The quality of your event entertainment can make or break your event. From the main act to smaller elements and interactions, it is important to get it right. Whatever your event budget, here are 122 event entertainment ideas to inspire you.
Event entertainment is the grand show. You may engage and appeal to your audience in hundreds of little ways throughout your event but main event entertainment is designed to awe and impress like nothing else you do.
Event entertainment should be audience-focused. You want to offer them something they’ll enjoy and maybe be a little surprised by. Alas, everyone doesn’t have the event budget of a Super Bowl Halftime Show, so while we have tons of hot entertainment ideas in this post, we’ve included things for all budget sizes and audience preferences.
122 Event Entertainment Ideas to Inspire You
Event Entertainment Wow Factor: The Strategy for Success
Bonus: Our Top 10 Event Entertainment Ideas
Video Mapping and Dancers
Light Walkers on Stilts
Band in Boxes
10 Fabulous Main Event Entertainment Ideas
For your main event, you want something extraordinary. This list contains several big ticket entertainment ideas as well as a few less expensive main event entertainment ideas:
Everything looks better lit up.
Enchanted Snow Globes
Bring back the nostalgia of childhood.
Projection Mapping on your Main Entertainer
It’s amazing what can be done with this technology.
Wow the audience with death-defying entertainment.
Toy Soldiers on Stilts
You can’t ignore these entertainers. They’re an Instagram dream.
Water dancers will amaze audiences with their fountain dancing.
Go all out with a stunning night-time display.
Use your geographic area to influence your entertainment.
Hot Air Balloon Rides or Launches
This is a bucket list item for many people but weather conditions have to be just right.
Art Stroll that Supports your Mission
Create an art gallery stroll involving a special charity. You can even auction off the creations.
11 of the Best Corporate Event Entertainment Ideas
With corporate event entertainment you want it to be exciting but not scandalous and appeal to a wide variety of tastes. Often these events are held inside so you may have some limitations to consider.
Ipad magicians offer cutting edge magic shows that use the latest iPad technologies and performance techniques (and humor!) to wow corporate audiences. They can incorporate products, messages and logos, like this video does. A definite talking point.
Corporate percussion groups are geared toward corporate clients and can enhance your event theme. Specialist groups can perform using products i.e. recycled materials, ladders, machinery, etc. Drumming performances have wow factor, as they are fast paced, high energy and loud!
LED and laser shows are the here and now of corporate entertainment. These seriously ‘in’ corporate shows can even incorporate logos that interact with audiences.
Walking, talking Robots are great for corporate events that include trade shows, exhibitions and conventions, or as great walk around acts to meet and greet guests. Some events are even using robots for things like mixing drinks.
Dance and Visual Performances
Video mapping dance groups are proving to be a big hit so far this year for corporate events. New technologies have allowed performers to take their dance and visual performances to the next level as humans and computers merge. These acts can incorporate specific music and graphics, as well as logos and corporate messages.
These teams of professional synchronized swimmers perform seamless routines that are popular with product launches, corporate parties and other corporate events. These acts can create bespoke shows making them a unique and individual entertainment option when you have a poolside setting.
Sand artists have been popular with corporate events since Ukraine’s Got Talent featured a female sand artist that took the internet by storm. These talented artists will perform custom made sand animations for a variety of corporate events. These shows have definite wow factor that will ensure your event is remembered!
Birdcage entertainers are ideal corporate entertainment especially if you don’t have time or the room for a large-scale production. Whatever the entertainers do from inside the “birdcage” elevates (literally) your entertainment.
Snow falling can bring a romance and childlike wonder to any event, especially if it’s occurring in an unexpected area.
Attendee Hall of Fame
Attendee image galleries are fun entertainment for an area designed around waiting or networking. You can use serious corporate images that morph into funny ones in front of your eyes or use projection mapping to alter the images so that it appears their gaze is following attendees as they stroll past.
Laughter Yoga and Humor Therapists
Laughter yoga will get your corporate group laughing their way out of a stressful situation. The difference between a humor therapist and a comedian is that the therapists often offer coping techniques for dealing with stress and sometimes share a story of their own difficulties and how humor helped them transcend those challenges.
10 Strolling Event Entertainment Ideas to Steal
If your event entertainment budget doesn’t allow for a celebrity show, consider small ways to entertain like these ideas for strolling entertainers.
Mimes, clowns, and other theme-attired waitstaff can add some fun to the event.
Why have boring immobile tables when your guests can interact with a moveable pop up feast?
Make a Spectacle of the Service
Serve bubbly (or anything) on arrival in an amusing way.
Light Walkers on stilts command attention, particularly in darker environments.
Just like the previously mentioned bird cage entertainers, if you place your entertainment in a bubble, people will pay attention.
Pop Culture Characters
You can hire variations on popular culture characters like creatures from the Walking Dead or Game of Thrones. Even if they never utter a word, they’ll get plenty of attention.
Magical Light and Music Combination
Musicians are great. This one’s ethereal. Sometimes it’s all in the lighting.
Aerial Drinks Service
Aerial champagne servers will ensure your attendees are entertained and well-poured.
Aerial grapes command attention and are vaguely reminiscent of childhood dreams.
Trick bartenders or servers. Hire servers with a flair.
11 Unique Event Entertainment Ideas
Make fun an active pursuit with these unique event entertainment ideas.
Interactive Selfie Mirror
An interactive selfie mirror eliminates those annoying pics where people stand in front of a mirror with their phones in hand. This selfie mirror takes a portrait-style picture and prints it out. The mirror frame and the printout can be branded to the event.
Splash painting can be used in two ways, by hiring a splash artist to make art for your event as the crowd watches or you can get your attendees involved so they can leave their own mark.
Mermaids add a delightful touch of whimsy to any event.
Cosplay is not just for kids on Halloween. You can hire cosplay entertainers and encourage your attendees to come in costume as well.
Musical Flash Mob
Why not restage a beloved musical in the middle of your event? You can put on an entire performance or have actors create flash mob-style performances at random times throughout your event.
Zygote balls are giant inflatable, glowing beach balls that circulate among the crowd. They can be used as pre-event entertainment as well as a tool to excite the crowd during the performance.
Transform an interior space into a delightful space to meander. This quiet spot is ideal for strolling meetings, networking, or small group learning.
Make your Exit Survey Entertaining
Event entertainment isn’t just about the opening night. You can create a goal to make every component of your event more entertaining. Here’s an entertaining way to conduct exit surveys or get feedback for your event.
Whatever the theme, your entertainment could match. Consider matching your entertainers to your decor as they do in this Wonderland Gala.
Weird and Wonderful Creatures
A mechanical octopus is something your attendees don’t see every day. You can be sure this creature would get lots of attention and shares on Instagram.
Speaking of octopus, these amazing octopi kites create a stunning visual for any event.
10 Performance Ideas for Events
Looking for ways to kick up your ordinary event performances? Here are a few groundbreaking event performance ideas:
Sure look-a-likes are good, but wouldn’t it be great to hear one of your faves one last time?
The 80s are back in vogue so grab your cardboard mats and get your attendees circled around. Before you invite them to join in, take a second look at your event insurance. These moves are harder than they look.
Laser and Mirror Dancers
Space creatures can be horrific or adorable but they are definitely entertaining, especially if your audience doesn’t expect them and they simply sidle up next to them.
Wind-up dolls or statues add a touch of whimsy (or high creep factor).
Human topiaries give new meaning to the slang phrase “in the weeds.” Have your camera ready when these beautiful bushes start following your attendees around.
Bubble artists captivate crowds by appealing to childlike nostalgia.
Band in Boxes
Showcase your band in a visual way so people pay attention and it’s not just background music.
3D Live Streaming
Check out what Google did here:
Broadcast on a dome display, like planetariums do, to create an immersive entertainment experience.
Unplugged Acoustic Sets
Acoustic coffee house music is seeing a resurgence in popularity. It’s the type of music we can all sing along to.
20 Interactive Entertainment Ideas for Events
Get your audience involved with these interactive event entertainment ideas.
VR Game Experiences
The introduction of virtual reality has paved the way for plenty of gamification opportunities in a small space. As you can see here, using a VR headset and controllers can transport attendees into a virtual world that isn’t logistically possible in your venue. Plus, it’s highly adaptable and you could opt for event-specific ideas to meet your goals in a fun way.
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Got my geek in last night at the @notiontheory Tech Showcase with a fun basketball VR experience. #VR #eventlife
Credit: Channing Muller
Take wine tasting up a notch by arranging a wine blending team competition for who can create the best flavor. Encourage teams to blend different wines in various amounts to create unique flavors. This activity brings out creativity and can be relaxing.
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Wine blending makes for the perfect team building activity- promoting relaxation, creativity, and some good old fashioned competition! With thousands of wineries here in Northern California, we’re here to help your corporate group blend an experience they won’t forget. 🍷🍇 • • • 📷: @katwrightsf #napa #sonoma #santacruzmountains #sanfrancisco #carmelvalley #winerywednesday #winewednesday #wineblending #wineryevents #eventactivities #teambuilding #incentiveprogram #sfbayarea #bestofthebay #localexperiences #travel #eventprofs #eventwright
Casino Tables and Games
The casino theme is always a big hit at events and the combination of competition and handling money can be exhilarating. You could opt to create your own branded (or sponsored) currency that could be converted into rewards or used to purchase event swag, rather than using actual currency.
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Casino FUN! @omniproductionsinc #omniproductionsincspecialevents #blackjack #roulette #craps #poker #events #birthday #february10 #DJ #privateparties #dancingmachine #fundraising #travel #a #february #casinoparties #mybirthday #partyplanner #eventplanner #eventprofs #play
Credit: Omni Productions Inc.
For those who love an adrenaline rush, hire a mobile climbing wall for an exciting challenge! Perfect for the competitive edge, team-building, and bonding. You can also challenge those who are afraid of heights to try a few feet or go to the top.
Credit: Aveling Adventure
360-degree Photo Booth
An interesting experience for attendees is to create a 360-degree photo booth using a moving backdrop for unique effects. This photo booth can drop attendees into any background. It’s ideal for large groups as no one will get chopped out of the image!
Encourage sustainable carpooling without compromising on comfort and style with options like this stunning VIP shuttle service. Perfect for event transitions with funky LED lights to keep the event vibes interesting throughout the journey, this allows event attendees to continue the fun and games on the move without separating the group into individual cars.
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Even with group #shuttle there is a difference in presentation and #service delivery. The real #kclimo.
Credit: Overland Limousine Service
Bring out the inner child in your guests with inflatable games and experiences – like this bungee cord game. You could also try inflatable obstacle courses and pit teams against each other for extra competition.
Just want fun without competition? Try an adult bouncy castle or ball pit at your venue.
Credit: Tony’s Games in Stockholm, Sweden
Create plenty of photo opportunities at your event and they’ll be sure to be shared on social media. Use large selfie props to make the photos memorable and stand out or create a backdrop area and corner of your event for capturing the memories.
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Setup Dairies. When the Selfie Candy was taking its own Selfie🤳 @nep.events #ICPLaunch
Credit: NEP House of Events LLc
Coloring books are all the rage, particularly as swag ideas but you can also make it an interesting communal activity. Use a large coloring book canvas with an image reflective of your event brand and encourage attendees to color on it throughout the event. Share the finished product by posting it to your social streams and your website.
While not traditional entertainment, it can be entertaining. Promote team-building while working towards greater causes with a charity-themed activity. These community members are making bowls and painting them which will later be used at a fundraiser to help fight hunger in the community. A fun activity to create the bowls and not only raises awareness but help a worthy cause, it’s a win-win.
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Students and community members are hard at work throwing and painting bowls for our upcoming fundraiser Empty Bowls 2018 on February 15th. Join us for this event and you’ll get to take home a handmade bowl, enjoy delicious soup, and most importantly, fight hunger in our community. Learn more through link in bio and plan to join us! . . . . #food #foodbank #fooddrive #fortcollins #loveland #larimerco #plantitforward #hunger #hungerfree #hungerfreelarimerco #solveseniorhunger #nokidhungry #noseniorhungry #northerncolorado #wellington #windsor #estespark #EndHunger #FightHunger #feedingamerica #feedingitforward #charity #charityevent
Credit: Food Bank For Larimer County
Matching Step and Repeat
Make your step and repeat more interesting by creating an illusion by extending the backdrop onto the flooring! When attendees arrive it creates a great VIP welcome and photo opportunity as well as a great first impression. The use of carpets, particularly at a hotel or venue can easily incorporate event color schemes and themes with minimal effort and no lasting fixtures.
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Step and repeat with matching carpet! #stepandrepeat #redcarpet #grandentrance #customcarpet #photoop #batmitzvah #barmitzvah #roomdecor #specialevents #hollywoodtheme #oscartheme #mitzvahideas #partyentrance #partyplanner #eventplanner #eventdecor #barmitzvah #batmitzvah #carpetrunner #redcarpet #redcarpetevent #partyideas
Credit: Interactive Entertainment Group
Using digital screens at your venue can transform any space and add interest. But this is a cool, attention-grabbing idea that makes a spectacular first impression outside. This Hunger Games-themed event utilized outdoor screens to display pop-up-themed interactive characters for extra wow-factor, counting down until attendees got to the “capitol” venue. Doing this sets the tone from the outset and builds up anticipation as attendees reach the inside. Unexpected elements like this are particularly memorable.
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The entrance of an event is the first impression of your event. Make it count 🔥 Welcome to The Capitol 🔥
Credit: Lapin Quotidien
If you worry about the risk of traditional archery it doesn’t mean you have to avoid it completely. This variation offers a strong alternative where you can still get the target practice and competitive edge in a fun mobile option. Plus, this is more likely to fit in a smaller event space and can be adapted for competitive games during team-building or retreats.
Credit: Aveling Adventure
For sports fans at your event, recreate a traditional football field and enjoy a day of games indoors. With the right amount of space, you could try fun things like bubble football, sack races and traditional field day races, or Quidditch, rallying your team together to cheer each other on. Create your own cheer squad for those who would rather be on the sidelines. This could be a fun sponsorship idea for the pitch, chairs, or jersey signage, just like in a real game.
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Our recreation of a sports field will have your guests playing all day long. #footballer #sportsman #soccer #championship #futbol #sportphotography #futebol #futbolsport #gohardorgohome #futbolista #footballseason #speedkills #footballplayer #sportphoto #sportsphotography #ilovefootball #sportphotographer #seeaustralia #exploreaustralia #australiagram #ilovesydney #ig_australia #cityofsydney #events #sydney #sydneyprops #specialevents #teambuilding #props
Credit: Spartacus Events
Neon Light-Up Furniture
Okay, technically not an activity but definitely a fun experience and interesting atmosphere! Light-up furniture can be the perfect transition piece and adds flair to an evening event. You could create different effects by segregating the colors according to moods, for example, a white ultra-chic relaxation area; a funky mixed set of networking cubes; or a gold VIP lounge area. The use of color can automatically translate into different vibes for the event, making attendees embrace the feel you are trying to project.
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Let us light up your space with neon colors. . . . . . . #eventideas #eventdesign #eventdesigns #eventhost #eventtips #eventtech #miamievents #guestengagement #eventactivities #evententertainment #eventactivity #eventinspo #eventinspiration #colorinspo #colorinspiration #cateringideas #catering #eventcatering #tablescapes #centerpieces #tabledesigns #tabledecor #audiovisual #avrentals #neon #glowparty #brightlights
Credit: 84 West Events
What would an event be without a traditional photo booth? This is a simple but cute idea that could be set up in any space and easily rented to entertain your guests! A simple glitzy drop curtain combined with favorable lighting and you’ve got budget-friendly memories and plenty of branding opportunities.
Credit: PhotoBooths of SoCal
Keep it simple with bowling and traditional games at your event. This could be a full tenpin lane that you rent or something gentler on the budget like this fairground recreation. Mix things up by creating a points system or adding obstacles on the runway to make it harder and more competitive!
Credit: Creating a Scene Inc.
Hand your entertainment and activities over to the professionals with a corporate performance company that can tie in performance, props, theming and even animals. They can provide roaming entertainment as well as interactive greeters while creating fun and interesting activities to keep everyone busy!
Credit: SWC Entertainment Group
Make your event more interesting by allowing for games and brainstorming using digital screens and walls. Fun icebreakers like Pictionary are popular. Plus, when the event is over, attendees can receive the brainstorm “notes” without the need for paper and printouts which is a step closer to a greener meeting.
Putting Greens or Miniature Golf
Indoor golf can get people moving around your venue and is perfect for any skill level. There are a number of ways to divide players into groups and incorporate handicaps in scoring to ensure seasoned golfers and newbies can all enjoy themselves.
10 Hotel Entertainment Ideas
While hotels can be incredibly accommodating, there are sometimes limitations with space that must be addressed. Here are a few hotel entertainment ideas that can be accomplished in any venue space.
Speed painters are amusing to watch and their art is hard to believe unless you experience it for yourself. Your attendees will be shooting lots of videos with these types of acts.
A Chair balancing act will have your guests holding their breath the entire time the performer does their thing.
Who needs boring tables when they can be used as mini stages?
Steampunk is an interesting theme that combines the modernity of science fiction and modern technological ideas with old-fashioned machines like steam power. It provides a time-traveler feel for attendees.
Pet a Dinosaur
Hire baby dinosaurs to entertain your crowds. It’s the first time they’ll ever want to pet a Triceratops.
The Regurgitator is not for the faint of heart. This act involves a performer who eats things and thing brings them up again.
Vintage or theme singers can set the tone for your event and bring a touch of class and nostalgic feel.
Character Meet and Greets
Character meet and greets put people in a fun mood before they even get to enjoy your main event entertainment.
Fire dancers are hot (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.) They can be an extra special touch for your event if they are of cultural significance like in the Hawaiian Islands.
Fortune Story Telling
Tell your guest’s stories the way you would their fortune by gaining a little information and then creating a paragraph or so as an event souvenir.
10 Cocktail Party Entertainment Ideas
Cocktail parties are usually smaller scale and sometimes limited in space. We have cocktail party entertainment ideas that will help you work around both but they’re so fun you can use these at any event of your choosing.
Temporary Tattoo Bar
Offer a variety of shapes, messages, and event logos in the “lick ‘em and stick ‘em” fashion. Alternatively offer henna tattoos.
These gorgeous spheres can add elegance to a poolside cocktail party
You can also allow your guests to get in them for more frolicing fun known as zorbing.
Create a Masterpiece
Let your guests get creative by giving them the tools they need to create something amazing. Make sure you capture it all on camera and/or video.
Build an Italian Soda Bar
Need a more sophisticated option for your non-drinkers? This one is built to suit.
Chalkboard Word Search
This activity is perfect in an area that might involve waiting or gathering, like by the bar. Since it’s on a chalkboard or whiteboard, it can be reused throughout your event.
Sangria or Infused Vodka Tasting
Entice guests to try something different by sampling their favorite flavors.
It’s visually stunning and practical in that there’s rarely a wait for a drink.
Hear Your Fortune
Fortune tellers are a fun way to engage your audience.
Silent auctions can help you raise funds for a favorite charity or other cause.
Ostrich stilt performers definitely turn heads and become excellent social media fodder.
10 Excellent Entertainment Ideas for Dinner Parties
Whether you’re hosting an elaborate dinner party or just looking for some inexpensive entertainment ideas for dinner parties, we have you covered.
Fairy Light Volleyball
Night volleyball is a fun casual entertainment idea and all you need is a few strings of lights and a power source to transition from day to night.
The outdoor fun shouldn’t end just because the sun goes down. Cornhole, is a lawn game where bean bags are thrown at a platform with points scored if the thrower gets them through the hole.
Game Show Participation
Game shows are popular ways to get people involved and break the ice.
Make Food Part of the Entertainment
Inventive menu items can intrigue guests. Create an interactive food station, such as this beautiful floating buffet.
Break the Ice Games
Conversation starter games liven up any dinner party and they’re very inexpensive.
More ice breaker ideas to improve networking can be found here:
70 Ice Breaker Ideas to Help Event Networking
Gobos and Lighting Effects
Quiet but beautiful, you can incorporate any sort of branding or names. You can even make your own if you’re crafty and mesmerize your guests.
A Touch of Class
Venetian-themed carnival performers lend a sense of mystery and the exotic to your dinner party.
Wine Grab Bag
Guests buy a cork and get a bag of wine that is valued at slightly lower or significantly higher than what they bought it for.
Chef Shadow Box
Allow guests to see the kitchen hard at work without having an open kitchen.
Fun Transportation for a Moveable Feast
Who says dinner parties have to only be held in one spot. Take your dinner party on the road with this fun transportation idea.
10 Unusual Party Entertainment Ideas
If you need entertainment ideas for parties or are considering party entertainment hire ideas, you’ll love these party entertainment ideas for adults who love to have fun.
Forget the silly little mat, this adult party entertainment idea moves the fun into a 3D space.
Lego “Firewalk” Challenge
Anyone who has ever lived with a child or spent time in the home of a child, has unawaringly taken the Lego “Firewalk” Challenge. It is only for the brave or tough soled but anyone with a sense of humor will enjoy the idea.
Wrecking things isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind for entertainment ideas for parties but it is extremely cathartic.
From book deliveries to food, themed merchandise to slushies, anything you serve is more fun coming from a truck
For some audiences, a makeover party can be lots of fun. If you want to make it more appealing to both genders add a photoshoot component that will give them professional headshots for social media.
Create your own event ‘I Spy’ game on Instagram using a hashtag and printables left at each table.
Interactive Activity Boards
Encourage guests to share their dreams, fears, or secrets on a public board.
This type of parade is exceptionally unique and you can expect it will surprise your attendees like nothing else.
An elegant air sculpture will draw in the crowds and give a serene element. Incorporate event branding colors into the show.
3D Light Projections
This massive lighting projection creates an awesome event centerpiece for guests to enjoy.
Now that we’ve provided a bunch of ideas to get your brain hopping, let’s drill down into how you’ll find the right event entertainment.
Deciding on the Right Corporate Event Entertainment
There are several considerations that should be primary in your mind when you’re selecting the right corporate event entertainment. First of all, you want to make sure that the entertainment ‘fits’ the event:
Determine the age, social background, and gender of your attendees.
Choose entertainment accordingly.
Take into account the type of corporate function.
Not all corporate events are the same and you want to select event entertainment that fits your goals and theme. For instance, One Direction or Justin Bieber Tribute Band may be suitable for a corporate family day event, but not for a black-tie gala dinner.
Venue size and location.
Many event planners and organizers consider these things when it comes to accommodating their attendees but they may not think about it ahead of time when deciding on entertainment. If you have your heart set on an aerial acrobatics team, you’ll need to select a venue that can handle that.
Do you have a strict budget that you have to work within, or is money not a problem? The amount of money a company is prepared to spend on entertainment will affect the options available. But don’t worry, as this post demonstrates, there are plenty of corporate event entertainment options available to suit all event budgets.
Deciding on the best corporate event entertainment is only half of your challenge. You also want to make sure that you know how to get the most from your main event entertainment.
How to Get the Most from Your Main Event Entertainment
There are plenty of acts and performers geared towards the corporate entertainment market. But to get the most out of your corporate entertainment you must make sure that:
You pursue a wow factor or unique entertainment idea that will impress guests and ensure that the event is talked about. Knowing your demographic will help give you some insight as to what they’ve seen before and what will surprise and delight them.
If the entertainment you require is for an exhibition or trade stand, make sure the acts or performers you book will increase footfall and draw guests to your stand. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for more social media exposure, make sure your entertainment choices are visually stimulating. The more Instagram-worthy they are, the more shares you’ll receive. Keep your event goal in mind when selecting event entertainment.
Use entertainment that can incorporate your logo or corporate message. This not only reinforces your brand but makes a much more personalized statement. This entertainer will appear to have created a special act just for your event. It also helps for things to be visually branded when they’re shared on social media. You never know who will see the images and videos so it’s a great idea to use branding when possible.
Look into the latest entertainment trends to appear ahead of the game and keep up to date. There’s no point in doing something your attendees have already seen.
Keep your entertainment audience-focused and in-line with your business or event goals for the greatest value.
Main Event Entertainment Prices for 2019: What Should You Pay?
We’ve given you all sorts of event entertainment ideas to fit various budgets but you may be wondering what the average cost should be. These will vary based on the geographic area of where you’re hiring. Some areas will be more expensive because choice is limited or demand is high.
Obviously what you ultimately spend depends on your event budget, but here are some guidelines to help set your expectations and help you decide if you can afford the type of entertainment you’re considering.
Event DJs generally charge by the hour with a certain minimum time period. Some will charge for setup, while others incorporate it into their fee. $800 for 3 hours is a common rate for corporate DJs. Wedding DJs and other party DJs may charge between $750-1,500, which should include their equipment, music, and lighting.
With a band you’ll have an hourly rate and you may need to tip them. Some may ask if they can have a tip jar or jar for requests. That is up to you. You can book bands through an agency or directly. Some schools even offer musicians for hire for inexpensive rates. On average most run between $2,500-7,500.
Some musicians will charge something like $200 for the first hour and $50 for each musician for each hour after the initial one.
Singers are often priced similarly to bands but if you want to hire a major headliner like Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, or Bruce Springsteen expect somewhere around $1 million. If that’s too steep, you may want to consider the bargain of hiring beatboxer Biz Markie for $10k.
This is a wide topic as there are entertainers who merely show up as a character and there are strolling entertainers who will swallow fire. For a mere meet and greet with a character, you can assume you’ll pay between $100-225 an hour. With most performers, it is also customary to tip them so keep this in mind when deciding your budget.
Dancers will largely charge at least $200, more commonly in the three hundred dollar range per dancer. As a comparison, fire eaters charge on average around $400-500 a show, not including travel or booking fees.
The average cost of a comedian is around $500 per show. However, humor therapists or comedian magicians or hypnotists can be more expensive.
Obviously, these rates are all based on averages and the geographic location of your event will affect pricing and availability. Performers will charge more if there’s travel involved and if your event precludes them from booking anything else. There could also be an upcharge during busy times of the year or discounts for booking in advance. Keep in mind, the more in-demand and unusual the talent, the more you will pay. These prices are approximations. It will be possible to find entertainment for less and those that charge much more.
10 Ideas on How to Use Entertainment to Maximize Social Media Interaction at Events
Nowadays, event planners (and the audience!) expect more from event entertainment.
A lot more.
Entertainment has evolved past singing and dancing on stage under bright lights. Show-stopping event entertainment needs to have a real impact, increase brand awareness. and help to promote the event to a larger audience. Using social media is the key.
Gone are the days when event planners could just book a “rabbit in a hat” magician to interact with attendees at events and expect the client, and their guests, to be satisfied. The information age requires entertainment that is more awe-inspiring and interwoven into the event message.
Main event entertainment needs to be bold, daring, exciting, engaging, interactive and most of all encourage people to take to social media. When they do, you get increased exposure for the event and their tribe wants to be a part of your next undertaking.
Entertainment can play its part in helping to generate social media exposure at an event by ensuring that people talk about it. This is the new media age, an age in which we know what people had for breakfast, what their new haircut looks like, and the films they have just watched while they’re doing these things.
Booking exciting, interactive entertainment is a sure fire way to get people to take notice and share.
To assist event planners in choosing the right entertainment that will encourage attendees to ‘share’ an event over a variety of social media we have compiled a top ten list of entertainment ideas to make your event go viral. The top ten includes ‘wow factor’ entertainment that is guaranteed to get people talking, as well as performers who have embraced the current times by actually incorporating social media in their act.
Social Media Photobooth
We mentioned photo booths earlier because they’re so much fun but there are photo booths that do much more than just take fun pics with props, attendees can share the images on social media right from the booth. Best of all the images can be framed with your branding, filter style. Attendees can even email the image to themselves.
At a time when everybody is obsessed with ‘selfies’ and bombarding the web with photos, photo booths have become very popular for every type of event, from exhibitions and gala dinners, to weddings and conferences. Social media photo booths are also great icebreakers for events, as well as designed to encourage footfall for trade show stands.
Attendees won’t be able to resist posing for a photo at the event and instantly tweeting or uploading it, ensuring that your event and brand gain maximum exposure!
This act gives the term ‘instant art’ a whole new meaning! Your attendees will break the Internet by massively sharing these little, drinkable, personal works of art. The artist uses a portable coffee machine to capture the likeness of event attendees in their very own cup of delicious coffee. Don’t ask us how. It’s magic.
A definite draw for any event, coffee art really gives your guests something to talk about during and after the event.
There’s nothing like a celebrity to get your guests taking to social media in droves. Sadly, most event planners don’t have the budget to book a real-life A-Lister. But, there are plenty of lookalikes and impersonators making their living by adding plenty of glitz and glamour to events.
Celebrity lookalikes will happily pose for photos as they meet and greet guests, which are guaranteed to be tweeted or posted to Facebook before you can say Brad Pitt! A great way to ‘share the love’ at any event.
Celebrity impersonators can range from present-day pop stars and sports heroes to political figures or icons from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Even with social media, it’s a wise idea to book a professional photographer for your event. Not only will attendees flock to your website and social media sites to view the official event pictures during and after the event, but they will be more than happy to share them! An official event photographer can also increase brand awareness by using an event backdrop that includes event branding, logos and sponsors.
Photographers can easily fit into your theme too through cosplay. Some professionals simply mix with guests and take flattering pictures throughout the event; others incorporate drone photography. You can book a ‘Polaroid’ camera photographer or a group of ‘Fake Paparazzi.’ With a professional photographer, you’re guaranteed that everyone and everything of note will be captured as you can give them instructions ahead of time.
Event planners can even get guests to serve as their own ‘official’ photographers with a ‘photo table’ that includes cameras, a photo wall and props to encourage plenty of happy snapping. You just know that a good many of the dozens (or hundreds!) of photos are going to end up online!
Interactive Musicians and DJs
As guests become more technology and social media savvy, so do performers. There are now a variety of different musical acts and talents that will take live requests from attendees at events via social media.
This new wave of musicians and DJs offer event planners a truly interactive experience that people will not only enjoy and appreciate but want to share! Social media-style jukebox entertainment includes DJs and musicians who will respond to song requests that are tweeted live. Everyone knows when your jam comes on, you have to get out on the dance floor.
Alternatively, a silent disco is great fun!
Interactive Graffiti Screen
Capture your guest’s imaginations with an interactive graffiti wall. They’re fun to use, don’t require any talent, and attendees will love sharing their artistic creations via social media! There are also branding options for graffiti screens, which will ensure all those shares are attributed to your event.
A great icebreaker, interactive graffiti walls are a popular option for Corporate Events where attendees are encouraged to mix and mingle. If you’ve booked an official photographer, make sure they are on hand to snap your guests’ artwork.
Forget pens and paper, this is caricature art for the new media age! Digital caricaturists are one of the most popular options for events that require walkaround entertainment incorporating technology. Not only will guests want to tweet or post their personal portraits, but the artist can also email the caricatures to attendees or post them live on company social media sites. You can even build a digital wall of all of your “characters.”
Artists can also include logos, scenery, imagery or even products in the pictures to help reinforce event ‘messages’ or a particular brand.
3D Light Artist
One way to ensure that your event receives plenty of exposure on social media is to book ‘wow factor’ entertainment that attendees will just have to shout about. 3D light art is innovative enough that it will definitely be a big talking point during and after the event; ensuring that attendees take to social media. The performer can even incorporate company logos to reinforce your brand.
A 3D light artist is a futuristic entertainment for forward-thing event planners who want to create a memorable event for attendees. This form of entertainment is enjoyable to spectate and just begs to be live-streamed. The artists can create landscapes, portraits, or branded objects while the audience watches.
Mobile App Characters
It doesn’t get more new media than walkaround mobile app characters with social media logos on their heads! These walking performers can also entertain the crowds by playing music, telling jokes, or rapping. This entertainment reinforces the ‘share’ message at your event.
Amaze Your Guests
For those that want their event tweeted around the world – and where money is no object – unique entertainment with a serious ‘wow factor’ will guarantee maximum social media exposure if you get it right. There are plenty of amazing and unique acts and shows that will fit your audience.
An example of the power of good entertainment is the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Premiere in Berlin where a lightning show was booked to perform. A video of the Lightning Rider performance was tweeted by one of the stars, Jamie Foxx, to his 3.7 million followers during the event.
That’s big exposure but you don’t have to have a celebrity tweet you. A big display will garner big shares if it resonates and entertains your audience.
Many event planners now strive to ensure that their event receives maximum exposure on a range of social media platforms. This is easily done with the right marketing and the right entertainment. Give them good content and they’ll want to share. But it never hurts to remind them with the frequent posting of event hashtags.
But what if you have your heart set on your entertainment going viral or worse yet….what if you’ve already promised your client it will? While you can never guarantee anything will go viral (who knew a mom in a Chewbacca mask would kill it or the color of a dress would be so in question that it would break the Internet?), there are a few things you can do to get your entertainment unique positioned for virality.
How to Use Entertainment to Make Your Event Go Viral
As an event planner, whatever the occasion, don’t underestimate the power of event entertainment. It can attract attendees, create audience satisfaction and increase brand exposure in a big way. That’s why product launches often have big budgets allocated for entertainment. The right performers or shows can be used to create a ‘buzz’ and capture the audience’s imagination, resulting in a company product or brand getting plenty of exposure.
With some clever thinking and some great entertainment, your next event could go viral, giving your business or organization increased brand awareness to a wider audience. If you get it right people will be talking about your event for weeks to come, ensuring continued exposure for your organization or business.
Go Back to Basics
Start with the basics and utilize your social media networks to maximize your event exposure, in particular, the elements of your event that your friends, business associates, colleagues and acquaintances will want to share; like a surprise, unique or simply ‘wow factor’ moment.
Keep in mind the visual impact of your event. The popularity of visual media is HUGE and this is one of the reasons brands use social media to reach a wider audience. Videos and photos are becoming more important across all social media platforms and that’s why Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram users are growing rapidly. Make sure that you are prepared to take plenty of good-quality photos and videos of your event and the entertainment to share during the event and afterward. Done well, you should have content for weeks after an event.
Think Big and You’ll Get Big Results
Think of success stories where entertainment has been used in order to create a viral campaign for an international brand and you might come up with quite a few examples that could be applied to your event entertainment.
For instance, T-Mobile UK. Flash Mob dancers performed in one of London’s busiest train stations as part of their ‘Life’s for Sharing’ campaign and, to date, the video has had over 41 million views on YouTube on their channel alone, not to mention all the shares and posts on other channels as well.
Although this is an example of a big-budget brand campaign, it gives you an idea of how visual and creative entertainment can be combined to help an event go viral and to maximize brand awareness. As an event planner you may have a much smaller and more realistic budget available for your event, but the principles are the same. Do something really amazing, and people will want to share it!
Increase Your Chances of Going Viral
You need to be innovative and original and create an event that people are going to want to share on their social media networks. People will want to post and share your event if it evokes strong emotions; be it surprise, excitement, awe or amusement! If you use an act, a show or a performer that is so unique that people are stirred to feeling amazed or surprised, then they are going to want to share their experience with others.
In most cases, it isn’t an accident that an event goes viral. There is usually a clever marketing plan behind most viral campaigns. To increase your chances of creating a ‘viral event’ you might want to create a plan of action, to include these basic tips:
CHOOSE ENTERTAINMENT WISELY
First off you need to book the right entertainment that will get people talking about and sharing your event. Talk to peers and colleagues for inspiration, or an event entertainment specialist to find out about the newest acts and performers guaranteed to amaze audiences.
BUILD EXCITEMENT BEFOREHAND
Create ‘buzz’ around your event beforehand by blogging about it and posting to social media. You might even want to tease your audience about the ‘surprise’ or ‘wow factor’ element to create suspense.
INVITE PRESS AND INDUSTRY INFLUENCERS
Invite the press to cover the event, or send out a press release with plenty of photos/video showcasing the entertainment immediately afterwards describing its uniqueness. Many event planners will also personally invite industry influencers and other pundits to help ensure there’s talk about the event and its entertainment.
MAKE SHARING EFFORTLESS
Don’t forget your attendees! They can play their part in helping your event to go viral by taking their own pictures and videos to share. Ensure they are aware of the event hashtag and monitor social media streams so you can amplify whatever it is that they are sharing by retweeting, commenting on it, and sharing it on your own channels. What others say is more valuable to those not in attendance than what you say as a marketer or event planner.
BLOG BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER
Blog about the event on your site and other industry news pages, with accompanying visuals. Use video of attendee reactions as well.
NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR QUIET
Create plenty of ‘hype’ and excitement around your event and the entertainment while there is still a buzz about it.
Entertainment that People Want to Share
So, what sort of entertainment will ensure that an event goes viral? People will want to share or talk about something they have never seen before or an act that is so impressive it leaves them spellbound. This may sound like a big ask or a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be 400 flash mob dancers choreographed to perform in London’s Liverpool Street Station (as in the T-Mobile campaign).
Taking people by surprise (in a pleasant way) is one sure way of getting people to talk about your event online, but just as effective is inspiring them too. When the electricity harnessing Lords of Lightning performed at a festival in Belfast years ago, the subsequent video that was posted on to YouTube by an audience member received over 6 million views.
In 2014, the Dubai Shopping Festival booked a vertical fashion show to perform on the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, with the aim of reaching a wider international audience and raising the profile of the event. As a result, the event was broadcast around the world and reported widely in the global press. A great example of how a unique entertainment idea captured the imagination of people around the world and gained maximum exposure for the annual event.
When it comes to main events entertainment, you needn’t come up with something that’s never been done before. You just need event entertainment that is new to YOUR audience. That’s one of the reasons knowing your audience is so important. With today’s events, good main entertainment will live on well past the actual performance. These examples used in this article are still getting hits and views on the Internet and your event can too if you choose your entertainment wisely with a mind on budget and eye on novelty.
Now onto you:
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