Props, lighting, and music create your event’s tone and atmosphere. Often overlooked, however, is the potential effect of walk-around characters and greeters, dramatic dancers, movement artists (think Cirque du Soleil), and other personalities who can reinforce your event goals by helping guests connect to the experience through authentic and human interaction.
While props, lighting, and music blend in to the background as your guests relax, characters and other live artists can create surprise vignettes of entertainment. Here are some specific ideas:
- A simple, choreographed VIP entrance with characters unifies the attendee experience from the start and shows that the boss is willing to play along. This allows your guests to get the message: We’re here to have fun and enjoy!
- Characters can deliver gifts or company information throughout the event.
- With the current popularity of dance-focused TV shows, dancers are a guaranteed hit. All styles work: ballroom, hip hop, break-dancing, or performance dance teams. Short pops throughout the event give it a charge and keep everyone excited for the next surprise.
- Greeters who give a warm welcome can help guests relax: Be sure to bring them up to speed about who you are, who the attendees are, and why you all are there, so that they can customize the experience. (Tip: Your dancers can do double duty as welcome personalities at very little extra cost.)
- Look-alikes: The best ones charge $1,000 to $2,500 for an event and are worth it, because they look, act, and sound authentic. This is one area where, if you can’t afford the top artists, you shouldn't bother. The “budget” level can end up being hoaky—and the last thing you want is guests nudging one another and asking, “Who’s she supposed to be?”
Even if you don’t think you can afford it, reallocate 20 percent of your props and lighting budget and try the human touch. Your attendees will have a richer experience and you’ll get more bang for the buck!