Discover the best entertainment ideas for events that surprise and delight attendees, delivering a memorable experience.
Often overlooked by organizers, entertainment at events can push the attendee experience to the next level. With exciting activities or shows, entertainment makes events fun and keeps attendees engaged during the entire event.
Also, entertainment shows can be one of the prominent talking points during and after your event.
Fittingly, entertainment is not limited to in-person events but is suited to the virtual and hybrid format. In fact, entertainment can be more personalized in virtual events. Organizers can offer content tracks with different entertainment options, giving more choice to attendees.
And, if you are hosting a team-building event, entertainment is not only a bonus. It is an essential part of the occasion, serving to strengthen bonds and boost up employee morale.
Nonetheless, entertainment breaks need to compliment your event programming. Keep your overarching event objectives in mind, and consider whether the entertainment fits your event brand.
Additionally, analyze your audience demographics and psychographics, considering what they would like to experience as entertainment. Ask your event audience directly, with pre-event surveys guiding you in deciding entertainment ideas for your events.
To help you decide between the vast array of options, we outline here some of the most popular entertainment ideas for events that are sure to surprise and delight your attendees.
How do you entertain guests at an event?
Caricatures and sketches
Firstly, hiring a caricaturist is a fun entertainment idea for events, as attendees typically love seeing artists producing work in real-time. Added to that, it will give many attendees something to hold on to and share with other people.
Alternatively, consider hiring a virtual sketch artist. The artist can sketch your virtual event session live, visually delivering the key ideas and takeaways and keeping your audience engaged.
Live music and DJs
Then, putting on music performances with live bands or DJs is a classic entertainment idea for events.
Certainly, they are a sure-fire way of cheering up a crowd during event breaks or after the occasion.
If you host virtual events, you can think global and introduce attendees to regional music cultures or genres. For instance, a bossa nova band – a Brazilian music genre – can add some flair to your event and surprise attendees.
A comedian can provide much-needed comic relief to your event, making the atmosphere feel more friendly and relaxed.
Whether in between sessions or after the event, a comedian will bring some playfulness to the event, and attendees will always appreciate having a good laugh.
Magicians and mentalists
Magicians can prove one of the most attention-grabbing entertainment ideas for events, as they are intriguing and can easily captivate an audience.
Likewise, mentalists can deliver a mysterious and interactive experience, involving audience members, performing mind readings and illusions.
In a similar line, a fortune teller is a sure entertainment hit among event attendees. If you are hosting a virtual event, worry not! Fortune tellers like Amelie Appleby can read palms remotely and leave your audience feeling surprised and optimistic.
Photo booths are another popular entertainment idea for events among both organizers and attendees. They add stylishness to events while providing a beautiful backdrop for attendees to capture the occasion as soon as they arrive.
And they aren’t limited to in-person events, as organizers can also set up virtual photo booths. Additionally, attendees can customize their selfies with various virtual backgrounds, and organizers can overlay their event branding.
A mixology class is a creative way to delight attendees during your event with an interactive experience that they will remember.
Consider hiring a mixologist who is an expert but also a great entertainer like Rachael Green, so attendees learn how to make delicious cocktails and enjoy a fun virtual event experience.
Virtual city tour
For travel enthusiasts, a virtual city tour is a perfect entertainment break at virtual events.
Guided by a local, attendees can enjoy the highlights of a city like Barcelona or New York from the comfort of their homes.
Food and wine experiences
Food and wine experiences are fantastic entertainment ideas for events, strengthening relationships between attendees in a laid-back moment.
For instance, you can set up a virtual wine tasting experience, whereby you ship exceptional wines to your guests and taste them together.
Otherwise, you can offer private cooking classes, with a professional chef teaching your attendees how to make dishes like tacos or paella.
Or, to make your event stand out, you could offer flavor exploration experiences, where attendees discover their flavor profile and learn what makes the taste buds tick.
Games and contests
Finally, setting up gamified competitions or playing games is a great way to energize and motivate your audience. From trivia to scavenger hunts to immersive escape rooms, playing games can light up the mood and strengthen bonds with attendees.
What to do at a corporate party
While a corporate party may sound like a dull affair at first, there is no reason why it should be. The corporate crowd may be tough to please, but there are plenty of ways to ensure attendees have an incredible time.
Event organizers can set up activities to deliver amazing corporate parties, such as playing interactive games, participating in a mixology class, and taking fun pictures at a photo booth.
No matter your choice of entertainment, create an atmosphere where guests can temporarily disconnect from work tasks and enjoy a great occasion.
Furthermore, set up opportunities to mix and mingle where people get a chance to know each other. In that sense, a networking roulette is your go-to tool, where attendees can get connected in speed-dating style encounters.
If you’re hosting a virtual event, check out our list of fun virtual events ideas for events and team meetings.
5 tips for organizing corporate event entertainment
1. Know your audience
First of all, understanding your event audience is paramount. Information about your attendees’ age, affinities, interests, hobbies, or fandoms can give you essential insights into what they likely appreciate as corporate event entertainment.
Additionally, keep your crowd size in mind. For large crowds, live music or stand-up comedy may be the best option. Smaller groups will appreciate more interactive activities, where people can get to know each other and actively participate in a game or show.
2. Think outside the box
Then, don’t be afraid to experiment. Get creative and think outside the box. What can you offer that will astonish your guests? Going for formal corporate events entertainment can be appropriate but consider Going Beyond the norms—surprise attendees with something they have never experienced before.
3. Get attendees involved
Besides implementing a creative mindset, think about participatory event entertainment. Indeed, involving your attendees as participants rather than mere viewers will make the occasion more engaging. Your event will turn from just another corporate affair to a memorable experience.
An excellent way to make your corporate event interactive is playing trivia games, including questions covering corporate event culture or knowledge about your company. Alternatively, you can invite guests on stage to share their personal stories or participate in a magician’s act.
4. Prepare food & drinks
One of the main reasons people attend corporate events is the foods and drinks on offer. So, plan accordingly, and offer quality food and beverages at your event. Importantly, be mindful of the different food preferences and allergies your attendees may have. To make it easier, ask your guests to provide this information on your event registration form.
5. Assess timing and budget
When you plan your event entertainment, weigh your event timing and budget in your decision-making process. The entertainment ideas we have listed here can differ widely in terms of pricing. Before committing to a costly choice, get several quotes from entertainment companies and assess a range of options within a realistic budget.
If you’re unsure about building an event budget, read the event budget step-by-step guide for virtual and hybrid events.
Event planning is not rocket science, however it requires time and research to be done right. Entertainment is one of the most important aspects of planning good events, and planning your entertainment takes time, money and effort. There’s more to it than simply having fun; the entertainment should fit the occasion you’re celebrating.
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