Experiential events are now a staple in the event industry, but making them more innovative and interactive is an increasing challenge for event planners. The purpose of these experiential marketing events is to allow guests an opportunity to interact with a company’s brand in a creative way. The corporate convention/tradeshow realms are following suit to provide similar experiences to excite franchisees and employees about company goals.
Companies are generally willing to spend less on an internal experiential event than they are when the experiential event’s aim is to gain the attention of new clients. Corporate event planners want to give their audience the same big-bang experiences but have to maneuver their goals through a smaller budget. One suggestion we make to professional meeting planners interested in creating this experience is customizing affordable talent options to create the ‘wow’ factor they are looking for.
Recently we’ve had a few opportunities to help clients create some unique experiences at their corporate events, and prove that small adjustments can bring big experiences to life.
Transform Lectures Into Educational Performances
The power of the Master of Ceremonies (or MC) can be a transformative element of engagement when production professionals are looking for a lively element to an informative speech. Recently we arranged for professional actors to help facilitate an educational presentation with multiple speakers at a mega convention event.
The purpose of the series was to educate employees about the latest news, policies, and practices from the company. This was their first time deciding to add entertainment to the educational area of their annual event, and it turned out to be a huge success with the audience. The client mentioned that the change increased engagement during the sessions and allowed the information to be more easily digested by the audience members.
Besides being generally entertaining with an occasional joke, the chosen MCs were picked based on the demographic of the attendees. They also bantered with each other and the speaker with quips about their corporate culture when it came to asking questions and keeping things light.
The MCs were very entertaining — often acting as the audiences’ subconscious. By adding a relevant connection, the audience was less distracted when important information was shared, as the actors used a more conversational tone for the presentation.
Creatively Enhance Presentation of Corporate History
Audience members attend corporate events to celebrate their culture and work towards their future. Witnessing a few unexpected treats from the corporation’s past can be a fun way of building a connection between the company and attendees.
Never underestimate even the simplest chance to touch on corporate nostalgia. This can even be done without making drastic changes to an act’s typical performance. The trick with customizing some of the more common talent act genres is not feeling pressured to make it complicated.
Custom Options to Consider
- Clothing Items
- Custom Scripting / List of Corporate References or Facts
- Subtle Adjustments to Performance Script or Song List
This year all of the corporate musical acts performing for our client’s large annual convention performed the company’s past jingle during their set. The audience enjoyed the variety of the different variations. The performance also helped the audience feel a little more connected to the client’s rich history.
Free Range Talent Can Provide Unexpected Experiences
Entertainment for corporate events, especially large ones, doesn’t always have to be static. Adjusting the talent’s location is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to bring a new level of interaction in using common acts to heighten your audience’s experience.
Recently our production team was commissioned to produce an improv group posing as athletes. Instead of the standard performance in a staged show area, they were given free range over the entire tradeshow floor. Laughter filled the convention hall and the ‘badminton players’ were even challenged to a match with two Olympic badminton athletes who happened to be in attendance at the event. That moment alone between the professional players and the performers – who lost the match terribly but graciously – is the interaction experiential events are meant to achieve.
Deliver Entertainment With a Twist
Another adjustment that will allow common talent to enhance an experience is delivering the expected act with an unexpected variation. When audiences frequent corporate events they expect to see the common acts that they’ve witnessed at the event year after year. A subtle way of giving them a new experience is delivering a unique variation of a common performance style.
Another large corporate client wanted a dance performance for their event unveiling a new urban product. The guests had already seen our Latin dancers perform throughout the night, but they weren’t expecting the next dance act to include a children’s hip hop group.
The surprise on the guest’s faces was priceless and matched the excitement the company wanted for the new product release.
Big Entertainment Can Come in Small Groups
Another solution event planners can utilize when their clients want highly skilled talent within a budget is using those acts in small numbers. Given the right setting and skill set, having an interesting solo act or highly skilled performance involving only a few people can make the talent stand out at a less costly rate.
One of our corporate clients held an event on a large cruise ship deck and needed some sort of ‘wow’ factor while a dance troupe was performing. We supplied several highly-skilled stunt performers to create an action-packed experience surrounding the guests. With all 22 dance and stunt performers, the entire cruise ship deck felt like an immersive experience.
Transforming ordinary acts into extraordinary opportunities provides a deeper connection for our corporate clients and their audiences. Incredible memories within experiential events can happen with the smallest adjustments when event planners are relying on corporate entertainment for that extra enhancement. Great corporate experiences don’t always come in large sets and elaborate plans, but it does take the right talent and production team.