That's Entertainment

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How to Get the Most for Your Event Entertainment Dollar. Money and time saving event strategies for your next conference or special event.

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  • 1. How to get the most for your event entertainment dollar Michael Neaylon 2010ENTERTAINME is a division of MCME Pty LtdP + 61 2 9331 8135info@mcme.com.auwww.mcme.com.au
  • 2. Entertainment is a crucial component in any event.Whether youre looking to inform, affirm, educate or inspire, chances areyoull use some form of entertainment to do it.You might entertain your audience with a well placed story woven throughyour opening speech, perhaps have a prize draw, roast a colleague, playmusic or simply meet and greet your guests with a friendly smile; its allentertainment.But what makes event entertainment sing? THATS ENTERTAINMENT! Page 2
  • 3. Entertainment with Purpose.This is the key factor in getting the entertainment mix right on the night - orday for that matter. By knowing your purpose, all the other questions can beanswered in less time and to more effect. Questions such as What type of entertainment do we need? Roving? Centre stage? Comedian? Magician? Band? MC? A hoax perhaps? Should we use a star, or at least a name? Will the audience like it? Can we put our reputation behind it? Should the entertainment be funny or serious? Should we have something written, or just wing it? How can we make it fun and functional? What if the client doesnt like it? How much should we spend? How will we know if weve achieved the right result? THATS ENTERTAINMENT! Page 3
  • 4. Is There an Easier Way?There is! The questions weve just asked were about results, or effects. Theyredecisions that are far easier to make - and get right - if you have a clearlydefined reason for the entertainment being on the event early on. In shortentertainment strategies such as: Who is our audience? What purpose does the entertainment need to serve? Why are we using entertainment to enhance this event? What type of entertainment will best reach this audience? What time will entertainment have the most impact? Whats our message, whats our theme? How can the entertainment enhance and support the message? How does the event environment affect the entertainment? THATS ENTERTAINMENT! Page 4
  • 5. The Devils in the Detail.Some of those strategy questions you would no doubt have asked already.However, well use them as catalysts to explore a range of events and theentertainment solutions that support them.There is no one solution. But there are options that suit an event better thanothers. The more informed those options are, the better the strategy and thebetterOk. Lets go! I was once booked on an event where the Event Manager asked for an act that wasnt too outrageous. But itS E N T E Rbe A I N M E N Tenergizing 5 THAT needed to T interactive, ! Page and a lot of fun. Many of our acts fall into this category, and can be tailored to do just that, so we
  • 6. Who is Our Audience?It might sound obvious. In fact, Im sure it does. However, Ill share a quick story.We were once asked by an Event Manager to perform an act that was hugelypopular on the event circuit. Our characters were over the top European FashionDesigners. They were funny and fabulous, and had many audiences up dancing inmismatched combos that made the Village People look sedate. Crowds lovedthem.The right crowds. Usually crowds with over 50% women and a few metrosexuals.What wasnt identified in the brief was that this audience were predominantlyblokes. Beer swilling, fun loving, blokes. 90% blokes. There was no way theywere going to feel even vaguely comfortable up there on a catwalk. To theirabsolute credit, these guys played well. Yet had we known there were going to bethat many guys we would have had it hosted by 2 women playing the charactersor changed the act completely. No matter how hot an act might be, if it doesntsuit your audience then its not a good fit. THATS ENTERTAINMENT! Page 6
  • 7. What Purpose Does the Entertainment Need to Serve? a) The client? b) The event? c) The budget? Answer: All 3Entertainment needs to fit the brand, the audience and the event. It also needs towork within the confines of a budget. The brief for the character on the left wasfor the Australian Swimming Championships and subsequent CommonwealthGames held in Melbourne in 2006. The character needed to wear a costume thatwas reminiscent of the Aquaman cartoon character and have elements of theswimsuits made famous by Ian Thorpe. Apart from being a cool mascot(e.g. not a furry animal), he also had to be a hero, as there was tie in campaignthat encouraged visitors to vote for their favourite swimming hero. With manycommittees and sponsors involved, Captain Fintastic also had to have massappeal, be costumed in brand colours and come in on budget. He did. THATS ENTERTAINMENT! Page 7
  • 8. Why Are We Using Entertainment To Enhance This Event?No doubt youve thought of one of the reasons below, but could the entertainmentfulfil another function on your event? It helps leverage time and talent for greatereffect. On the left are reasons why you might be using entertainment. On the rightare some simple, engaging solutions. Why? How? Create atmosphere Character performers to meet & greet / mingle Award employees Have MCs pre-tape interviews with nominees, meet and greet on red carpet as Hollywood TV hosts and then host Gala Awards Direct traffic Themed characters that accompany guests on the journey between venues. Have employees sing Rewrite pop songs to include latest products or the companys praises services and hold an Idol type competition. Use those products as prizes. THATS ENTERTAINMENT! Page 8
  • 9. What Type of Entertainment Will Best Reach this Audience?Ok. So weve identified this audience and weve explored some options to what wethink might work for them. How can we ascertain what would really connect with ouraudience?Simple answer: ask.If you can, find out whats worked with this audience in the past. Generally youll findthe most effective results are in 2 categories. Theyre either experiences that - 1. Give an audience a familiar experience in a new way. 2. Give a new experience in a new way.For those who like the familiar, see if theres a recurring activity they like, and wouldenjoy again, then give it a twist. One client recently told me that his fashion industryincentive group loved song and dance routines. Great. All we need to do is find outwhat ways theyve been delivered in the past and find new ways to give them that.Alternately the audience that enjoys new experiences in new ways opens up moreoptions. But remember beware of blokes in dresses on catwalks. THATS ENTERTAINMENT! Page 9
  • 10. What Times Will Entertainment Have the Most Impact?There are many variables depending on the event, so heres a quick checklist toguide you. Some of the cardinal virtues of good timing are - Have band play sets between Dont have roving entertainment meals and after, of course during dinner Start strong Finish stronger Get people dancing early for balls Keep them dancing late * Audiences like a reveal they If you do have big revel, dont give love to see someone or away too much too early stagger something change acts for maximum effect Establish your MC as early as If youre blending serious content possible to build rapport and entertainment, start serious and then switch to the celebratory.* Dancers and roving performers are a great way to get dancing going. THATS ENTERTAINMENT! Page 10
  • 11. Whats Our Message, Whats Our Theme?The message needs t