Opinion: It’s time to make entertainment a priority

We all know entertainment can make or break an event, so why is it so often an afterthought?

In the latest issue of Spice Magazine, Musicland director Chad Davis explains why entertainment is the foundation for a successful business event.

I’ve looked out onto a lot of heaving dancefloors over the years and thought to myself, ‘Does it get any better than this?’ That buzz you get when you tease an audience and then drop into a track at exactly the right time to send them into a frenzy is bliss!

The power of a single beat shared in unison with an entire audience can elevate your event to legendary status. In that moment, everyone is equal. There are no bosses on the dancefloor.

Why is it then that my team and I get contacted by producers in the closing stages of their planning process to book a band or DJ? The venue is locked in, the menu finalised and even the table centrepieces are arranged, but entertainment often remains an afterthought.

A component with that much power to make or break an event should be the question asked after ‘Who is the audience?’

Entertainment has a value that should be held in as high a regard as your menu selections and keynote speakers. The musicians, DJs and artists you book have spent years practicing and perfecting their art and deserve recognition of that dedication.

From my perspective, it appears the Australian event industry is stuck in an endless loop driven by fear. Fear of change, fear of failing and fear of being truly innovative at the risk of a bad event or unhappy client.

These are the soul-destroying missiles that I know you as event professionals are hit with daily. But there is hope!

I’ve been able to effect change in clients by making them take small, incremental steps. Each time they try something different, the line is redrawn in the sand. Every event after that is a step further away from ‘same as it ever was’.

My most significant cathartic moment happened when I realised that a client is not the person approving the budget; the client is the audience, the delegates and the guests at your event.

For me, the concept of entertainment has evolved into one of engagement. That new lens has changed my approach completely making the risk-averse hierarchy no longer a factor in the equation.

Know your audience, trust your instincts, chip away at the decision makers and the change you want will come.

This article orginially appeared in the Summer issue of Spice Magazine.
Subscribe to recieve future issues here.

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