Ways to Cool Down Your Summer Event

summer drinks that cool down event guests in chicagoA hot and humid summer event is as Chicago as chili hot dogs and deep dish pizza. We’re not going to lie to you: it gets HOT. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of ways to cool down your summer event—while still keeping your event strategic and stylish.

Think AC when choosing an event venue, or make your own.

To keep your guests comfortable and healthy, consider a venue with air conditioning (use these tips to choose the right site for your event) or an indoor and outdoor space where guests can enjoy the outdoors and circulate inside when they need to cool down. If your guest demographic is more prone to heat-related emergencies, take extra effort to find a venue with AC or position your tent to capture cool breezes.

Choose vendors and entertainers that cool & entertain.

When selecting your vendors and entertainers, add vendors or entertainers that cool off your guests. Think snow cones, iced coffee stations, sundae bars, or entertainers that can add cool to their act (i.e. magicians, jugglers, hypnotists, bands, etc.) To find the right people to cool down your guests and heat up the fun, ask an entertainment agent to match you with the entertainers that can customize their act to your summer event.

Keep your guests hydrated (stylishly).

Hydration is essential to keeping your guests cool; make sure you include drinks that are coordinated with your other details. For a beach theme, give your guests drinks that fit with your theme, décor on the drinks that matches with your event, and fruit garnishments that make every detail part of your theme.

Incorporate fans into your décor.

If appropriate, add paper fans to your line-up of favors and décor. Make sure your venue has plenty of fans or ventilation. For an outdoor venue, add stylish fans and misters to your list of event ‘musts.’ To make your fans even more stylish, add entertainers with large fans to your line-up for a big hit with your guests.

6 Factors to Use When Choosing the Perfect Company Picnic Venue

aquarium event venue with tables, chairs, and centerpiecesThe success of your company picnic depends on more than the attractiveness of the invitation. Choosing the right company picnic venue impacts the attendance rate, event experience, and even the takeaway of your guests. Put simply, it’s important to select the perfect company picnic venue when you want positive results. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of factors to consider as you search for the right venue for your company picnic.

Event purpose

This may be the most common mistake made by amateur event planners, but professionals know that the goal of the event is the top factor in choosing the perfect company picnic list. Identifying the goal and guest demographic is one of the first steps in planning a company picnic, and choosing the right company picnic venue.

Location, location, location

Venue location is everything, especially to your guests. For maximum attendance, choose a company picnic venue that is convenient and in an ideal neighborhood for your guests. In an urban setting, select a location that is easily accessible to public transportation. For a more rural feel, choose a park that is in an ideal neighborhood.

Guest list

Event planning is a very guest-centric effort. Every event planner knows to focus on their guests’ comfort, especially when choosing the event venue. This is a Goldilocks task: the right venue is not too big and not too small. The right venue should be large enough to accommodate your expected attendance, but not so large that it feels like the picnic is not well-attended. With regards to budget, ask each venue about any minimums imposed by the venue to ensure that the final bill does not include charges for guests that did not attend.

Atmosphere

Atmosphere is what every event planner strives for, and every company picnic should deliver. The venue plays a large part in establishing atmosphere—another reason why the stakes are high to find the perfect company picnic venue. To find the perfect backdrop, have an idea of a company picnic theme (find picnic theme ideas here) before vetting event venues.

Budget

Before you select a company picnic venue, set a budget for the event. If budget numbers are minimal, maximize your budget dollars into picnic areas that make a big impact on your guests: food and entertainment. Request an invoice with a complete list of charges to ensure that there are no surprise costs when the company picnic is over—just the satisfaction of a well-attended and successful company picnic.

Event Needs

For a company picnic with multiple activities (i.e. kids’ crafts, concert space, etc.), look for a venue with multiple spaces and any options you need (i.e. audio visual, wi-fi, catering space, etc.). 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 for the perfect event venue (and any other company picnic details).

 

Creative Company Picnic Themes That’ll Trump all Your Past Picnics

uncle sam on unicycle, a unique entertainer for unique company picnic themeWas your last company picnic the definition of ho-hum? Are your employees sick of the same boring company picnic year after year? It’s time to up the ante on your company picnic planning and execution.  Abandon your boring company picnic theme (those themes that have been giving you lackluster results), and choose from one of these unusual company picnic themes that’ll take your picnic from boring to memorable.

Hawaiian Luau

Make your guests feel transported to the islands with an all out beach front Hawaiian luau.  Combine traditional Hawaiian entrees, luau décor, and the right entertainers, and you’ve got a Hawaiian luau thousands of miles away from the islands—but convenient for your guests.

This is one company picnic theme that you can’t skimp on though; many a company picnic has been thrown cheaply.  Instead, choose to go all out with cuisine and entertainment that fits the theme (ask an entertainment agent to connect you with the right entertainers).

Baseball

Your guests should be singing “talk me out to the ball game…” if you give them a complete baseball fame experience.  Rent out a suite at a local ball game with atmospheric entertainers serving out their favorite treats or host a smaller affair at a local park.  To take your picnic to the next level, have their favorite baseball mascot make an appearance or bring back one of their favorite baseball greats from the past (celebrity impersonators!).

Make sure you don’t forget about your youngest guests; choose a venue that’s got space for the youngest baseball fans.  Provide entertainers that keep them occupied, so the event is enjoyable for the kids and their parents.

Country Fair

child with butterfly face painting from professional face painterTake your guests back in time to a vintage country fair.  Red checkered tablecloths, old time country fair treats, and entertainers can make your country fair company picnic incredibly memorable. Face painters and magicians can entertain your youngest guests, while bands, mimes, and other entertainers can make your more experienced guests enjoy themselves.

Make sure you add all the country fair favorites to the menu to immerse your guests in the theme: corn on the cob, popcorn, cotton candy and all the rest.  Hold the event a fairground or park for the backdrop for your unforgettable vintage country fair.

Theatre Night

During winter, a theatre-themed company picnic includes dinner and a show; during summer, it’s time to take advantage of the weather and move your picnic outdoors.  Invite your guests to a night out at the outdoor theatres; you can rent out an outdoor movie theatre or rent a portable movie screen at the venue of your choice.

Add entertainers to complete the theme.  Ask your entertainment agent to connect you with main stage entertainment that can capture your guests’ attention until the sun goes down. Atmospheric entertainers can offer your guests glow-in-the-dark fun, caricature sketches, yard games, and all the refreshments that come with a night out.

6 Uncommon Entertainers that Make Your Event Extraordinary

Wow factor.  It’s what every event planner strives to achieve, and is so often completely and entirely missed.  If you want a unique, over-the-top event, you have to look for the unique, the uncommon, the unusual, one-of-a-kind entertainers that make your corporate event, party, or wedding guests say “wow” (and mean it).

aerialists at event

Aerialists

If you want to take your event to the next level, ask your entertainment agent about entertainers that entertain on another level—above you.  To add function to fun, aerialists can serve your guests or just serve as a unique show that your guests are going to talk about long after the event is over.

wedding artist painting picture of reception

Artists

Artists may not be the highest energy entertainment, but they are still showstoppers.  An elegant wedding painter, comical caricature artist, or face painter attracts attention from your target demographic (ask us for the artist, we’ll match you with the right artist that fits your event) and adds atmosphere to an event.

Celebrity impersonators

Surprises are what make an event memorable.  It’s the unexpected part of an event that leaves an impression on your guests—and it’s up to you to deliver.  Not many people expect James Bond, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, or another celebrity to grace your event or meet them at the door—and it’s an experience not many of your guests are going to forget any time soon.

human statue at event

Human Statues

Human statues are unexpected and unusual.  That’s what makes them a unique addition to the right event—so unique and one-of-a-kind that your guests can’t help but be amused.  When coordinated with other appropriate entertainment (ask your entertainment agent to create a custom line-up), human statues can be the perfect start or end (or both) of a great event.

LED Entertainers

LED Entertainers

It’s all about bling at a night event—and nothing’s more visually illuminating than a LED entertainer (or a group of LED entertainers).  Just like bright stars in a night sky, a LED entertainer can add bling to any event and entertain any guest that feels like they are in the dark.

Psychic

If you want to see a successful event in your future, add a psychic and tarot card reader to your event line-up.  Either as main stage entertainment or as atmospheric entertainment, a psychic entertainer can be just the right addition to your event line-up.

Obviously, there are more options for uncommon entertainment; contact an entertainment agent with a full line-up of entertainers to find the right uncommon entertainer that can put your event over the top.

5 FUN Wedding Themes (& the Entertainers to Go With Them)

champagne glass with mardi gras themed ideasUsing a wedding theme to guide your wedding planning is either totally your thing or totally NOT your thing; there’s really no in between.  There are some perks to planning your wedding around a central theme, however; it gives you a basis for connecting all the details of your wedding into an awesome atmosphere—from the food to the entertainment. Here are some wedding theme ideas that you can inspire your wedding planning (and the entertainers that can take your event over-the-top).  Of course, your wedding is your personalized take on any theme, so make sure you contact a pro to match your wedding with the right entertainment that makes your theme totally you.

Beach

What: A beach theme can be whatever you want it to be: a casual khaki and sundress affair or a formal wedding with elegant beach details.

Theme ideas: Shell-covered letters, sand and flower centerpieces, sand dollar and sea star accents, lanterns, shells in bouquets

Entertainment ideas: Tropical band, Steel drum entertainers, Bands that can play beach tunes (think Jimmy Buffet & Beach Boys)

Mardi Gras

event entertainers Mardi Gras entertainersWhat: If you want a party, this is your wedding theme.  Make your guests feel like they are attending the ultimate Bourbon Street party a little closer to home.

Theme ideas: Masks, feathers, centerpieces with beads and candles, jambalaya, gumbo, king cake

Entertainment ideas: Show girls, jazz bands, parade entertainers

Country Fair

What: Give your guests a day at the fair—with all their favorite foods and entertainment that comes with it.

Theme ideas: Games, popcorn stand, balloons, family-style tables or picnic benches, cotton candy

Entertainment ideas: Yard games, fair entertainers, cover band that’ll give your wedding a BIG ending

Roaring 20’s

gangster and flapper entertainersWhat: Match your vintage theme to a fun era.  Your guests’ll feel like they stepped back in time to a roaring party at your wedding.

Theme ideas: Old automobile, hairpieces, feathers, pearls, beads

Entertainment ideas: Retro jazz bands, flappers, gangsters

 Country

What: Get those images of square dances out of your head.  Today country weddings can be as elegant or as country chic as you plan.

Theme ideas: Rustic venue, crates (& aged wood), chalkboard signs, strands of shining lights, flowers

Entertainment ideas: Country band, yard games

20+ Gala Entertainment Ideas that Wow & Inspire Your Guests

showgirl at elegant galaOnce you’ve decided what event theme is best for your corporate or charity gala, it’s time to start exploring your options for entertainment that coordinate with your theme.  If you are hosting a casino night, fill your event bill with showgirls, black jack dealers, and other acts that enhance your event atmosphere.  For a Mardi Gras night, contact an agency that connect you with carnival girls, bands, and other suitable entertainers in one call.  For a tropical theme (especially popular during our cold Midwestern winters), a steel drum band and island servers can get your event planning started—and get your guests ready for a warm, fun evening.

The list could go on and on…here are a few other gala entertainment ideas that can be the perfect part of your next event:

  1. Showgirls
  2. Black Jack Dealers
  3. Dance band
  4. Burlesque entertainers
  5. Steel drum band
  6. Blues band
  7. Comedians
  8. Celebrities look alikes
  9. Orchestra
  10. Jazz musicians
  11. Flappers
  12. Gangsters
  13. Jazz performers
  14. Carnival girls
  15. Mariachi band
  16. Island servers
  17. Hypnotists
  18. Magicians
  19. Show (holiday show, short musical, etc.)
  20. Mimes
  21. Country band
  22. Stilt walkers
  23. Accoustic acts

Want some fundraising ideas that tie in with your event entertainment?  Check out our blog post for ideas that can make your event goal (raising funds) as much a part of your event atmosphere as the table décor.

Event Planning: 8 Tips for Over-the-Top Event Success

event entertainers at tropical themed eventWe can tell you that every event—every grand opening, corporate gala, employee picnic, every event—is “its own animal” as the saying goes.  We know because we’ve been part of the event planning process—and many, many events—for far longer than we care to admit.  And yet, while every event is incredibly different, the tips that take an event from ho-hum event to over-the-top success are remarkably similar.

Don’t plan without a goal.

The event planning to-do list can be long; if you don’t have a goal that guides you through that list, each event planning task is going to be just another to-do without any connection to your other event details.  The solution: set a specific goal for your event that guides each decision you make.  Your event goal can be especially important when booking the most essential detail: your venue (tips for choosing the right venue can be found here).

Avoid procrastination.

As soon as your event is confirmed, it’s time to start planning.  Make sure you organize (or hire an event planner who is organized) as you plan to ensure that every detail is taken care of and confirmed.  Don’t wait to get started; the best venues and vendors’ calendars fill up fast.

Select an event date that works for your targeted audience.

As tempting as it may be to book an event date that works for you, the attendance of your event depends upon a thorough consideration of your guests’ schedules.  Statistically, Mondays and Fridays are on average lower attendance days. Once you have a date, create a promotion plan that targets your guests through targeted online and offline channels.

Focus on your guests.

Every corporate event decision and detail—EVERY DECISION—should be dependent on your targeted audience. Your venue should be selected based on the location of your targeted audience.  Your entertainment should fit with guests demographic and tastes.  If you are not able to make those matches, hire a professional with experience so you can make those matches and increase the chance of event success.

Take the old saying, “location, location, location” to heart.

Your venue is one of the most important details—if not the most important detail—so make sure your venue is the right choice for your event.  Your event venue should check several key boxes off your event planning checklist, such as location, adequate space (and spaces), amenities, and other criteria.  If you are not familiar with the area your event needs to be held in, outsource the selection and booking process; you and your guests are going to be glad you did as they enjoy the right venue for your event.

Don’t overlook the smallest detail.

An overlooked detail can be the crux of a corporate event gone wrong. Don’t leave one stone unturned as you plan the food, seating, schedule, signage, and all the other essentials of your corporate event.   Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from vendors and agents throughout the event planning process.

Use the pros to coordinate all your entertainment needs.

Hire an entertainment agent for several key reasons, most notably as a time-saver. An entertainment agent can locate the right, quality entertainers for your guests, and handle any needs the entertainers might have—decreasing your workload and increasing the chance of event success.

Be flexible.

With more than 25 plus years of experience in events, we can tell you from experience that you need to take the Scout motto to heart. As your event draws near, be prepared to “sweat the details” and adjust your plans accordingly the day of the event.

Hiring a band or entertainer? 6 Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid

wedding dance floor full of guests dancing to wedding bandHiring a band or entertainer for your big day can seem like just another task to check off on your wedding planning checklist; as simple as it seems, it’s still a wedding planning task that begets blunders if you don’t take advice from the pros to heart.

Procrastinating

We’ve seen many a couple wait too long (way too long) to consider their wedding entertainment.  Don’t wait to start searching for a great wedding band or entertainer; the best wedding entertainers’ calendars fill up quickly.  As soon as you reserve your wedding venue, start searching for bands or hire an entertainment agent who can find the right entertainer and manage all the important details.

Thinking that wedding entertainment is a low priority

Don’t think of your wedding band or entertainer as an isolated item not connected to your wedding atmosphere.  To the contrary: wedding entertainment can be a powerful part of creating a vintage wedding, country picnic or any other wedding theme you are trying to create.  Search for the entertainers that help you connect all the dots and tie all the details together.

Not asking for help

A typical wedding planning checklist is long.  When you’re busy, vetting entertainers (for your ceremony and reception) to find the best and most reliable can seem like a huge undertaking. To ease your wedding planning stress, consider contacting an entertainment agent as a time-saving life saver (amid other excellent reasons). An entertainment agent can locate the right quality entertainers for your wedding, and handle all details and any needs the entertainers might have—decreasing your wedding planning workload and giving you the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.

Making price the only factor in your decision

It’s a common misconception: any amateur musician can play in a wedding ceremony.  You shouldn’t have to settle for amateur musicians who haven’t touched an instrument since grade school (here’s how to choose a quality ceremony musician) or an inexperienced musician who has never played at a wedding before. Your guests shouldn’t have to settle for a mediocre band that doesn’t play together often or has the experience to keep your dance floor going all night.  The lesson: use more than cost in your decision to hire a wedding entertainer, so you get the right entertainer for your big day.

Not considering the size of your venue

For your ceremony and reception, think about the size of your venue when screening potential musicians and entertainers.  A small group or band that can’t hit the volume in a venue your size is going to leave your guests underwhelmed and waiting for the real entertainers to come out and play.  Ask bands and musicians if they’ve performed at a venue your size before, and how many members of the group is going to be present at your ceremony or reception.

Ignoring advice

This doesn’t mean you have to listen to that advice from your aunt about your wedding dress, but it does mean to be open to advice from your wedding planner, venue consultant or entertainment agent. You’ve hired these wedding professionals for their experience; listen to them when setting a schedule, wedding entertainment line-up and placement. Remember, they are trying to make your vision a reality and work for you; now you can rely on their experience for the perfect wedding entertainment line-up.

Not sweating the details

Hiring an entertainer or band is more than just signing on the bottom line.  If you want to make sure you have all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed, lean on the professionals who have experience and can sort through and coordinate all the details.  You’ll be glad you did when you’re enjoying all the benefits of terrific wedding entertainment.

20+ Entertainment Ideas That Takes Your Event to the Next Level

event entertainers Mardi Gras entertainersYour guests have expectations when they come to your event: they may expect another ho-hum get together, a fantastic night of good food and entertainment, or an experience somewhere in the middle.  If you want to meet—and exceed—their expectations, you have to check off all the boxes of event planning: venue, food, atmosphere, entertainment.

It’s your job to provide that in an unforgettable event and pull all the stops out to get there (or to use experts that can get you there).  To get your creative juices flowing, and put you on the road to a successful event, we’ve given you a list of event entertainers that can take your event to the next level.

  1. Showgirls
  2. Black Jack Dealers
  3. Dance band
  4. Comedians
  5. Celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Britney Spears, Elvis, etc.
  6. Orchestra
  7. Jazz musicians
  8. Flappers
  9. Gangsters
  10. Jazz performers
  11. Carnival girls
  12. Steel drum band
  13. Mariachi band
  14. Island servers
  15. Hypnotists
  16. Magicians
  17. Burlesque entertainers
  18. Show (holiday show, short musical, etc.)
  19. Mimes
  20. Country band
  21. Stilt walkers
  22. Blues band
  23. Accoustic acts

If you want more ideas, or you’ve already set your event theme and need to fill in the blanks, contact an entertainment agent that can help you create an incredible event that fits your budget—and exceeds the expectations of everyone in attendance.

20+ Entertainment Ideas for Your Wedding

wedding entertainersIf you’re a couple looking to plan a wedding like no other, it’s all about creating a spectacular atmosphere.  From the food to the entertainment, your wedding needs to scream Mardi Gras, tropical getaway, a day back in the 20’s (or your favorite era), an elaborate performance—whatever your theme, make it a magical evening.

Entertainers can be the key to a magical evening—especially unique acts that no one expects.  We’ve started a list to get you started, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing the right entertainers to fit your special night and unique wedding theme. 

  1. Magician
  2. Wedding painter
  3. Mariachi band
  4. String quartet
  5. Dueling pianos
  6. Steel drum band
  7. Vintage servers
  8. Jazz trio
  9. Soul band
  10. Country band
  11. Dance instructor
  12. Acoustic group
  13. Orchestra
  14. Vintage band (that can play popular tunes from the era of your themed wedding)
  15. Swinging orchestra
  16. Celebrity impersonators (from the era of your wedding)
  17. Tribute Acts
  18. Reggae band
  19. Carnival (perfect for carnival-themed wedding)
  20. Showgirls
  21. Jugglers (for fair-themed wedding)

If you want more ideas for wedding entertainers, contact us.  We have the experience to find the right entertainers—and coordinate all the details to make it a memorable evening your guests’ll talk about for years.