5 Reasons Why Corporate Entertainment In Singapore Fails To Entertain
Updated: May 17, 2018
As a professional corporate entertainer for almost 18 years, I certainly have seen my fair share of good events, bad events and GREAT events! Part of the reason why I am fully invested into the corporate comedy magic business is precisely because I know what makes an event GREAT! One of the major factors is of course, the event entertainment.
So here are my 5 reasons why, the regular run-of-the-mill corporate entertainment options you can find in Singapore, just don't cut it anymore with modern and sophisticated audiences. Reason number 3 is a fatal mistake of almost all corporate events!
1. SAME OLD SONG & DANCE ROUTINE
I love a good singer or dance group and I have seen a number of them at events, however finding a fantastic one that can hold the court of your audiences isn't an easy thing to do!
So if you really want to go down this road your best bet is to either hire a celebrity singer or an award winning singer with a great reputation.
Keep in mind though, almost every event we've all ever been to has had singing or dancing at some point, so if you're looking for something unique, you'll have to look elsewhere.
2. CORPORATE AUDIENCES ARE WELL TRAVELED
From my experience, many corporate audiences are well traveled. Of course, when we travel we are exposed to new & unique forms of entertainment along the way, e.g. seeing a play in London's West End or amazing buskers in Europe. It is therefore a little more challenging to meet rising expectations and offer corporate entertainment to a corporate crowd that they haven't seen before. If we don't put enough thought into what we choose as our corporate event entertainment, our audience will be less than thrilled and the whole event will feel boring and flat.
3. DINNER & ENTERTAINMENT DON'T MIX!
So let's say you found the perfect corporate entertainment option! It isn't cheap, but you know your audience will love it...and then during the event...it's almost like your audience barely noticed the entertainment you paid so much for!
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a fantastic performance be completely ignored purely because the event organizers planned it such that the entertainment is done during dinner. Avoid planning the entertainment during dinner, I have seen far too many event organizers make this fatal mistake!
During a buffet dinner for example, people get up to get food, queue and often cannot focus on the amazing performance that is going on. If it is a course by course dinner, then every new course will distract from the entertainment on stage.
The ideal scenario is that the entertainment is done either before or after dinner for maximum impact and let's be honest, as an event organizer you want the best bang for your buck, so planning it this way will ensure you get 100% what you pay for!
A nice option for entertainment for during dinner would be a live band that is playing background music. It isn't a command performance but it can still be appreciated by everyone, especially if they're good.
I know however that in the real world, timing is tight and most event organizers only have a certain amount of time in the venue they booked (normally 4 hours). If that is the case, it is therefore best to plan the entertainment towards the tail end of dinner (closest to or during dessert) so people are better able to focus and appreciate the performance on stage as their bellies are now all full!
4. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Venue is extremely important and pretty much eclipses everything else the corporate event has to offer. It is more important than the dinner, the entertainment, even the entire purpose of the corporate event itself!
Because a bad venue can ruin everything and create an unpleasant audience experience! Price is always the key consideration when scouting for a venue, but apart from price, you'd need to also look out for:
ACOUSTICS - Some venues have very poor acoustics so any music played or any voices spoken over the microphone will either ring out loudly, echo or dissipate before the audience can appreciate it. Ensure an acoustics sound check whenever you are scouting for venues.
SOUND SYSTEMS - You will be very surprised at the sub-par standards of some venue's sound systems. Generally the lower cost venues are guilty of this. When considering the sound system of the venue, a large part of it depends on the number of attendees to your corporate event; the bigger the crowd, the more powerful and stable the sound system needs to be. Ideal speaker locations would also need to be considered so do share your seating plan with the venue representative for the best arrangement. Again, ensure a sound check and listen out for any crackling, static or odd noises over the speakers; as these could be wiring faults or speaker issues. Good news is that they can be rectified when noticed early!
SPACE - Sometimes the venue representative, in their haste to secure you as a client, they will say that the venue would definitely be able to accommodate your number of guests, however just because the venue can accommodate the number of guests doesn't mean that it is ideal. Here's why: once the tables, chairs, sound systems and staging is set up, you will be surprised how some venues suddenly shrink. Ensure to see the venue completely set up before you finalize your decision (perhaps they have a room already set up for some other event you can take a peek at) otherwise, do your best to visualize and always request for a floor plan with suggested seating as well. Keep an eye out for enough free space for walking or movement between or around tables.
LIGHTING - Often ignored, lighting is a crucial part of the event. Generally most venues have decent lighting and you certainly wouldn't need anything fancy like a spotlight for your event, however do ensure a lighting test when you're scouting venues. You'd be surprised that some venues can be a little dim because that is their desired atmosphere but it would be detriment to an awards ceremony or the corporate entertainment you've booked as not many would be able to see much of what's going on. Always ask the venue representative what their lighting options are and see for yourself. These are the smallest things that end up making the biggest difference!
AIR CONDITIONING - Again, another one we take for granted...until it gets too hot for everyone of course! Just like the space issue I mentioned above, venue representatives sometimes focus on space but not air conditioning feasibility. This is generally true for certain function rooms that have room dividers; you can divide the room...but not the air conditioning! So if you happen to have one side of a divided function room, keep an eye out for the number of air conditioning vents or outlets in your space and remember that 100 people in a room can get very hot, very fast! If you have a venue with it's complete dedicated air conditioning, ask the venue representative if all the units are operational; scouting these things early will ensure a smooth (and cool!) event ahead.
5. LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST; LACK OF AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT!
If I can boil down all I have learned over the past 18 years about what makes corporate entertainment GREAT in two words, it's audience engagement! Some of the best corporate entertainment I have ever seen were very high on audience engagement! Sadly, a majority of event organizers in Singapore select corporate entertainment options that do not deliver in audience engagement and as a result, the whole corporate event feels flat and uninspired.
Did you know our attention span has already dwindled down to a mere 7 seconds over the past 2 decades? This makes engaging any audience extremely challenging! Modern & sophisticated audiences WANT to be engaged!
As a corporate comedy magician myself, I have understood this firsthand. In my early years in this business, I always thought it was about how cool or clever the magic trick was, however over the years I slowly realized it was more about getting audiences engaged with comedy, involved with participation and getting them to care through elegant presentation. These are now things I ceaselessly work on everyday to give my clients and audiences the absolute best experience possible!
The nice thing about corporate comedy magic is that it is inherently engaging as an art form by itself! When you watch a good corporate comedy magician, you will notice these things:
NEVER SEEN BEFORE! - An excellent corporate comedy magician endeavors to share hilarious illusions & effects corporate modern & sophisticated audiences have never seen before, or at least add a new spin to a classic effect!
MATURE HUMOUR - A great corporate comedy magician always uses hilarious jokes, one liners & stories that can be appreciated by the mature, modern & sophisticated corporate crowd. Magic is too often seen as a child's entertainment option, however there is an exciting and funny mature aspect of magic as well that few people know about! One that makes any corporate event memorable and immensely engaging!
INCORPORATES YOUR MESSAGE! - One thing that a corporate comedy magician must do is to incorporate your message into the performance itself! I don't mean just printing labels of your brand to stick onto his/her props, but I mean really incorporating your message into their presentation.
If done well, this will echo your message, products or values during the shows so that the performer becomes an extension of your team, message and purpose. Everyone will be 'speaking the same language',this greatly increases audience engagement & most importantly, your audience walks away with your message deeply ingrained in their memory!
These are some of the things that I do my best to accomplish for all my clients. When clients book me they also receive a free event consultation should any client wish to consult me regarding the venue, sound, lighting, event flow, etc. My 18 years of performing experience is at your service to make sure your event runs smoothly!