Planning a gala dinner event? Gala dinners add prestige to charity and corporate functions. Some are stand alone fund raisers.  Others may be hosted as part of an event. It isn't uncommon to hold a gala dinner for a convention or conference.

A successful gala dinner depends on several things: location, food, beverages, atmosphere and entertainment.

Entertainment plays a huge role in the success of your event. That is why we have created this article to offer you gala dinner entertainment ideas.  We will also include other suggestions to create the best gala possible.

Before you hire Gala Dinner Entertainment:

It is important your entertainment is right for the event. Think about your attendees. What is their age? What is their social background? Is it a mixed audience or is this a women or men's only event? What do they like?

These answers will help you to narrow down your entertainment choices.

You must also consider your venue. How many guests will it hold? Will there be room for the entertainment you are considering? A band requires more space than a corporate comedian. An aerialist may be exciting but if your venue doesn't have head space they won't have room.

What are current trends in the entertainment business? Is there a unique style of entertainment that is popular? Would that appeal to your guests? Would it provide you with something unique people don't often see?

What type of budget are you working with? Your budget will affect your options for gala dinner entertainment.

A gala has a certain prestige. They are usually dressy or black tie events. Even for charity gala dinners, skimping on the entertainment is a mistake. You want to impress your attendees. Show them a great time and donations will follow.

Getting Better Results From Your Gala Dinner Entertainment

When selecting an act for your gala, we recommend you hire one that specializes in corporate entertainment. A corporate entertainer is accustom to working an upscale audience. They understand how to make their clients look amazing.

Corporate entertainers also know how to keep their presentations clean. This is important, you don't want to offend any of your guests.

Ask your gala dinner entertainer to incorporate your theme, message or logo into the program. This special touch helps to keep focus on your cause.

Now let's discuss some different gala dinner entertainment ideas:

One opportunity often overlooked is the icebreaker. When guests arrive they may be apprehensive about mingling. Having a magician to approach guests is a fantastic way to break the ice. One of our favorites is Mike Rose, the gala magician. Mike is an expert at creating laughs and making guests feel at ease.

Another excellent pre-dinner entertainment option is accoustic music. From a harpist to a string trio or quartet, background music adds to your ambience.

For after dinner entertainment, you may want to consider a comedian. Their program can be cost effective to produce, which saves you on event tech, staging and AV.

Other after dinner entertainment might include a magician, jugglers, singers or a band. Be sure to talk with your entertainment about their dress for your event. You want to make certain they look appropriate for your gala audience.

Additional Gala Dinner Tips:

Some dinner events become a series of speeches. While we understand the need to honor or highlight people, you need to consider your audience. Awards or speeches that drone on weigh down the event. People will often begin to disappear, which affects the effectiveness of your evening.

Many organizations want to have their speakers talk before the after dinner entertainment. This is a mistake. If a speaker runs long (and they usually do … ) it removes energy from the room. People begin looking for an exit.

When focus wains, people realize the time and start thinking about their own lives. Maybe they have a babysitter, or have to get up in the morning for work. When this happens, some won't give your entertainment a chance. They'll leave, and your investment is wasted.

By the same token, if you place the entertainment before speeches, your entertainer brings up the room. They generate excitement that carries into the speeches to follow. It becomes a win/win situation.

Suggestions to avoid run on speeches:

Host a slide show of sponsors on a screen before and during dinner. These can easily be created using PowerPoint or Keynote. This will make it unneccessary to mention each sponsor from the stage.

Make a countdown timer visible to your speaker. This is easy to do with an iPad and an app called pClock. It will help your speaker stay on schedule.

Reduce the number of speeches you need to make. Hire someone to create a short video that covers important subjects or people. These should be kept brief and can even be played during dinner.

When you are planning a gala dinner and searching for entertainment, contact our office. With over 30 years in the entertainment business, Tom is happy to help, or direct you to an act that would be perfect for your event.

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