25+ Summer Festival Entertainment Ideas

LED EntertainersA summer Chicago festival is a much-anticipated event especially after a cold winter—or it should be, if you have the right draws that attract a crowd. From the moment your attendees are invited to the moment they leave, that anticipation should be the forefront of their thoughts as they look forward to the next treat or the next act. It’s all about creating the right atmosphere; and it can be, if you have the right combination of food, main stage and atmospheric entertainment.

At the center of every decision is the attendees; the demographic of guests should dictate the choice of venue, food, and entertainers (a professional entertainment agent can assist with the latter decisions). The right combination is the key; the perfect mixture of main stage and atmospheric entertainment can create an atmosphere that makes your guests enjoy this year’s festival—and ready for next year’s music festival.

children's entertainer

Kids

  1. Face painters
  2. Magicians
  3. Jugglers
  4. Comedians
  5. Children’s singers

 

Bands

  1. Jazz
  2. Dance
  3. Steel Drum
  4. Mariachi
  5. Reggae
  6. Country
  7. Motown
  8. Tribute Acts (i.e. Beatles, Frank Sinatra, etc.)
  9. Blues
  10. Latin

event entertainers Mardi Gras entertainers

Atmosphere

  1. Glow-in-the-dark entertainers
  2. Barbershoppe Quartet
  3. Aerialists
  4. Carnivale characters
  5. Stiltwalkers
  6. Showgirls
  7. Gangsters
  8. Roaring 20’s entertainers
  9. Tarot and Psychic entertainer
  10. Mimes
  11. Caricature artists

Planning a Company Picnic: A Checklist to a Successful Event

entertainers for company picnicA company picnic can be an afternoon with the family enjoying great food and entertainment. An evening out with your significant other that makes your efforts at work feel appreciated. An afternoon off of work celebrating a year of reaching vital milestones. Your company picnic can be any of the above if you check off the boxes on your company picnic planning checklist.

Goal

An event without a goal is an event without direction. Your company picnic goal dictates many decisions: activities, entertainment, favors, etc. For example, if team building is the event goal, choose entertainment and activities that align with the goal. Before you start choosing the venue or décor, or start planning the menu, choose a goal as a foundation for your company picnic planning.

Guest List

A guest list gives you more than a number; it also gives a general demographic that steers event choices. Frankly, it’s a list with a lot of clout in the process. The number and demographic of guests plays a large role in choosing the venue and entertainment, and setting the menu. For a company picnic planned for employees and their families, choose a family-friendly venue that can fit all the guests and schedule activities for adults and kids.

Budget

Event planning is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Plan a budget that can get you to the finish line; allocate accordingly for large-budget items, such as the venue and food, and make sure there is enough included for big impact items, such as entertainment and favors.

Venue

If you have a choice of venue, use your goal and demographic to select a venue that draws a crowd. Choose a venue in a location that is convenient for your guests and fits the desired atmosphere of the company picnic. For a company picnic with a country fair theme, search for a venue with enough space for the right entertainers (contact us for quality, reliable themed entertainers for your picnic). If there are any specific event needs (i.e. handicap accessibility, staffing, A/V, kitchen), add those factors to the company picnic venue checklist.

Entertainment

vintage entertainer serving foodOnce you have all the major details confirmed (the who and where), now it’s time to book the main stage entertainment OR the entertainers that make the atmosphere. To find the right, reliable entertainers that fit with your company picnic atmosphere, contact a professional who can recommend and coordinate the right professionals perfect for an enjoyable event.

Food

The right menu can reinforce a company picnic atmosphere. In the case of a country fair theme, food stations with cotton candy, popcorn, and other treats can be a big hit with picnic guests. Add entertainers who can serve the right company picnic menu and you’ve got a dynamic event atmosphere that guests’ll remember well after the end of the company picnic.

20 Entertainers for the Perfect Company Anniversary Event

aerialist at company anniversary eventIn today’s competitive business environment, a company anniversary (25, 50, 100, etc.) is a milestone that should be applauded. Celebrated. Commemorated. Frankly, it’s a big deal that should be celebrated with a large corporate event or a small, intimate gathering.

Whatever the decision, a corporate anniversary event requires planning to coordinate an event that suits the target audience and builds employee morale. A half-hearted attempt is going to miss the mark (use these tips to plan a successful company anniversary event that employees want to attend). That same strategy applies to event entertainment (ask us for more information on choosing the right entertainers), which can serve as both a draw and a focus of the event.

  1. Aerialists
  2. Mariachi band
  3. Comedian
  4. Jazz band (or another entertainer from the time period when the company was born)
  5. Magicians
  6. Caricature artist
  7. Hypnotist
  8. Jugglers
  9. Dueling pianos
  10. Reggae band
  11. Steel drum band
  12. Barbershop quartet
  13. Orchestra
  14. Celebrity impersonators
  15. Gameshow (perfect for involving audience)
  16. Blues band
  17. Country band
  18. Carnivale entertainment
  19. Ice bar
  20. Latin dance band

To choose the right entertainer, contact an entertainment agent that can select the right entertainers that fits with other event details and makes an impact as profound as a successful company.

Company Picnic Activities & Entertainment: What fits your event?

uncle sam on unicycle, a unique entertainer for unique company picnic themeCompany picnics should be an event that employees look forward to, not a required event they feel they have to attend. A good program filled with company picnic activities and entertainment is just the ticket to draw a crowd—and make them want to come to the next company event.

Choose the right company picnic activities and entertainment

Instead of throwing darts at a random board and hoping for the best, a good company picnic program has activities and entertainment specifically chosen for the attendees. To do so, use a guest-centered focus at the start and throughout the company picnic planning process.

Set goals for the company picnic. Draft a plan for the picnic that accomplishes those goals (or consult the pros that can assist with expertise in company picnic planning) with an audience demographic (i.e. adults only, families, age range) the picnic is planned for. The plan should include a venue ideal for guests and event needs (more information for selecting a company picnic venue and company picnic venue ideas here), activities and entertainment targeted for the specific guest demographic, and a menu of dishes that fits with other details.

For a company picnic targeted at families with a country fair theme, contact the pros to connect with reliable entertainers. Consider company picnic activities and entertainment, such as jugglers, yard games, dunk tanks, and face painters. Set a menu of country fair favorites: popcorn, cotton candy, corn dogs, and all the mouth-watering flavors of a delicious day at the fair.

For a Chicago lakefront, adult-only gala, choose activities and entertainment suitable for a formal night out. Contact a local agent to choose the right formal venue and entertainers that creates an unforgettable evening.

Company Picnic Activities and Entertainment Ideas

The exact combination of company picnic activities and entertainment ideas right for a company picnic depends on the guest demographic, goals, venue, and event details. Contact a professional to select the right entertainment ideas from the list (though this list is not complete).

  • Races (i.e. potato sack, relay, etc.)
  • Yard games
  • Band (i.e. country, reggae, mariachi, etc.)
  • Magician
  • Bounce house
  • Comedian
  • Interactive food station (i.e. cookie decorating, tasting, etc.)
  • Sports game (i.e. softball, kickball, basketball, etc.)
  • Cotton candy servers
  • Jugglers
  • Dunk tank
  • Face painters
  • Stilt walkers
  • Tug of war
  • String quartet
  • Obstacle course
  • Trivia

Wedding Reception Surprises Your Guests Won’t Expect

aerialist at event hanging from ceilingWe often have couples come to us who want a truly unique wedding reception. They want a wedding reception with a completely unexpected surprise—something their guests never saw coming. While that surprise is different for every couple and wedding, we can give you ideas for a surprise your guests never saw coming (if you can keep it a secret!).

Celebrity Appearance

A surprise celebrity appearance (and performance!) is a shock that your guests won’t forget—and reinforces your wedding atmosphere. Choose a celebrity that’s a natural fit with the theme or era of your wedding and coordinate their entrance with your entertainment (or talk to an entertainment agent who can make the arrangements).

Fun food and drink servers

An ice bar, champagne server, or aerialist beverage server. Your guests expect wedding cuisine served with a beautiful presentation; they won’t expect dishes and drinks served in a completely unexpected manner.

Magic!

You want your wedding night to feel magical. Why not extend make the night magical for your guests? Hire a magician to keep your guests on their toes and add magic to the night. To tie the magician into other surprises, talk to an entertainment agent to coordinate the details. A good magician can customize their act so they can reinforce your magical wedding atmosphere.

First Dance Shocker

wedding entertainersA flash mob. A tango executed to perfection. A dance lesson your guests enjoy. A movie scene played out. Your first dance is an opportunity to impress and catch your guests off guard with an unforgettable surprise.

Art

The best moments of life should be captured; your guests expect that you hire videographers and photographers for the occasion. Surprise them by taking it up (or back) a notch. Hire a wedding artist that fits with the era of your vintage wedding or a caricature artist that can give you and your guests once-in-a-lifetime artwork.

Seasonal entertainers

Sometimes the best wedding surprise is just an unexpected addition to the entertainment line-up. Depending on the season of the wedding, holiday carolers or human statues can add to a seasonal wedding atmosphere. For a unique twist on wedding entertainment, treat your guests to dinner and a holiday show. A winter holiday show or murder mystery can make any reception a night to remember.

Fireworks

Even if fireworks didn’t inspire the romance, fireworks are a memorable experience that everyone can enjoy together. Before the fireworks are purchased, make sure you have venue permission and the necessary permits for your big show—and for a big bang of surprise.

Company Picnic Acts Perfect for Your “Main Stage”

 

Summer weather in Chicago can be a draw for a company picnic by itself. If you’re looking for more than warm sunshine and good summer vibes to increase numbers at your next picnic, consider using one of these company picnic acts.

Band

A band is always a big hit at a company picnic, but that doesn’t mean that choosing a band is a one-size-fits-all proposition. Contact an entertainment agent to select the right band that’ll draw a crowd, especially if you’re planning a themed company picnic. A band that plays classics from the era your company was formed can reinforce a vintage company picnic. A jazz band is the perfect addition to a Chicago jazz lounge. The right band and atmosphere can be the perfect combination for a memorable company picnic.

Comedian

A bad comedian is going to leave your guests wanting for better. A hilarious comedian is going to be the topic of conversation around the office water cooler for quite some time. To choose and hire the latter, contact an entertainment agent who can select a quality act that can adapt their act to your company picnic.

Hypnotist

Mesmerize your audience with a hypnotist that grabs your guests’ attention—and keeps it long after the picnic is over. Hiring a hypnotist is not a one-size-fits-all proposition; each hypnotist has their own flare, and the high-quality performers can modify their act to fit your audience.

Steel Drums

For a unique dinner music and fun stage entertainment, consider a steel drum act that makes your company picnic feel tropical (along with tropical drinks, décor, and venue). A steel drum band can be the finishing touch to a beach- or tropical-themed company picnic, making your guests feel like they are at an island getaway.

Orchestra

For a more formal affair, talk to an entertainment agent about hiring an orchestra that makes your company picnic feel like they are part of an elegant event. An entertainment agent can select the right orchestra with the right number of musicians and instruments to fit your venue and meet your guests’ expectations.

Mariachi band

A mariachi band gives a company picnic a distinct feel; coordinating your company picnic act with all the other details (i.e. menu, venue, décor, etc.) makes your event a one-of-a-kind experience guests appreciate.

Pianist

The best pianists are versatile entertainers that can meet the needs of a company picnic. Especially at an indoor picnic, a pianist can provide background music, dinner music, and mainstage entertainment. To take your piano entertainment to the next level, consider adding dueling pianos to your company picnic program.

Corporate Event Venue Checklist

aquarium event venue with tables, chairs, and centerpiecesAn event venue is the base of a fantastic event; it sets the tone for the event and makes a huge impression on your guests. That’s why we’ve put together a corporate event venue checklist that boils down the monumental task of choosing the right corporate event venue into a manageable task list.

Before you start checking off boxes, make sure you decide on a goal and target audience (break it down into demographic, interests) for your corporate event. Be specific with your purpose, as your goal is going to play into all of the decisions as you plan your event.

Location

__ Convenient for guests

__ Supports goal (i.e. in community where you want to make an impact)

__ Close to hotels for out-of-town guests

Logistics

__ Accessible from public transportation (if needed)

__ Drop-off area

__ Handicap accessible

Atmosphere

__ Venue formality

__ Facility ambience

__ Fits target audience demographic

Space

__ Sized for approximate guests list

__ Room for caterers (if needed)

__ Layout & spaces for event sessions (i.e. breakout sessions, meetings, etc.)

__ Outdoor space (if needed)

Amenities

__ Services needed for event (i.e. security, valet parking, coat check, set up and take down, etc.)

__ Parking accommodations (if needed)

__ Technology needs (i.e. screens, wi-fi, etc.)

__ Acoustics, staging & lighting (for event entertainment, if applicable)

__ Event equipment (i.e. tables, chairs, etc.)

Budget

__ Venue cost

__ Additional expenses (i.e. supply rentals, venue staffing, etc.)\

__ Minimums required/not required

Professional advice can be worth its weight in gold, especially when the success of your event is on the line.  If you are not familiar with a city, such as our national clients who host a corporate event in Chicago, contact a local event planner that knows the area and can make venue recommendations or plan your event for you.

Unforgettable (Fun!) Summer Wedding Entertainment Ideas

tables at summer wedding decorated and ready for guestsSummer weddings are a unique opportunity. In Chicago, it’s a chance to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather we’ve all been waiting for during those cold winter months. A summer wedding is also a chance to plan a themed wedding you can only execute during the summer—-with all the wedding entertainers that make it an over-the-top summer event.

Rustic Summer Band

Make your wedding a summer night under the starts that your guests’ll remember for years to come. Picture an evening affair in a rustic wedding venue ending with a breezy night of dancing with a fantastic summer band. For a memorable summer dance, choose a band with a diverse playlist and can play your favorite summer tunes.

Heated Jazz Club

Bring Chicago’s jazzy roots alive at your wedding. Contact an entertainment agent to choose the right jazz entertainers that transport your guests to a jazz club or another time when jazz was all the rage. If a vintage jazz club is your goal, ask the agent for the right jazz band and entertainers that can bring a roaring jazz club back to life.

Whimsical Garden

A whimsical summer evening in a garden isn’t complete without all the little touches of whimsy. Depending on your vision, pair a fresh garden feast with garden fairies, musicians, yard games, and all the right entertainment. If you’re completely lost on what entertainers are right for your whimsical affair, contact the pros to choose the right entertainers that make your big night feel like a wonderful fairy tale.

Night on the Water

Chicago’s lakefront and wonderful nautical venues make this a big hit for Chicago couples—and their guests. In addition to a delicious dinner of lakefront dishes, guests’ll enjoy dancing the night away with a band that fits with the waterfront touches. Complete your lakefront wedding atmosphere with a band that fits with every other detail of your waterfront wedding (for ideas, connect with an entertainment planner with the experience to make your perfect night a reality).

Summer fair entertainers

A summer wedding fair should be a full-sensory experience, complete with all the dishes and entertainment reminiscent of a fantastic country fair. To coordinate the perfect country fair, talk to an entertainment agent about country fair entertainers that your guests’ll talk about for many summers to come.

Event Promotion Tips that Draw a (Bigger) Crowd

A low shot of the dance floor with a crowd dancing at an event under the colorful lightsCinco de Mayo, Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day, fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day. (And the charity fundraisers, festivals, concerts, grand openings…) There are a lot of days and occasions to celebrate, but what’s a celebration without a crowd? We’ve assisted festivals and business owners with event planning for more years than we care to admit, and we’ve put together this list of event promotion tips that’ll help you get the word out about your next event.

Decide on a draw.

Everyone loves a party—that’s pretty obvious by Chicago’s booming festival season—but you need to give your audience a reason to come to your event. Decide what audience you want to bring in (i.e. younger kids, hip hop crowd, baby boomers, etc.). Contact an entertainment agent who can connect you with main stage entertainment that the target audience wants to see. For bigger events, ask about additional entertainers that complete the event atmosphere.

Start promoting well in advance.

Don’t wait until the last minute to start spreading the word about your event. Formulate a plan (on paper-it’s easier to consult and carry out) for promotion. For example, your plan could include passing out flyers at events that attract your target audience for a month and more intensive online and offline efforts in the two weeks before the event. If your event includes other vendors or partners, ask them to help spread the word to their followers.

Promote where your target audience is.

Every event is different, which is why you can’t use a one-size-fits-all promotion plan. Focus your promotion efforts in online and offline sites where your target audience hangs out. If you have built an e-mail or text list (with the users’ permission), utilize those tactics with personalized messages.mardi gras entertainer with pink and purple dress and drink servers on the skirt

Don’t miss an in-store opportunity.

The best promotions are delivered in-person. Make sure your employees spread the word to every customer who comes through the door and checks out. If you are a retail location or restaurant, include flyers in every shopping bag or carry out order.

Compile images and videos for your next promotion.

On the days leading up to the event, post “teasers” to social media for this and future events. These “teasers” can be pictures or video showing the location and items that make your target audience want to come in. If your draw is an entertainer, ask them (or their agent) for promotional items you can give away (and that attendees want) as an early bird bonus (i.e. to the first 500 through the door) or in a contest. The entertainer may also be able to provide videos or photos that you can use to increase your attendance.

Keep connecting.

Don’t stop promoting just because your event is over. Thank attendees for their attendance with follow-up deals and social media posts. Ask them for their favorite pictures and video from the event. Keep the two-way conversation going with your attendees; they’ll appreciate your effort and may not think twice about coming back for your next event.

Mardi Gras Wedding Ideas that’ll Heat Up Your Special Day

mardi gras entertainer with pink and purple dress and drink servers on the skirtIt’s one of our favorite times of the year! No, we’re not talking the winter holiday. We’re talking Mardi Gras—a day you can celebrate with your wedding guests any time of the year.

It should be your number one priority to recreate every one of your favorite parts of Mardi Gras. From the food to the favors, your wedding guests should feel like they are enjoying a festival planned just for them.

Welcome

A Mardi Gras wedding should start at the door. From the moment your guests walk in, make your guests feel like they are in New Orleans. Hire atmosphere entertainers to pass out Mardi Gras masks to your wedding guests (or make them part of your guests’ table cards). Produce signs that scream Mardi Gras and give your guests direction as they enjoy your celebration.

Dinner Atmosphere

carnivale themed table ladyMardi Gras is about more than just flavor. It’s about atmosphere. Serve your guests a complete Mardi Gras feast with classic dishes AND unique dinner service that takes it to the next level. Serve your dishes (or an interactive food station for more fun!) on a Carnivale table for a memorable Mardi Gras night and a drink server your guests’ll talk about for months (and years!) to come (contact an entertainment agent to connect you to these memorable Mardi Gras entertainers).

A cake to remember

A Mardi Gras wedding wouldn’t be complete without an over-the-top cake (nothing Mardi Gras is half way, after all!). If you want a non-traditional cake, ask for a multi-layer king cake that screams Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras bands

It wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without the music. Hire a band with a Cajun or jazzy style that’ll make your guests feel like they are at the parade or at the biggest Mardi Gras celebration of all time. Talk to an entertainment agent to choose the right band for your big day. Depending on your venue, an entertainment agent can select the right (quality) band with the right amount of musicians for the size of venue and the sound that’ll bring Mardi Gras to your wedding.

Saucy wedding favors

Hosting the ultimate Mardi Gras wedding comes with an opportunity: the chance to give your guests a taste of Mardi Gras to take home. Help them relive the fun of your Mardi Gras wedding day after day with a container of Mardi Gras hot sauce, masks, cookies…the sky’s the limit.