When your entertainment is a good fit for the event you’ve planned, guests will have a great time. Plan something un-engaging or not quite a match, and people may leave early to do something more—and possibly think worse of your brand.
If you’re on the hunt for entertainment ideas for your corporate event, read on! We’ve put together a great list to help you get started.
Why Provide Entertainment at Corporate Events?
Memorable entertainment at a corporate event does a few important things:
- It helps your guests enjoy the event when it might otherwise be filled with meetings and lecture.
- It helps them engage with each other beyond traditional networking.
- It helps them engage with your brand in a new and interesting way.
- It reinforces your brand’s values and vision.
Unique entertainment experiences are an especially good idea if you’re targeting millennials. Millennial audiences tend to prioritize experiences over possessions, which is important to remember when planning corporate events. Event planners pay for and give away swag on the assumption that they keep the company on the recipients’ radar. Since “stuff” doesn’t do it for millennials, you’re better off ensuring sure your audience has a great time at your event.
Still not convinced? Consider that experiential marketing is partly a product of the digital age. When people have great experiences, they’re quick to share them with others. And it’s the digital tie-ins that give you the best opportunity to expand the reach of your event. Offer a stand-out entertainment act, and your guests will be eager to share it on social media. You have the potential to go viral and reach more people than would ever be possible by handing out swag bags!
One of the most popular entertainment ideas for corporate events! Live entertainment is a great addition to most event types, if you choose entertainers that fit with the theme and style of what you’ve planned. Guest speakers won’t be popular at company picnics, for instance, but they’re ideal for trade shows, training sessions, or conferences.
Musicians, bands, and DJs can all add energy to your event. Live music is great for a range of event types, including:
- Company picnics
- Corporate parties
- Product launches
- Trade shows
Depending on your budget, corporate events can benefit from choices ranging from a cover band that plays all the classics to globally famous entertainers.
Comedians and Guest Speakers
A good speaker or comedian can get an event off to a great start by warming up the audience and getting them ready to have fun. They can also be great closers.
Comedians and guest speakers are generally best for sit-down events. Most people don’t want to stand around for half an hour or more to listen to a speaker, no matter how good they are! They’re ideal for training sessions and team-building and are generally a must at trade shows, conferences, and similar events.
These tend to be popular at trade shows, used by exhibitors to attract more foot traffic. A good magic act can promote your brand and engage public interest too. Another way to use a magician is as a strolling act: They walk among the crowd throughout your event, performing their art close-up for small groups of people.
- Circus performers
- Aerial performers
- Dance troupes
- Dueling piano
These will pump your audience up, and if the performance is good enough, it’s almost guaranteed people will record it to share online!
Only the biggest brands have the budget to hire genuine celebrities, so why not try the next best thing? Stick with classic performers like Elvis and Sinatra, and it’s hard to go wrong. Vet your impersonator well; nothing is less exciting than a bad show by a poor lookalike.
Participation and Activity-Based Event Entertainment
Some kinds of entertainment invite engagement because the activity is structured that way. Getting people involved in a hands-on activity is perfect for team-building and education sessions. It gets creative juices flowing and encourages people to think in unexpected ways.
There are some cautions. For instance, some kinds of activities limit the number of people that can participate. Most escape rooms, for instance, have a maximum number of people per room. It’s also hard to predict the number of people who will want to take part in these kinds of activities.
Because of this, some participation entertainment is best for events with firm attendee numbers. For instance, while these are great team-building activities, they’re not always suitable for parties. When you do include this kind of activity at a party, make sure it’s set up so as few people as possible miss out.
While the hands-on, team-style experience of an escape room makes it perfect for team-building sessions, they work well at other events too. At San Diego Comic-Con® in 2018, the Comedy Central Show South Park created a popular escape room to promote the launch of its new season. With the right setup, an escape room can work at product launches, company picnics, and parties.
Engaging and interactive, murder mystery events are well suited for company parties and team-building events. Most mystery companies offer multiple themed shows, so you can choose something that fits your target audience.
A little friendly competition is perfect for team-building and training sessions. That makes it a fun addition to:
- Company picnics
- Holiday parties
- Trade shows
Popular options include scavenger hunts and trivia contests, but there’s plenty of opportunity to get creative. At a company picnic, you could do tug-o-war or races!
Mixology or Cooking Classes
This is a great way to get people working together, so it’s ideal for team-building and training sessions. If you choose mixology, save it for the last session of the day, and let it segue into happy hour!
Make-your-own tacos or nachos are sure to please almost everyone, but there are many other options:
- A customized dessert station
- An omelet or scrambled egg station for a brunch event
- A professional mixologist and a signature cocktail
High-Tech and Digital Options
Augmented and Virtual Reality
With the huge success of Pokémon™ GO and the inventive ways augmented reality (AR) is being used in marketing, the technology lends itself to a range of event types. With AR and VR (virtual reality) tech, you can provide immersive, engaging experiences that your guests won’t soon forget.
This kind of tech can be used to enhance team-building events and training sessions, for instance. Companies such as ARVRtech develop custom AR and VR apps for multiple platforms. Augmented reality can be used to enhance a scavenger hunt. And virtual reality is used in many industries to provide hands-on instruction in training sessions.
The photo booth is perfect for a wide range of events and great for digital marketing. Add a photo booth to your trade show exhibit, product launch, or company party, and let your guests preserve the moment.
This pairs well with an incentive to encourage people to post their photos on social media with a brand hashtag. For instance, put everyone who takes a photo using the booth in the running for a prize, and make the social media post a condition of entry.
Standing at up to 10 feet tall and covered in colorful LEDs, these robots are a pretty amazing sight! While they’re actually people on stilts, they totally look the part of futuristic robots. They’re a great way to amp up a party or product launch, or attract attention for your brand at a trade show.
Find the Right Event Entertainment and Wow Your Guests!
Planning a corporate event can be a lot of work, but don’t neglect creative entertainment. With a creative and engaging act or activity, your attendees will remember you for a long time—and maybe spread the word about you too.
Having trouble narrowing down the right entertainment? Call on the event professionals at ProGlobalEvents to help out!