This is a tough one. Everyone is entertained by markedly different things; you know this because you’ve stared at one of your friends who was laughing incessantly at things you found horribly unfunny. Unfortunately, you’ve organized this grand event and now you’ve got to keep your attendees happy. Fortunately, you’ve got us! So let’s figure out 3 ways to keep your guests well and truly entertained.
Assault The Senses
If you know me (or have read my previous articles), you would know I love a big word or two. So here’s the big word of the day: gesamtkunstwerk. It’s basically an idea Richard Wagner used to describe opera and translates as “a total work of art”. I’m sure the geeks among you will check that out on Wikipedia; what I want to say here is that this is a concept we can adapt in event planning.
When coming up with ideas for entertainment, don’t confine it to just one aspect of things. If it’s music, for instance, don’t just have a guy on a piano or guitar tucked away in the corner serenading shadows. Pair this with stunning visuals in the form of videography or graphic designs specially worked out to fit into your event’s theme. For every performance, don’t be stingy with details. Try to include as many elements as possible to, as far as possible, create total works of art. Consider your senses and try to have entertainment that works the eyes, the ears, and the brain at least and if situations permit, engage the other senses too.
A pleasant treat of either sight or sound is all well and good. But remember always that humans have a limited attention span and get bored easily. Circumvent this by keeping your guests on their toes with different elements at every turn.
Shock And Awe
That all leads snugly into my second point and that is the element of surprise. It is a bit of a cliché to say that “acting is reacting” but there nonetheless is a lot of truth in this statement. If you think about it, there is nothing harder to act than being surprised. And the very notion of being entertained is linked in large part to suspense. It is what keeps us tuning in to our favorite TV serials or gets us up in arms when someone on the internet gives spoilers away.
“And then she told me the ending of How I Met Your Mother. #sad “ / Source
Use this very human reaction to your advantage and try to introduce suspense and surprise into your event entertainment. Just as people don’t really enjoy doing the same thing over and over and over again, the impact of something unexpected happening always catches the attention. So have this at your events – you could, for instance, reveal a special guest performer of repute that no one was expecting or a twist in the tale of your event narrative. This is bound to have your attendees sit up and notice the entertainment on offer.
It’s time to cheat a little here. A good show leaves the audience feeling involved and actively engaged in it. What better way to reel them in then to actually have them participate. Have your attendees play games either individually or in a large group. Seeing other attendees laugh at themselves and let their guard down is a fast and effective way of getting the atmosphere of the event to where you want it to be. Another way could be involving your guests in the storyline of the event. Have the decisions they make directly affect certain outcomes. When you place the variables in the hands of the audience you make them responsible and give them a stake in the show. Just like every K-drama fan places himself or herself in the plot and emotionally invests in it, the guest at your event, by virtue of his participation, is given very little choice but to be entertained.
Emotionally invested. / Source
The little caveat in this, of course, is that you need a very competent emcee for this all to work. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.
There are just so many ways to keep an audience entertained. Here we’ve tried to outline the basic principles from which you can develop unique and original ideas to play with at your event. I daresay if you keep these 3 simple things in mind when crafting your show, your audience will be in the palm of your hand.