A brief entertainment show can always spice up your event, boosting both the attendees' mood and experience. Obviously, entertainment sessions aren't always easy to incorporate into the event program. However, if you want to surprise your guests, you can always think about setting up a 10-minute show that will engage them in an unconventional way.
As event professional Julia Rutherford Silvers notes in her book, "Entertainment is that which commands and holds attention, pleasantly diverts, or amuses. Entertainment in some for is included in virtually all events, primarily to enhance the event experience. Even the list solemn of occasions often utilize music and ritual performances to reinforce the significance of the event."
In other words, an entertainment show should be fully aligned with the event idea, not disrupt the attendees' experience, and strengthen the message you want to transmit during the event. On the other hand, according to Kevin Van der Straeten, author and entrepreneur, the thing guests will remember most about your event is the entertainment part. This happens because an entertainment show is the activity that best engages people's emotions. As Kevin highlights, "People love to talk to others about spectacular or memorable acts that they have seen, whereas lifeless acts are dead and buried on the evening of the performance. For this reason, it pays to take things very seriously when it comes to entertainment: take the necessary time and make the necessary effort to find the right acts and entertainers."
Considering this, we decided to help you accomplish this responsible task by providing a list of tips on how to stage the entertainment experience at your next event.
Tip 1. Decide which type of performance you want to stage
Choosing from the multitude of entertainment acts and performances can be a nightmare, especially when you aren't sure what you're looking for. That's why, before starting to plan the entertainment experience, think about your end goal. What emotions do you want to induce? What effect do you want the act to have on your attendees? How do you want them to react?
As Rutherford Silvers argues, "Variety entertainment is employed to direct and redirect attendee focus. Special effects are utilized to add emphasis to an awards presentation Pyrotechnics create an electrifying finale to a hallmark event." She concludes, "The right activity will increase the value of the experience."
Tip 2. Search for the entertainers that best suit your goals
Once you’ve decided which type of entertainment works better for your event, start searching for the entertainers. Usually, you can find them in the most unexpected places. For example, you can ask your team if anyone knows an entertainer who’d like to perform at your event. You could also scout local talent shows for suitable performers. Know that you can find less-famous, but still-good entertainers with whom you could negotiate friendly fees that won't break your event budget.
Tip 3. Book the entertainers wisely
The great risk you run when engaging the services of an amateur entertainer is the chance the performance won't be very good. That could leave a negative memory about the event, and of course, you don't want that to happen. Thus, before booking entertainers, check their social proof. Do they have a webpage with images or videos from other events? Do they have recommendations from their happy clients? Where is the social proof that backs up their talent and skills? Always be careful with whom you’re hiring if you want to ensure a high-quality performance act during your event.
Tip 4. Schedule the entertainment agenda
You can’t just schedule an entertainment performance whenever you have a free space in your event agenda. You must do it wisely. For example, don't plan an entertainment act on the first day of the event. It's better to wait until the second or third day. During the first day, the international attendees may be affected by the jet lag and everyone else is just getting settled in, so no one will be able to truly enjoy the performance.
Tip 5. Brief the entertainers and discuss in situ the needs they may have
Different types of performance acts and performers require specific equipment and installations. Make sure to invite the entertainers to see the event venue and let you know what they'll need. Schedule a meeting with them, also inviting the tech responsible, in case they may need his or her direct assistance to set up the stage. Also, be aware of their need to rehearse their number in situ before the event starts.
When staging an entertainment act for your attendees, you have to design their experience from beginning to end. Be careful about choosing the type of entertainment that best meets your goals, and make sure that the entertainers you hire have a solid social proof and can back up their talent. Don't forget that an entertainment performance is not just about fun—it must also enhance the guest experience, while also linking different components of your event schedule.