If you’re organising a business event, the choice of entertainment can be absolutely crucial. While the latest pop band might be completely appropriate for some events, when it comes to business ones something a little more formal and respectable is required.
This is where the guest speaker in – or the ‘after dinner speaker’ as the industry defines it. Comedians, television personalities and other well-respected businessmen and women are willing to offer their time to deliver a speech to your party and if you choose the right one, it can go down a storm. Of course, different parties have different tastes and while Frankie Boyle might prove to be an excellent one for that young, flamboyant company, other people won’t be able to stand the sight of the man and will promptly leave when his performance starts. Therefore, the choice really can make or break your event and to help you select the right individual, we’ve noted some key considerations that should play on your mind.
Analyse your audience
The purpose of this post is to highlight the key factors for those planning a ‘business event’, which changes the requirements completely. While the office party would probably love the latest comedian or sketch show actor up on stage, business dinners are much more formal and you should look to place certain boundaries on your choice. This means that even if you have read the reported news about Bob Geldof and his Freedom of London achievement, he’s still probably a risky option considering some of his outright views.Of course, if you are confident that your audience is willing to listen to risqué performances, then you won’t have a problem at all in this regard and your main consideration should simply be making sure that the performance isn’t too boring.
Take into account all of the costs
If you look at websites advertising after dinner speakers, you’ll probably see that many list a fixed fee for each individual. Unfortunately, this isn’t where the costs stop and you have also got to consider their expenses – such as travel and accommodation if they are travelling from afar. Additionally, if you want them to use any props such as a laptop, you’ll generally have to provide this.
Always draw up a shortlist
You might have found the perfect guest for your event, but don’t let that stop you drawing up a shortlist. It’s certainly not unheard of for after dinner speakers to drop out at the last minute, and leave you without any entertainment. In these instances it’s always good to have several backups and while the chances of any being available at short notice are slim, if you can find a selection of local performers who fit your requirements you might just be able to save your party.
Don’t leave everything to your speaker
In relation to a business event, you probably won’t have to prepare your speaker too much as you won’t want them addressing each member of the audience individually! However, if you can at least brief them on what the meeting is about, it will make the performance tick along much better. If there are any humorous stories that relate to the whole party, fill them in on it. Alternatively, if the dinner has been arranged in relation to a company’s new product, perhaps tell the speaker well in advance so they can target some of their performance around it.