Thinking of Cutting Entertainment? Think Again
I know that budgets are tight and times are tough. But I’m here to tell you that your events need entertainmentby Meredith Mcllmoyle | Published in April 2009 entertainment | From the Publisher | Departments
I remember producing a general session at a software company’s conference many moons ago. The day started with an excellent keynote speaker. Though I can’t remember his name, he had an incredibly motivating Mt. Everest story to tell.
Then, it was time to get down to the business of the meeting. No matter how much video or pyrotechnics we put behind the CEO, the material was dry. Even with a speech coach, he was dry. You could feel the sales team slowly losing their steam through the afternoon.
When dinner was finally served, and though it was somewhat interesting and definitely palatable, the life was gone from the room. You could see the conversations at each table revolving around how an unnoticed exit could be made as soon as dessert came.
Then…out comes our band, Boogie Nights. Everything changed. Within 30 seconds, there were people on the dance floor. By the second song, those not dancing were singing along to disco tunes and bouncing in their seats. A majority of the team stayed through the last song and begged for an encore.
They had absorbed the material during the day, but the entertainment brought their enthusiasm about being at the conference to a level that the sales training alone could not accomplish.
Entertainment is the exclamation point on any event.
I’ve been hearing discouraging news that some planners are completely cutting entertainment from their events. I know that budgets are tight and times are tough. But I’m here to tell you that your events need entertainment.
Now, more than ever, we need to create opportunities to celebrate what is good about our world. Celebrations include entertaining our guests. Think back to your events over the years — it’s hard to imagine the smiles on faces without that entertainment, isn’t it?
Whether it’s a costumed greeter, comedy act, interactive games, music or something as unique as a comedy roast of your CEO (see pg. 30 for our special entertainment section!), don’t lose the magic that entertainment brings to your events.
If the programs “America’s Got Talent” or “American Idol” have shown us anything, it’s that there are thousands of talented people to draw from. They are looking for opportunities to be a part of your celebrations.
Even if your CEO is not as dry as my client was, his or her material will be much more memorable if it is accompanied by toe-tapping disco music!