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finding the right entertainment for your event

Brian Reaves birmingham magician performing magic for a corporate event

Planning an event can be difficult and extremely stressful. There are so many things happening at once that most people never consider when they just get to show up and have fun. You have a plan the event space, coordinate the menu and food placement, and even find the right entertainment for the event.

Did you ever stop to realize it's possible to book the wrong type of entertainment for your event? It is, and it all depends on what you need.

Passive entertainment: This type usually happens in the background while the guests do other things, like eating or networking. Examples of this category of entertainment are bands, singers, and DJs.

Involved entertainment: This type of entertainment is the "center of attention" type needed when you want everyone paying attention to the same thing at once. It can even happen during mealtime. This type includes comedians, drama teams, and emcees.

Active entertainment: This is when people will actually be doing something to be a part of the show. This usually can't happen during a meal but can begin during dessert time. This is where improv comedy groups and magicians step into the spotlight.

Be sure you know what you want to accomplish before hiring entertainment. Magic is an incredibly fun and memorable choice for entertainment that your guests will be talking about long after the event is over (if it's done right). However, a magic show involves bringing people up to be a part of the show, so you won't want that happening while people are eating and have to leave their meals on the table.

Also, carefully research the entertainment you hire. You don't want to bring in an R-rated comedian to a family event. You also don't want to hire a band with no website or a guy who just learned a few card tricks off the internet and now calls himself a magician. You want a professional in every aspect of the job for your corporate event. Look for social proof (pictures on Facebook or Instagram) that this person entertains regularly for the type of event you are having.

Help your entertainment serve you better by doing these four things:

First, be very specific about the type of audience you have and what you are wanting to accomplish. Do you just want folks to have a good time while networking? Or are you looking for a "main event" to end the evening? Are these older adults, or is this primarily a younger crowd (or even a few kids coming with their parents for the corporate Christmas party)? Let them know so they can be honest about whether or not they are the right fit for your event. A professional will tell you the truth.

Second, be upfront about your entertainment budget. I can honestly say you can find entertainment at just about any level of budget, but you will get what you pay for. When you pay more, you are going to be getting a higher quality of entertainment, which takes a lot of the load off of you. Experienced entertainers know how to handle crowds with respect and know what to do when things go wrong. Inexperienced entertainers can be affordable but often have more enthusiasm than practical knowledge of what to do in every situation. If possible, pay a little more for peace of mind.

Third, be as informative as possible about the venue. Will there be a stage? Will the entertainment need to bring their own sound system and microphone? What will the seating arrangement be like? All of these things are vitally important for the entertainment to know.

Finally, communicate openly about what you think will make the event successful. How do you need to feel after it's all over to know you made the right choice? What would you like to hear your guests say about the evening?

Planning an event can be stressful, but taking a few moments to carefully consider your entertainment can take a load off. If you hire the right entertainer, they should be willing to pull their weight and do everything they can to make their part easy for you, leaving you one less thing to worry about.

And, of course, when you're looking for a magician for your event, I'm here for you!

Brian Reaves birmingham magician and keynote speaker

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