A lot of time, effort, and money will go into planning a corporate event. If you’re lucky, you can afford to hire a professional planner to do the heavy lifting for you. But even if this is the case, you’ll still have to make the ultimate decisions once your event planner has narrowed down your choices. This means selecting the venue, choosing a caterer and menu, picking decorations, and putting together a guest list and seating arrangements in some cases. And of course, you’re probably going to want to keep your guests entertained, whether you’re hosting an employee-only event, you’re trying to impress investors, or you’ve got the press or public showing up. Here are just a few tips to help you select the right entertainment for your corporate event.
- Your company. Any time you’re planning a promotional event you need to consider how every element reflects on your company and informs your brand image. Selecting entertainment for your events is particularly crucial because of what it can say about you. If, for example, you support traditional values and you cater to an older, more sophisticated clientele, you might want to hire a string quartet or a big band to entertain your guests. If, on the other hand, you’re running a cutting edge tech company that targets youth (both for staff and customers), hiring a modern, A-list band or a hot comedian might be more your speed. You just want to make sure that the entertainment you picked aptly represents your brand.
- Type of event. The size, scope, and guest list could inform your decision when it comes to entertainment options. For example, a large, expensive event for a multi-national crowd could call for something above and beyond the norm, such as a troupe of tumblers a la Cirque du Soleil. On the other hand, an intimate affair for your small corporate headquarters might benefit from a jazz ensemble. And a public event could be made more fun with singing and dancing waiters, just for example.
- Available talent. Unfortunately, you may be somewhat limited in your entertainment options due to the talent available for hire in your area. Of course, early planning will likely give you the most choices, but if you wait until the last minute, stellar talent may already be booked. That said, you can always choose to bring in bands or other types of performers from other areas – most are more than willing to travel on your dime.
- Cost. There’s no getting around the fact that entertainment can be expensive, and to some extent you get what you pay for. If your budget is small, you can certainly hire a local college band for your event, but they might not be as good as their professional counterparts, and they certainly won’t be as recognizable. Still, you have a budget and you’re going to have to work with it.
- Goals. You need to think about what you hope to accomplish with your entertainment. Are you looking for pleasant background music or do you want your guests to get up and dance to the rockin’ rhythms of the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra? Do you want to wow the audience by hiring popular and well-known recording artists or comedians, or will a local magician do the trick, so to speak? The goals you hope to accomplish with your event may be helped or hindered by the entertainment you choose, but keep in mind that sticking to a budget is also an important goal. In short, you’ll have to weigh your options carefully to find the entertainment option that best suits all of your needs.