Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Another Set of Reasons for Using Entertainment in Special Events


A novel and frequent use of entertainment in events is as decoration. The performer(s) take on the persona of decorations that can be either stationary or moving, interactive or inactive. Costumed living statues, interactive entertainers (e.g. stilt walkers, mimes, dancers, and others in themed costumes who move amongst guests anywhere but on a stage), and look-alikes are typical of decorative entertainment. Figures 1 and 2 are representative of extremely novel interactive, but decorative, performers.

My company produced many events using this form of entertainment. At some, we placed dancers in spotlighted statuesque poses amongst tables as guests entered an event space. Once all were seated, the dancers then gradually came out of their poses and began an introductory dance routine. At another beach party event, we actually hired bodybuilders to pose and lift weights as if on “Muscle Beach.”

Figure 1: Example of Dancers as Decoration (Photo by Photo Tech, courtesy of Event Solutions)

Figure 2: Example of a Performer as Decoration (Courtesy Designs by Sean, www.designsbysean.com)

Announcing, Introducing, or Advertising

For this use, performers may announce, introduce, and advertise people, products, services, and activities. These reasons are lumped together because the concept for each is similar. Some examples best illustrate this concept:

  • Celebrities as masters of ceremonies
  • Herald trumpets to sound a call to dinner, to introduce another segment in an event, or to draw attention to a speaker (Figure 3)
  • A personalized video greeting from a celebrity or from an automated talking head as part of a product introduction
  • Strolling “robots” used at a trade show to draw attention to a particular booth or product
  • A magical “reveal” created by a magician for introducing a product or person
  • Fireworks at midnight used to “introduce” the New Year.

Perhaps the best results occur when producers get creative with “off-the-wall” concepts. Here are some examples from my own personal experience. 
  • We once introduced a new Vancouver to Boston airline service by photographing a Paul Revere character riding a horse in front of a taxiing 747 while holding a huge banner announcing the service.
  • One of our clients (a gas company) made the front page of the local newspaper when we dressed up two actors as a new baby and Father Time and had them lighting a giant 15ft tall gas torch like an Olympic flame (it was an Olympic year), just before New Year’s.
  • For the introduction of a version of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator computer program near Christmas one year, we provided about a dozen Santa Clauses all playing the game at a bank of computers, an advertising gimmick that successfully drew a lot of attention and garnered press coverage.
  • A new dollar coin was introduced using an 18ft diameter flying helium “space ship” inside a convention center ballroom that made a surprise entry flying over the heads of assembled guests and dropping a giant replica of the coin onstage to a VIP speaker who proceeded to make a speech about the occasion.

Figure 3: Example of Trumpets and Horns Used to Announce or Introduce (Courtesy Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, www.calgarystampede.com)

I'll cover the last reasons for entertainment in the next post.

1 comment:

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