Corporate Entertainment: A Step By Step Guide

The Company Men - Corporate Entertainment - Banner Photo on stage - Funny Business Agency

What is Corporate Entertainment?

Corporate entertainment is the acts or performers hired to entertain guests at private events held by corporations or businesses for their staff, customers, clients and  stakeholders. Typically the events are retreats, holiday parties, sales meetings, conferences or conventions and customer appreciation events. The size of the audience and event varies. The corporate entertainment is designed to keep guests engaged and having fun. 

An opening general session may include entertainment to create excitement and kick things off with a bang!  Events that include dinner may offer pre-dinner entertainment to provide a nice backdrop for conversation and networking. Awards and charity or gala events, often use entertainment to keep the energy high and the guests very active and engaged. Business or sales meetings use entertainment to create a common bond among the guests.

Corporate entertainment has changed over the years. Historically there was less of a focus on entertainment and more of a focus on food and alcohol. As time passed, employers realized the value of corporate entertainment and invested in it, creating events that were more memorable and enjoyable for their staff. 

To read more about corporate Christmas parties and entertainment from days gone by, click here.

Why use corporate entertainment?

Work is hectic, there is always more to be done than hours in the day. There is email and phone and text and chat, countless conversations vying for your attention. Hours are long. Meetings are plentiful. Add it all up and you have some stressed out employees. Even employees who love their job, their boss and their coworkers report an increase in work related stress. Adding some corporate entertainment for your next meeting or event can help increase morale.

Now take a look at employees that aren’t satisfied – they may not feel appreciated or valued. They may not feel part of the team. These employees are likely to turn over – which impacts your bottom line! Did you know the cost of recruiting, hiring and training a

new employee is quite a bit more expensive than it is to keep current employees satisfied and loyal. Again there is an opportunity to increase employee morale with corporate entertainment.

What are the benefits of corporate entertainment? 

Corporate entertainment events can be used to introduce new products, increase customer retention rate, which impacts your bottom line, they also create networking opportunities, improve relations, position you to be better known in your industry. There are also other corporate entertainment benefits:

  • Good entertainment engages guests
  • Events allow the team to build camaraderie, sharing a joint experience
  • An event with good corporate entertainment makes employees feel valued and appreciated
  • During a good performance at your corporate event, you can bond with your team outside the office
  • Entertainment at an event boosts energy, which increases learning, collaboration and results, making the event a greater success
  • Corporate parties, meetings or events with entertainment boost morale
  • Entertainment builds excitement and anticipation for the event and post-event stories and jokes (allowing you to extend the benefit and value of the event)
  • Hosting a great event looks good when trying to entice new employees
  • Clients will enjoy hearing the stories and will appreciate that employees are valued – it speaks of the positive corporate culture
  • Corporate events with quality entertainment helps build relationships with clients, supporters, volunteers and employees
  • Create an event for customers and build loyalty which will help with customer retention

To ensure that your employees and/or customers have the best experience, you want to be sure you select the entertainment that is best suited for your audience and the tone and ambiance you are planning to create at the event.

What are the best types of corporate events?

The types of corporate events vary, based on the needs of the business. Corporate events can be large and held in convention centers and large hotel conference rooms. They can also be smaller, held in restaurants and smaller event facilities. The best corporate events will offer some type of entertainment and drinks/snacks. That part of the event is also known as corporate hospitality, which is the process of entertaining guests at corporate events.

What entertainment is best for Conventions & Conferences?

Any situation where you have a larger number of people congregating – focused on learning and networking – will benefit from some “downtime” where they can relax. Corporate entertainment is a great way to engage the audience while also giving them a break. It creates good vibes and typically leads to higher satisfaction from event attendees. Corporate entertainment energizes convention/conference attendees.

What is the best entertainment for Award Banquets & Celebrations?

These festive events are the perfect place to host some great entertainment. It increases the good energy, it offers something fun for your guests and it makes the event more memorable – creating conversations that last long after the event is over. Musical entertainment, or magicians and comedians work well at events like this. The high energy of the performer matches the celebratory vibe at the event. 

Why use corporate entertainment at Sales Meetings?

Breaking up a long meeting with some quality entertainment is a great way to ensure the meeting time is more focused and productive. It also shows the team that you care about them having a good time and it’s not all business.

Why offer entertainment at Corporate team building events?

After a day of active physical or cognitive exercises, it is nice to offer some entertainment so everyone wraps up the day feeling relaxed and happy. It’s a final experience for the day that your team can enjoy without any pressure or stress.

What is the best entertainment for Corporate Parties?

Corporate entertainment will make the event more enjoyable and memorable for your guests. Schmoozing over snacks and cocktails is a great way to start a party – and it’s a nice way to cap things off. In the middle, to keep guests engaged and interested – host a comedian or magician. Something unexpected to add something extra to the event. Your guests will love the corporate entertainment and will feel valued and important because you arranged it for the event.

What entertainment is best for Fundraisers?

When you’ve gathered a group of people to ask for money and support you better plan to feed and entertain them! Creating conversations and positive buzz about the event will pay off down the road, when people are clamoring to attend your next event. The best entertainment is often music, to allow them to let loose and dance. Magicians, comedians and mentalists also offer guests a great time and work well in a fundraiser event. Just remember, if you are hosting a silent auction, don’t let it run while your entertainer is performing, it becomes a distraction for everyone.

Do you need entertainment at Trade Shows?

Much like conferences and conventions, you’ve got a group of people that need a break and want to be entertained.  Gone are the days of a lounge singer, in a sparkly gown in the corner. The music was often a distraction that people raised their voices to speak over. A comedian or magician can capture the attention of your audience and offer them a good time. It’s important to schedule the entertainment to stand alone, so the performers aren’t distracted and the guests are free to enjoy it.

What is General Session Entertainment?

Any event that has a general session, whether it be at the start, middle or end of the event, can use that time to offer entertainment to energize and engage guests. A break to enjoy some music or laugh at a comedian or even marvel at a mentalist or magician makes the event fun and a little different for guests. Guests will gather to be entertained and will walk away talking about how great it was.

Should I hire entertainment for Product Launches?

If you are hosting a larger meeting to launch a product, you want to ensure that your guests are energized and enthusiastic. There is no concern about the entertainment detracting from the event. Start the event with your entertainment to get guests fired up. Much like many events have a hype guy to get the audience revved up, your entertainment can set the mood and get everyone jazzed up. Follow it with an informative and exciting product demo and you’ll be sure your event is memorable. 

Can I hire entertainment for an Open House?

A corporate open house is a different type of event as there are often people coming and going. For this type of event, musicians are a great way to go, or you can also hire a roving performer – a magician or mentalist that will work the room and engage and entertain guests. This keeps it fresh and interesting and allowing people to come and go as they need to, but also ensures they have a blast.

The first step in planning your event, is deciding what type of event you want to host. Consider your audience for help in this area.

 Best types of Entertainers for Corporate Events  

To help you better understand the types of corporate entertainment that are available, please review these frequently asked questions.

Seth Meyers - Corporate Entertainment - Funny Business Agency

What are celebrity comedians?

Celebrity comedians, such as Jay Leno, Seth Myers, Wayne Brady, Jim Gaffigan, Sinbad, Trevor Noah, Kevin Nealon and more, are all available for Corporate Events, as well as Fundraisers, Conventions, Annual Meetings, Private Parties, Trade Shows. Celebrity comedians are great when you are really looking for the wow factor. It’s also great to book a celebrity if there is a guest of honor – you can book their favorite celeb.

What types of speakers are available?

There are a large variety of speakers available for events. You may want a motivational or inspirational speaker, or possibly a funny speaker. The type of event you are hosting and your guests will help determine which keynote speaker is best for you. The key to a successful event with a speaker, is to ensure you hire one that is dynamic and engaging. Audiences that are bored, get restless. To be sure the speaker is good at keeping your audience engaged, speak with Funny Business staff. We know all of our speakers and can suggest the one best suited for your event.


Lachlan Patterson - Clean Comedian - Corporate Entertainment -Funny Business Agency

What are clean comedians?

Clean comedians offer material that is fresh, funny and on point. They just keep it clean and audience appropriate. It is a misconception that clean comedy isn’t as funny. Some of the funniest comedians out there keep it clean. These comedians have perfected their art – from the comedy itself to the delivery. 

What types of Musical Acts can you hire for your event?

There is a variety of musical choices for your event. Have you ever seen a musical comedian? Your audience will love it. The venue, if already locked in and audience will play a role in determining what type of musical act you hire for your event. 

Can I hire Variety Acts like the ones seen on America’s Got Talent?

Variety acts are very trendy right now and for good reason. Typically a variety act offers something a little unexpected. With America’s Got Talent so popular, it’s clear that people love to watch other people’s special talents. Those moments when the entire audience “ohhhh” and “awwww” in unison is when you know your event and entertainment are a hit. Talk to us to discover the type of variety acts available.

Are Mentalists good for corporate events?

Mentalists bring surprise, awe and laughter to the event. Audiences marvel at the knowledge and predictions the mentalists make. Mentalists work at various events and venues, as they can perform from a stage or as they roam the room. It’s a good idea to chat with us and let us match you with the best mentalist for your event. Their material may be more corporate, or more about life, family and friends or somewhere in between. We are able to find the one that is best suited to your audience – ensuring the event is a success. 

Robert Strong - Magician - Corporate Entertainment - Funny Business Agency

Why Magicians are good for corporate events.

Whether you choose a stage show or a roving magician, your guests will delight in the illusions – often coupled with comedy. Guests often leave events where they were entertained by a magician and continue to talk about it for weeks. Much speculation on how the trick was pulled off ensues. A magician is always a safe and successful choice for corporate events, meetings and parties.

Ventriloquists – are they still popular?

They’ve been around for a long time for a reason. The allure is not in the puppet. It’s the ventriloquist – they are funny – both with their words and often physical comedy too. The puppet is just a prop that creates added humor to the event. Old can become new again – with the new puppets and modern humor. Ventriloquists are definitely a great way to go when you have a seated audience that are looking for laughs.

Can A Game Show make a good corporate event?

A game show is a great way to ensure your audience gets involved and has a great experience. Game Shows are ideal for Conventions, Trade shows, Sales Meetings, College Competitions and more. Your guests can expect laughs, friendly competition and lots of fun.

Can I use Circus entertainment at a corporate event?

Think Cirque du Soleil type acts – fire breathers, acrobats, aerialists – bright costumes and jaw dropping performances. These performers work well for corporate events, as the performance can be tailored to any audience size. It’s important to ensure you venue can accommodate this type of corporate entertainment. Your guests are sure to be thrilled with the show.

Is a Roast Master good corporate entertainment?

Roasting a boss or office manager is a lot of fun for everyone. A professional Roast Master will create custom material to poke friendly fun at the boss. The jokes will be enough to get everyone laughing but no one will feel truly shamed. It’s all in good fun. Input from the organization will help give material for the Roast Master to work with.

Is a Casino Party good corporate entertainment?

Whether your guests are seasoned gamblers or new to the games, a casino night is a great way to get everyone dressed up and excited for fun. You can hire professional dealers, poker tables, and more. Consider hiring some Vegas-style show girls for some great photos ops at the event. Corporate entertainment should wow and impress your audience. Something unexpected like a casino night will go a long way to accomplishing your goal.

Are Dueling Pianos good for corporate events?

High energy pianists can play almost any song. Dueling pianos play off each other, often adding some comedy to the performance. You can count on a good time for everyone with this act. Corporate entertainment should allow your guests to have a great time and forget business for a bit. Dueling pianos are perfect for your guests to enjoy together as they laugh, cheer and sing along. 

Celebrity Impersonators as a corporate entertainer?

You bet! Everyone loves celebrities. Impersonators make fantastic corporate entertainment. The performers can mingle with the crowd, joking and creating photo ops and even sign autographs. Elvis, Oprah, Trump, Michael Jackson, any of the Royal Family. You can find lookalikes for everyone out there. Surprise and delight your guests with celebrity impersonators. 

Choosing a Venue

There are lots of factors when it comes to choosing a venue for your corporate event. You have to consider budget, location, accessibility, number of guests, seating and layout, menu and more. You can start with the event venue and then look at the entertainment or you can select your entertainment first and then only consider locations that can accommodate your needs. To learn more about event venues, please visit our venues blog post.

Create Excitement for your event

There are a lot of different ways you can generate excitement for your event and increase attendance. Explore our popular post on promoting your event.

Why Work With an Entertainment Agency?

Planning a corporate event – whether it’s a conference, a sales meeting, customer appreciation event or corporate party – requires a lot of attention to detail.

Booking entertainment may be one of the more tedious tasks on the list. It’s because of these complexities that people often use an entertainment agency.

Working with an agency eases stress, saves you time and ensures your event is successful. To put it simply, an entertainment agency has the tools, resources, connections and knowledge to pull of a great event. 

Booking agencies have relationships with talent that make it easy for them to tap into any act you are interested in. Standard acts that you can hire are: 

  • headline entertainers
  • music bands and singers
  • magicians
  • dancers
  • face painters/caricaturists
  • acrobatic acts
  • casino tables
  • comedy acts
  • mentalists
  • jugglers
  • performing artists
  • variety acts
  • And more

All you need is an idea of what you are looking for and the agency can hook you up with the best option for your event. 

When you are ready, these are the steps you will take with the talent agency:

  • Provide details regarding your event – date, venue and estimated number of guests.
  • Determine what type of entertainment you want
  • The agency gets in contact with the performer that is best suited to you
  • Once you select your performer, the agency handles the contract details
  • Leading up to the event, the agency helps you finalize any details 

Corporate Entertainment Options

Your performer needs to address your audience in the right way and also has to be compelling and interesting enough to keep your guests delighted. Your entertainment agency will help you find the performer that is best suited for your goals and audience. 

Protection and Peace of Mind for Your Corporate Entertainment

There are always glitches and unexpected last minute things that pop up in life. You don’t want to let your audience down – so be sure to discuss potential problems and solutions with your corporate entertainment booking agency. Having their help and support if there are issues makes it so much easier than going it alone. 

In summary you can count on professional advice, good organization, excellent pricing, time savings and peace of mind that a professional is handling everything you need to ensure your corporate entertainment knocks the socks off your guests. You also benefit.

A final benefit is that you get to enjoy the event too! With the agency handling the details, you get to sit back and enjoy the entertainment just like your other guests.

Now let’s take a look at what you would be doing if you do plan to book corporate event entertainment on your own, here are some key pointers:

  • Determine what type of entertainer is best suited for your event.
  • Check out the talent by looking at reviews and watching video footage of their performances and of course read their bio. *Keep in mind that a video may be misleading and booking talent without talking to someone about their whole performance can be a mistake. You want someone who has the energy and material to start strong and build as they go. With a video, you risk that you’ve seen the best 10 minutes and the rest isn’t up to par. 
  • Once you’ve selected your entertainer, reach out to their agent. The agent will handle the business details and negotiating the contract. Tip: be concise with your request but be sure you include all relevant details and be prepared to follow up to get it nailed down. Agents get many requests, often from people that aren’t serious or organized. You can make the process easier by knowing what you want and need and clearly conveying it. 
  • Confirm all costs. Keep in mind you are paying the entertainer for their performance. In addition to that, you may have expenses like lighting, sound, stage set up etc.
  • Confirm any special requests – both by you and the performer. Everything should be covered in the contract.
  • Ensure you understand what happens the day of, if there is a problem and your entertainer can’t make it.

Your contract should protect both parties, it should be clear and you should understand all terms.

The process of finding and vetting a performer combined with negotiating the contract can be stressful, confusing and time consuming This is where a talent agency can provide help and save you not only stress and time, but also money.

A reputable agency will know which performer is best for your event and will have a solid relationship with the talent, making the negotiations easier. 

A top rated entertainment agency, like Funny Business has the entire process down to an organized science after all their experience. The agency is an advocate for you, not the talent, so your interests are always protected.

Hosting an event is exciting and when it’s all said and done, you want to know your guests enjoyed themselves and are walking away with memories that will last well beyond the event. Proper planning and the right help will ensure your event is a success. Contact Funny Business today and put our years of knowledge and experience to work for you.

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