How many of us have had to endure the mordant despondency of the self-deprecating “comedian” at a corporate event, or found an unlikely ally in our line manager over a joint hatred of the crooning Elvis impersonator that could hardly sing a note? Before we face another slow and painful death-by-After-Eights as we cringe our way through another entertainment blunder, isn’t it time someone spoke up for what really works in the culture of the corporate ‘do?
In other words, how do we pitch things so that no member of a company’s clientele feels embarrassed, or worse, victimised? From comedians making jibes at male nurses in front of an NHS audience, to burlesque performers dancing to the delight of 10 males in a 100-strong crowd, I’ve seen corporate entertainment at its worst. So what are the best entertainment ideas for corporate events?
Life is a Circus
Ah yes indeed. For once, the words of David Bowie make perfect sense: if you really want to entertain staff, think fire-swallowing, tightrope-walking, stick-juggling mayhem. Granted, the risk assessment forms might take a while, but what is lost in red tape will be made up for in audience captivation.
Audiences like variety, so hiring a dance company that performs dances from around the world, for example, will bring an element of taste and culture to your corporate event. Make sure there is an equal spread of male and female dancers, so the event steers clear of objectification – not a way to impress female staff!
You’re having a laugh!
We all love to laugh, but not all comedy is universal. Of course, there is no right to not be offended, but bawdy jokes aren’t always a sure fire way to get the crowd going. Try opting for a few different comedians instead of just one; this allows the event to flow, and brings a mixture of experiences and viewpoints to the fore. That way, there’s more likely to be something for everyone and audience members can find something to relate to.
A good lookalike or impersonator always goes down a storm. Just make sure to do your research beforehand – there’s nothing tackier than a Gaga who can’t dance or a Basil Fawlty with a Leeds accent. Good skit shows are worth paying the money for, and if the person is a dead ringer for someone, the crowd will be like putty in their hands. Again, taste and relevance are key: a take on the cast of Dad’s Army or a Val Doonican tribute act might be your cup of tea, but they might not knock the audience’s socks off . . .
There are loads of entertainment ideas for corporate events, but go with one of these suggestions and your event has a really good chance of being a success.
Rosie Driffill is a freelance writer and professional blogger based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Her work can be found on a variety of popular websites and blogs.
Photo Credit: amos1766