Live music and entertainment is the center of most corporate events. Meeting planners often think of the entertainment as an afterthought, or as background. In my many years of experience with corporate gigs, the entertainment seems to be the LAST item booked. What many forget is that the music is why the guests remain in the room long after the last dish is cleared. As a good friend and agent Richie Compton said, “Wow! These table linens and centerpieces are gorgeous! Let’s extend a half hour to admire them a little longer!”
Really? You think that’s what the guests really care about? Sure, many guests want to take pictures of the beautiful room, flowers, settings, etc. to show their friends. These items set the tone for the dinner based on the formality of the settings and linens. But the MUSIC is the underlying theme. The music gets in their heads and actually creates the mood for the entire evening. When an event extends, it is almost 100% due to the entertainment. The crowd wants to feel good and share in the excitement of the evening, and the LIVE MUSIC allows this to happen. Live musicians can read the audience and cater to them. Set lists change in a matter of seconds, and volume can be changed instantly. Body language of the musicians also create a vibe that cannot be created by a DJ or machine.
Even when hired to be background music, live musicians are rarely that. People notice when it’s live, and usually interact with the performers. If it’s a DJ behind a table, most guests do not interact. But put live people with instruments on stage, and people WANT to interact. As a performer, I want to make a connection with each person in the audience, too. We want to make them happy or excited, and we have the power to do so. It’s rare that a guest becomes so excited over the chair covers that they just want to stare at them all night. People want to interact with other people, including live musicians. It’s up to us as the musicians to keep the party going as long as security will allow!