When it comes to corporate entertainment, I see the same old ideas and approaches. Much of what you read is just common sense. Hire that band, bring in that photo booth, add that magician, or make it a casino night.
Let’s step back a minute. Everything in a corporate event should have an objective. There should be a reason and a budget behind activities that takes place at corporate functions, including entertainment. If we understand the purpose of the corporate entertainment it makes it much easier to select the appropriate entertainment that serves that purpose. There are a lot of different reasons for entertainment depending on the occasion, setting and motivation behind the function.
Thinks of the objectives or purposes of corporate entertainment
There are many. Here are a few examples:
- Attracting an Audience:
- Team Building
- Setting a Mood
- Encouraging Creativity
- Celebrating a Milestone
- Creating a Fun Experience
While the entertainment might be different for each of these and other purposes, there are some things that should be common to any kind of corporate entertainment you use for your function.
- Audience: The first thing you need to remember is the audiences that will be attending the event. The entertainment should fit the demographics and interests of your audience. You don’t want to end up with half of the attendees enjoying the entertainment while the other half sits on their hands. Find entertainment that suits everyone.
- Budget: The other thing you can’t forget is the budget you have for the event and its associate corporate entertainment. You can’t take 2,500 employees to Disney World to celebrate hitting your corporate milestone, if your budget is $30,000. Work within your means. Sometimes, the C-Suite might even up your budget if you come up with that perfect celebration theme and entertainment. Don’t plan on that though.
- Immersive: What I mean by immersive is that it’s participatory for all involved. You want people involved. The more involved they are, the more they will enjoy the event. Whether it’s getting everyone on the dance floor or everyone having a role in the game, fostering participation will result in a better experience for all involved.
- Sensory: Whatever you decide for your corporate entertainment, make it a sensory experience. Use lighting, sound, presentation, decorations, etc. to enhance their enjoyment through their different senses. Romantic music with bright lights is a deal breaker as is high energy dance music during dinner. Bringing as many senses to bear as part of the entertainment activities provided will surely enhance the experience for one and all.
- Memorable: The entertainment you choose can make a corporate event memorable to all those attending. You want people to be talking about the event when they go back to work and for a long time afterwards as well. Think outside of the box. Don’t do the same old thing. A creative and different form of theme and entertainment can make the event memorable to those who attended as well as making them sure to attend the next similar event.
Some Objectives of Entertainment for Corporate Functions
Now that we’ve discussed the common themes, let’s address some things to take stock of when using entertainment for the following purposes:
- Attracting an audience: Whether it’s a grand opening of a car dealership or a trade show exhibit, entertainment can attract not only people to it, but can help attract press and increase the publicity for the event. You can go several ways with corporate entertainment for attracting an audience and free publicity. One way is doing something outlandish that will attract attention. Another is using a guest appearance of a well-known entertainer or speaker to your event. Perhaps a high school band and cheer leaders would work for your event. Whatever you decide, try to build in enough excitement to attract an audience and don’t forget the publicity you can generate with the right entertainment.
- Team building: There are specific entertainment you can do to foster trust and team building. One example is the Escape Room game or even a scavenger hunt. These foster people working together to attain an objective. You can combine several different games or forms of entertainment. The important thing is whatever form you use, that your audience has to work as a team to have a successful conclusion.
- Setting a mood: For many types of corporate functions, setting the right mood for the evening is important to the purpose of occasion. Often party or event planners use a theme to set just the right mood for an event. Your purpose is to create a unifying motif or idea. With a theme or mood in mind, the entertainment becomes an easier choice. Whether it’s period costumes where attendees become part of the entertainment or the selection of theme-related music. Remember to appeal to all senses with mood lighting, setting, menu, decorations as well as the specific entertainment chosen
- Encouraging Creativity: Sometimes it’s just necessary to get employees and stake holders to break out of their proverbial rut and get them thinking in new ways. The right kind of entertainment can bring out the creative side of people. Why not a photo contest at the event. These creative photos can be shared over social media to make it even more memorable. Why not a large mural created and painted by the group. Even karaoke can be creative, especially if it’s done with a live band. Once the ice breaks, you might see a part of someone’s personality you never saw before. Storytelling, speeches and many more things can be done to have attendees reach into the creative side of their brain.
- Celebrating a milestone: Celebrations should be part of any corporate culture. For these kinds of corporate events, it’s important that the corporate entertainment fit the company’s culture. After all, reaching one of your company’s milestones is no small feat. All involved, employees, distributors, stakeholders, etc. deserve to celebrate. The corporate entertainment for reaching milestones will depend on the size of the milestone. The bigger the milestone, the bigger the entertainment. An important thing to remember is that company employees should not need to work for such events. Everyone should be celebrating.
- Fundraising: Many non-profits host large galas to raise money for their worthy causes. The entertainment can be important in setting up the emotional appeal that’s very important to getting people to contribute. The right Emcee, set up video, music, etc. provides the spot-on entertainment to make the pitch for funds a much easier process. Many groups honor someone as part of the function. Celebrities, whether local or national can help make the appeal more effective.
- Creating a fun time: Sometimes corporate entertainment is about just entertaining those attending the function. Whether it’s a holiday party, a business luncheon or similar kinds of events, all you want to do is entertain. Of course, you want it to be really something that people will remember and talk about long after the occasion. Remember the audience. Make sure that the entertainment reaches everyone at the event. Here’s a thought to make such event more memorable. Instead of the typical party band, why not hire a tribute band for the event. The tribute band should be one with a long track record that has appeal to all ages. Imagine having the Beatles, Queen, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson or other tributes that look and sound like the real thing as your corporate entertainment? Depending on your budget, you could do more than one covering songs from the 50’s to 2000 to make sure everyone is enjoying the night.
Remember to make sure your corporate entertainment will appeal to all of the people coming out to your event. Make the audience participate, whether it’s dancing, role playing or part of a game. Make the entire setting of the occasion a totally sensory experience. If you do these things you will have a memorable experience for all involved.