Booking celebrities has the obvious ability to also add visibility to your event, and increase its marketing and publicity reach. Whether you are a small brand releasing a new line of innovative products, or a non-profit organization consolidating a massive fundraising campaign for your humanitarian work, a celebrity appearance can certainly change the scope and impact of your event. In this article, we provide you different ways you can utilize the celebrity that you booked to promote your event. If your unfamiliar with how to book a celebrity for your event, you can read our step by step guide on the process here: How to Book A Celebrity.

Celebrity Promotion/Endorsement of the Event 

After doing your research, creating a budget, coming up with a suitable list of celebrity candidates, and successfully contacting and negotiating terms with a celebrity agent, you’ve successfully booked a celebrity appearance for your upcoming event! Congratulations! The problem, of course, is that if the public doesn’t know that a celebrity is going to show up at your event, there is no guarantee that you will get an extra turn out. So how exactly can you go about letting the wider public know that you have scheduled a major celebrity appearance for your event? 

Obviously, going through the usual forms of media publicity is a first step. Rent a billboard, set up some interviews with local radio stations, and certainly use your brand’s social media channels to publicize the upcoming celebrity appearance at your event. Beyond that, however, using the celebrity to promote and endorse your event has the ability to enhance your overall publicity strategy. 

Of course, the exact promotional strategy that you use will depend on the type of booking. With corporate bookings or some sort of product launch for a brand, for example, there might be a limited number of spaces available and asking the celebrity to promote or endorse the event might not be necessary. In some cases you might even want the celebrity appearance to be a surprise for your select audience. 

In the case of a concert or some other event where you are attempting to maximize the number of paying guests, however, celebrity promotion is a must if you want to maximize your return on investment (ROI). 

If you have successfully booked a celebrity and hope to make money off the event, here are a few ways you can use a celebrity to promote the event where they will be appearing. 

Negotiate social media promotions or endorsement in the contract 

Once the celebrity has agreed to participate in your event and you’ve settled on a budget, you should ask the celebrity agent to include at least one social media promotion as part of the contract. If you are able to book Ellen Degeneres as the keynote speaker for a major trade show you are organizing, one tweet from her official Twitter account would alert her almost 80 million followers of her participation in that event. Make sure to clarify with the celebrity agent when the social media promotion or mention should occur and what basic information regarding the event (such as location, how to purchase tickets, etc.) should be included. 

Radio/TV/podcast spaces for promotion of the event. 

Another good strategy for using celebrities to promote your event is to book a radio, TV, or podcast interview for them to mention their upcoming appearance at the event. The advantage to radio and podcast interviews, is that they can often be done remotely. This allows the celebrity agent or manager to set aside a 20-30 minute bubble in their client´s schedules for a quick interview promoting the upcoming event. Make sure to target TV, radio, or podcast channels that have large followings. If a media interview is set up, you will also want to share the interview as widely as possible through your brand’s own social media channels. 

Ask the celebrity to also mention and support the wider appeal of your brand 

If you have booked a celebrity that shares some of the core values or the vision of your brand or your organization, you might also use this booking as an opportunity to introduce your brand to the celebrity. Celebrities sometimes offer their free support to brands and organizations that promote certain values that they align with.

Josh Hartnett has been known to offer financial support to organizations working for cancer and HIV/AIDS research and support. If an organization is able to book Hartnett for an appearance at their annual gala, they might also ask the celebrity agent if Hartnett might be interested in supporting their upcoming annual fundraiser via social media mentions. 

Ask the celebrity to do a drop for the concert or event you are promoting 

For concert promoters or event organizers, another way to maximize the exposure to your event and its appeal to a wider audience is to ask the performer or celebrity to do a “drop” for the concert or event in which he or she will be participating. A celebrity “drop” refers to a short and specific audio or video that is recorded by the celebrity. In this drop, the artist essentially confirms his or her participation in the event so that the wider audience can rest assured that their favorite artist will indeed be present for the ticket they purchased. 

Unfortunately, in the world of rap and hip-hop, scams have become increasingly common. For example, thousands of students from Michigan State University and Jackson State University recently purchased tickets to a supposed Nicki Minaj concert that was never going to happen because it was “put on” by a scammer passing for a legit concert organizer. You can check out a deeper discussion about celebrity booking scam case studies and how to avoid them here

When the celebrity you hire for an upcoming concert agrees to do an audio or video drop for the upcoming festival, concert, or event, this is obviously an additional promotional tool that you can use to promote across different social media platforms. Beyond being a promotional tool, however, it also serves the purpose of letting the general public know that the artist actually plans to be there. Even a short five-second video is often enough to calm the doubts and uncertainties that some people may have regarding the threats of scams or fake concerts.

If possible, a video drop is usually the better option, if that is at all a possibility. Most of the general public will recognize the artist´s face and appearance more than his or her voice, and this will obviously give off more confidence. When negotiating an audio or video drop, the concert or event promoter is usually in charge of discussing this with the celebrity´s team of representation. 

Strategies for taking advantage of celebrity promotion/endorsement 

Whether the celebrity you have booked agrees to do a social media post about the event, participate in a podcast interview, or some other form of promotion, you need to be prepared to take full advantage of that momentum. The more people who know that a certain celebrity is appearing at an event, the bigger and more impactful it will be. 

While celebrities generally have social media followings that number in the millions, the vast majority of those followers might not be in the region where your event is set to take place. To overcome this challenge, make sure to repost or cross-post the celebrity endorsement of your event on your social media and owned media channels. Also, invest money in Facebook (and other social media channels) publicity to direct the advertisement to people in your geographic area who might be inclined to attend your event once they know that the celebrity will be in attendance. 

Everything you can do to boost the visibility of your event will help to increase the possibilities of a positive return on investment for having booked the celebrity in the first place.