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What Does a Talent Buyer Do?

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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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A talent buyer hires artistic personnel for a wide variety of functions and events. This position must have an extensive network of contacts, including both performers and managers, throughout the industry with which she works. The buyer must be able to negotiate deals and write contracts between both parties. She must also keep track of performance schedules, maintain a consistent budget, and often serves as a point of contact for communication between the host venue and the visiting talent.

The talent buyer will typically have a network of resources in the artistic community from whom she can draw to fill openings. This network can include relationships with performers, agents, and managers, as well as other talent buyers already working in a specific area. Some buyers may prefer to focus on one type of industry booking, and often work with only actors, musicians, or comedians.

This individual must also possess a legal understanding of the industry. The talent buyer is frequently asked to create contracts between the employing company and the artistic talent she is bringing into the venue. She may also be allowed to negotiate pricing and perks between the venue and the talent to achieve an amicable deal for both parties.

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Any type of company may choose to employ a talent buyer to book different acts for a venue. A night club can employ this type of position to select different bands and musical acts to entertain customers each night. A performing arts center often uses multiple individuals with this skill set to create a season of different events for its patrons featuring musical groups or live theater troupes, among other offerings.

The employing company tends to require the talent buyer to maintain a current budget that shows both revenues and expenditures. The buyer is often given a set budget by her employers that she must stay within based on each performance or each season. Some companies prefer to use a specific type of software with which the buyer should be familiar to keep track of scheduling and budgets.

Most buyers are required to be onsite at the venue to oversee set up and tear down of each visiting artist. The buyer can benefit from having a basic understanding of the technical aspects of show production, including lighting and sound rigging. This also allows visiting talent to use the buyer as a point of contact if any problems should arise before a performance that require special attention.

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