How to keep guests entertained all night long
June 21, 2019 at 5:15 PM
I once worked at the door of an event where people came in very excited to be there, then came back out 5 minutes later saying "is that it?"
Never. Ever. Again.
Working to maintain a guest's interest is a balancing act like no other. It can be creatively draining. It can be time consuming. It can be logistically hard. And most of all - it's definitely not easy!
I worked this same event the following year, and, with a few tweaks, we saw some big changes. Huge growth in ticket sales, much more profit, a smoother running event and best of all - people coming and making a day of it, instead of being over it in 5 minutes.
If you've got a long night of awards, a festival, or just in general would like to make your event a lot more enjoyable and interesting, below are some great tips and tricks that you’ll want to hear.
The advice that we have today can be remembered by using 5 words starting with S.
Start your event well
Spread it out
But be Smart about it
By keeping things Simple
So let’s take these one at a time.
START your event well
I say this time and time again. If you have a great entry way with people to welcome guests warmly on arrival, a performance start off the evening, or even some acoustic music to set the mood - all of this will contribute to setting a guest's mood for the rest of your event. It takes a lot to change a bad impression to a good one, so make sure you start with a good one.
It’s important to add structure to an event even in a relaxed setting, as it makes things interesting and manages a guest stimulation levels. It’s not really realistic to have an event running at “go go go” all of the time as this would be exhausting and quite frankly - not enjoyable! On the other hand, if your event starts at a super low energy level and stays there, either everyone will fall asleep, or everyone will leave!
So how do we fix this? By creating waves of entertainment.
For example, a great entry way is a high point. Next, a photo opportunity – this requires a bit less guest effort, so we’ll call this our medium point. After taking some photos, give your guests a chance to meet their friends – nice and relaxed/ low energy required.
We go back up the scale to a high point - an awesome opening act, back to medium – a speech, then lastly down to something easy – dinner is served.
See what we're doing here? Instead of having everything all at one energy level i.e: a great entry way (high), an opening act (very high), a band (super high), a dancing monkey (wow), an interactive activity (stop!!) - it’s way too much!! Instead – create waves :)
SPREAD it out
As much as it’s not realistic for an event to be “go go go” all the time and expect your guests to keep up (because they won't!), an event that repeats the same structure over and over again, can also lack entertainment factor.
For example – if you had a dance performance as your high point/top of the wave, but each time they wore the same costumes, and performed to similar sounding songs – by the 3rd performance, you’d lose a bit of interest, right?
What if their first dance was a classic cabaret theme, then for dance two – a performance still to a cabaret song but a lot more upbeat with more colourful costuming, and finally for dance three – a modern upbeat song with a cabaret twist, with feathers, sparkles – the works. A lot better, right??
Get SMART about it by keeping things SIMPLE
These last two S words work together, and here’s why. Having activities or entertainment to create these waves sounds like a lot more work and a lot more money, but!! It actually can be a very simple process if you are smart about it.
If you're able to use one provider for the entertainment part of your event, just like you would use your venue to look after all things food, beverage and AV – the thinking and creativity will be taken care of, and all you’ll have to do is turn up and order a drink!! And that’s where we come in. One of the reasons why I started Event Flair was to provide a one stop shop for entertainment with great connections within the events industry. Building entertainment plans is our speciality, and we’re happy to help with ideas, any time.
To wrap up:
- Start your event well
- Add structure
- Spread it out
- But be smart about it
- By keeping things simple
From these tips, you’ll have your audience wrapped around your finger all, night, long ;)
All the best for your event - you'll nail it!