Organizing a Talent Show: Key Ideas to Remember


It could be a 5K fun run, a bake-off, or a friendly team sports competition like a basketball game or a football match. These are all great activities for a community, a school, or an association fundraising event. But perhaps nothing spells fun and excitement than a talent show.

If you are part of the PTA in your children’s school, a talent show is an excellent way to raise money for the school to, for example, expand the library or buy new computers or renovate the gymnasium. City Hall could partner with local organizations to hold a benefit show to support victims of a disaster. But how does one hold a successful talent show? Here are a few ideas for you to consider if you find yourself as part of a talent show committee:

Two Types of Shows

man on stage about to perform

There are two types of shows that you need to consider, a) talent show competition or b) an exhibition talent show. With the former, you have to structure the event so that the outcome will yield a winner. You will also need to develop the criteria on how to judge the contestants of the show. Naturally, you would have to award prizes to the winner and the runners-up.

In an exhibition show, you line up talents who will perform. There are no prizes to be won.

Designing the Show

man rehearsing his play

It’s a show, so, imagine yourself as directing a movie. Just like making a film, you need to be telling a story in a talent show. There has to be a beginning, middle, and end. This is the super-structure of your presentation. If it’s a competition, decide if the beginning could be a singing competition, the middle as the dance competition, and the end of a comedy presentation. Or it could be just one of these, perhaps organized according to ages.

Establish the proper criteria for selecting talents. How would you weigh singers with perfect voices but didn’t have formal Tampa vocal lessons vs. those that did have voice lessons? Will participants just come from Tampa, or are nearby towns allowed to participate? These should all be factored into the design of the show.

Organize a Steering Committee

team collaborating for stage plans

Form a steering committee wherein each member of the committee heads a sub-team leading a specific task. For example, a finance and budget sub-team is in charge of sponsorship strategies, or the talent sub-team is responsible for everything related to the processing of talents. There should also be a sub-team dealing with all the technical aspects of the show, like sound systems, lights, etc. The idea is to delegate to smaller teams broad tasks, and each lead of the sub-teams provides feedback to the steering committee.

The Budget

The design of the show will partly dictate the budget. Your show will most likely run due to sponsorships. That is to say, that you need to go strong and hard in soliciting for sponsors. Sponsorship is what will fund your event mainly. Competitor’s fees and ticket sales will contribute to the pot, but never expect this to be the ones funding the event in full.

Sometime in the early stages of your preparation, plan to market your event. Traditional media platforms, like radio and TV shows, still provide a wider reach. But digital platforms like social media are practically free, and the right strategy could be far-reaching as well. Are you ready for your first talent show?

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