You've chosen the perfect menu and venue, and you're working hard to make this an unforgettable event from start to finish. But if your entertainment leaves your guests yawning and looking at their watches, you've blown it. The boss is counting on you to make the event fun, engaging, memorable, but in good taste. You can't afford to take chances. The success of this event is your responsibility and you need solid entertainment.
Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Do Your Research
While agents can be a good source for talent, they aren't the only way to go. Just because an entertainer is on an agency's roster, that doesn't mean the agent has ever even worked with them before. Many leading corporate entertainers don't work with agents, so you can miss out on some great talent. Google "corporate entertainers" to expand your options. Look for a type of entertainment that's unique, rather than going with the same old thing. If you choose comedy, make sure it's clean; don't risk your entertainer offending the boss's wife.
Length of the Show
That more is better is a deadly assumption. Instead, as the wise old cliche goes, "Leave them wanting more." The ideal length depends on your group, how long a day it's been, what leads up to the entertainment, what has to follow it, and other factors. Have your guests sat through training or seminars all day, or have they been out shooting 18 holes? A standard window for successful after-dinner entertainment is 20 to 60 minutes.
The entertainer experience is very important. Check out the website, read the testimonials, and watch the videos to get a better feel for how well a particular entertainer will go over with your group. Is the style and humor something you can see being a good fit for your event? Does the entertainer have references from other similar clients or events? Remember, a corporate atmosphere is completely different from a nightclub atmosphere. Also, see if the corporate entertainer has multiple program options to choose from.
In-demand entertainers are often booked far ahead of time, sometimes as much as a year or more, especially around holidays. Confirm availability before investing too much time and start your search as early as possible to increase the chances of landing a highly desirable entertainer. Too often, event managers spend months planning certain aspects of an event, like the food, hotel, and decorations, but wait to the last minute to book the corporate event entertainment.
While it's not always true, in many cases the expression, "You get what you pay for" is an accurate assessment. Or warning. Low-cost entertainers are usually low cost for a reason. When looking for someone to engage and delight your guests with fun and laughter, look for an experienced professional, even though this means a slightly higher price tag. When dividing up your event budget, don't skimp on the entertainment, which often leaves the most lasting impression about the event.
Inquire about the entertainer's show requirements, like whether a stage is needed and how large it must be, and what sort of sound system and lighting is necessary. Check with your venue to confirm these things will be available. Some entertainers have show options involving strolling, where they provide the entertainment from group to group during a cocktail hour. This sort of format doesn't require a stage or any other supplies.
A contract is essential. This includes all the details, such as date, setup time, performance time, location, price, when payment is due, show requirements, and who provides what when. This summary ensures everyone is on the same page to prevent confusion and provides important documentation and reminders to help the entertainment be successfully delivered as expected.
If you keep these basic principles in mind during your selection process, you're well on your way to finding the perfect fit with entertainment that delights your guests, pleases your boss, and makes you look like the hero for planning an outstanding event that everyone will remember.
By Don Townsend
Don Townsend is an Orlando entertainer that provides jaw dropping laugh out loud corporate entertainment with his astounding mentalist act.
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