Concert and Entertainment Evaluation Sheet

Key questions to make sure your program is hitting the right notes

Photo courtesy of Elk Valley Casino

Pricing, touring and availability for concert artists is a confusing world post-Covid. On top of that so many of the large agencies that handle these touring acts, have been sold or have merged into new and bigger agencies and key personnel have left to form more boutique agencies. It’s more confusing and convoluted than ever to find artists and get reliable availability and pricing. Additionally, these concerts need production (sound, lights, video). Those pieces add additional costs and the companies you work with are more costly than they used to be.

Use the following evaluation sheet to confirm that your team and your shareholders are on the same page:

Concert and Entertainment Evaluation Sheet 2024

What is the purpose of your entertainment program?

  • Are you for profit or do you just want your concerts to break even?
  • Are you building your brand in the community with your entertainment?
  • Have you identified your customer and picked your entertainment accordingly?
  • Do you have your internal processes and personnel in place?
  • Do you have a realistic budget and is it overall or show by show?
  • Do you do a pre and post proforma?
  • What are your guests/customers saying about your concerts and shows? Do you have an effective research and feedback methodology?
  • What are your senior management and shareholders proposing and comfortable with?

What is the value of your entertainment program?

  • Retaining casino customers and drawing in new customers
  • Employee pride and ownership
  • Longterm brand and community awareness
  • How is your social media presence and ownership?
  • How are you tracking your financial gain or losses from shows?
  • Are you meeting your goals?
  • Are your other departments part of your overall concert plans?


  • Are you working with the best ticketing company to serve your specific needs?
  • What does your ticketing company provide – what are the fees?
  • Do you retain ownership of your database?
  • What is your ratio of comps to sales – are you over-comping?
  • Are you getting the most value out of your top tier tickets?
  • Is your scaling in line with your artist and production costs?


  • Concert artist pricing has increased tremendously and, in many cases, does not make mathematical sense. That $50K artist is now quoting closer to $100K. Have you budgeted for this?
  • Negotiating is always important but be prepared to pay more. Do you believe getting the right artist is considerably more important than the cost?
  • Artist costs are directly related to their travel, bus/truck rentals, drivers, labor, and crew costs. Additionally, the older acts are doing less dates so their pricing has increased dramatically. How are you coping with this?
  • The increase in cost means the need to increase ticket prices. Artists demanding lower ticket pricing, but not willing to lower their guarantee. How have you adjusted your pricing?
  • Production costs have risen as well, and today’s artists are requiring more sophisticated sound and lights as well as the video component – this represents a lot more costs. How are you factoring this in?
  • Are you considering off day shows, since those options can save you a lot of money in arist costs?

Are you getting the most out of networking and partnerships?

  • Communication is very important and creating industry relationships is at the top of the list. Have you explored all options?
  • Conferences like Pollstar – in LA in February and IEBA – in Nashville in October, are key industry conferences and networking opportunities. If you are serious about having a regular concert series, then sending one of your entertainment people to these conferences is mandatory.
  • Most casino venues with regular concert programs, have created strategic partnerships with an exclusive talent buyer. Talent buyers have the relationships and the buying power to bring you the best and most realistic artist avails.
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