Of course, you want your event to have great entertainment… But determining what’s “great” is pretty subjective. Before you can choose the ideal entertainers for your guests, it’s important to consider several key factors about the big picture of your event. Only after you address these questions can you confidently begin the process of hiring entertainers.
Even if you’re working with us to handle most of your event planning – including selecting entertainment – the overarching vision plays a critical role in guiding our team to make informed decisions on your behalf.
Let’s review the big questions and concepts to help you choose the right entertainment for your event.
Vibe and Volume
Perhaps the most important factor to consider – what’s the overall “vibe” of your event? Are you going for a raucous, party-like atmosphere, or something more intimate and conversation-driven? Do you envision your guests on the dance floor, or chatting as they mingle around the room?
Not only does this “vibe” consideration help point you in the right direction for style of music, intensity or performance, and so on, it’s also a great way to gauge the overall volume level that fits your vision.
Use your imagination to get an idea of what you want… A low volume jazz trio or swing quartet will provide ambience while still allowing for conversation, while a DJ or funk band might pack the dance floor, but leave little in the way of volume space for casual chats.
Once you have an idea of the event’s ideal atmosphere, you can start to explore entertainment options with a narrowed focus.
Foreground, Background, or Interactive?
A similar consideration to the “vibe and volume” concept, you’ll also want to consider how your guests will be interacting with your entertainers.
For example, a comedy show requires a significant amount of audience interaction to be effective – people need to pay enough attention to hear the jokes, not talk over the comedian, and generally remain engaged with the show from beginning to end. The same is true for a keynote speaker.
Conversely, individual people can come and go from a live band’s performance without being disruptive but can be easily immersed in the entertainment if they so choose. Such performances are in the foreground of the event but don’t necessarily require the audience’s undivided attention.
And still another option, the low volume option mentioned above (like small jazz or chamber groups) require very little in the way of guest engagement. While they can certainly pay as much attention to the entertainment as they please, it can also function as a background ambiance.
Budget and Space
Last but not least, be clear about your entertainment budget and the space you’ll be using. If there isn’t enough room for a full swing band, then it shouldn’t even be a consideration. In a large space like an airplane hangar, space isn’t an issue – but it still works keeping in mind.
Budget is equally important, and the cost of a given entertainer or group varies for many reasons. Prestige, number of performers, travel costs, length of performance, and more can factor into entertainers’ rates, so having a clear budget lets you know who you can afford to hire – and don’t forget about production costs!
These aren’t the only considerations to take into account, but they do create a big picture idea that clarifies options and makes the search more manageable. The right entertainment can make or break an event, so choose wisely!