As a Houston musical notes and professional magician performing at prestigious social events for Movie Stars, Celebrities, U.S. Presidents, Politicians, International Royalty and Corporate and Social Elite, Harry Maurer has helped to create environments where people can relax and have fun. Based on his experiences, here are a few suggestions:
The scariest part of planning any party is the uncontrollable fear that people will arrive and just stand there without smiling or talking! Understand in advance that people are normally shy when they first enter a room, so it is crucial that your guests be made to feel welcome. Whatever you do, don’t let your guests enter into a cold and stark room! Whether it is a banquet hall or hotel meeting room, warm it up with plants, background music and lighting — it doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking. A small stereo system with background music, borrowed or rented trees and carefully arranged floodlighting can make even the barest meeting room warm and inviting! If you are presenting a party for your clients, it will make it easier for them to relax if you assign representatives from your company to mingle and make introductions. This works equally well for social events or family affairs where committee or family members can be instructed to introduce people to each other.
Once your guests are mingling in a warm and inviting atmosphere, give them something to talk about and make it fun! As a professional entertainer, Harry Maurer knows the value of laughter and makes parties special not only by performing a Las Vegas caliber comedy act as the highlight of the evening, but by making the cocktail hour itself special by strolling among the guests presenting magic right in people’s hands. With objects appearing in their hands and in their pockets, guests who are traditionally shy and reserved warm up quickly, and people who have little in common get the unique experience of sharing something incredible — and they enjoy talking about that experience! Anything similar that gets people involved, talking and having fun is what makes and ordinary party extraordinary! When your guests enjoy themselves they will go home thinking well of you and your company which will strengthen your company’s moral and your business relationships.
Whether you decide to use live music or tapes, keep the music at a level where people can talk without shouting. If you are planning to have lively dance music, save it for just before the dinner is served and during dessert. Like a true theatrical production, the evening should build in volume, energy and excitement. With regard to bands, D.J.’s and live entertainment, do not hire amateurs here! There is nothing that can hurt your party, your evening or your reputation more than bad entertainment — so be choosy! Take the time to ask for references, and if possible, get the chance to see them perform in advance so that you know what you are getting.
If you are planning to have featured entertainment, present it as soon as the dessert and coffee is served so that your audience is not distracted by the service of the food. In this way your guests can relax, enjoy their coffee and watch the show without interruption. If you are planning to give awards or bonuses, present them immediately after the entertainment while your guests are cheering and happy — they will be in their best mood of the evening and their reactions will be stronger.
When budgeting for an event, as a rule of thumb, you should plan to spend $20 – $100 per person for a cocktail party and $75 – $200 for a formal dinner. If you are looking for ways to stretch your entertainment dollar, consider buffets instead of sit-down dinners, D.J.’s or tapes instead of bands, postcard invitations rather than expensive formal ones. You might even consider sharing the cost of a party with a fellow client, company or department to differ expenses.
And most importantly . . . remember to allow yourself to have fun! It’s hard for your guests to relax when you can’t. All of the hard work should have been in the planning stages of the party. Hiring professionals to handle the food, music and entertainment gives you the freedom to concentrate on your guests in a relaxed way knowing that you have created a magical evening that they will talk about for weeks!
Harry Maurer is a professional entertainer who performs regularly in the showrooms of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. With over 20 years of experience, he provides comedy magical entertainment tailored to the needs of his corporate clientele. He resides in Houston and can be reached toll free at (877) 223-6291 or on the world-wide web at: firstname.lastname@example.org.