As we begin to settle into 2021, we see hope for live events.  There is finally a Covid-19 vaccine, and in some places, the number of cases are dropping.  Countries around the world have even begun reporting zero cases.  However, even though there is hope, that hope is more distant than we event producers and agencies would like it to be.  Therefore, we must continue to focus on virtual events and really settle into this way (at least for Q1 & Q2).  In doing this, we must continue to excite our guests, employees and/ or clients by bringing them a ‘wow’ element virtually.  Since it’s been almost a year of virtual events, we have seen what works, what doesn’t work and how we can spice things up.  In our ‘Planning in a Pandemic’  posts, we will focus on elements to bring to a virtual event that still create buzz and impress the masses, all while sitting at home on zoom (with or without pants… we don’t judge).   



We start this series off with the Virtual Headliner.  Now, more than ever, celebrities and entertainers are at our fingertips.  Like most of us, they are quarantined with not a lot of places to go.  These extroverts are going to explode if they don’t have an outlet to perform.   We event planners can give them that outlet virtually… and virtually, the price is certainly right!  The costs that come with a live event such as riders, flights, hotels, production cost, etc. no longer exist.  Therefore, we are seeing clients that could never afford a headliner be able to afford a headliner.   

In 2018 we hired Kelly Clarkson as a headliner for a corporate event.  She was $750k (plus, plus) for 8 songs.  In a recent bid we were able to quote her for 3 songs (plus banter) for $55k (give or take a few thousand depending on finalization of script and songs).  We understand a live concert does not compare to a live virtual song trio, but we also have to adjust our expectations with the times we are in and trust me, your guests have already adjusted theirs.  Similarly, in 2017 we hired Jay Leno for a 45-minute comedy set that we got for 1/10th of the price this year, virtually. 

Wrapping up (college essay lingo), guests need a moment in the virtual event to get them to escape the fact they are in a virtual event.  Celebrity pull never loses its value.  Virtual entertainment is nice, but a virtual A-list headliner is the WOW.  Like we said previously, the time to afford them is now and fleeting fast.  Take advantage of this silver lining because hopefully, this virtual world will be over soon.



We at Eight One can handle all your headliner/ entertainer needs (cut to us in clown costumes spinning a sign that says, ‘Hire Me!’).  Below are just a few of many headliners pulled from our virtual deck that are ready with virtual content and sets (prerecorded or live depending on your needs).   




We understand that some of you may still not have a budget to hire a headliner to perform.  In that case, we recommend the company, Cameo (  Celebrities partner with them and will do a prerecorded message (1-2 minutes scripted by you) with shout-outs, words of encouragement, etc. that can be extremely personalized and played at your virtual event.  You can end up spending less than 1k and still have a priceless reaction from your guests.