Talking with my clients, I often hear a common problem when it comes to entertainment.

The act showed up at the last minute. We called and couldn’t reach him or her. Or they never showed up at all.

When you aren’t there, clients get nervous. Is the act going to show up in time for the show? What will they do if you aren’t there in time? Or at all?

This is worry they don’t need. Clients have enough concerns. They don’t know you can roll in at the last minute, open your case and start. All they know is the entertainment isn’t there.

Have you ever run behind? Overslept a few minutes? Got out of the house late? Had to stop for gas? Needed to stop and use a restroom? Hit traffic or construction that slows you down?

It happens.

I left for a show the other day and found the police had blocked a major highway. I took a side road that would bring me out further down. That took an extra 10 minutes. Only to find out, they had blocked that too and were turning people back in the direction I had come.

It took me another 18 minutes to go out of my way to avoid that route closure. 28 minutes added to my drive. Luckily I had left more than an hour ahead of the time I needed to leave.

I’d rather get there early and sit in the car than show up late. I also allow an hour for set up of a regular show. It never takes that long. Again, I’d rather be ready to go and have time to relax than rushed.

For corporate events, I arrive at least 90 minutes prior to the guests. Why? That gives me plenty of time to coordinate with the client. I can find out the entire schedule and determine how I can blend in seamlessly to their plans. I have time to sound check and set up. Plus I want to be done before guests arrive. And I find people usually tend to start arriving early.

Keep in mind, clients pay a much bigger fee for corporate performances. I want them to be comfortable and relaxed knowing I am there when they need me. Early or late. They are my only focus that day.

The day before a show:

  • I always reach out to the client. I confirm my arrival time and make sure we have each other’s contact information.
  • I fill my tank with gas so I don’t need to stop and fill up on the way.
  • I map out my route and print directions off Google, as well as enter the address in my GPS and determine drive time.
  • If flying, I check in with the airline. I confirm the car rental. I confirm the hotel reservation. Plus I map out the route from airport to hotel to venue.

Mark Wade always says: “To be early is to be on time.”

It makes life less stressful for your clients and you.