So you’ve selected the venue and booked the caterer for your event. All that’s remaining is the music. No biggie, right? You can do that as you get closer to the date, no? Well, not so much. Your music sets the tone for your entire event. If you don’t show your event music the respect it deserves – it’s just as important to the success of the event as your caterer – then you could be setting yourself up for an epic fail. Selecting music for events doesn’t need to be a drawn out process. Music (whether it’s background music, party music or even Musak) plays an integral part in your event’s overall theme and the pace at which things unfold.
Selecting the Perfect Music for Events
Think about your attendees. I once attended a reception that was business, networking in nature and I remember the music being a bit more dance/rap in nature. I couldn’t help think that the themed party music didn’t really fit the vibe of the reception. As I stood in a sea of business suits in the packed room I had to wonder why! Why play this type of music for this particular buttoned up crowd. Then I saw two of the event’s organizers rushing around seemingly enjoying the very upbeat tempo. Then it hit me. These 20 somethings must have selected the music and a betting man would put money on the fact it was probably from their personal playlists. So first and foremost – the event is NOT FOR YOU…so know your audience and play to them. You can play your music at 3 am, in the car, when you’re on your way home. (more on that below).
Can the venue accommodate your music needs? You need to know if your venue can accommodate your music needs – think zoning and noise restrictions as well as technical capacity. We once found out, the hard way, when the manager of a venue we were using for a dance event came to tell us that we needed cut the music at 11 pm on a Sunday. Finding out at 10 pm that the dance band must be done in one hour was not the kind of surprise we wanted to hear – the client was not impressed.
Live or tape. Sometimes taped music is perfect for event. And sometimes it’s not. You devoted ample time selecting the venue and the caterer so spend some time on this. Research streaming services that will allow commercial use of their music. Recorded music makes it much easier to program a wider variety of music to suit your audience. Live music can be a draw if the performer/band’s playlist is appropriate for your attendees.
Switch it up (with the same musicians). Need a trio for the reception and then a band afterwards? Well consider using the same musicians for both. You’ll be surprised how this can help your budget and still get you the perfect music for each phase of your event. Many musicians are very versatile and would be more than happy to accommodate you.
Does the music match the event’s theme? Background or Forefront. Get this one right. If networking and conversation is the focus of the event, then tone it down. Turn up the volume for that last big party or if your attendees are celebrating or just ready to blow off steam. Think about what your goals are. And plan accordingly.
Have a Plan B. Stuff happens. Your live entertainment may not be able to make their gig for a whole host of reasons. The power might decide to quit while the trio’s playing. Expect the unexpected and then plan for it. And of course the goal is to never need Plan B but have one. Odds are if you have a backup plan you won’t need it.