Hiring a live band or that “adult” hypnotist for your event is a good idea. Maybe you were thinking of hiring a magician. Another good idea. But those entertainment ideas don’t exactly break the creativity bank. Are they entertaining? Yes, we guess so. But will they impress your guests? Not necessarily. Event planners know that every detail is important to ensure that your function goes smoothly. Whether you’re looking for corporate event entertainment or something for a smaller gathering, it needs to be perfect. Fortunately, we’ve got some tips to help you narrow your options and 12 event entertainment ideas that will definitely impress your guests.
Hiring entertainment for your event is more than just keeping guests happy. Certainly, there are some events that won’t require much in the way of entertainment. For example, if you are hosting a single day event that centers around a motivational speaker, that individual, more or less, is your entertainment.
But, many events can use a little fun added into the mix. More than offering a flashy or an immersive experience to your guests, the right entertainment can help improve the success of your event across several key metrics.
Event entertainment can:
But before you go out and hire the biggest, baddest act in town, there are some things you need to think about.
The best entertainment in the world won’t do much if it isn’t right for your event. A country music festival wouldn’t book a hip hop artist to headline, right? Engaging your audience will take a little more consideration than going with what’s expected or what’s trending.
To help choose the proper event entertainment options, consider the following:
Here are some ideas that can serve as inspiration for your event planning:
Using virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) can entertain your event attendees and fully immerse them in the experience.VR can be used to entertain guests but it can also make for a great training opportunity. For events that will have smaller breakout sessions, VR is a great way to give participants a more realistic training session. Or, VR can be used to really elevate trade shows and take them to the next level. Like VR, AR is an event entertainment idea that is on the cutting edge. AR technology can be used for a scavenger hunt, think Pokemon GO but tailored to your event! This can create a sense of excitement that lasts for the duration of the event and encourages attendees to engage and interact with your event brand and with each other.
When it comes to team building and creating community, few things are more effective than escape rooms! Escape rooms are not only fun but they can also be themed to meet your specific goals or purpose. If, for example, you are hosting a corporate event around advancements in medical technologies, incorporate that into your escape room. An escape room fosters communication and promotes interaction between event guests. Bonding at its finest.
A celebrity impersonator is an easy, and fun, entertainment idea for everything from corporate events. Consider your event and your audience and try to match the impersonator with your goals. A charity dinner, for example, might be a great opportunity to hire a singer like Elvis or Cher. For something more bold and daring, consider a troupe of drag queens or female impersonators. There are lots of talented people performing as talented people. Think outside the box and get creative!
Hiring visual artists can really create a focal point for your event. Consider commissioning a mural to be painted in real time that incorporates your branding or mission. If you are hosting a benefit or some sort of event in an attempt to raise awareness of a particular issue, consider hiring an artist to create an art installation. You don’t even have to go that large. A coffee artist can create works of art in a cup. This is also a great way to bring in the community by hiring a local artist. This type of display gives a focal point to gather around while also providing photo ops that are sharable on social media, bolstering your brand reputation.
A little bit of competition never hurt anyone. Scavenger hunts, trivia, and relay races are all good ways to foster participation, engagement, and investment in your event. Make sure your prizes are worthy of the effort and make sure things stay friendly by establishing clear rules for participation.
Using circus performers will depend on your venue and event details but can add a lively and “different” element to your day. Think contortionists, acrobats, and illusionists; A Cirque du Soleil type show at your own event. These performers also do not necessarily have to have a stage show, they can work the crowd during a cocktail hour or interact with guests between sessions.
Video mapping dancers are all the rage. They combine light and music with their movements to create a truly stunning visual display. This is a great way to further work in your branding while exciting your guests. Again, this type of entertainment can really increase social media shares and solidify your brand or event as something worth paying attention to.
For smaller events, hiring a tarot reader can be a fun and memorable experience for guests. People love and are fascinated by the things they can’t explain. So, instead of going the standard route and hiring the same magician or hypnotist that everyone else does, mix it up. Be sure to hire someone with lots of experience. The better the tarot reader, the happier your guests will be.
Hiring a caricaturist for events will not only engage guests but it will also give them something really fun to take home with them. The artist can interact with the crowd by wandering through and drawing caricatures, or, you could set the artist up in one location and have their drawings projected onto a wall or screen for all to see.
If you want people to laugh, hire a comedian. Comedians can break the ice and get people talking. For fundraisers or benefits, comedians can use their humor to highlight your issue of concern. But remember, a sense of humor is an individual thing so choose your comedian wisely. Pushing the envelope may be exactly what you are looking for, or, it may be a disaster in the eyes of your guests. If going this route, think carefully about who you are going to hire.
Hiring artists who work with fire will very much depend on your venue. Before you plan on this form of entertainment, be sure that you are in the clear to do so. Performers who will eat, juggle, or dance with fire can spice things up. It is sure to wow guests and keep them talking about your event long after its over. It is unexpected, exciting, and visually stunning.
Bottoms up! For small events, like a team-building exercise or networking session, why not hold a mixology class. Hire a professional bartender and have attendees learn to mix cocktails and taste-test their efforts. If you’d like to avoid alcohol at your event, try a cooking class. Instead of a bartender, hire a local chef to teach your guests some delicious dishes and kitchen tricks.
Smart planners know that entertainment can be the difference between a successful event and a failure. These 12 event entertainment ideas are sure to create the perfect atmosphere and truly impress your guests!
Helpful Suggestion: If you're looking to host your next event, Accelevents would love to hear from you. We can help you host in-person, virtual, and hybrid events of any size. Schedule a meeting with our event experts to learn more.