Just because you schedule entertainment …

Doesn't mean people will watch it.

Or enjoy it.

Live entertainment can take a boring event and twist it into an incredible one.

It can also destroy the integrity of the event.

That is right – DESTROY.

These two polar opposites scare the heck out of most event planners.

How do you make certain you aren't subject to the:

“OMG -who hired this act?”


Making your entertainment presentations successful depends on framing. And the process of framing live entertainment for events starts long before your guests arrive.


The success of any entertainment boils down to targeting. The style of entertainment must match your guests' preferences.

Hiring the Wiggles, a children's singing group, for your company's executive board meeting may not be a good match.

(Unless your company produces them or sells children's products.)

To target the entertainment you have to learn about the people you intend to entertain.

  • What do they like?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • What types of programs do they watch on TV?
  • What was the last movie they saw?
  • Did they enjoy it?
  • What do they have in common?

The more you know about them the better. You will begin to see patterns that allow you to consider entertainment options.

Still not sure which direction to take?

Try taking a brief survey of your attendees. Use a service like SurveyMonkey.com to request their input. Ask questions about

  • potential venues,
  • menu items
  • entertainment.

The results will help you plan a stronger event.

It will also serve to promote the event and make guests feel invested and valued.

Consulting With Corporate Entertainers

Once you've selected the corporate entertainers for your function, seek their input.

They perform hundreds of times a year and understand how to create a successful presentation.

If your entertainer requires something, make every effort to have it there.

We've seen companies hire acts and then hesitate to spend money to contract in proper sound. The act suffers because things are not right and the client blames the talent!

If something is on the rider, budget for the expense.

If an entertainer springs something unexpected at the last minute, they should be responsible.

Making certain the act is staged and provided their technical needs is one phase of framing the talent.

Program Placement

Next you need to consider placement of the program.

Live entertainment consumes an important part of your event budget.

Many event planners want to leave the entertainment until the end to cap off the function.

Is that really the best spot?

In the case of music, it may well be. For other types of event entertainers it may not.

If your guests have had a busy day, they may be looking for a way out. Putting variety entertainment on last can provide that option.

Moving the entertainment immediately following dinner can frame the program in a different light.

After dinner people are still fresh and the program can lighten the mood. This will help food digest.

At the end of the program your guests will be wide awake and in a positive mood.

That means your speeches and other planned events will be better received.

This is a much better use of your budget.


Finally: frame the entertainment with a proper introduction and send off.

The executive who says:

“Here is the show. Let's hope it is better than last year.”

… sabotages your efforts.

The talent should provide you with an easy to read introduction to set a tone. Use it to create respectful anticipation.

For more help selecting and framing live entertainment for events contact Tom now. He works with you to create unforgettable event entertainment.


This article's popularity lead to the creation of The Savvy Event Planner Podcast. Click the link below to check out episode 6 for an in-depth look at creating anticipation for live entertainment through proper framing.


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