5 ways to entertain your guests

From fire performers to live stage shows, here are five creative ways to engage and entertain guests at your next event.

Entertainment can make or break any event, so it’s important to think outside the box to engage your attendees. Here are five of our favourite corporate entertainment solutions to incorporate into your next event:

1. Roving performers

It’s important to engage guests from the moment they step foot into an event, and roving performers can do just that. Human statues, stilt walkers, fire performers, musicians and magicians can create an instant impact and will keep guests entertained through the event.

Richard Sayer, managing director at event management company Instinct Events & Entertainment, says roving performers add visual and theatrical impact to an event.

“They create a fun and colourful visual impact and can help deliver your event theme,” he says. “They help establish the theme and set the tone, and can build expectation in the guest’s mind of what lies ahead.”

According to Sayer, roving acts work best for cocktail events where guests are mostly standing. “The performer’s ability to move gives them a chance to entertain in pre-function areas with limited space, cocktail parties and trade shows through to large outdoor events.”

They also provide the ideal entertainment solution if an event space has limited sound and AV equipment. “Roving acts can bring musical or physical energy, massive visual impact or be verbally engaging and funny,” says Sayer.

2. Live music

You can’t look past a high quality, live music performance when it comes to entertainment. Bella Sikdar, senior entertainment manager at Solution Entertainment, says live music has the power to transport guests to another place and evoke emotions that leave a lasting impression.

“Live music allows guests to feel an emotion, so the event becomes an experience which resonates to a previous feeling – it becomes personal,” she says. “We strive to take
customers and guests on a journey in an event and live music allows for this.”

Live music isn’t limited to a cover band – there are myriad options for events. “I love a DJ combined with live vocals, percussion, sax and sometimes even an electric harp,” says Sikdar. “The options are endless for DJ combinations and they are a perfect solution if budget and stage space happens to be an obstacle.”

When deciding on the type of live music – be it a DJ, acoustic singer or full band – it’s crucial to understand your audience and the purpose of the event.

“Knowing your demographic is of upmost importance,” says Sikdar. “Think about how you want people to feel during the event and why you want them to feel this way. This allows us to book the right music for the event.”

Solution Entertainment brings live music to events

3. Comedy

What better way to engage an audience than with a hilarious live comedy act? According to Rob Brown, CEO at Corporate Comedians, professional comedians can help an event flow seamlessly.

“Comedians are perfect for moving from the formal part of your event, with speeches and awards, to the more social or fun part of the evening,” he says. Comedians also make the perfect MC – not only can they introduce the entertainment, they can entertain too.

“No matter how much we try to plan for everything, something always happens – the video isn’t ready or the guest speaker hasn’t arrived, which creates a hole that needs to be filled,” says Brown. “A comedian MC can go out on stage and fill a five-minute hole with laughter.” Corporate Comedians’ portfolio includes a range of professional comedians, with big names such as Dave Hughes, Wil Anderson, Rove McManus and Kitty Flanagan.

“All our talent has been performing professionally for over a decade, minimum,” says Brown. “We also have a variety of professional comedians who you may not have heard of, but will do an excellent job at a far lower price.”

When selecting a comedy act for your event, Brown advises providing as much information as possible. “This includes the date of the event, location, time, type of event, expected audience numbers, the type of audience, age range and gender split of the audience,” he says. “Knowing this information helps us recommend the best comedian to suit your audience and budget.”

4. Interactive activations

Entertainment has moved beyond the stage and can now be fully interactive. Virtual reality experiences, racing simulators, photo booths, skill testers and silent discos are just a few examples of interactive elements that can be incorporated into events. Interactive entertainment supplier Rentertainment knows full well the benefits of engaging guests through entertainment.

“In a corporate event there is always a specific goal which needs to be translated to the attendees,” says national operations manager Matthew Sacher. “When a unique, interactive experience is involved, guests are thrilled to have the opportunity to try their hand at something new and cutting edge, and they remember the feeling of this long after the event is over.”

Some of the most popular interactive products within the Rentertainment portfolio are virtual reality (VR) experiences. “The VR Arena is one of our latest and greatest new releases,” says Sacher.

Rentertainment’s 360 Bullet Time Booth

“Four players at a time wear VR goggles and a backpack control set which allows them to roam freely in the arena. “The Drone Zone is another great entertaining experience which allows up to three players at a time to test their skills flying a drone in a netted space.”

Social activations are also a great way to entertain event attendees, while boosting brand awareness through social media engagement. Advanced photo booths and GIF booths now allow you to add custom branding to photos and videos, which can be instantly shared across social media channels.

“Social engagement is the number one goal of every brief we receive,” says Sacher. “Experiential marketing combined with social media is becoming the most effective way to create brand awareness and achieve marketing goals, so clients need to continually deliver cutting-edge experiences to accomplish this in the competitive market.”

5. Stage productions

Some events call for show-stopping entertainment that will have your guests up on their feet and embracing the music. Stage productions or concert-style shows are  designed for maximum impact and can be scaled to suit smaller events.

Singer and actor Michael Falzon knows first-hand the power of live stage shows, having performed  in musical theatre productions all over the world and currently starring opposite Tina Arena in Evita. His production company, Good Egg Creative, provides large-scale and small-scale versions of popular stage shows for corporate events.

“There’s room for an acoustic duo at certain events, but sometimes you want that pizzazz and  something to knock people’s socks off – something unexpected,” says Falzon.

After success with his stage shows Swing on This and Rock  Rhapsody – Hits of Queen, Falzon decided to reproduce them for corporate events.

“[Rock Rhapsody] is something I created to incorporate into international events and for cruise lines,” he says. “All the performers are stars from shows, people from Rocky Horror, West Side Story, We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia and Priscilla. It’s condensed and produced in such a way that makes it a little more affordable to present on a smaller scale.”

Swing on This by Good Egg Creative

Good Egg Creative’s stage shows can be tailored to event organisers’ requirements, from a nine-piece-band version for large events, down to a trio of singers supported by backing tracks. “We always like to use live musicians if we can – it makes a bigger impact in a room,” says Falzon.

“[However], we’ve also had everything meticulously recorded for small events where we might be performing a few songs. We find that works really  well when there’s limited space.”

According to Falzon, live stage shows can add a point of difference to corporate events. “Event organisers are under a lot of pressure to provide something special and memorable,” he says.

“With both of these shows, we’re trying to create an experience that’s a little bit against the grain, where audiences  know they’re getting something special.”

This article originally appeared in the November issue of Spice Magazine. Subscribe here.

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