How to get the most for your event entertainment dollar© Michael Neaylon 2010ENTERTAINME is a division of MCME Pty LtdP + ...
Entertainment is a crucial component in any event.Whether you’re looking to inform, affirm, educate or inspire, chances ar...
Entertainment with Purpose.This is the key factor in getting the entertainment mix right on the night - orday for that mat...
Is There an Easier Way?There is! The questions we’ve just asked were about results, or effects. They’redecisions that are ...
The Devil’s in the Detail.Some of those strategy questions you would no doubt have asked already.However, we’ll use them a...
Who is Our Audience?It might sound obvious. In fact, I’m sure it does. However, I’ll share a quick story.We were once aske...
What Purpose Does the Entertainment Need to Serve?   a) The client?   b) The event?   c) The budget?   Answer: All 3Entert...
Why Are We Using Entertainment To Enhance This Event?No doubt you’ve thought of one of the reasons below, but could the en...
What Type of Entertainment Will Best Reach this Audience?Ok. So we’ve identified this audience and we’ve explored some opt...
What Times Will Entertainment Have the Most Impact?There are many variables depending on the event, so here’s a quick chec...
What’s Our Message, What’s Our Theme?The message needs to be clear to everyone involved. Especially the performers, asthey...
How Can Entertainment Enhance and Support the Message?Apart from teambuilding or designing characters to represent the bra...
How Does The Event Environment Affect Entertainment?The event environment plays a big part in the choice of act and what t...
That’s Entertainment!They’re just some of the ways in which well chosen and well crafted evententertainment can add value ...
‘Thank you for your attention to detail and boundless energy.                     The shows were an unblemished success an...
About Michael NeaylonMichael Neaylon is an MC, Presenter, Entertainment Consultant and Presentation Skills Trainer.He has ...
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That's Entertainment

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How to Get the Most for Your Event Entertainment Dollar. Money and time saving event strategies for your next conference or special event.

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That's Entertainment

  1. 1. How to get the most for your event entertainment dollar© Michael Neaylon 2010ENTERTAINME is a division of MCME Pty LtdP + 61 2 9331 8135info@mcme.com.auwww.mcme.com.au
  2. 2. Entertainment is a crucial component in any event.Whether you’re looking to inform, affirm, educate or inspire, chances areyou’ll use some form of entertainment to do it.You might entertain your audience with a well placed story woven throughyour opening speech, perhaps have a prize draw, roast a colleague, playmusic or simply meet and greet your guests with a friendly smile; it’s allentertainment.But what makes event entertainment sing? THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 2
  3. 3. Entertainment with Purpose.This is the key factor in getting the entertainment mix right on the night - orday for that matter. By knowing your purpose, all the other questions can beanswered in less time and to more effect. Questions such as –  What type of entertainment do we need? Roving? Centre stage? Comedian? Magician? Band? MC? A hoax perhaps?  Should we use a star, or at least a name?  Will the audience like it?  Can we put our reputation behind it?  Should the entertainment be funny or serious?  Should we have something written, or just wing it?  How can we make it fun and functional?  What if the client doesn’t like it?  How much should we spend?  How will we know if we’ve achieved the right result? THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 3
  4. 4. Is There an Easier Way?There is! The questions we’ve just asked were about results, or effects. They’redecisions that are far easier to make - and get right - if you have a clearlydefined reason for the entertainment being on the event early on. In shortentertainment strategies such as:  Who is our audience?  What purpose does the entertainment need to serve?  Why are we using entertainment to enhance this event?  What type of entertainment will best reach this audience?  What time will entertainment have the most impact?  What’s our message, what’s our theme?  How can the entertainment enhance and support the message?  How does the event environment affect the entertainment? THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 4
  5. 5. The Devil’s in the Detail.Some of those strategy questions you would no doubt have asked already.However, we’ll use them as catalysts to explore a range of events and theentertainment solutions that support them.There is no one solution. But there are options that suit an event better thanothers. The more informed those options are, the better the strategy and thebetterOk. Let’s go! I was once booked on an event where the Event Manager asked for an act that wasn’t ‘too outrageous’. But itS E N T E Rbe A I N M E N Tenergizing 5 THAT’ needed to T interactive, ! Page and a lot of fun. Many of our acts fall into this category, and can be tailored to do just that, so we
  6. 6. Who is Our Audience?It might sound obvious. In fact, I’m sure it does. However, I’ll share a quick story.We were once asked by an Event Manager to perform an act that was hugelypopular on the event circuit. Our characters were over the top European FashionDesigners. They were funny and fabulous, and had many audiences up dancing inmismatched combos that made the Village People look sedate. Crowds lovedthem.The right crowds. Usually crowds with over 50% women and a few metrosexuals.What wasn’t identified in the brief was that this audience were predominantlyblokes. Beer swilling, fun loving, blokes. 90% blokes. There was no way theywere going to feel even vaguely comfortable up there on a catwalk. To theirabsolute credit, these guys played well. Yet had we known there were going to bethat many guys we would have had it hosted by 2 women playing the charactersor changed the act completely. No matter how ‘hot’ an act might be, if it doesn’tsuit your audience then it’s not a good fit. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 6
  7. 7. What Purpose Does the Entertainment Need to Serve? a) The client? b) The event? c) The budget? Answer: All 3Entertainment needs to fit the brand, the audience and the event. It also needs towork within the confines of a budget. The brief for the character on the left wasfor the Australian Swimming Championships and subsequent CommonwealthGames held in Melbourne in 2006. The character needed to wear a costume thatwas reminiscent of the Aquaman cartoon character and have elements of theswimsuits made famous by Ian Thorpe. Apart from being a ‘cool’ mascot(e.g. not a furry animal), he also had to be a hero, as there was tie in campaignthat encouraged visitors to vote for their favourite swimming ‘hero’. With manycommittees and sponsors involved, ‘Captain Fintastic’ also had to have massappeal, be costumed in brand colours and come in on budget. He did. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 7
  8. 8. Why Are We Using Entertainment To Enhance This Event?No doubt you’ve thought of one of the reasons below, but could the entertainmentfulfil another function on your event? It helps leverage time and talent for greatereffect. On the left are reasons why you might be using entertainment. On the rightare some simple, engaging solutions. Why? How?  Create atmosphere  Character performers to meet & greet / mingle  Award employees  Have MCs pre-tape interviews with nominees, meet and greet on red carpet as Hollywood TV hosts and then host Gala Awards  Direct traffic  Themed characters that accompany guests on the journey between venues.  Have employees sing  Rewrite pop songs to include latest products or the company’s praises services and hold an ‘Idol’ type competition. Use those products as prizes. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 8
  9. 9. What Type of Entertainment Will Best Reach this Audience?Ok. So we’ve identified this audience and we’ve explored some options to what wethink might work for them. How can we ascertain what would really connect with ouraudience?Simple answer: ask.If you can, find out what’s worked with this audience in the past. Generally you’ll findthe most effective results are in 2 categories. They’re either experiences that - 1. Give an audience a familiar experience in a new way. 2. Give a new experience in a new way.For those who like the familiar, see if there’s a recurring activity they like, and wouldenjoy again, then give it a twist. One client recently told me that his fashion industryincentive group loved song and dance routines. Great. All we need to do is find outwhat ways they’ve been delivered in the past and find new ways to give them that.Alternately the audience that enjoys ‘new experiences in new ways’ opens up moreoptions. But remember… beware of blokes in dresses on catwalks. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 9
  10. 10. What Times Will Entertainment Have the Most Impact?There are many variables depending on the event, so here’s a quick checklist toguide you. Some of the cardinal virtues of good timing are -  Have band play sets between  Don’t have roving entertainment meals – and after, of course during dinner  Start strong  Finish stronger  Get people dancing early for balls  Keep them dancing late *  Audiences like a reveal – they  If you do have big revel, don’t give love to see someone or away too much too early – stagger something change acts for maximum effect  Establish your MC as early as  If you’re blending serious content possible to build rapport and entertainment, start serious and then switch to the celebratory.* Dancers and roving performers are a great way to get dancing going. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 10
  11. 11. What’s Our Message, What’s Our Theme?The message needs to be clear to everyone involved. Especially the performers, asthey’re the face of the event and will be literally embodying your message, so thatit sticks.If the message is ‘beating our personal best’, then I’d be setting up a teambuildingactivity that gives everyone the opportunity to do just that. I’d include coachesthat support every single person in that goal, along with a mix of activities thatchallenge both men and women and are somehow relevant to the theme. One ofthe most satisfying experiences of this was a recent event with the theme ‘MissionPossible’.Being bald, I played Doctor Evil taking new sales teams through their presentingpaces to sell a ‘Golden’ product as the ‘Million, Billion, Trillion Dollar’ offering to theother teams. Everyone had to present. Everyone had to perform. Everyone had tobrainstorm marketing ideas and participate, and they did it all with gusto. It wasn’tjust a feel good exercise in team building. It had purpose and was related to theirconference theme, skill set and core competencies.For more on messaging and staying on brand, please check out BrandME. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 11
  12. 12. How Can Entertainment Enhance and Support the Message?Apart from teambuilding or designing characters to represent the brand, there areother simple ways that entertainment can support the event’s message. 1. Script. Have keywords distributed to all performers prior to the event. It might also be appropriate for the band to perform a song associated with the brand. 2. A Good Brief. Take the time to brief everyone on the boundaries of comedy and no go zones. Often good messages are not only reinforced by what we say, but also what we don’t. 3. Costume Colours. We always research the brands we work with to see if we can fit in with their corporate colours. Sometimes it can be simply the colour of the tie the MC wears. 4. Logos. Some acts can even throw laser images of a logo onto a darkened room to give high impact branding at the end of a performance spot. This is great as you have the audience on an emotional high – an ideal time to reinforce brand. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 12
  13. 13. How Does The Event Environment Affect Entertainment?The event environment plays a big part in the choice of act and what that act canactually do once it’s on the event. For instance, stilts can be highly visual butthey’re not ideal for all events. Apart form being restricted by their height, they’realso limited in their mobility and unable to go into a crowd for interaction. That’swhat makes them ideal for openings of parties or festivals. They’re a great photoopportunity. That said, we have a band who do some great jazz routines on stilts,and manage to create relationships with their audiences with the added dimensionof music.Having directed and performed in many event stage shows over the years I findthe ones that work best are the ones we’re called in on early to help with stageconfiguration: especially if it’s in a venue where the stage is being createdespecially for it. When staging is left to the last minute it can be a disappointingresult for everyone’s effort. Yet it’s easily avoided with just one meeting, phonecall or fax of a floorplan early on that goes that extra mile in giving the client theirmoney’s worth. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 13
  14. 14. That’s Entertainment!They’re just some of the ways in which well chosen and well crafted evententertainment can add value to your next event.You might still have other decisions to make, such as whether to source a nameact or star for your event. Perhaps you’re thinking of a hoax, or you’d like to havea centre stage extravaganza. For more complex event entertainment, anexperienced consultancy and agency can make it a seamless experience from briefto bump out.We offer 3 services: 1. Entertainment Agency with a wide network of acts from stilts to dancers, comedians to musicians. We even have a hypnotist and magicians, and for conferences and seminars supply actors for role plays. 2. MCs for that vital connection between the stage and the audience or Speakers with high content presentations for your audience. 3. Support ME We offer a unique creative consultation service that offers artistic brainstorming, fresh ideas and show direction.P + 61 2 9331 8135 info@mcme.com.au www.mcme.com.au THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 14
  15. 15. ‘Thank you for your attention to detail and boundless energy. The shows were an unblemished success and you were the star! Thank you so much.’ Thomas Armati, Account Manager. Staging Connections, Sydney ‘Michael Neaylon is the perfect MC. Intelligent, creative and personable. Spending time to research brands and businesses prior to the event, his performance on the day is fluid. We never need to have any concerns about punctuality, appearance or content when Michael is involved.His ability to dress up and become a character, adds an extra dimension to the events that he is involved’. Alex Austin, James Gordon Workshop ‘Thank you. You were outstanding’. Tanya Finley, Director, Veritas THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 15
  16. 16. About Michael NeaylonMichael Neaylon is an MC, Presenter, Entertainment Consultant and Presentation Skills Trainer.He has over 20 years in the entertainment industry, many of which have been spent performing,designing and marketing events. Michael is the founder and director or MCME, an interactivemarketing, performance and training company that supports you in making your event, yourbrand and your people a success.Share ThisDistribute this freely to anybody you like, as long as you distribute it in its entirety, don’tchange it in any way, and don’t charge money for it.Copyright © 2010 Michael NeaylonDisclaimerThe material contained in this report is general and is not intended as advice on anyparticular matter. The author expressly disclaims all and any liability to any personswhatsoever in respect of anything done by any such person in reliance, whether in wholeor in part, on this report. Please take appropriate legal advice before acting on anyinformation in this report. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Page 16

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