The VIP Experience: Going Out of Style, Or Just on Pause?
Gail Davis, 16 March 2022
Historically, celebrities and VIP parties go hand in hand. Clients who booked a celebrity speaker would have a photo line, book signing, or autograph session for VIP guests following the event that allowed them to closely interact with the celebrity. Sometimes the client would even host a cocktail party or meet and greet for VIP guests and sponsors the night prior.
Nowadays, our team is seeing fewer and fewer celebrities and clients alike planning VIP experiences in conjunction with their events. Why might that be? The answer to this trend is twofold.
The first reason is that we are still experiencing fallout from COVID. People are eager to get back to in-person events but still leery of spending extended time in crowds.
The second reason is due to the increased awareness of how time consuming in-person events can be after growing accustomed to virtual events, which were typically one hour long and didn’t require any travel. This is causing speakers, especially celebrities, to really focus on making their timelines as concise as possible and require an increased fee for longer timelines.
The bottom line is that most speakers, specifically celebrities, are keenly focused on shortening their timelines as much as possible. We’ve seen celebrity speakers shrink their timeline requirements of being onsite at an event to a maximum of two hours. This is pushing clients to now choose between a VIP meet and greet or a photo line afterwards, if time allows. We also have to work around COVID protocols to ensure both the client and the speaker are comfortable. It is not uncommon for us to navigate conversations requesting proof of vaccination or COVID testing prior to the event.
With this in mind, we’re continuing to watch this trend carefully. As COVID recedes, we hope to see the full VIP experience resurface for in-person events!