Home' micenet eMag : micenet December 2016 Contents TOP FIVE | JILL VARLEY
ALISON PETRIE – MANAGING
EECW PTY LTD
1 Who is the audience? – The most important consideration when thinking about how to
entertain an audience is to research the group to get the best fit. Our priority is to consider
gender ratio, primary industry, intellect and age group. Yes, I know intellect is an interesting
one but you need to know if it’s a group of high achievers or an earthier crowd. Also gender,
no good having a dance band if the room is full of men. Funnily enough, women have no
issue heading to the dancefloor to dance with other women so the reverse may be true.
We are managing a legal conference next year where most of the audience will be baby
boomers. ACDC is going to feature at the wind-up dinner, that’s for sure!
2 What’s the point of the function? – If the group wants to chat and network then you
don’t have a loud rock and roll dance band. Choose a guest speaker instead that can
deliver a message whist also being entertaining. Do your research, presume nothing, and
you can’t go wrong.
3 Style or theme – We recently did a fire and ice theme for a gala dinner and brainstormed
ideas – fire dancers; fire breathing magic act; ice statues; ice dancers and so on. In the end
we didn’t over think it and let the extensive staging and props do the work. The
entertainment suited the audience and they had a great time. Sometimes less is more.
4 Can the venue take it? – You can’t have a flying trapeze artist when your ceilings are only
5m high. So naturally its shape, size and capability really plays a strong part in the
entertainment options. It may need to be accessible for cherry pickers, scaffolding and
trusses. A dedicated Green Room or equivalent is a bonus.
When you have a complex program of entertainment you need a venue that can cope and
deliver all of that seamlessly. Lock on to the in-house AV team whenever you can as they
will know the venue backwards.
5 Ask the experts – We never presume to know everything about entertainment so we always
use a specialist agency whenever we can, wherever we are. They know the local market,
they know what is on trend and they know how to work within a budget. They will also come
up with ideas you haven’t even considered. Plus some of the really professional ones will be
on hand to make sure the sound check and rehearsal go well, that their performers turn up
on time, in good shape and do what’s contracted. m
1 Reputation – Ensure the person/act you choose has a good reputation. While they may
appear professional on stage or screen, they may not be that reliable or easy to work
with in the corporate space. Ask around to make sure you are making the right choice.
2 Entertainment value – Needless to say, your entertainers need to be entertaining. If you
can, catch them live before you commit and ask to meet them if possible. Once booked,
ensure they are well briefed on your organisation, the type of event you are holding and
the make-up of your audience. An entertainer who knows something about the crowd
(and includes references during their performance) is usually more appreciated.
3 Appropriateness – The entertainment needs to suit your audience and your venue.
Comedians for example can sometimes be crass and intentionally insensitive. You need
to determine their appropriateness for your audience and agree on boundaries before
they appear. The same applies to dancers and sight acts that may be risqué or a little
left of field. Just as you wouldn’t have a clown appear at a CEO event, you wouldn’t
have Brazilian dancers appear at a children’s party.
4 Price – Shop around and negotiate the best price. Many entertainers are listed with
multiple agencies and sometimes the prices vary. There may also be a difference in price
depending on what time of year you book them (eg. the lead up to Christmas is very
busy and may be more expensive). The type of entertainment you book and the price
you pay should be commensurate with the scale of your event.
5 Availability – Well known entertainers can have long lead times and should be booked as
early as possible – at least six months out. When confirming the date, read the fine print
on the contract to determine what your rights are if they cancel for any reason. It should
rest on the management agency to provide a comparable alternative if this happens.
micenet | 91
Links Archive micenet October 2016 micenet February 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page