Let’s face it: Entertainment is the single most important element of any party. Entertainment production begins from the very first moment a guest enters the room and carries throughout the entire party ‘till the very end, leaving a lasting impression. So how does one go about achieving this "wow" factor and creating an unforgettable event? The answer lies within the process.
In order to begin the planning process and get the creative juices flowing, sitting down with the client to understand the nature of the event, their vision and, most importantly, their budget is crucial. These are the three elements needed to begin any project. Let’s take a closer look at each element and understand how each one plays a role.
NATURE OF THE EVENT:
Every event requires a different approach. A wedding will have a different look and feel than a corporate event will. This might seem like an obvious statement, but you’d be surprised at how many times we’ve seen people approach the design and entertainment aspect of every event in a similar fashion. For example, no wedding is ever alike. The couples are different; they have different tastes in colors, flowers, music and energy and want to create a unique experience for their guests in their vein. Understanding this will be key in the questions you ask, the suggestions you provide and, ultimately, the service you execute.
No matter the type of event, vision is always something each and every client has. They have a visual in their head of what the event should look like. Most of the time, it’s fun, engaging and full of energy. After all, no one wants to throw a boring party. This is where you start to understand what the theme of the party may be. It could be colors, sports-related, a time period or their favorite cartoon. Whatever the theme is, it should directly reflect their vision.
This is where reality kicks in. It’s very important to be realistic about the scope of each event. The budget will delegate how fancy and elaborate or how cozy and intimate the function will be. Having said this, a small budget does not mean small and cheap. With the right planning and sourcing, you can hit a home run with any budget.
So now that you fully understand the client’s needs, how do you deliver an experience like no other? An important element with entertainment is ensuring it is interactive. Having the entertainment interact with the crowd will create a personalized experience that will leave a lasting impression. Engaging entertainment is key to elevating the user experience.
Aerialists are eye-candy
Consider using cirque performers: Because of the versatility of these performers, a simple tweak can create the perfect synergy at your next event. Sure, Cirque du Soleil shows have been around for 20 years, but the implementation of such acts at private events is something that is fairly new and is gaining popularity. Not all acts may be a good fit for events but, as stated previously, with a minor tweak you have the perfect entertainment.
Aerialists are visual eye-candy for your guests. They are not typically something you’d expect at a company holiday party or at a wedding; however, we’ve been very successful at incorporating crowd-engaging acts with our aerial performers.
We’ve all been to a Roaring '20s and "Great Gatsby" themed events. Incorporating an aerial champagne pourer is something that will definitely yield the "wow" factor. No longer do people have to line up at the bar to get their bubbles--now they can simply raise their glass and voila! Champagne from the sky!
Standing tall with stilt-walkers
Use stilt-walkers as greeters. The first impression is key to a successful event. Greeting your guests as they enter adds that personal touch and doing so with stilt-walkers to greet them adds that extra flair.
Stilt-walkers are great for interaction as well. Their ability to walk around and maneuver through your guests during cocktail hour will create a sense of fantasy and elevate the ambiance. With a minor tweak, you can have these giants pass hors d'oeuvre by creating a dangling tray with appetizers. Not only are you incorporating these performers with a purpose but also the guests will experience a different type of engagement with your entertainment.
Entertainment doesn’t stop there, though. Such entertainment is secondary to the band and/or DJ/MC you hire.
DJs and MCs are the heart of the party. They ensure people are having a great time throughout the night. Sitting in your chair enjoying a cirque show can only last for a while until you want something different. A proper MC will be able to engage the crowd and get them up and dancing throughout the night. When people arrive at an event--depending on the type of event, of course--dancing will always be something that takes your party to a whole new level. Choosing the entertainers to do so is very important as well.
After all, no one will ever come to a party and say, “The party was boring but the bruschetta was delicious!” To execute a superb party, ensure your guests are engaged at all times. It’s the difference between a party and a gathering.
No matter the event, always think outside the box and utilize your entertainment to engage and connect with the crowd. It will yield a much more powerful experience and an overall positive impression.
Eyal Simko is CEO of Los Angeles-based One Up Entertainment. He has hosted TV shows, film premieres and red carpets, interviewed celebrities, and produced private functions for clients including Paramount, Virgin Mobile and Nestle Waters.