It’s the big night, and you have a large audience in the ballroom. It might be a company event, a fundraiser, or a banquet. Awards have been given out, VIP guests have been recognized, and dinner is over. The boss makes a short speech.
Now it’s time for the after-dinner entertainment.
How do you make sure your event will be a tremendous hit?
Here is the ONE THING you must do to ensure your after-dinner entertainment is impactful, meaningful, and memorable.
Make it ALL about YOUR TEAM.
Great corporate entertainment brings your team together, gets them laughing as a group, and actively celebrates their success!
Here’s the truth: Great banquet entertainment isn’t about music, comedy, big budgets or celebrity speakers. When it comes to live audiences, here’s what I’ve learned… It’s not what you DO on stage… it’s how you make the audience FEEL: valued, inspired, appreciated, and energized.
This is your opportunity to bring everyone together and provide a dynamic experience that not only amazes your team, but makes them feel like the true stars of the evening.
A great entertainer or emcee also helps new hires to feel welcome and makes certain that veterans feel recognized. And of course, you should always make the CEO look great!
So how do you do all that?
Make Your Employees the Stars of the Show
It’s easier than you think. At the very beginning of your evening, highlight how thankful management is for everyone’s hard work.
Throughout the evening, don’t forget to acknowledge any important employees milestones, anniversaries or accomplishments. When I’m hired as a corporate magician, I bring over one dozen volunteers on stage. I always ask their names, what they do at the company, and most importantly, get applause for them and their department.
The goal is to keep everyone feeling appreciated for days and weeks to come, not just one evening.
They’ve earned it.
Hire an Entertainer Who Leaves His Ego at the Door
You want an entertainer who doesn’t just say, “Look what I can do!” but rather, “Look what YOU did!” — this quarter, this year, on this project, as a unique team worthy of recognition.
When I’m booked at a company event or fundraiser, I take the time to learn about the company, their values, and their recent accomplishments. Then, I customize my performances to highlight those values and accomplishments whenever I can.
This could be as simple as making a harmless joke about the competition, or as involved as a customized grand finale that showcases your team’s recent achievements.
There’s a difference between “ego” and “confidence.” The first is self-centered, the second is self-assured. A confident performer brings skill, talent, and experience to the floor, guaranteeing a seamless event you can trust.
There’s no place for ego in corporate event entertainment. I don’t care how famous the person on stage is… if they are performing at a company event, the employees and the company should be the stars of the show.
No Generic Entertainment – Connection is Key
When it comes to a stellar after-dinner show, one size does NOT fit all. An entertainer who truly understands the value of connection won’t show up with the same material he used last week for a company that has nothing in common with yours.
You’re not “just another company.” You’re a team of hardworking individuals who deserve to be treated as such. Could a generic show provoke gasps of astonishment or wild applause? Maybe. But I bet it won’t replay in people’s minds that night, or make them feel connected with their colleagues and friends in a whole new way.
Think genuine. Not generic.
We all want laughter, amazement, and engagement. But a show that will evoke fond memories when they return to the office is one that’s been customized to highlight THEM.
A Quick Warning About Comedy Style
You want to bring people together… not tear them apart. Everyone loves to laugh. But it should go without saying that clean comedy is always the rule.
Jokes and material about politics, race, gender and religion are never a wise choice, even if the boss thinks “everyone knows it’s just a joke.” Don’t take the risk.
I’ve performed at hundreds of events, and when I’m on stage, I create as inclusive an environment as possible. No matter what type of entertainer you hire… you want a squeaky clean show!
4 Quick Tips for Successful After-Dinner Entertainment
Keep it Short & Sweet
At a theater, I might do a full 70-minute mentalism show. But most corporate events have a full schedule of a cocktail hour, dinner, speeches, awards, and more! Therefore, I strongly recommend keeping the main show to under an hour.
No Large Centerpieces
If you have on-stage banquet entertainment, and if your guests are seated at round tables, please ditch the large centerpieces. Otherwise they might block the views of guests, and make it difficult for everyone to enjoy the program.
Avoid the “Dance Floor of Death”
Yes… this is exactly what corporate comedians call it. Do you know why? Because a large dance floor in front of the stage means the “front row” is at least 40 feet away… completely killing the vibe.
Trust Your Entertainment Specialist
Sometimes a performer, tech professional or event planner will make an unusual request regarding sound systems, stage size, or room layout. But if you’ve hired an experienced professional, they’ll always have a good reason. Never be afraid to ask! It’s always my goal to help my clients experience the most astonishing show possible.
One year from now, your group won’t remember if they ate the chicken or the steak. But they’ll remember how your event made them FEEL: valued, inspired, and eager for more triumphs.
If you’d like to learn how I can help make your next event a magical success, contact me today. Thanks for reading, and good luck!