Entertainment at corporate events often surpasses the entertainment we are used to at weddings, birthdays or anniversaries. Large budgets and a series of brand objectives mean that companies aren’t afraid to pull out the stops to create an unforgettable and emotionally resonant experience. We take a look at four of the flashiest and tech-savvy corporate entertainment at events.

1) After show party on Swan Lake at the London Coliseum

Yota was the sponsor of the Mikhailovsky Ballet’s production of Swan Lake, which graced the stage of the London Coliseum. In line with the company’s tech-savvy reputation, the Russian smartphone and mobile broadband service provider put on an after-show party of magnificent proportion and beauty. As well as the opulent dinner and champagne, Musion’s hologram technology, Laura Jean Healey’s photography skills and 3D animation from SquareZero came together to create a hologram of the prima ballerina dancing, turning into a swan and then bursting into a cloud of glittering butterflies. You can view the video on Vimeo here. Entertainment for corporate events needs to be suitably aligned with how a brand wants to be perceived: Yota did this very successfully at this event.

2) Virgin Blue’s ten year anniversary in Melbourne

Virgin Atlantic celebrated ten years of operating in Australia as Virgin Blue on a grand scale. Virgin’s quirky CEO Sir Richard Branson was out in full force in Melbourne for the extravagant event. Staffed by over 100 people, the corporate entertainment kicked off with a flamboyant tap dance display from the legendary Tap Dogs dance troupe on the wings of a Boeing 747 (you can watch a video clip of the display here). Balanced on the plane’s wing was a grand piano, on which Delta Goodrem gave a surprise performance. Entertainment for corporate events doesn’t get more high-flying than that.

3) The Martini Royale in London

In 2012, alcoholic beverage producer Martini put on the Martini Royale casting event at London’s Design Museum, viewable on Vimeo. Thousands visited the Thames-side museum for a casting to find the woman who would become the face of Martini in their 2013 advertising campaign to celebrate the brand’s 150 year anniversary and embody their ethos of “luck is an attitude”. Aside from the crowds of women who attended the event to audition– of which Charlize Theron, Monica Belucci and Thandie Newton have also counted themselves – there was an impressive exhibition by shoe designer Christian Louboutin, dancing girls and a very well-stocked Martini bar: corporate entertainment at its most lavish.

4) Nedbank’s Marketing Summit

A 15m x 4.5m LED screen adorned the banquet hall at Gauteng’s stunning Helderfontein Estate for Nedbank’s 2014 Marketing Summit – an event attended by 250 marketing staff, management and affiliate agencies – including TS&A Events, who also staged the event, Native VML Digital Agency, Joe Public and Saatchi & Saatchi. The aim of the summit was to showcase and share all of the bank’s marketing and brand campaigns and work from the previous year.

The event’s specialised LED screen ran on Coolux software that displayed everything from PowerPoint presentations to videos, live tweeting and 3D graphics. Multiple types of media were displayed at once, giving guests an immersive visual experience and aligning the brand to improve its consistency and messaging for the coming year. In addition to the impressive audio visual technology, attendees enjoyed extravagant live dance and music performances. A sumptuous dinner and an impressive cocktail bar topped the event off. Who said banking was boring?

To get corporate entertainment at events right, you need to have detailed knowledge of your guests. You should know what delights and impresses them, as well as what to avoid. Download the Practical Guide to RSVP to find out how RSVP automation will help you create memorable events.

Image Credit: eventmanagerblog.com


You’ve spent hours agonising over your event décor, catering, guest list, venue and choice of entertainment. Just when you think everything is going according to plan, your PA system bombs out, leaving you with a ballroom full of guests, and the sound of cutlery meeting crockery. A dire situation, if there ever was one.

Event entertainment calamities happen to the best of event planners – as was recently demonstrated at Brazil’s less than stellar World Cup opening ceremony. With hiccups that included lacklustre sound and a questionable choice of performers – not to mention the fact that the whole thing was over in 30 minutes – viewers the world over were left unimpressed.  Fear not – we’ve compiled a list of lessons that event planners can learn from event entertainment gone wrong.

Lesson 1: Have back-up systems in place.

This includes power supplies (a generator is crucial, given the recent spate of power-cuts), sound system, lighting, and the like. You may want to have a Plan B for your event entertainment too – the last thing you want is your band cancelling at the last minute after missing their flight. This lesson applies to every single element of your event, from staffing to your event-registration. Don’t be left red-faced after having to explain to your client that their guests never got to hear a VIP speaker after your speakers blew.

Lesson 2: Rehearsals prior to your event are crucial.

Whether you’re using live event entertainment, a DJ, or background music, make sure you have a dress-rehearsal in order to avoid disappointed guests.

Lesson 3: Ensure your event entertainment accurately conveys the essence of your brand.

An event is essentially a chance for a brand to engage its clients, encourage brand advocacy and at the end of the day, see return from your investment. If you hire a performer who’s controversial or amateur for an event attended by major stakeholders, you’re negatively affecting the hard-earned reputation of the company. After thousands of fans were left bewildered by Brazil’s choice of performers, they immediately questioned the expertise of the country’s World Cup planning committee. Make sure that your event entertainment showcases your brand in a positive and professional light.

Lesson 4: Less is more – a big budget doesn’t mean that your event entertainment will be a hit.

As (unfortunately) demonstrated by Brazil, bigger isn’t always better. Your event entertainment doesn’t need to cost a considerable amount of money. Regardless of the type of the event, professionalism and relevancy trump ostentatious displays. If you’ve been allocated a substantial budget for your event entertainment, make sure you set a portion aside for your entertainment plan b, and all that it entails.

Lesson 5: The ubiquity of social media means that your brand is under more scrutiny than ever before.

Minutes after the opening ceremony kicked off, disappointed viewers took to Twitter and Facebook to vent. Having your guests wax lyrical about disastrous event entertainment (or catering, venue, service, etc.) needs to be avoided at all costs. The nature of social media means that people are frequently exposed to things they wouldn’t otherwise be aware of. Don’t put your client’s reputation on the line by failing to adequately organise and manage their event.

Lesson 6: A well-run event relies on knowing what elements to outsource.

No one is super-human (even top corporate event planners). If you want to ensure that every single aspect of your event runs according to plan, you’ll need to make sure that your time is devoted to the logistics of the event. If you’re trying to manage your guest lists, RSVP process, event registration as well as your suppliers and staff, you’re bound to run into trouble. The best event planners are smart about how they conduct their event planning. By outsourcing administrative tasks that require time and adequate attention to detail, they can free their time up to focus on dealing with everything else. Make sure you’re making the process as easy as possible by using a professional RSVP agency who’ll handle your guest lists and RSVP process on your behalf.

It’s imperative that every single element is handled by professionals. Make sure that you can devote the necessary attention to your event entertainment by making use of an expert guest list management service who’ll ensure the task is professionally and efficiently executed.

Image Credit: ufo-blogger