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Creating Expressive Impact Through Event Entertainment

Event Entertainment Header

By: Arzoo Zaheer | Feb 8, 2021

Entertainment is one part of Event Programming; it includes anything that provides relaxation and pleasure to the audience such as performances, education or music.


All though Event Entertainment may revolve around a theme, which is determined by the goals of an event - everything else including design, decorations, sounds and lights, is illuminated by this theme. Entertainment quality depends a lot on how elements of programming function in a well-balanced and harmonious manner. How much impact entertainment is going to have depends on how well it is executed.

Example: The Fundraiser “Bon Voyage International Dinner” was designed by Algonquin College’s Event Management students on behalf of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada to support a Wish Child, Aspyn, who suffered from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The event’s theme was to offer a tour of several destinations around the world by providing relevant entertainment, food and beverages.  

Some entertainment was offered by students who dressed as flight attendants; this tied to the event design concept of an Airplane Flight, repeated with a ticket that looked like a boarding pass and a Welcome Desk that was designed like a Boarding Desk and adorned with airplane models, a globe and a world map. Event decorations included various items from Latin and Central America, North America, Africa, and Asia. Décor complimented the entertainment, which included but was not limited to Carivibe Dancers who celebrated Caribbean culture; Aguila O Sol, a new generation of Mexican-Canadian dance group; and Waqay, a Hispanic-Canadian guitar duo. The above sounds complicated, right! But finding the right performers is the key.


While choosing performers, keep an account of audience needs (psychographics and demographics) as well as your event goals. For larger events, you may want to connect with a reputable local company to get a suitable package. A Music and Entertainment company like PM Gigs provides numerous kinds of services including but not limited to DJs, Live Music, and Headliners. Additionally, you can connect with a speaker’s bureau like Speakers Bureau of Canada’s website to find awesome speakers for a large event—such sites usually have directories that can be searched by using different parameters like industry or topic. Hiring a relevant company* will save your time and money because such organizations are usually well-versed, among other things, in finding the right performers and managing relevant logistics. 

(*Editor Note - Use your MPI Directory to help you source qualified and reputable companies to secure entertainment and other event services)

To help with event logistics overall and specifically with performers, you may wish to use what is commonly known as a ‘Run of Show’ document that outlines the duration and timing of the activities; all team members should have a copy of this document. Prompt Sheets are given to the audiovisual technicians so that they may monitor event cues such as when to alter lighting and background music to signal the start of presentations or comments. Also, relevant guides such as a Site Map and event program should be provided to event volunteers. Furthermore, events—including virtual and hybrid events— will require ample rehearsal timing in advance which will include the stakeholders involved from the events team, MC, and performers before launch.


Technology plays a vital role in providing interactive or immersive environments that derive customer engagement. Given the current environment, two noteworthy mentions are Virtual Event platforms like Zoom; and, Virtual Reality apps such as Moot. These platforms are designed to allow for audience engagement, which is one of the most critical factors that determine an event’s success.


Zoom offers polls and surveys for virtual meetings as well as Q&A panels for webinars. It also lets the host, co-hosts, and speakers share their screens and documents, which is how attendees engage in activities like cooking contests, trivia quizzes, and scavenger hunts. In addition, Moot effectively engages the audience by providing a sense of being next to people and being inside a given world through computer-generated customizable 3D avatars and environments. Attendees engage in various ways such as seeing their achievements, asking questions, and moving inside 3D worlds such as Virtual Co-working or Virtual Breakout.


Incorporating the Art of Storytelling is another way to engage the attendees through Empathy, Neurochemistry, and the Dramatic Arc. Event planners can assist with accomplishing these by ensuring accessibility of various tools like props, PowerPoint or 3D presentations, storyboards, and gamification.


Nowadays there are even sites that plan virtual parties for you. Happily allows you to plan virtual parties from $1,000/hour (USD). You can choose from categories namely Music, Games and Wellness. While booking, you can specify hours, guest range, platform and any special requests as well. It takes around 10 minutes to book a party for up to 200 guests.

Conclusion (2)

In conclusion, in order to have a dramatic impact and captivate your live or virtual audience and event stakeholders, consider the overall picture of event entertainment. To excel, you may need to investigate further and ask probing questions, such as what type of technology or insight do you need for all phases of your event including pre-event or post-event behaviours. Break your tasks down into smaller chunks over a longer period of time.  Your goal should be to create your own tool kit that will help you with the selection process, how to execute your event entertainment to the highest level of production possible and meet your event objectives.

arzoo-headshotArticle compiled by Arzoo Zaheer

Article Edited By: Darlene Kelly-Stewart, Stonehouse Sales & Marketing Services



Arzoo Zaheer Headshot
Arzoo Zaheer


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