Part 7 ‘The Agent Equation’

This week, my final article and investigation into the bones behind the ‘Fun’ industry, is there room in the Australian market for competition? Is it likely to continue, is it good and sustainable?

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Talent will continue to list with agents. They will continue to hope that they will be fairly and accurately represented. But to expect that an agent can appropriately know all those that are listed in their portfolio, is difficult to believe, all the more so to believe that they can effectively be ‘on sold’ to an enquiring Buyer.

It is no surprise therefore, that over the last 20 years there has been a radical shift of the talent taking matters in hand and cutting out the middle man. While this has increased competition in the market place it has also raised the need for all the players to be more accountable and educated than ever before. Artists need to be business savvy, Event Managers need to have artistic vision and where possible, all players need to be great diplomats.

Fortunately and unfortunately the industry still very much revolves around good relationships based on trust. When the trust is gone, it can be a cold hard world going it alone. Yet in Australia at least, the market seems to be big enough to accommodate all players with some able to get and provide subsidies for services at reduced rates, (which can actually be problematic but that’s another story) others eking out some kind of full time employment and others leaving the field in all but a hobby capacity squeezed out by competition.

There are many players in the field and it is important that all be aware of the mechanisms surrounding the industry. At the end of the day every player has his or her head on the block. The buyer ultimately holds the purse strings but it’s their audience, their visitors, who hold the power.

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It is a complex inter relationship between the Talent, The Event Management Company and the Agents. It is a relationship based on trust, market forces, and accessibility. Sometimes the systems fail but more often they work and memorable events occur. That so many take place safely and regularly, is a testament to the work of all parties.

Over this series of the last seven weeks, I have explored the roles, mechanisms and cultures that govern some aspects of the entertainment industry. Necessarily this is an industry that  has evolved over decades, and continues to do so. The size of the industry and wide variety of facets within it, also mean that it is impossible in this forum, to adequately cover all aspects that exist in practice.

Never before have artists needed to be business people, nor business people needed to be able to think artistically.

images-20It is valuable to enquire how other systems operate around the world if you intend to travel so as to know how to play the game appropriately in other cultures, and avoid, alienation.
In Australia, increasing competition keeps everyone on his or her toes and the list of providers will continue to head up. If you are in need of anyone of these parties a quick Google search will throw up any number of wonderful Festival Entertainment organizations or other such specialists.

As the gap between the Buyer, the Agent and the Talent narrows, it is better for everyone. A greater understanding allows better communication; leads to stressless events where ever-body, not just the audience, gets to have a fabulous experience.

If you would like to comment or enquire about any aspect of this 7 part series or about any other of our services, please send a message via our online enquiry form.

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