why-your-corporate-entertainment-plays-a-crucial-role-in-event-marketingEvent marketing involves a myriad of aspects – each just as important as the next. Corporate entertainment isn’t just a filler between pre-drinks and dinner; it gives you the opportunity to further engage your audience in a way that’s enjoyable to them. In other words, it’s a crucial aspect of your entire event marketing strategy. Here’s why you can’t afford to neglect your choice of entertainment at your next corporate event:

Your choice of corporate entertainment acts as a loudspeaker for your brand’s personality

You’d never arrive at a black tie gala in your slip slops, so why hire corporate entertainment that’s completely off the mark when it comes to your brand? Before you book any musician, band or comedian, make sure you’re one hundred percent clear on what your client needs to convey at the event. Their brand personality must shine through and be done in a way that the audience can relate to. Once you’ve establish this, then – and only then – can you begin your search for a complementary choice of corporate entertainment.

Tangible experiences trump intangible touch points. In other words, a lot more hinges on your corporate entertainment than the risk of pounding eardrums

As sensory-driven creatures, we’re are programmed to physically and emotionally respond to experiences which engage our senses. (Which is why an event trumps traditional marketing efforts.) It makes sense then, that brands are hopping onto the ‘sensory branding’ wagon – the act of using stimuli to engage the senses in order to elicit an emotional response. Corporate entertainment is one such example. Your guests are essentially a captive audience – which means you need to do everything you can to make sure that your corporate entertainment results in only positive emotion in order forge a positive connection between your guests, the event and your brand.

Gone are the days of one-size-fits all marketing, which means that you need to match your corporate entertainment to your guests’ demographics

All marketing efforts – including events – are now making use of hard data in order to speak to the individual as opposed to a nameless, faceless consumer. Providing your guests with the most relatable experience is that much easier when you know a little bit about them. Basic demographics, coupled with data gleaned from past events and online invitations give you a clear idea of the type of corporate entertainment your guests most enjoy. By making use of event management online software, collecting this data is easy, enabling you to make an informed choice when it comes to corporate entertainment.

Your corporate entertainment – as well as all other event touchpoints – must work together to provide value to your guests. Find out how to go about your event marketing the right way, by downloading our (free) eBook “Guide to Turning your Event into Marketing Gold”. A successful event marketing campaign provides value to attendees beyond information about a product or service

Image credit: Chad Chesmark

Corporate entertainment plays a crucial role in conveying your brand’s message. In fact, your choice of speaker or MC can make or break your event. While being aware of this is one thing, finding an individual you can entrust with this weighty task is another matter entirely. This article from Event Stuff , talks about just that and lists the top ten corporate speakers in South Africa. As Paul McConnon of Unique Speaker Bureau so aptly puts it: “It’s a hard-learned reality that the right speaker will provide the impetus for action, be the catalyst for change and motivator for progress.”

Your corporate entertainment has to match your event, in terms of marketing objectives, tone, the demographics of your guests, and creative execution.

When you add a detailed event brief into the mix, as well as budgetary restraints, you’ve got yourself a challenge. Luckily, there are some ways to make choosing the right corporate entertainment easier. One of which is to work with a company who specialises in finding the right speaker for your brand. A thorough understanding of marketing objectives, coupled with an extensive list of professionals who’ve earned their stripes in the corporate entertainment arena, make finding the perfect corporate entertainment or speaker that much easier than if you were to tackle this challenge on your own.

Regardless of whether you use a speaker bureau to find your corporate entertainment match or not, there are a few essential qualities that your corporate speaker has to have.

All of the speakers listed in the article above are considered to be corporate heavyweights. They’ve spoken at major events for leading brands – for good reason. While a charismatic personality helps, it’s crucial that the individual you’ve chosen for your corporate entertainment is knowledgeable and experienced in their subject matter. The speakers listed aren’t merely great communicators, they’re also respected authorities in subjects including marketing, leadership, entrepreneurship and South African politics. Their accolades are numerous, and include penning best sellers, formidable career success and thought-leader status.

While accreditations differ, what all of the top ten most popular speakers have in common is an ability to command their audience. Essentially, they’re catalysts who’re able to continually inspire, motivate and inform guests.

Ultimately, your choice of corporate entertainment or speaker should serve as a bridge between your guests and your brand. Conveying a convincing message – whatever it may be – relies on creating a personal connection between your guests and your brand offering. It’s far easier to relay the tone and personality of a company when it’s done via a speaker who’s able to command respect and entertain your guests.

Image credit – 51 Ideas

Choosing the right corporate entertainment for your events is akin to walking a tightrope. Selecting a performer who’ll delight guests and at the same time, is in line with your client’s corporate identity, can be something of a balancing act. Without any further ado, we’ve compiled our six non-negotiables for choosing corporate entertainment that wows guests and satisfies clients.

Rule 1:  Get to know your client

Without any insight into who your client is it’s impossible to create an event – let alone choose suitable corporate entertainment. It’s imperative that the first step in planning corporate entertainment consists of gleaning as much insight as possible into the unique qualities, needs and objectives of your client. Once you’ve obtained a clear picture of their corporate identify and the image they wish to portray, choosing corporate entertainment that aligns to these will be far easier.

Rule 2:  Choose entertainment that’s compatible with the venue and season

Make sure that your corporate entertainment of choice is suited to both your venue, as well as the season.  While October days are warm, night are chilly – so it’s probably not the best ideas to have a string quartet playing in an outside courtyard if the majority of your guests are huddled inside around a fireplace. Venue considerations include the acoustics of the building (you won’t want to use a band playing in the middle of a small, intimate venue).

In addition, make sure that the sightlines of those seated enable them to adequately view the speaker or performers. If the people seated in the very front are the only ones with an uninterrupted view, you may want to consider building a raised platform for the people behind who may not be able to see.

Rule 3:  Your choice of entertainment needs to engage guests

The corporate entertainment you use is also dependant on the demographics of your guests. Are they a young, up-and-coming set or an older, more conservative crowd? Remember that corporate entertainment is not always the main focus of an event. Oftentimes – in the case of a networking cocktail party for example – you need entertainment that provides background ambience. If you use a singer who’s belting out loud renditions of jazz classics, your function won’t be conducive to networking. Similarly, make sure you don’t choose entertainment – like a cabaret show – that will take away from the objectives (i.e.: to network) of the event.

If you do want to use some show-stopping form of corporate entertainment, make sure that you’ve set aside a specific time slot where everyone’s focus is solely on the entertainment.

Rule 4: Understand the dynamics of your venue

Make sure to do a thorough inspection of the venue before deciding on your corporate entertainment. Are there enough power points in the vicinity? Will you need to hire extra sound gear? If your entertainment is going to be in two different areas – in the foyer to welcome guests, for example, and then in the main banquet hall – is it logistically possible for them to move their set-up without interrupting guests?

Rule 5: Corporate entertainment doesn’t have to consist of a performance

2014 has been the year of using innovative corporate entertainment, thanks to the use of new technologies and interactive elements. Many event planners forget that corporate entertainment is far more than a singer or a speaker, and the brands who’re eschewing traditional forms of entertainment are those holding events that delight guests in new and surprising ways. We’ve seen this come to fruition through interactive flooring, touch screens and even buffet tables that encourage guests to create their own delectable desserts that look like creations straight out of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.

Rule 6: – Make sure that you understand the terms of the contract with the entertainer

In the case of large-scale corporate events, your entertainment may consist of a well-known band or performer. Make sure that you’ve read the small print of their contracts and ‘riders’ that outline the specific demands of the artist. (Riders can contain specifications for anything from food preferences to accommodation of choice.)

In addition, make sure to establish whether you or your client will be footing the bill for these requirements – these can be costly and include flights, technical set-ups and various other ‘must-haves’. Also, make sure you’ve agreed on things like whether or not they’ll provide the background music, or if that task will fall to you. If they’re a kwaito band, make sure that similar music is played in between sets.

Image Credit: Jacqueline Tabor