Corporate Event Entertainment – 5 Things That Can Catch You Out:

With corporate entertainment becoming ever more popular at company conferences and corporate events I thought it quite apt to identify some areas you’ll need to consider when selecting the perfect interactive entertainment for your company event.

Here I will identify 5 things that can catch you out if not considered.

1) The ‘Rider’:

Artists normally have some sort of ‘Rider’, which is an addition to their standard contract. It “rides along” with the original, rather than drawing up a whole new contract to include it. Legally, it’s more generally known as an “addendum”. This ‘Rider’ can cover item such as technical equipment, minimum PA System requirements and lighting, but also some performers make very specific requests for their own comfort including refreshments, meals and specific style of changing / resting areas.

My advice here is to always check if there is a ‘rider’ at the point of enquiry. Ask the artist/s to send this ‘Rider’ along with their quote. Believe me, this will save some last minute panics and any ill feeling later on. An ill feeling corporate entertainment won’t perform as well as a happy one!

2) The Playlist:

This generally corresponds to showbands and more particularly ‘tribute bands’. Chordiem had one experience where our client wanted an ‘Abba’ tribute (quite a common request), but what we had missed was to specifically instruct the band to only play the ‘well known’ hits! As a result we ended up with a whole host of ‘album tracks’ that very little of the crowd had heard of and which, in turn doused the atmosphere on the dance floor.

Another awkward experience we had, was with an ‘Umpah Band’ who turned up for the event and refused to just play for 30 – 45 minutes after dinner (which is what we wanted and thought they were doing) saying that they had a show planned for 3 hours! This became an unnecessary issue to solve on the night creating undue pressure at the event, which could have been avoided. I also believe they didn’t give as good a show to the guests as a result of the mix up. (Silly I know!)

Be specific here with entertainment bands for hire. I have found that on the corporate scene it is best to go with a maximum of 2 x 45 minutes sets or 1 of 60 minutes and ensure you see the song list first. By doing this you will have the chance to make changes before the event or select a different band if they are not willing to play the hits you want.

3) Rehearsal Time Schedule:

This one can catch a lot of organisers out. Most artists including singers, bands, circus performers, gymnasts, magicians and cabarets will be much happier if they have some time to perform a rehearsal and sound check. They will want to do a great job for you, so that you will recommend them to others, so this request is acceptable right?

Chordiem had a circus theme act turn up once who demanded practice on the floor whilst the guests were eating dinner! This would have ruined the surprise of the act as the guests did not know. Obviously it was sorted using another similar sized area in the end, but did cause a small panic on the night!

To avoid this type of situation, ask at the point of enquiry what sort of duration they would require to rehearse their act. Once you know this, schedule a slot within your corporate event programme. You can go back to them and explain that if they would like to make use of rehearsal time, they would need to be there at a certain time. Most artists will appreciate this and feel better performing. If they can’t make that time and you have no other time, then at least you have offered. Some acts are confident enough without rehearsal, but my advice is always best to check.

4) Space to perform:

Depending on the size of your group it may be difficult to get a great view of acts that perform at floor level. To have the performers seen in their best light you may want to consider staging which can vary from 1ft high (which tends to be the most popular and safest to work with) up to many meters, which has a lot more health and safety to the structure with barriers and steps etc…required. You may find restrictions on stage size dependent on your selected venue and in most cases you will need to prop hire this in as an extra piece of equipment. Find out the ideal size (length and width) for the performers early to ensure that you can accommodate this in the selected room at the selected venue.

5) Travel Costs

Performers are notorious for quoting for their act alone and not telling you that they have added travel expenses on top.

This happened to me many years ago with a famous ‘sports personality’ who via their event management agent had quoted a price and we had put this into our client’s strict budget. When we received the invoice, an extra £250.00 was added for travel and time to travel.

Again, this can be avoided by making sure you pose the question at the point of enquiry and check their contract for any ‘additional costs’ which may be posted to you later.

Well I hope this helps you with your planning. In summary a lot of the problems can be avoided by good planning and by ensuring all questions are asked at the point of enquiry. Perhaps create yourself a checklist based on the pointers mentioned here!

If you don’t get the time to research and plan corporate event entertainment for, we at Chordiem after 15 years of experience and over 2000 events successfully organised would be delighted to assist. Simply contact us with you enquiry on 01793 887 632 or send an email request to info@chordiem.com.

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