By Rob Peters & Keith Alan
Let’s turn the clocks back for a minute: It’s the mid 1990s and the economy is going strong. Companies are going gang busters on holiday parties! There are parties Sunday through Saturday and it seems that no matter the size of the company, they’re throwing a party. Then comes 2001: The bubble bursts, due to a variety of factors…resulting in company cutbacks, and a general change in certain corporate cultures.
Fast-forward to 2014. The corporate scene has improved over the last few years and companies are doing better. There are again lots of golden opportunities to boost your mid-week income. Now that you are gearing up for this year’s holiday season, this is the right place to learn about how you can take advantage of them. As disc jockeys, we are always happy to get the parties where they want holiday music and dancing. But what happens when the client says they want something different? Karaoke and holiday trivia are always fun. If you’re looking for something new and fresh, take a good look at Digigame’s Extreme Bingo program. This can be customized to play bingo with holiday music, providing a great addition to entice that corporate client.
Speaking of something different, how about building more fun into ANY holiday party event (weekday or not) by adding a game or two to your performance. In most cases, employees at holiday parties are sitting at tables with their guests and/or colleagues. You can really start or enhance the fun by adding a “table vs table”-style competition during dinner or cocktail hour. These types of activities should involve an element where the people at each table work together to receive points, or win the competition. And they can be simple, such as “Name That Tune”, holiday trivia or even a scavenger hunt.
Another way to get some mid-week income is to work with some of your favorite banquet facilities. They would love the mid-week opportunities too! As the owner of Keith Alan Productions here in Connecticut, I work closely with three or four venues for the holiday season. We help promote “Small Business Parties,” or some call them “Combo Parties.”
Here is how they work: The venue will host a holiday party and small companies that wouldn’t normally have the means to throw a nice party for their employees, can purchase one table or ten tables. Then, the venue hires me as the “in-house” entertainment for the event. There could be as few as four companies or as many as 25 companies at the same party. We’ve done these events over the past 20 years and they lead to a lot of additional revenue. You never know who will be attending.
Speaking of employee appreciation, we at Rob Peters Entertainment have found great success in offering “in-house” holiday entertainment, where we go to a specific company’s office or location and provide entertainment services for them. These events are usually during the week at lunch time. The company usually has these events catered in house, and there are a variety of options that you can offer. As Keith said, there are plenty of possibilities.
Using the above model, we offer team building events for companies. The holiday season is a great time for companies to show their appreciation to their employees, and these shows can be offered to companies who are having a luncheon or party for their employees. We divide the employees into teams as they arrive at the event, and throughout a two- or three-hour period, they eat and participate in a variety of games and activities and earn points. Each member of the winning team receives a small trophy or gold medal in an award ceremony.
So how do you get these events or increase your corporate event bookings? Well, the facilities that refer you should know what you offer. Also, consider exhibiting at a chamber of commerce business expo or trade show. Another great area is networking…making quality connections with people who you know who may know people that may be interested in your services is HUGE in the corporate and holiday party market. It may take a while to see results, but there are plenty of companies and organizations that are looking for entertainment that is new and different.
Another great way to add some weekday revenue is with the senior citizens, especially during the holiday season. The holiday season can be a very depressing time of the year for our senior citizens. The number of senior centers that are looking for entertainment is off the charts! They are always looking for ways to entertain their members. For the guys that host karaoke, this should be a no brainer. No drunks, no spilled drinks and home by 2:00 IN THE AFTERNOON. Also, the bingo program will work here as well. Reach out to the activities director at your local nursing home or assisted living facility. [For a lot more senior-oriented ideas, check out Jim Papa’s “Carving Your Niche” column. -Ed.]
You may not get rich doing these events, but if you’re like us, any extra income that will increase the bottom line works…especially during the week!
Filed Under: Events, Issue #158, Performing, Sales & Marketing
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