- hoping for someone that you think might be out of your budget range, or not available in our region - but you should also have alternative ideas in mind.
We strongly recommend that you schedule a brief advising consultation with a member of the professional staff team in Student Programs before making contact with a potential lecturer, entertainer, dj, etc., or their representative agencies. Additional information for your review is under Contracts & Waivers: Negotiating.