From the word “go”, your event will be skippered by the captain of your ship; your emcee is the one who from that moment on will control proceedings and the one whom the success of your show rests on. Here are some things to consider with regard to emceeing at your event.
To harp on an old tune, the big narrative of your event has to be consistent through every single element. Needless to say, then, this extends to your host. It is therefore crucial that you make a choice based on how well he/she fits into the big picture.
Every event has (or should have) a feel about it. Is it going to be the serious sort with room only for the politically-correct joke that draws polite laughter? Or is it going to be irreverent where more risqué things can be said? Whatever the flavor, find an emcee that fits the atmosphere. You certainly don’t want an inappropriate comic upsetting the bigwigs of your party; and equally, you don’t want a bore sucking the life out of what was supposed to be a fun and lighthearted evening.
One of the easy ways to publicize your event and hopefully draw the crowds in is by engaging a well-known personality to host your show. While it might cost you just that little bit more, this isn’t the worst idea in the world. What you do need to look out for is whether this individual has an image, a record, politics or a history that your company and event is familiar and comfortable with. Take for instance, Ricky Gervais as host of the Golden Globes. I loved it but at the same time I can understand why some people might not. Now that works fine if your event is promoted to be the sort where Gervais’s brand of humor is acceptable; and that is why you have to be careful when considering what sort of personality you want to host your show.
Know Your Crowd
Related to the previous point is the simple fact that every crowd is different. Whether a crowd is an international or a local one, for instance, should seriously affect the way you go about choosing an emcee. A local crowd will give you more freedom in the selection process. A local host won’t give the crowd any concerns with regards to accents, contextual knowledge and using jargon. In contrast to this, of course, these same things may fly over the heads of an international audience who may feel alienated and outcast if most of what is said or joked about seems to exclude them from the proceedings.
Let Them Be
Much of a good emcee’s job is contingent on his ability to live in the moment and be spontaneous. Having worked professionally in this field, I can tell you that some of my best moments (disputable, of course) came in the ad-libbed moments riffing on themes or with members of the audience. As the organizer, then, I would say that the way to get the best out of your emcee is to let him have a free rein. A host who has to second guess himself too much comes across as scripted and for the most part that isn’t what you want.
It might seem slightly contradictory to my last point, but it really isn’t. What you, as the organizer, should do is to brief the emcee comprehensively and completely. Leave no stone unturned and ensure that he/she knows everything at a reasonably deep level. This should include the event, the history of the event, the history of the company, the sponsors, the schedule and the audience. This will give the emcee the security that allows him to build upon this knowledge and deliver a good show. It also ensures that the audience gets the impression that you run a tight ship and every single employee is on message. Not doing this would be extremely negative to your branding.
Your emcee is your mouthpiece for your event. For your audience and guests, he/she is the focal physical representation for your company or brand. When considering what to do with this aspect of your event, these simple ideas should help you achieve what you and your emcee run your event smoothly and successfully!