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When 'The Usual' Won't Do

How to make Corporate Events Fun

How can you make your event fun? The short answer is that you need to do something a bit different.

Don’t Play it Too Safe

The easiest things to do for corporate events are what you did last time and what everyone else does.

If you play it safe the event will almost certainly be unremarkable. Just the same old thing.

So do something different - take a small risk. Different means unfamiliar and that means you wont know exactly how it will go.

“Not knowing exactly how it will go” is the essence of a great event for your guests. They want and need to be pleasantly surprised by something unexpected.

Get Everyone Involved

If you ask them, people will often tell you that they don’t like being forced to participate.

It is also true that people will rarely say an event was great if they sat there passively watching it.

Getting some kind of response is key - laughter, cheering, and applause at least. And involvement needn’t be confronting or awkward. You need to allow for degrees of involvement and for different ways to be involved.

Give people a choice over how much they are a part of your event. Just don’t allow them to choose not to be a part of it at all.

For example telling everyone to dress up and so a skit on stage is too confronting for many people. But asking everyone to cheer for their favourite skits done by volunteers is easy and most wont mind cheering at all.

The trick with involvement is to make it easy and natural for everyone to be animated and enagaged, and to avoid the situations where they become passive or tune out entirely.

Organise Time and Space

It may seem obvious but you need to allow time for the fun, and to have space for it to occur in.

I’m certain that all of us have been involved in events where from the very beginning it was a struggle to catch up and regain the time lost to delays and over-scheduled agendas. And often times the fun activity is then asked to cut their set to a much shorter time. That is not always practical and will often lead to a poorer outcome.

It is not uncommon for me to be approached to entertain at an event for several hundred people, say at a sales conference, and then to be told we can give you only 20 minutes. When given such constraints I often find myself thinking “well, that’ll be about 7 minutes by the time they run late and start cutting things”.

A large event needs more time - even the act of getting on stage and gaining people’s attention takes longer with more people present. And for a larger crowd a stage is almost always needed.

Different entertainers have different staging needs. Some can get by on a small podium. But a circus or dance act (or comedy hypnotist) might need a larger area for their act. Choosing an act or activity that can be undertaken in the space available is an important consideration.

But however large or small your event is - allow ample time for the entertainment and enough room. And allow for the usual delays and overruns that occur with food service and speeches.

Make it fun?

Have a Budget

If you are hiring in someone to create some fun, perhaps to entertain, remember that they are unlikely to be able to book in a second or third client that same night. Your schedule might run late, and the need to travel, even across town, might make it impossible to attend more than your event that night.

In my case I’m at your event for the evening - and my act is not cheaper if you “only want 45 minutes” versus an hour. Most of my work occurs before the event, and after it. In most cases you are not booking an act or activity “by the hour” you’re booking it outright.

There is considerable variation on pricing and quality for corporate entertainment. A key point to keep in kind is that professionals in every arena come at a price. If you do not set aside sufficient budget for fun activities then you’re likely to get something amateur and possibly not quite so good. You’ll likely just get what you pay for.

Author: Gerard V Comedy Hypnotist, MC and Corporate Entertainer
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