6 Things You Need to Know to Find Perfect Corporate Entertainment

The wrong entertainment can ruin an event and, worse yet, project the wrong image about your organization. The right entertainment creates a positive buzz among participants and a favorable impression about your company or non-profit.

How do you tell right from wrong when booking entertainment? The more you know – both about your event and the talent available – the better off you will be.

1. Know your objective.
What do you want your event to say about your organization? Do you want to come across as cutting-edge and daring, or is a more conservative image more appropriate? Choose entertainment that reflects the right image for your company.

2. Know your budget.
Entertainment can run as little as $500 for a local act, to well over $1 million for nationally-known talent. Don’t waste time pursuing entertainment that you can’t afford. Set a budget to narrow your choices.

3. Know your audience.
Is your audience young, older or a combination? Is it mostly men or women? Will couples be attending, or will you be hosting a crowd of co-workers? Do you want to book an act that will encourage dancing? Will people be relaxed and in a partying mood, or will they be more sedate and professional? If you understand your audience demographics and mindset, you can avoid booking entertainment that might annoy, offend or even bore participants.

4. Know your theme.
A 50’s sock hop or a disco ball can be a lot of fun, but your audience may not want to listen to 50’s music or disco for the entire night. Pick an event theme that is broad enough to accommodate entertainment that appeals to a wide range of tastes. Use décor to create your theme. Better yet, select the perfect entertainment first and build a theme around it.

5. Know your production costs.
You may be able to afford the talent, but can you afford the cost to produce the show? Many people overlook or may not be made aware of additional expenses associated with lighting, sound system rentals, union regulations, insurance, overtime fees, and stages when they book an act. Make sure you know all your production costs and budget accordingly.

6. Know when to hire a pro.
A talent agency is often the fastest – and most economical – source for entertainment for an event. A talent agency can quickly connect you to the best acts in the business and help you choose entertainment that will be right for your event. Talent agencies with experience booking national acts have the expertise necessary to negotiate contracts and, even more importantly, hospitality and performance riders. They can make sure you don’t end up paying for non-essential or duplicated expenses. Talent pros can also clue you in to hot entertainment trends or less expensive routing dates on a specialty act that might turn your function into the “event of the year.”

Dave Tapley is president and owner of Tapley Entertainment, a full service entertainment booking agency headquartered in Coppell,Texas. For more than 15 years Tapley Entertainment Inc. has provided a variety of national acts, entertainers, and musical attractions for corporate functions, private events, and charity fund raisers nationwide.

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Entertainment Center Plans

If your idea of relaxation or recreation is watching TV, listening to music, reading books, or browsing the net to your heart’s content, then a perfect home entertainment center is an answer to match your lifestyle.

Although there are various styles and designs of home entertainment centers on the market, getting a custom-made one has its own advantages. Scarcity of space is a common malady facing modern homes, so it makes sense to buy a custom-made entertainment center. Otherwise, buying the existing ones can give your home a cluttered look.

To get a custom home entertainment center made, you need to first take the dimensions of your components and also measure the space where you plan to put the entertainment center. This also means that you also have to decide upon the components that you are going to put on the center.

Apart from the audiovisual equipment, you may also plan to keep photos, games, and books in the entertainment center. Also, with the dizzying array of technologies and complexities involved with the TV, CD/DVD, and PC you need to keep in mind their set-up and wiring.

You should also keep in mind that all electronic equipment produces heat, which can damage circuit boards and microchips within the equipment. This is all the more important while deciding upon the cabinets and whether they will be with or without doors.

Also, you need to consider if your TV or CD/DVD players work with remote controls. If the doors of the cabinets are made of solid wood, then the remote will not be able to work.

If you want to show off your stereo or collection of books, then you can consider opting for shelves with glass covers. Also, be careful about the design of the cabinet that you choose. This is because technology keeps changing rapidly and if you go in for a replacement for any equipment, it may not fit into the space you have created.

Finally, do consider the décor and furnishings in your home and where you wish to place the entertainment center- in the drawing room or the living room.

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Entertainment Centers

Home entertainment centers serve the dual purpose of optimizing space utility and providing room for all electronic equipment to be kept together. Apart from the electronic components, you can also keep additional items such as books and decorative pieces.

The focal point of any home entertainment center is the TV. This means that while deciding upon the entertainment center you wish to purchase, you need to keep in mind the size of your TV. The size of the TV can range from a 29-inch screen TV to a room-spanning home theatre system.

Your decision of the type of entertainment solution you purchase will depend on this. For example, if you have a home theatre system, you cannot think in terms of a corner entrainment system. In fact, your best option would be to buy a system that aligns to one of the walls of your living room so that it serves as the anchor point around which the rest of the furniture of the room, including the sofa, is placed. Then there should be adequate provision for wiring it to the full-bodied surround-sound speaker systems to get the complete theatre effect.

The wiring should be arranged so that it is not on display. The arrangement of speakers is also very important. This is because they sound different depending on where they are placed. Even a small displacement can make a difference. For the best possible effect, you should place the speakers near the wall.

TV entertainment cabinets, though a relatively new concept, are fast gaining popularity so much so that a TV cabinet is now the primary cabinet for any home entertainment center. The size of the cabinet you choose will depend upon the size of the TV. If you choose to buy a closed-door entertainment center, you can choose between glass doors or wooden doors for your cabinets.

If your TV operates with a remote control it is better to opt for a glass door TV cabinet, otherwise the remote will not be effective. Then again, you must keep in mind that the design of the TV cabinet is such that heat should not collect because it can ruin the sensitive circuits on the microchips of the components.

TV entertainment centers come in both metallic and wooden designs. Apart from keeping the TV, these centers also have the provision for other electronic equipment such as a PC, CD/DVD player, and also storage spaces for CD/DVDs, books, and decorative pieces.

All said, TV entertainment centers are a perfect solution to storing your equipment and showing off your electronic assets in a distinctive but aesthetic way.

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Wedding Entertainment: How To Choose and Use A Magician at Your Wedding

This article will tell you what you will need to consider when hiring a magician to entertain at your wedding. It helps you to consider when you can best use a magician in your order of events, and how to go about selecting a good magician for your wedding.

This information specifically relates to hiring a close-up magician to entertain the adult guests at your wedding. Some magicians specialise in entertaining children, and this can be a great way to keep children occupied throughout the speeches. However, these performers tend to be a lot more readily available, and a bit of asking around will help you source a good quality local childrens entertainer at a reasonable price. Similarly, some magicians specialise in stage presentations, but this sort of presentation is very rarely appropriate for a wedding, and the more ambient style of close-up magic is more generally suitable.

Booking a magician who specialises in entertaining adults is a very different proposition – there aren’t very many about who do it well, and it can be difficult to know where to start. The first thing to consider should be what you want to achieve by having a magician entertain at your wedding, and determine where this can best fit into your order of events.

When To Use A Wedding Magician

Close-up magicians are usually used to provide entertainment at two different points in the wedding day. The first is after the ceremony when the magician can mingling with guests while wedding photographs are being taken. The drinks reception is also usually held at this point, and having the magician perform at this stage acts as an excellent ice-breaker. This can then continue with the magician performing at the tables between the courses of the wedding breakfast up until the start of the speeches.

The other popular time slot is to have the magician perform during the evening. This means that day guests are entertained after the meal and speeches, and any evening guests are welcomed with a little entertainment to get them in the mood. One thing to bear in mind when using a magician at this stage is how the magic will fit with any music you may have planned. Usually most venues have a separate area away from the dance floor, such as a bar area, and the magician can be placed here to entertain any guests who aren’t interested in the dancing, and those who are just taking a break. Or, if there is no separate area, you can have the magician start following the wedding breakfast and perform up until the evening music starts. This helps the day guests to break with the formality of the days events and any evening guests are welcomed with a little entertainment to get them in the mood.

Of course there is a lot of flexibility here and a magician experienced in wedding entertainment will be able to work in with your plans for the day.

Things To Consider When Using Magicians At A Wedding:

Speeches and music are two key traditional aspects of a wedding which should be considered when using wedding magicians.

Speeches: No matter how carefully you brief the best man and the father of the bride to keep it brief, often as not speeches will overrun! Many people find it best to make the speeches a natural start or end point for the magic to avoid paying for the magician’s waiting time.

Music: You will need to consider how your magician will fit in with any music you have planned. Magicians rely on people being able to follow what is being said. Three things can help: having the music at a lower level, having a separate “quiet zone” for the magician to work in, or a large room where one end will be quieter. But if the DJ or Band is expected to be louder, you will get better value for money by changing the timing to avoid a clash.

Where To Find A Magician:

Avoid using a local Yellow Pages or a similar directory to find a magician for your party. Magicians who perform for adult audiences are a rare breed, and while you may get lucky and find that you have a very good magician in your area, the chances are that you will wind up interviewing magicians who are part time and have very little actual performing experience, or magicians who specialise in performing for children and have very little experience in entertaining adult audiences.

Instead, use a web search, or look to find a national directory of entertainers, and cast your net over a good sized geographic base – experienced performers are more than happy to travel to a booking.

Choosing The Right Magician For Your Wedding:

Once you’ve drawn up a shortlist, here’s what to look at before you finalise your choice.

References, References, References!

Cast a careful eye over any quotes from previous clients. Are they from recognised and reputable UK companies and identifiable individuals, or could they just have been gathered from friends and family?
The ability to astonish should come as standard, but you also need to make sure the references show that the magician you book also has the personality to interact with your guests. Look for someone who is more than just astonishing – hire a magician who is entertaining and, moreover, enjoyable to be around.

Experience

Plenty of positive references show that you’re looking at a magician with broad experience. It can be a good idea to hire a magician who has worked UK-wide and, ideally, internationally because this usually shows a depth of experience.
You may also want to consider whether the magician is a full time performer. While there are a number of very good part-timers in the UK who shouldn’t be overlooked, the fact that a magician is a full-time performer will generally act as a good indicator of experience and ability. You can’t always glean this from a website so it’s a good idea to ask.
Look to hire a magician with experience with weddings. For example, some specialise in close up magic for adult audiences in hospitality situations. Others have a more general approach, performing at children’s parties, as a corporate speaker, on stage, etc. Each of these different performing situations requires different skills and abilities, especially when it comes to audience interaction. Be sure that the references that you rely on relate to events and functions similar to your wedding.

Style and manner:

Consider what will work well for you. Some acts are based on poking fun at the audience, but, for a day of celebration like a wedding, consider whether it may be more appropriate to look for someone who creates fun for your guests and maintains a more relaxed atmosphere.
If you are expecting a wide variety of guests at your event, look for someone with references that indicate a breadth of appeal. Conversely, if your guests are quite similar, for example in age group or background, you may want to hire a magician with references that relate to that particular type of guest.

Memberships

It is a good idea to hire a magician who is a member of a recognised international magical organisation such as the UK’s The Magic Circle. The Magic Circle, in particular, insists on members being tested by examination before being allowed to join. However, don’t make membership of such an organisation the sole basis of your decision – this simply indicates a basic level of technical ability. The above information shows how to look at experience, personality and performance style.

This advice was developed by Professional Magician Mark Cairns. Mark is the ideal wedding entertainer to use in the UK, with over five years experience as a full-time performer. A specialist close up magician for adult audiences, Mark uses these skills at corporate events, weddings and private parties, and performs while either mingling with guests or working at the table. Mark is a member of The Magic Circle.

Contact Mark today to talk about how you can make you big day one to remember! Mark can be contacted via his website at http://www.markcairns.co.uk.

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Entertainment Insurance for the Creative Soul

Are you one of those creative people who would rather starve than be caught working a nine-to-five desk job? One who is bursting with imagination and needs an outlet for ideas? One who wants to, or already does, work in the entertainment industry, whether it is the business of filmmaking or producing Broadway shows? If so, you need to consider purchasing entertainment insurance.

Entertainment insurance can be compared to the workplace insurance available to standard, nine-to-five jobs. Entertainment insurance can cover liability issues, as well as damages to or theft of the equipment you, your staff, and your cast use for your entertainment performances. Entertainment insurance can act as worker’s compensation should you, your staff, or your cast become injured on the job, and entertainment insurance can even help cover the cost of production if the injury or illness of you, your staff, or your cast delays further production for a certain amount of time.

You can also purchase additional entertainment insurance that goes beyond just covering you, your staff, and your cast, as well as your equipment and production costs. You can purchase entertainment insurance to cover the cost of injuries and/or damages to audience members and/or their belongings caused by your performance, as well.

Most entertainment insurance policies last only for a specific amount of time, and that amount of time is usually the beginning, the during, and sometimes the ending of your performance. When you purchase entertainment insurance, you need to let your insurance agent know how long the entertainment policy must last. If you fail to do this, your entertainment insurance policy may run out before it’s time, and if an accident occurs, you’re stuck with no entertainment insurance.

Yes, there are many differences between the world of entertainment employment and the world of nine-to-five jobs; however, protecting your workplace, your employees, yourself, and your customers by purchasing insurance is definitely not one of those differences.

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