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Difference Between Booking Agent & Booking Manager

Though booking agents and booking managers both focus on assisting talented people, there are many differences between the key responsibilities of these professionals.

Comparing Booking Agents to Booking Managers

Famous people benefit from the work of booking agents and booking managers. Booking agents are focused on getting jobs for established artists, while booking managers are on the lookout for new talent.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2014-2024)**
Booking Agents Bachelor's Degree $35,000 2% (Agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes)
Booking Managers Bachelor's Degree $42,500 2% (Agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes)

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Booking Agents vs. Booking Managers

The talented individuals we see on television, in magazines, and hear on the radio are often supported by an agent and/or a manager. Booking agents establish relationships between talented people and venues or studios. Booking managers find new talent by actively seeking people who perform in local venues or are established on social media. Both of these professionals are paid through commission received when an act is successfully booked, but their responsibilities are different.

Booking Agents

Artists signed to a record label and models or actors signed to agencies often work with booking agents to find their next gigs. It is important that the agent understand the abilities of the talent, as well as the needs of the venue or film. Once the fit between event and talent is established, the agent then negotiates the terms (including any special requests from the talent and the amount that the job will pay). The money that is exchanged between the venue or studio and the talent passes through the agent, and they carefully track their clients' accounts.

Job responsibilities of a booking agent include:

  • Marketing the talent agency that they work for to bring in fresh talent
  • Booking tours for music artists
  • Coordinating with marketing to inform the public of a concert
  • Addressing any concerns the talent, venue, or studios have with one another to smooth out relations

Booking Managers

People striving to become well-known talent often seek a booking manager. It should also be noted, however, that managers seek out talent that meet the current focus of their agency. Regardless, these professionals help new artists, models, and actors stand out and find their own unique brands. Keeping their clients' needs in mind, they negotiate the terms of contracts with studios or record labels. Additionally, they often attempt to ensure that the reputations of their clients are sound by giving them both career and life advice.

Job responsibilities of a booking manager include:

  • Managing the social media accounts of their talented clients to boost their online presence
  • Building relationships with studios and producers to later connect them with new talent
  • Scheduling interviews and public appearances for their clients
  • Making arrangements for clients to travel to studios, appearances, and gigs

Related Careers

You may be interested in a career as a booking agent, but you may also want to research the job of a public relations specialist, since these careers both focus on boosting the public image of large companies or famous individuals. Similarly, if you are curious about a position as a booking manager, you may look into a job as a studio manager, as both of these require the ability to recognize talent.

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