20 Corporate Event Entertainment Ideas

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conference attendees applauding conference entertainmentA business convention, conference, trade show, meeting, or seminar isn’t always just about business.  Any quality corporate event also wows and entertains their audience, giving your attendees a complete, enjoyable experience.  If you’re trying to nail down that full experience for your corporate event, contact the experts to connect you to the perfect entertainer for your audience that complements your business agenda.  Here are a few ideas to get you started planning your corporate event experience:

  1. Comedian (choose a performer that can adapt their show with information about your company)
  2. Band (type coordinates with theme)
  3. Stiltwalkers
  4. Mimes
  5. Illusionists
  6. Magicians
  7. Carnivale characters (perfect for circus theme)
  8. Roaring 20’s performers (works well with company event celebrating anniversary from that time)
  9. Showgirls (perfect entrance entertainers)
  10. Frank Sinatra tribute (or any celebrity related to a time period theme)
  11. Pianists
  12. Mariachi band
  13. Tarot & Psychic entertainer
  14. Blues entertainer
  15. Orchestra (any size dependant on your venue)
  16. Reggae performers
  17. Steel drum performers
  18. Juggler
  19. Hypnotist
  20. Mentalist

If you want to narrow down the list to entertainers that connect with your audience and theme, contact an entertainment agent.  They can select and coordinate all the details of your corporate event entertainment so you can plan the complete experience for your guests.

5 Last-Minute Company Holiday Party Tips

company christmas party guests with santa hats by holiday treeHoliday party planning is all about the details.  When you miss a detail, or have to deal with a last-minute cancellation, it’s never too late (believe us, we’ve helped clients find entertainers down to the wire!) to get all the details of your company holiday party confirmed in time for your corporate holiday event.  Don’t panic. Use these tips to make sure all your party details are coordinated for a very merry—and memorable—holiday party.

Check, check, and double check.

This is your last chance. Finalize all the details before the day of your company holiday party, including your budget.  Now is the time to make sure you have all your details covered: venue arrangements, catering, entertainment, gifts, etc.  Confirm your details and make last minute requests with any money you have left in your budget.

Don’t forget about the kids at your party.

If your company holiday party is a family affair, make sure you have planned enough activities and entertainers to keep the kids on your guest list happy and occupied.  To make sure you’re covered, do more than just print out more coloring sheets.  Hire face painters or elves to lead kid-friendly entertainment (you’ll please the parents too!).

Send out last minute follow-ups to your guests.

As busy as you are, don’t forget to help your guests out one more time before your event.  Send out emails or mailing with information about parking, event specifics, and venue details.  Let your guests know where to park, any costs, what entrance to use (if applicable), and start and end times.

Fill in the blanks with entertainment.

It’s never too late to fill in the blanks in your event, especially if you have the budget to do so.  What seems like minor additions can make a big difference in your party atmosphere: details like adding elves can be a big hit with your guests or hiring carolers can do a lot to make your company holiday party more enjoyable.

Account for the unexpected and unreliable.

If you get a last minute cancellation from an entertainer, call an entertainment agent with a full list of entertainers they can contact for your event.  Make sure you contact the agent as soon as you know that your entertainer can’t make it.  The success of your company holiday party, and the merriment of your guests, depends on it.

15+ Office Holiday Party Entertainers

office holiday party entertainersA ho-hum holiday party with nothing to entertain the guests other than food. If you’re tired of the same old office holiday get together year after year, it’s time to jazz up (Chicago style!) your company holiday party with entertainment that extends beyond a good meal. There are a lot of different options for holiday party entertainers for your annual get together; here’s the short list of ideas that’ll make your employees and co-workers look forward to the office holiday party:

  1. Carolers
  2. Father Christmas
  3. Elves
  4. Holiday soldiers
  5. Holiday show
  6. Snow men (and women)
  7. Ice bar
  8. Dueling pianos
  9. String quartet
  10. Mind Reader
  11. Comedian
  12. Juggler
  13. Magicians
  14. Caricature artist
  15. Band (steel drum band for tropical holiday party, country band for country holiday)
  16. Mariachi group (for an international holiday atmosphere)
  17. Jazz act (for a vintage holiday feel)
  18. Pianist

This is just the short list of holiday entertainers; the right act for your holiday party can be chosen by a professional depending on your party theme, guest list, budget, and desired atmosphere.  To pare down the list, contact a good entertainment agent to select the right entertainer for your holiday party and your budget.  Your guests and co-workers will be glad you did, when they’re enjoying a (lot!) better-than-mediocre office holiday party.

Tips for Planning a Holiday Corporate Party for a Diverse Guest List

happy holidays sign from diverse corporate holiday partyPlanning a company holiday party with a diverse list is not as big of a challenge as it may seem, especially if you keep these tips in mind as you plan a corporate holiday party everyone’ll remember and enjoy.

Keep your party neutral.

When planning your décor, entertainment, and food, keep your choices “holiday neutral.”  Use signs of the season, such as snowflakes and lights, in your plan.  Plan your party around a neutral theme, such as a winter wonderland or a holiday show, where you really can’t go wrong spreading diverse holiday cheer.

Focus on commonalities.

When planning your holiday party, focus on what your guests have in common to create a feel of togetherness and teamwork.  Cater to different tastes, but try not to overdo it—you don’t want to try too hard and create a very disjointed party that doesn’t feel coordinated; it makes your guests feel the same.

Give your guests choices.

This may seem to go against our last tip, but you can create a holiday party with a sense of togetherness, yet with options that fit everyone’s tastes.  For beverages, give your guests a diverse menu that’s sure to please.  When planning your menu, plan a variety of options that everyone can choose from.  For entertainment, talk to an agent about choosing entertainment that meets two key criteria: diversity and age.  For a family holiday party, plan for entertainers that entertain the youngest and most experienced of your guests.

Ask the experts.

Planning a holiday corporate party for a diverse guest list is nothing new; choose vendors with experience that have planned many diverse holiday parties.  Don’t be afraid to lean on their experience; for example, if you’re looking for an entertainer that fits your theme and your diverse crowd, contact an entertainment agent who can–and has in the past— choose the perfect entertainer for the event.  You’ll have to give them information about your party, theme, demographic of your guest list, and event information, but the result—a perfect entertainer for your party—is well worth the effort.

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Venue for Your Holiday Party

businessman headed to corporate holiday party with Santa hat and presentsIf you want to make it an even merrier holiday season for your holiday party guests, choosing the best venue for your company holiday party is key to success.  To assist you, here’s our gift: tips to help you choose the ideal venue for your corporate holiday party.

Choose a venue in line with the goal of your holiday party.

One of the first steps of planning a holiday party is setting a goal.  Once you have a clear and specific objective for your holiday party, screen potential event venues based on your goal. For example, if your goal is to show appreciation for your employees’ families, look for conveniently located family venues.  For a holiday party with a goal targeted at your employees, research venues that are in line with the type and formality of your affair.

Get started on a guest list.

For a variety of reasons (including safety) and optimal results, make the size of potential venues a key set of criteria in your holiday party venue search.  With regards to budget, pay special attention to any minimums imposed by the venue to ensure that you are not charged for more guests than you expect to attend your holiday party.

Ask for recommendations and expertise.

Professional advice can be worth its weight in gold, especially when the success of your holiday party is on the line.  No company wants to invest their time and efforts into holiday party planning and not achieve their goal.  If you are not familiar with the city where you are hosting a holiday party, such as our national clients who host a corporate event for location employees in Chicago, contact a local event planner that knows the area and can make venue recommendations or plan your holiday party for you.

Set a budget.

Knowing your budget for your party and venue—and not going over that number—is a key component in any holiday party venue search.  If the budget for your holiday party budget is tight, allocate your resources into areas that make the biggest impact on your guests: food and entertainment.  To ensure that you don’t blow your holiday party budget, ask event venue staff for a final invoice with charges to avoid add-on charges (i.e. set-up, overage, etc.).

Be aware of your holiday party needs.

There are various needs that the guests of your holiday party need: acoustics, amenities, audio visual, kitchen, event equipment (i.e. tables, chairs, etc.), full service staff (i.e. coat check, bartenders, servers, set up & take down staff, etc.), parking, handicap accessibility.  Vet your holiday party venues with those event needs in mind. If you need a full kitchen, discuss your options with venues in your desired area.  Depending on the weather, if your event venue doesn’t have an on-site kitchen, you may be able to bring a tent in for your catering needs (even during winter).

Use atmosphere to plan the details.

Once you’ve determined and set the practical criteria for choosing your holiday party venue (budget, space for guests, purpose, location),think about what kind of atmosphere you want at your holiday party.  With your desired atmosphere in mind, plan all your event details so they play into your holiday party atmosphere.  If you are planning Santa’s workshop, choose a venue with adequate space for a village and tree, and hire entertainers that make your guests feel like they are visiting the North Pole.  If you don’t have a large budget for décor, select a venue with ambiance that doesn’t require a lot of décor—the success of your holiday party depends on it.

5 Children’s Entertainers for Your Next Holiday Party

troop of elves and holiday entertainers for holiday partiesThere’s nothing like the holidays seen through a child’s eyes.  As a holiday party planner, it’s your job to recreate the magic of the holiday for all your guests—including the kids.  As an added bonus, adding holiday party children’s entertainers to your entertainment lineup also pleases their parents who are thrilled their kids are having fun.  There are plenty of children entertainers that fit that bill, but here’s a short list to get you started choosing the children’s entertainers that make your holiday party a success for every guest (if you want more children’s entertainment options, just ask!).

Elves

Your little ones’ eyes will light up when they see Santa’s helpers at the festivity.  Use elves as helpers when frosting cookies with the kids, decorating the tree, or for passing out gifts to your youngest guests.

Face painters

Light up more than just the kids’ eyes at your company holiday party; light up their whole face with a custom holiday face paint (they can choose!) decoration.  If you want a beautiful face design, use professional painters that’ll leave your kids standing in line—and their parents standing in line to take their pictures for social media.

Carolers

Carolers can set the mood of your party for all your guests—the youngest and the most experienced.  Holiday party carolers can also be used as entertainment for the kids, by leading them in a holiday party sing-along.  Your young guests’ll love decking the halls at the company holiday party.

Father Christmas

Father Christmas entertainer for corporate holiday partiesIt wouldn’t be a holiday party without this iconic holiday character.  As an extra bonus, Father Christmas can be an integral part of any holiday party activities: taking photos with kids and families, helping kids making gifts for their parents, passing out presents, making ornaments for the holiday tree.

Magicians

The holidays are a magical time, and no entertainer can amaze the kids at your holiday party with the magic of the season more than a magician.  If you have a mixed crowd with people of all ages, magicians can customize their act to include the little ones, young employees, parents, and grandparents in the crowd.

If you want to pick and choose the right holiday party entertainers for your event (and that fit with your event atmosphere), contact the pros to select the right entertainers and coordinate all the details of your holiday party entertainment. They’ll help bring the magic of the holidays to life at your next family holiday party—for every guest.

20 Fall Event Entertainment Ideas

child with face painting of pumpkin at fall eventAutumn is a beautiful time of year to host fall festivals, picnics, corporate team building activities, and any other fall fun.  A fall event is also an opportunity to incorporate seasonal touches into your event, including in your entertainment. If you’re planning a fall event, here are entertainment ideas that’ll please all your attendees, from the youngest to the most experienced.

Fall Event Entertainment Ideas for Kids

Game ideas:

  • Corn maze
  • Apple dunking contest
  • Autumn bingo
  • Relay races
  • Fall scavenger hunt
  • Bounce house
  • Hay rides
  • Pumpkin decorating

Entertainers:

  • Face painters can get your kids ready for their costumes and bring smiles to their faces—and the adults with them. For high-quality face painting that gives your kids (and adults) a very unique and special look they’ll be proud of, contact the pros.
  • Magicians are versatile entertainers because they can customize their tricks to your event theme. To make sure their act fits with your event itinerary perfectly, contact an agent that can make it happen.
  • Jugglers are a perfect fit for your event, especially when juggling apples, pumpkins, or any other fall props.
  • Musicians are a mainstay for PG fall events, establishing a family-oriented fall event atmosphere within moments. To find the perfect musician for your family fall event, contact an agent to select the ideal option.

Entertainment Ideas for the Adults

Games:

  • Dunk tank
  • Team-building activity
  • Trivia
  • Entertainment ideas from the kid list (corn maze, apple dunking, etc.)

Entertainers:

Musicians are a fall event favorite because they give your adults the perfect ‘night out’ entertainment for your fall festival or corporate event.  Narrow down the options to the musician (or musicians) that fit with your fall event agenda by contacting an entertainment agent.

Murder Mysteries may be a Halloween mainstay, but they can also be appropriate for a fall event ‘night out.’  If you want an interactive entertainment option for your fall event, a murder mystery gets your guests talking—and keeps them talking even after the mystery is solved.

Impersonators are the perfect fit for a fall event with a retro theme.  Give your vintage autumn event a retro feel when your guests’ favorite entertainers show up.

Comedians make a big impression on your guests during any time of the year (including fall!)—especially if your entertainment agent has access to the best acts in your area.  For a personalized show, give your agent information about your fall event that the comedian can use in their act.

6 Halloween Event Entertainment Ideas

halloween entertainer head on the table ready to scare guests‘Tis the season (Halloween season that is!) for spooks and fun—and if you’re a smart event planner, tapping into the Halloween fever and planning the ultimate Halloween event.  The ultimate event with décor, cuisine, favors—and entertainers that take your event to a be-witching level.

Murder Mysteries

A murder mystery captures the attention of your guests—and keeps them on the edge of their seats until the evening is over.  If you want a real conversation starter that keeps your guests talking even after the drop of the curtain, schedule a murder mystery as the perfect main stage entertainment.halloween event entertainer with pumpkin head and orange suit

Costumed characters

Not every entertainer has to be the focus of your event; entertainers can be an important part of creating an event with Halloween atmosphere. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the right costumed characters, so don’t be afraid (it is almost Halloween after all!) to ask the experts for suggestions for the right costumed Halloween characters.

Hypnotists & Psychics

Not every Halloween entertainer has to be suitable for a haunted house to be the perfect fit for a Halloween event; hypnotists and psychics are the perfect example—and can bring out your guests’ fun Halloween spirit without the ghouls.

Magicians

halloween magician entertainerWe’ve brought up magicians before as an excellent choice for children’s entertainment, but magicians can entertain even your more, ahem, experienced Halloween event guests.  If you want a custom magic show with a more frightful demeanor, ask about magicians that can customize their act for your event.

Mind Readers & Fortune Tellers

Mind readers and fortune tellers can pull guests in the door, or keep them in their seat as they regale and entertain the crowd.  They’ll make your Halloween event an affair your guests’ll talk about after the event is done; just ask them today: they can see into the future and tell you about it now.

Face Painter

Costumes are an integral part of Halloween—and you can complete your guests’ costumes (both young and old) with professional face painting. Your guests’ll love an elaborate face painting, and you’ll love that your face painter is reliable and a fantastic asset to your Halloween event.

10 FUN Office Holiday Party Planning Tips

office holiday party entertainersThere are more than just three letters that separate a fun office holiday party from another boring company holiday event that your guests feel compelled to attend.  We’ve been part of many, many company holiday party planning processes over the years—everything from selecting a holiday party venue and event planning to booking holiday party entertainment—and here’s what we’ve seen that sets the enjoyable holiday parties apart.

  1. Hold your office holiday party at a unique event venue that makes your guests WANT to come and entertains them (i.e. museum, aquarium, etc.)
  2. Utilize these tips in your holiday party planning to select an ideal venue for your party. If your party is for a location in another city, contact a local event planner to select the best venue for your event.
  3. Use a holiday party theme to create a cohesive event.
  4. Establish a theme with invitations (electronic or paper) designed with the same colors and elements of your theme.
  5. Create holiday party atmosphere through your menu, décor, and entertainment.
  6. Don’t overlook one detail that ties your details together into one cohesive event.
  7. If your company holiday party is an event for families, don’t forget to book children’s entertainers (i.e. Father Christmas giving out presents, elves, face painters, etc.)
  8. Use entertainers to serve food and mingle with guests to create an atmosphere.
  9. Don’t feel you have to manage your office holiday party planning all alone; use an event planner or contact experienced professionals (i.e. caterers, entertainment agents, etc.) and ask for recommendations that tie everything together.
  10. Be careful when hiring entertainers; look for experienced, reliable professionals that come highly recommended (or ask an entertainment agent for dependable, quality entertainers).

7 Mistakes Companies Make When Choosing Their Event Venue

aquarium event venue with tables, chairs, and centerpiecesThe perfect corporate event is dependent upon so many details: atmosphere, food, décor, event venue.  The latter detail, the perfect event venue, is more than just a detail; it’s the crux of a successful event venue.  We know because we’ve helped companies plan the perfect event for more years than we care to admit.  For more than 20 years, we’ve seen company planners and event planners make one—or all—of these mistakes when choosing the perfect venue for their corporate event.

Not having a clear event purpose

It’s one of the top mistakes companies make when choosing a corporate event venue: planning an event with a generic goal or without a goal at all.  Be specific with your event goal, and you get an added bonus: clear direction for your corporate event.  For example, if your goal involves making an impact in a certain community, choose a prominent corporate event venue in that town.

Not booking a big enough venue

There are so many reasons every company needs to compile a complete and realistic guest list before booking their event venue: safety reasons, guest comfort, and for proper event execution.  If your event is going to have breakout sessions, select a corporate event venue with multiple spaces and the amenities you need (i.e. audio visual, wi-fi, etc.).  With regards to budget, ask or review the contract closely for any event minimums to ensure that you are not charged for more guests than expected to attend.

Booking just any venue in an area you are not familiar with

Just as in real estate, it’s one of the top rules of corporate event planning: location, location, location.  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 recommendations or plan your event for you.  Ignoring this step can cost you more in staff time, canceled contracts, and event success if you book a venue in a less-than-prime venue or without the options you need for your specific corporate event.

Not setting a corporate event budget

A lump sum is a start, but a corporate event budget should be more specific to ensure funds are adequately utilized.  Professional tip: to ensure that you stick to the budget for your event venue, ask your prospective venues for a full list of charges so you don’t get stuck with an invoice full of add-on charges (i.e. set-up, overtime, etc.).

Not factoring in your ideal event atmosphere

Once you’ve factored in the practical criteria for your event (budget, adequate space, purpose, location), don’t neglect to factor in the aesthetics of your event when choosing your corporate event venue.  Consider the atmosphere you want to set, formality of the event, and budget for décor.  Need assistance? Trust the professionals to help you choose the right corporate event venue.

Not considering event venue amenities

As they say, the devil is in the details—so are the extra costs you incur if you don’t play close enough attention to booking a corporate event venue with the amenities you need: (i.e. acoustics, audio visual, kitchen, event equipment, full service staff, parking, handicap accessibility).

Not visiting the venue

Social media and websites are a great asset to the event planner today; they give you a snapshot of some of the most beautiful scenes from every venue.  Remember they are just snapshots.  If you want to make sure the event venue is right for your event, make sure you visit the venue or hire someone to plan your corporate event who has seen the venue in person.