Endorsed Professional Entertainer Certification
NAME provides a number of benefits to members and to the industry as a whole. The Endorsed Professional Entertainer (or EPE) program is a benefit available to both members and non-members. The goal of the program is to provide a visible level of certificate of accreditation to those companies that meet the guidelines for operating a professional entertainment company. In this issue we’ll be looking at why a company would want to be endorsed, what the requirements for endorsement are, and how the public will be introduced to the endorsement program.
Why would a DJ or Company want to be Endorsed?
Receiving an EPE Certificate is similar in effect to achieving a Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce seal. It will provide your clients with a measure of comfort knowing that your business practices have been reviewed and approved by the National Association of Mobile Entertainers. This comfort level will allow you to move more quickly through your sales process so you can focus on building value and forming a consultative relationship with your client.
Companies that are in competition with un-professional entertainment services can also use this program as an un-attainable comparison point. Equipment, Music Library, even Insurance can all be obtained, upgraded, or purchased at a moments notice however an Endorsement by the largest National Association of Mobile Entertainers is something that must be earned. This is one of the few defining tools that a company can use to set itself visibly apart from the un-professional aspects of the industry.
How will the public be introduced to the EPE Program?
RMuch like any other program the EPE certification will need public awareness to be effective. Part of this is built into the program, each application NAME receives will educate no less than 10 people (5 professional, 5 consumer) about the program directly. In June, after a 5 month preparation period designed to give companies a chance to earn the endorsement certificate, NAME will begin marketing the EPE program actively to the public. Targeted announcements and informational advertisements are set for placement in high exposure wedding and party guides and magazines, the newly designed NAME website will feature an in-depth explanation of what the EPE status means to clients, and finally local groups, chapters and individual companies will be provided with marketing materials to distribute to individual consumers.
To introduce the program directly to a client DJs and Entertainers that have earned EPE status will be provided with a Certificate of Endorsement, a Personalized EPE Digital Logo, a Personal Webpage on NAME’s site with an EPE Certified Seal, and access to additional EPE Certification Materials. Endorsed Entertainers are welcome and encouraged to refer clients or interested parties to NAME’s Website, Email, or Toll-Free Phone service for additional information on the Endorsement Program and for confirmation of the Entertainer’s achievement. Endorsed Professional Entertainers are also eligible to be featured in the National Entertainer Magazine, and are encouraged to submit profiles, press releases, and editorials for publication.
The Endorsed Professional Entertainer program will provide a highly marketable competitive advantage and sales tool to qualified companies, and provide a medium to educate consumers about the features that make an entertainer “professional.” The program is open to all mobile entertainers regardless of association membership status or affiliation and participation is encouraged for all. There is a one-time $89 application fee with discounts available to members of Endorsed Groups (see page xxx). Endorsement is a lifetime status but must be maintained by providing updated information no less than every 3 years.
What are the requirements for Endorsement?
Professional Business Paperwork and Marketing Material – The marketing material and paperwork for a business must clearly set the appropriate expectations for a client. This marketing material must be submitted for review to the Association in order to determine the requirements for endorsement.
Professional Equipment and Music Library – Based on the marketing material provided, equipment must be of a professional level capable of providing the services described. A photograph of equipment as setup for event is required for most companies. Proof of ownership must be provided for music libraries in the form of photograph of CD collection, receipts, or membership to music subscription service.
Professional Business Etiquette (Phone, Fax, Website and Email) – All methods of customer communication must be consistently answered in a professional and businesslike manner and in a timely fashion.
References – A NAME representative must be able to make contact with no less than 5 professional references such as local group members, equipment or music suppliers, chamber of commerce or Better Business Bureau and no less than 5 client or customer references. Appropriate reference types will depend upon company structure but no less than 10 total references are required.
Insurance, Licensing, and Business status – The company must retain insurance, licensing and business registration status as appropriate for the business model. This includes but is not limited to proper documentation and structure for companies that choose to be incorporated, appropriate DBA certification, and applicable licensing (there is no current standard for DJ licensing, but event planners and those using copyright items must have appropriate documentation as determined by state and regional law).
Ethics and Standards – The Company must agree to follow the Ethics and Standards guidelines as set forth in the EPE kit. Key features of these guidelines include: Commitment to Quality Service, Full Disclosure to Clients, Fair and Reasonable Rate Structure, Information Confidentiality for Clients, Truth in Advertising, and Adherence to Laws and Standards of Business Conduct.
All of the above requirements must be met and current documents on file with a completed application before a Certificate of Endorsement will be issued.