The event business is teaching me a great deal about the ability to bring high-quality entertainment to a diverse cross-section of companies, associations, and organizations. One key theme I have learned about and heard repeatedly from event planning professionals, is the desire for unique, memorable, compelling, and experience based entertainment. There is a constant searching out of the special and inspirational that makes an impact on people. I completely resonate with that desire and it’s exactly the core of what we aim to provide with Songwriter City. The challenge, we find, is to get those decision makers who are wanting an out-of-the-box experience to actually move in that direction. It’s the paradox of desiring something original, but not committing on follow through because of lack of familiarity.
Authentic songwriters-in-the-round events are never easy to describe in detail because the concept doesn’t fit into the typical and tried entertainment box. If something has been done thousands of times, there’s a very high familiarity with it and it’s easy to squeeze down into a sound bite. However, if it’s specialized and original, it will likely be somewhat unknown to the masses. To bring audiences something they may have never been exposed to before may result in them never hearing of it before either, but isn’t that a byproduct of discovering new and inspiring entertainment?
In general, if you’re genuinely committed to crafting a true experience for your guests and considering an unfamiliar option, it is essential to do the worthwhile research including, but not limited to:
- Go see it in person if possible. Nothing is better than being in the room while it’s happening and watching the audience react in real time.
- Seek out testimonials. Contact some of the past clients and have a conversation about the experience and the impact it had on them.
- Ask the entertainment supplier for more references and testimonials if necessary. If they are as good as they say, they will gladly provide whatever they can.
- Understand that video of a show doesn’t necessarily translate adequately, especially experience based and audience interaction type of events. It only tells a portion of the story and doesn’t capture the feel and emotion of the event.
There’s always an inherent risk in putting on any special event; with venue, catering, transportation – everything. Entertainment is no different, although it’s widely considered to be what most people will take with them after the event, and if it’s a stellar experience, will remember for a very long time to come.
It’s understandable to be cautious in planning a special event, but don’t let it limit your creative vision of what is possible in crafting a one-of-a-kind experience.