January 7, 2016

Corporate Entertainment Ideas

Corporate Entertainment Ideas

Bringing fresh ideas to the table is one of the challenges Certified Meeting Planners face, especially when a company has monthly meetings as opposed to one big meeting a year.  In order to make meetings unique, fun, and more effective, one may want to consider these corporate entertainment ideas.

To begin, professional speakers are often used to make meetings more interesting and effective.  However, this isn’t  a very unique idea, or is it?  One of the mistakes people make, not just meeting planners, is to quickly dismiss ideas based on a general, overall feeling, as opposed to looking at specifics, and being a little patient.

For example, someone may say he doesn’t like jazz.  A gut reaction like that usually indicates someone hasn’t been exposed to a lot of jazz (or whatever else), or educated on the subject.  There’s a good chance that of all of the thousands of hours of jazz music that’s been recorded by myriad musicians, there’s one musician that this person would love.

There are thousands of professional speakers and most of them aren’t great.  This is true for everything by the way.  There are lots of guitar players, dentists, and surgeons, but most of them aren’t great.  Check out Sturgeon’s revelation for a further explanation.

The point is, why reinvent the wheel when coming up with meeting ideas when one can simply hire a professional speaker?   If one hires a GREAT speaker, that speaker will make the meeting different and more effective.  It’s not that hiring a speaker is boring, it’s that boring speakers are boring.  Why do meeting planners hire boring speakers?  Budgets.  You get what you pay for, and great costs money.

Next, another corporate entertainment idea is to bring in a comedian for your meeting.  Sometimes companies are reluctant to hire comedians and there are usually two reasons for this.  One, companies worry the comedian will be offensive.  Two, comedy is a very subjective thing and meeting planners get nervous that the humor, although appropriate, may not fly with everybody just because of differing tastes.

Now, any comedian performing at corporate events knows he has to be politically correct and clean.  Meeting planners should know ahead of time that the comedian being hired specializes in corporate events.  If he does, the planner shouldn’t worry about an offensive show.

On the other hand, comedy is subjective and there are no guarantees everybody will love the comedian, even if he’s Seinfeld clean.  For example, one of the best comedians of all time, Brian Regan, shared a story on Marc Maron’s podcast about bombing at a corporate event.  Brian Regan is incredible, but even the greats have an off night, or simply don’t connect with an audience.

Does this mean you shouldn’t hire a corporate comedian?  Of course not!  If you hire someone great, there’s a good chance the comedian will kill.  Successful meeting planners take calculated risks and sometimes things don’t work out.  Bland meetings are safe meetings, but they aren’t fun or special, so they aren’t as effective.

Lastly, a great corporate magician combines the best of a comedian and speaker and then adds a third element; mind-bending tricks.  Corporate entertainment ideas don’t get more unique than hiring a magician.  When people hear magician, they often have preconceived images which include gaudy outfits, big mustaches, top hats, rabbits, and kids’ birthday parties.  Corporate magicians are nothing like that.

Magicians who specialize in corporate events wear suits and ties, are elegant, perform sophisticated feats of sleight-of-hand, and can read your mind.  Most importantly, great corporate magicians are often professional speakers who are very funny and can customize a presentation that matches the theme of your meeting.

Furthermore, magic is interactive which makes it great for team-building workshops and breakout sessions.  Imagine everybody in a meeting learning how to do a magic trick together that they can then use as an icebreaker with clients?

When you add it all up, a magician who specializes in custom entertainment for meetings is tough to beat.

Although there may be a lot of corporate entertainment ideas to choose from, remember to stick to the basics, take a chance on something outside of your comfort zone, and hire great people.  For instance, many meeting planners employ speakers, but it would be best if they waited until they have enough in their budgets to hire great speakers.  Some meeting planners are scared of hiring a corporate comedian, but when one knocks it out of the park, the meeting is memorable.  Still others quickly dismiss ideas like hiring a magician because of preconceived ideas.  Of course, a corporate magician who’s also a speaker, is funny, and can customize a presentation to include team-building in the show, covers every facet of a successful meeting and shouldn’t be overlooked.

About the Author

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Zach Waldman is an internationally renowned stand-up comedian and magician who specializes in providing customized entertainment for exclusive private parties and corporate events.

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