If the title of this article sounds like a soap opera, it is fitting because the past year has been full of drama. Now, there may be light at the end of the tunnel as corporate events return.
Planning a post pandemic corporate event?
There will be a lot of new things to consider. Covid-19 and the way it has been handled has created a slew of side effects that you will need to deal with.
While some are eager to resume a normal life, others are fearful of participating again. It can actually feel weird to be in a group of people.
There are those who want to ditch the masks. Others want to double mask. And of course, those who will create issues if they feel others aren't following their standards of safety. (Even if they aren't the Covid-19 standards recommended by the CDC!)
While many are being vaccinated, others refuse to get the vaccine due to religious or personal beliefs.
Throw into that mix the variety of new Covid strains emerging and as an organizer, you are faced with a nightmare of challenges.
After the meal, the president of the association wanted to wait a few minutes before he got up to give his speech. He wanted people to be able to go for a bathroom break and grab another drink at the bar.
He finally went on stage about 8:00 to give his welcome and introduce the speaker who was on before me.
His welcome included a quick story he wanted to share. It took him 25 minutes to tell this. Then he remembered something related to share, and the second quick story ran about 18 minutes.
His introduction for the speaker, who was a friend, went on for at least 6 minutes.
The speaker got up and did a 15 minute speech.
During this the event planner was apologizing to me and said I would be on immediately following the short video they had. I told her not to worry, I was her's for the evening. That is my policy.
The speaker finished and the President introduced the video, which was short as the planner had promised.
The event planner was just about to introduce me when the President stood and walked back onto the stage.
He wanted to introduce the division leaders and have them say a few words.
I talked to the event planner and asked how long they had the room. Her reply was 10:00, but not to shorten my show, she would handle it.
I went on at 9:45 pm. My 45 minute set ended at 10:30 to a standing ovation. The event planner was happy, the event ended on a strong note. She was less happy the budget now had to cover extra pay for the hotel staff.
In both of these situations, the magician and president, were too absorbed in their own part and didn't realize how it would affect anyone else.
That is why it is important for you, as an event planner, to make sure everyone is aware of the big picture.
Had the magician known the food would be plated during his act and needed to come out in exactly 5 minutes, he might have stuck to his time. (If he was a professional …)
Had someone talked with the association president, they would have probably remembered to include the division introductions on the schedule and created time for that.
They could also have discussed the importance of keeping things on schedule. Even if the president is long winded, he would keep his eye on the time to avoid additional expenses.
I've actually had people say, “Well, he/she is the president, so he/she can do what he/she wants.”
He or she is a person. Chances are, events are not his or her specialty. Share the information. I bet the president understands cost overruns and budgets.
It needs to be spelled out. Not just for the entertainer, or caterer or president/CEO – but for everyone involved in any phase of the event.
Show your people the big picture and they will take more pride in their contribution to the event's success.
An Additional Note:
Do you have delay clauses in your event contracts?
Talk to your vendors and entertainers to find out their policy before you sign.
Time is money.
Some entertainers charge extra for each 15 minutes of wait beyond their contracted show time.
I know some entertainers who book multiple shows on the same night. If your event runs long, they cut the show short, or leave without performing and still expect pay.
While I understand these reasons, I do not operate that way.
The night of your event, it is my only focus. I set and soundcheck before your guests arrive. That way you know I am there and ready to go.
It allows you to relax and not worry if the entertainer will show up.
If your event runs long, it isn't a problem.
I'm there to help you be successful. I can start when you need me. I can tailor my show to fit your time frame.
You pay for this level of service in my fee. There are no additional surprises to your budget.
Earlier today a friend contacted me to say he had made the Top 10 list of ventriloquist comedians. He hadn't seen the article yet, but I laughed at his closing words, “Maybe you did too!”
About a year ago my article writer created a list of Top 10 Ventriloquists Recommendations. I felt kind of odd that I was included on that list. Especially since it was to appear on my own website.
I was told I deserved to be there. She pointed out that my specialty is helping people find the perfect entertainment for their event. By talking to them, if I wasn't a good match, I could help them find a ventriloquist comedian that was.
After talking with my friend, another tagged me with a link to the article on FaceBook. I naturally checked it out.
TopTeny.com lists the Top Ten of Everything In The World. If you haven't seen the site, you should check it out!
There, on the Top Ten Ventriloquist Comedian page, I was listed at number ten, top of the page. I am honored to be among the greats of our art. Many I have met or had conversations with. I only regret never getting a chance to meet Paul Winchell or Edgar Bergen before they passed away.
A few years back, I was included in the CyberVent All Star Ventriloquist Collectors Card Series. My picture sits beside Jeff Dunham, Terry Fator & Jay Johnson. Incredible company!
And now, the Top 10 Ventriloquist Comedians list. My sincere thanks to TopTeny.com for the honor. It was a nice surprise to start my day!
A work Christmas party is a great way to allow your co-workers to relax and have fun. The party is a way to show exactly how much your firm appreciates all their hard work. Plus it makes the holiday season a bit more festive.
Planning a work Christmas party is a big job. But you have a major advantage over other types of corporate entertainment events. At holiday parties, everyone wants to have fun. So your job as the planner is to create a positive atmosphere. When the guests have a great time the event is remembered as a success.
And the biggest secret
to a successful holiday party
is to find the right entertainment!
Sure, you need great food and drink. But the entertainment for Christmas parties is what makes the event memorable.
Chances are you have a wide age range of employees. It can be difficult to appeal to everyone. That is why we put together this list of 5 holiday party entertainment ideas. Chances are good, one of these suggestions will be an answer your employees will love:
Tom with AGT Ventriloquist Darci Lynne
Seriously? Of course.
First, you have the age range issue solved:
Older employees will remember the days of Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy, Paul Winchell, Senor Wences or Shari Lewis & Lambchop.
Younger employees (and some older) may be fans of Jeff Dunham, Terry Fator, Paul Zerdin or the young America's Got Talent ventriloquist Darci Lynne.
Second, you have something unique. There are only a handful of professional ventriloquists in the United States. Ventriloquism isn't a performance you often witness live.
Third, you have comedy. People love to laugh. A ventriloquist provides a mixture of comedy and visual appeal that a stand up comedian can't. Tom even personalizes his programs to create a unique show specific to your company.
… never failed to include the audience in every aspect of his show. By doing so, Tom Crowl created a fun and comfortable atmosphere for everyone.
– Abbi Murray – The Courier
So if you want to give your party a comedy boost a comedy ventriloquist is the way to go!
2. OUR COMPANY'S GOT TALENT
Let your employees shine. Although many prefer to relax during the holiday season, others enjoy the spotlight. If your office has talent, why not showcase it? Set up a few “judges” from your management team and do a take-off on AGT. Cash or gift card prizes and a bonus gift for everyone who participates can fuel memorable fun.
One note for this type of program though. While it can save your entertainment budget, there can be pitfalls. Acts that run too long, or a string of so-so acts can bring down the room's energy.
If you decide to try this type of holiday party entertainment, we suggest hiring a professional emcee. They help to coordinate the “acts” and keep the program moving. Plus a skilled emcee can gauge the energy of the room and save the show if things start to go south. While your co-worker may be funny and popular, the emcee spot is best left to someone with more experience.
3. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE
Another fun holiday party idea for work is the dance competition. Let your guests show off their mad skills as the crowd cheers them on.
This event can be a feature if your holiday party uses a DJ or band.
No doubt you've been to a party where people complained about sound levels or types of music played. The dance competition gives everyone something to focus on and enjoy. Who wouldn't want to see their co-workers cut a rug!
Adults love to be amazed when the magic is good. Finding the right magician for your holiday party helps to create a relaxed feeling.
Plus magic offers a lot of flexibility. For large events, an illusionist can fill your stage. For smaller events, a stand up magician can wow the crowd. Magic even lends itself to roving atmosphere entertainment. Nothing is more amazing than a trick performed in your own hands.
A bit of gambling can be fun too. And it is legal when money isn't changing hands. Give your employees chips and let them play some Poker, Blackjack or Roulette.
The mingling atmosphere of gaming offers a chance to socialize. Plus, at the end of the evening allow your employees to donate their chips to charity. Spreading the season of giving, helping others and creating goodwill for your company.
Give these corporate party entertainment ideas a try. You'll find your employees laughing, relaxing and bonding in the true spirit of the holiday season.
There’s a lot to think about. After all, you want the best possible entertainer to ensure your guests stay engaged, focused, and happy with the entertainment, but it can be tough to decide if you’re going to get that by just simply reading a website. Before you sign any contracts, you may want to take the following tips into account.
One of the first things you should do before you select the right corporate entertainer to meet your needs is take a look at a few different videos. Many corporate entertainers post videos on their sites or on sites like YouTube so people can get a feel for their style and what they’re capable of. These videos are a great way to see if an entertainer’s style is going to meet your needs.
Second, and you may want to do this while you’re actually watching the video, make certain the entertainer you’re thinking about hiring actually has some experience in the corporate setting. A comedian, for example, may be hilarious in a night club, but can they hack it in front of your staff members and still keep things funny?
Finally, make certain the entertainer you’re considering can offer you a personalized show.
You want someone who can literally customize the show to meet your needs, adding in special keywords or even the names of staff members to help your guests truly connect with the event. The last thing you want at your next event is generic entertainment your guests could see by sitting at home in front of the television. Selecting someone who will customize the show just for you ensures that you get a one-of-a-kind show your guests simply can’t see anywhere else.
As you work through your list of potential entertainers, make certain they offer a no obligation consultation call to help you determine if they’re the act to meet your needs. Don’t sign a contract until you've actually spoken with your potential act!
Corporate Event Planning Concepts
To Save Your Event From Ruin
You spend the time to find a great corporate entertainer. They are highly recommended, their video is incredible and you've gotten rave recommendations from their past clients. You just know your guests will love them too!
But things don't go as planned. The entertainer doesn't click with your guests. People aren't paying and some are even walking out the door. You've paid a lot of money and the act totally bombed.
Entertainment MUST be framed properly or it WILL fail.
Event planners often place their event entertainers in a no-win situation. It is important to understand exactly what your entertainment needs to succeed. Let us give you some examples:
Audiences need to be close to feel like they are part of the experience. Often event planners will place a dance floor in front of the stage, or leave a wide gap between the stage and the tables. When that happens the entertainer and guests are unable to form a connection. So keep tables and chairs close to the stage!
Guests need to be able to see the stage. If they can't, they won't pay attention. If your room has columns, plan the seating so everyone has a clear view of the stage. Don't allow the centerpieces to obstruct site lines either!
Plan for a sound system that is designed to handle the room and your guest capacity. Nothing is worse than trying to understand muffled ceiling speakers. If your entertainment can't be heard, you've wasted your budget.
The evening is about your guests! Once the CEO has spoken, or the awards are presented, phones come out to check emails, people realize the babysitter is on the clock, and they begin thinking about other things. Suddenly your group starts to unravel. Now let's bring the entertainer into this environment and expect them to succeed. It could happen, but the odds are not in their favor.
When your entertainment hits the stage immediately following dinner, the energy in the room rises. People are laughing, having fun and by the time the show is over, they eagerly anticipate the awards and speeches. Everything seems to move faster when your guests in a great mood.
So how do you want people to remember your event? As a fun time, or a time drag? Follow this advice and make your next corporate event one they will remember!
When planning your next corporate event, contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will help you find corporate entertainment that your guests will love!
For More Corporate Event Planning Concepts, Tips and Ideas, check out the suggested articles below:
As a corporate event planner, it is important to make your event stand out. Building buzz will get people in the door, so creating excitement around your event needs to be considered at every phase of planning.
A couple of years ago, one corporate event planner was putting together a parking lot picnic with a summer beach theme. She wanted a uniform look and needed an event logo to brand the party. Instead of going to a designer, she decided to announce the event by launching a company wide logo contest. Even the outer offices were invited to participate.
News quickly spread as employees shared the contest with the most artistic and original thinkers on the staff. Dozens of logos were submitted and the IT department created a web page where everyone could vote for their favorites. Within a few days, everyone knew about the picnic and everyone was looking forward to it.
The winning logo was selected and the promotional product vendor provided a special silk screened gift for the contest winner.
Talk about Corporate Event Branding Impact!
The contest allowed employees to be creative. Everyone had fun with the process. And the entire company knew about the upcoming event.
When you attend a corporate event, chances are you will notice some common features that are shared by almost every one.
These Common Traits Include:
Mingling – Happy Hours or Cocktails that give guests a chance to arrive and unwind.
Addresses By Management – from a simple welcome to a pivotal speech.
Incentives and Recognition – Awards, certificates or simply thanking people.
Rewards – these can include corporate entertainment, gifts or bonuses.
So if almost every corporate event has these features in common, the question becomes, how to make your event different and memorable.
Content Is The Key!
During planning, make certain every phase of the event will reinforce your content and message. Then find a distinctive approach to style these components so they enhance instead of detract from the overall message and theme.
Instead of networking Happy Hours, turn the activity into team building games. Incorporate social media like twitter and LinkedIn to create ways for guests to connect and grow their circles.
Anyone who addresses the guests should be kept informed and on topic as your event draws closer. By using audio, video and interactivity your speakers can bridge the audience gap and offer information in a more exciting manner, while building personal connections with the audience.
Acknowledgements and awards should be limited to highlight achievements within the content focus. This helps you to avoid long speeches or sending mixed messages that can ruin the flow of your event.
Rewards, includingcorporate entertainment, should be tailored to emphasize your content too. Find a corporate entertainer that can easily adapt to your message and audience. This makes the event fun, while offering a unique perspective to help reinforce your message and theme.
Focusing on your content allows you to make the “conventional” aspects “exceptional” aspects, creating a truly unique corporate event.