Entertain your Guests

We are lucky enough to play host to some of the most interesting, educational and informative conferences and events here at the University of Swansea, with some world class speakers, organisations and associations in attendance – however ensuring that your event is first class can take more than just an interesting academic programme.

From choirs and bands, to ukuleles and whiskey tasting, our events have been supported by some fantastic entertainment, and it can be this that ensures your event is one that really stands out and your guests talk about for years to come – get the entertainment wrong however, and you could leave your guests cringing awkwardly in their seats.

Our latest five event planning tips should help you secure the entertainment you need to ensure your event stands out for the right reasons.

  1. Know your Event

Entertainment is a key factor in creating atmosphere, so if your event has a theme, try and be in-keeping with this, for instance if you are hosting a Christmas banquet, having Christmas music would be a logical choice in ensuring the theme is carried out.

Think about when the entertainment is going to take place. Is it a backdrop intended to enhance other proceedings, such as during dinner, or do you want it to be the main focus in the room? If the entertainment is happening during a time intended for networking, you don’t want your guests to be distracted by loud music or circus performances, however if the entertainer is intended to liven people up for a team building session, it is important they have the energy and enthusiasm to capture the room.

  1. Know your Audience

It is easy to be swayed by our own personal preferences when seeking entertainment, however it is important to stay focussed on the demographic of your audience – what are their likes or dislikes and is the entertainment appropriate? For instance, is your event targeting adults or children? The entertainer you book for a summer school would undoubtedly vary to that hired for a business conference, whilst you wouldn’t book wine tasting for a children’s party.

If you are playing music, whilst it is hard to please everybody, consider a playlist that spans different genres and decades, and play well known hits – there is a reason that they are popular – as there should then be a little something for everyone.

It is important that you do your research; for example, if you are hosting an association, try and find out if they have recently been to another conference and what entertainment was on offer. This way you can avoid booking the same act and make your event stand out.

  1. Know your Venue

It is crucial that you know the space you are working with and you assess whether there any logistical limitations. For example, does the room have any restricted viewpoints that could hinder enjoyment of the entertainment? Whilst this would not matter so much with a DJ, if the entertainment was a magician, appreciation would certainly be limited if your guest could not see.

Does the act you are looking to book require a backstage area to change or set up, and does your event space provide this?

Will the event be outdoors and does this support the act?

In addition to your own event, it is important to know whether there are any other functions taking place in the venue at the same time, and if so, be mindful that loud music or instruments could seriously disrupt others.

  1. Know your Budget

Before committing to a booking, ensure that you know how much of your event budget can go towards the entertainer, and find out if there are any additional hidden costs with the act you are looking into which could seriously eat into your bottom line.

Do also bear in mind that, whilst budget is important, you tend to get what you pay for, and delegates will certainly remember if the entertainment isn’t up to scratch.

  1. Know your Act

Remember that the act you pick is representing you and your organisation, so pick them wisely! If you choose a band, check their playlist to ensure that you are happy with what they will play to your guests.

Once you’ve found your act, carry out a little research on them. Where possible, attend one of their performances, or at the least watch videos online that have been uploaded independently. This will help you with an unbiased view of what they can do and whether they will work with your event.

Ask questions – what has worked for them in the past and what hasn’t? Use their experience to avoid any unexpected surprises!

Finally, have a backup plan – as hard as you can try to prepare for your event, sometimes things can go wrong, so rather than leave your event bereft of entertainment, ensure you have something else up your sleeve to wow your guests.

Find out more about how our Events Experts can make your event one to remember.