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Entertainment 101

Posted on December 08, 2008

As the producer of the Water Coolers, we’ve done hundreds of shows in theatres, and at conventions and corporate meetings. Our singing comedy group uses original songs and song parodies about what people talk about around the water cooler—from the last few episodes of “American Idol” to the hassles of business travel or office technology.

We’ve performed indoors, outdoors, and in all types of venues, working toward all types of planner goals. Our staff includes Broadway talent, professional composers, and professional comedy writers, including a creator of Tony n Tina’s wedding—but we have writers who keep their day jobs, too. Since our founding in 2001, we’ve had the privilege of working with some of the best event producers in the business, and they’ve taught me that the most important factor in getting top ROI with corporate entertainment is this:  Manage the audience dynamics.

The best planners I’ve worked with understand that the audience has a different personality than one attending a training session. The atmosphere in the room could combine a party, a dinner, a Broadway show, and a sales presentation. Because of all these different atmospheres, the key is to provide the audience with many cues on how to act and to react, and to recognize that everything in the room plays a part in managing the audience dynamic. Ignore that reality and the money you’re spending on entertainment won’t go as far. It’s a good policy to ask your entertainment provider what room set up supports them.  If they don’t know, I’d consider that a red flag.

This week, we will look at how to make the most of your event entertainment. Tomorrow: How to ensure your room setup and timetable help make the entertainment a big hit.


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