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Old 08-03-07, 11:12 PM   #1
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Default Client and Agent Emailed for Same Job

I had an agent contact me for a specific date and a relatively specific location. I answered his email with a price quote and he asked for my phone number for questions and more discussion.

Three days after his email (same day as giving him my phone number) another person contacted me through my website for the same date and very similar location - I think they are talking about the same event, and this person is the meeting planner.

My instinct is to tell the meeting planner, sorry, I've already been contacted about that date by a person who I think is your entertainment agent. But then again, he hasn't booked me yet or even asked me to save the date.

If I contract directly with the planner, she'll save money. But the other guy contacted me first. I suspect what's happening is that the planner is shopping around and contacting agents and entertainers directly, looking for the best option based on price or whatever else is important to her. I don't know if the agent knows the planner is shopping around.

I have no previous relationship with either party.

Advice on how to ethically handle this?


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Old 08-05-07, 11:33 PM   #2
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You put forth the effort to get your name around to the client somehow. They called you. You deserve to take the job on yourself. You did not undercut the agent at in any way. Unless you have a contract with the agent already, tell the client (if it is indeed them who called the agent) to contact that agent and let them off the hook without letting on that they contacted you directly. (be sure to ask if they hired any other entertainment through that agent first! You don't want to get there and find out that all the other entertainment is provided by this agent!) By doing this you can handle it descreetly and not step on anyone's toes.
Adam Pate
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Old 08-06-07, 12:06 AM   #3
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Default different business model:

I've had cases where the agent charges a set fee for handling all or part of the event, rather than upcharging the entertainment. So it isn't always a conflict.

Sometimes one hand simply doesn't know what the other is up to.
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Old 03-27-09, 09:01 PM   #4
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I know this is an old thread but I just thought I'd add my thinking to it:

A client is more often than not only going to get you that one-off gig, however an agent is more likely to funnel work toward you in the long-term. In my opinion it's better to build up a trusting relationship with an agent. No better way to build that trust immediately than by saying: "Hey, the client tried to contact me direct, but I told them to go through you as you contacted me first and that is the way I roll baby". (Last bit is optional).

Similarly if I get a card handed to me at a gig I give the details to the agent. They see I'm not stealing work from them. I still get the gig and more in the future.

Honesty pays?
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