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20 Jun 2017
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Finding a Great Convention Band

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Posted By Gretchen T.

Are you seeking corporate event entertainment for an upcoming business convention? Whether you intend to reward employees or entertain important clients, there is certainly a primary objective for your evening social event. It's important to select a band that can match your objectives and help you create a successful corporate event.

So, what should you look for in a band? Here are 6 tips to get you started.

1. CHECKING THE SONGLIST

A good place to start is checking the band's song list. Most bands post a list of songs on their website, but the question to ask yourself first and foremost is "what kind of music do I want at my party?". Check out the organization of the song list. Does it make sense? Is it grouped by artist, by genre, by decades? Is it focused on the band's original music? For most corporate events, original music is probably not what you have in mind. You probably want a band that covers the popular genre(s) that appeal to your wide range of guests. You might be having a blue-collar good time country music party which can include old and new country songs along with cajun and zydeco music, or maybe you're imagining classy jazz for a sophisticated affair.

2. EVENT THEME

You might be thinking of taking your corporate event to the next level. One way to do so is to host an upper-end awards banquet that rewards top sales associates or divisions. In this case, you might want a Broadway style or Academy Award type theme music. Some companies will really go for the "theme night" (such as James Bond themed entertainment, Dixieland jazz band with classic second line parade, etc.), which can really be a fun way to make "just another business convention" turn into a pretty fun party! The point is matching the band to appropriate circumstances. You may want to consider a band that can provide a wide variety of entertainment. These types of groups are known to play just about anything, anytime and anywhere.

3. CHECK THE VIDEO

After you've seen the song list and decided on the genre of the party, but what does the band look like? Or, what do they sound like? Check their photos and video pages of their website. Do they wear various costumes? Costumes is a term borrowed from the theatrical world, but in band lingo means a wide variety of things. Do they show up in boots to a black tie affair? Do they wear suits and long dresses, or do are they bluejeans/flannel/t-shirts to a formal event? There's nothing that says you can't mix and match these concepts in contemporary entertainment, but don't forget that 1) it's your decision, and 2) you should be aware of these variables as you book the entertainment.

4. ENERGY AND MOOD OF THE EVENING

Remember, the band is a major driver in the night's atmosphere. The band is often on stage all night, and will at some point have the focus of every event attendee (including co-workers and your boss) at some point throughout the evening. The band you choose will also invariably drive the energy of the evening, which is something else you can check out secretly in the videos. You'll want to watch for the general "feel" of the band, but also check out how the crowd is reacting to the band. Is this the one time each year when your company gets to let loose (Sue from accounting can dance all night, Joe from sales will of course get pulled up on stage, Chris will be orchestrating group line dances) or the only chance to have meaningful conversations outside the office (where Bob from the mail center can finally have that one-on-one conversation with the CEO)? It's your choice, but remember that the band makes all the difference!

5. CHECK REVIEWS AND PRESS CLIPPINGS

You're right, no body uses press clippings any more. What an archaic term that has become. But most bands also have their online equivalent called "comments" or "reviews." This is that peer review process that has come to work so well. Are they drawing good reviews on their website? How many followers do they have on Facebook? Are they on other social media sites? Do they have comments or subscribers on YouTube? This is not a tell all or end all decision maker for the band but it will offer you some guidance.

6. LOGISTICS

Be sure to ask the band if they are flexible in terms of set up, break time, green room accommodations, and, most importantly, volume levels. There is nothing worse than a band that won't turn down the volume while people are trying to chit chat and have meaningful conversations over dinner. On the other hand, your party can be a dud if the band can't take the evening to the next level once the crowd has finished dinner and is ready to finally hit the dance floor!

In conclusion, here is a checklist when picking corporate entertainment. Does the band have a profile that includes: photos, video, audio, and song list? Do they have recommendations or reviews from recent customers? Do they seem able to provide exactly the kind of evening you were imagining in terms of dress, dancing, and logistical flexibility? If you take care of all of these variables in advance, you're all set to have a great party that will keep business flowing all year long. Good luck!

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