When Games go too Far

June 8, 2016 by Michael Cordeiro

Each one of us works very hard to set ourselves apart from the competition. We are constantly looking for the next big thing, shiny light or new game to play at our events. Sometimes what sounds good and funny in our planning sessions doesn’t always get the reaction we hoped it would. We all want our guests to be engaged, motivated and happy. We want to make them laugh and create spotlight moments that everyone will remember. Where do we draw the line between humor and bad taste?
I always liked the acronym F.U.N. (Fast, Unique, Noteworthy) that I learned at a Peter Merry seminar many years ago. Meaning anything you do at an event should happen quickly, be a spotlight moment and be done in a way that has a positive impact on the overall guest experience. If you have ever attended a session of Breakfast with the Game Master, you know that Scott Faver has always stressed the importance of doing games well and in good taste. I reached out to Scott and asked his take on the video I included with this article.

Scott had this to say; “I have a couple of thoughts on this game, which by the way, I HAVE played before, but not at a wedding. That is not to say that I wouldn’t though. The trick is to know your audience, know your client and build rapport BEFORE playing any game. Based on that, play games that you think will connect with the audience in a way that will have them laughing with you and not at you.” I replied to Scott that after watching the video, I personally didn’t feel comfortable with this game because of children being present. I asked if he felt the game was inappropriate.
Scott’s reply; “No. Not inappropriate for the right client, right event, without kids present; but not the best call with kids there. Also I would not have the bride and groom play. I mean they just got married, lol.”
I agree with Scott’s take on this game. The guests in the video are definitely laughing and it is funny to watch. The trick to making this a hit instead of a miss happens during the planning sessions with your clients. The more you learn about your clients, their families and guests the better. At each event you really have to take the time build rapport with the guests from the moment they walk through the door right up to the last song.
Games are a great tool to use as icebreakers, team builders and moment makers. Make them “ F.U.N.” and be ready to adapt them for different crowds. Use them where you need them, when you need them and in the right mix. A great game choice will get you applause, admiration and referrals. The wrong choice could unfortunately land you in a YouTube video and the topic of my next article. For some free tips, great game ideas and really good game advice check out Scott Faver’s website:

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Michael Cordeiro Michael Cordeiro (73 Posts)

Mike Cordeiro is the owner of M.C. Entertainment. A small RI multi-op. Mike got his start in the entertainment field while stationed in Frankfurt Germany in 1990. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Entertainment & Event Management from Johnson & Wales University and has appeared on TLC’s Four Weddings, hosted an episode of Toddler’s & Tiaras and does background acting for movies.

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