Booking Agents 102: Daily Operations & Offer Sheets

So how do booking agents operate on a daily basis?
For most booking agents the day begins with accessing the specific needs of your artists.
Upper tier artists are usually engaged in specific marketing strategies for the release of a new record. In this instance it is imperative that the booking agent understand and discuss with the artists and label the specific marketing strategy for the new record.  This is vitally important because the booking agent must design tours or secure shows that fall in line with the artist’s game plan.
Once the booking agent determines the artists marketing strategy, he then must review the specific requirements the artist will need to execute a successful show.  For instance, the booking agent must determine what fees the artist will accept, what type of venues he will play, what the production needs are, what are the rider requirements, which type of artists they will perform with, what markets they will and will not play and what time period they want to begin.
After determining these preliminary items, the booking will begin to secure shows specifically tailored towards the needs of the artist. The booking agent generally starts by fielding and making calls to reputable promoters…During the booking agent discussion with promoters they must relay all the artist requirements in great detail to the promoter.  Now if promoter agrees with the artist requirements, the booking agent then directs the promoter to submit a written “OFFER SHEET”.
What is an offer sheet and why is it so important?
Simply put, the offer sheet is written confirmation that the promoter understood all the requirements laid out by the booking agent.  Moreover, this is a preliminary agreement by the promoter to promise to pay the artists fee along with fulfilling the other requirements.  Please also note, the offer sheet can also be an opportunity for the promoter to submit a counter offer to the artists. What’s important about this is that it’s in writing and leaves no room for misinterpretation.
Once the official offer is received by the Booking Agent he immediately sends it to the artists for approval. Giving the offer sheet to the artists allows the artist to decide if they want to accept or reject the offer. If the artist accepts the offer, they usually have to send written confirmation saying I accept this offer back to the booking agent.  An approved offer sheet gives the Booking Agent the authority to issue a formal agreement called a “performance contract” on behalf of the artist to the promoter to official confirm the show. So what is a performance contract and, why is it important…A performance contract is a legal document which contains terms and information that binds the artist and promoter together for the show in question.  There are several important things that contained in a performance contract such as The date, time, city, venue, deposit due date, artist fee, artists name and promoter name. In addition, there is also pertinent legal information contained, which expressly states the promises both sides are making to confirm this date.