What do a garden hoe, a leaf blower, and a Weber Traveler grill all have in common? They’ve all been balanced on my chin before, of course! While these items might not be part of my regular repertoire as a corporate entertainer, it was only fitting to switch up my iconic physical comedy routine to provide personalized entertainment for the fantastic team over at Ace Hardware.
That wasn’t all I had in store for the Ace Hardware crew! With more than 4,000 in the audience at the Las Vegas Convention Center, this Las Vegas-based entertainer knew I had to pull out all the stops to make Ace’s Spring 2022 Convention a night to remember. Tag along as I break down the elements of personalized corporate entertainment that made the event truly spectacular!
Round Two with the Ace Hardware Team
If there’s anything I love more than getting the opportunity to work with phenomenal brands, it’s getting the opportunity to work with them not once, but twice! Such is the case with Ace Hardware, the world’s largest hardware retailer and also the world’s nicest people. In case you missed it, I had the opportunity to perform my clean comedy show for Ace Hardware leadership back in January.
This month, the entire Ace Hardware family came out to the Las Vegas Convention Center to celebrate the Spring 2022 Convention. And when I say the entire family, I mean it — thousands of Ace Hardware retailers, employees, and vendors poured into the Central Hall to hear from company leadership, participate in beneficial training sessions, and even partake in one-of-a-kind buying opportunities. In total, there were more than 4,000 people in attendance!
When I first received the call from Ace Hardware to perform at the Spring 2022 Convention, one of the first things they told me was that they enjoyed my corporate entertainment set so much, they wondered if I could customize it to incorporate Ace Hardware partners and vendors… Ace-ify my routine, if you will. Customization is my thing, so that was all I needed to hear to get the ball rolling!
What the Ace Hardware Team Had to Say About Take Two!
“Jeff performed at our Leadership Conference in early 2022 and he was such a huge hit that we brought him back a few months later for our Convention. He is a true professional to work with – no ask is too big or small, he has a natural ability to connect with people and make them laugh. He customized his stunts by including Ace products in creative and jaw-dropping ways and kept everyone entertained from start to finish. I would highly recommend Jeff!”
— Caroline Wilson, Corporate Communications and Events at Ace Hardware Corporation
How to “Ace-ify” (and Electrify) Corporate Entertainment
I already knew that the Ace Hardware events team was bringing in a Tom Petty tribute band to get the crowd moving at the Spring 2022 Convention. And I knew I had just one, half-hour set to really dazzle the audience. Since I wasn’t the professional emcee for this event, it was important to me that my corporate entertainment and physical comedy routine connected with the crowd instantly.
So, you can imagine the pure excitement when I got the green light from Ace Hardware to essentially raid their location in Southern Highlands (shout out to my local Ace crew!), and grab a bunch of fun objects to totally Ace-ify my set. I also had to call my dad right after, because isn’t an unlimited shopping spree at a hardware store every man’s dream? Here’s what I got to Ace-ify my set!
A Color-Coordinated Touch to Kick it Off
I love to open my corporate entertainment set with a bit of an icebreaker to warm up the crowd and grab their attention — and what’s more attention-grabbing than a chorus of popping balloons in a ballroom? I picked up a slew of red balloons to match the theme of the Tom Petty tribute band and my time slot at the convention, which was titled “Ace After Hours.”
To kick off my set, I had some participants come to the stage to face off in an epic, Ace-ified balloon challenge. Contenders had to fill the balloons, tie them, and sit on them to pop them as fast as they could. Needless to say, there was a lot of frantic breathing, tearing rubber, and loud pops… just another day with the Ace Hardware team, eh?
A Very Ace-Themed Balancing Act
Once the contenders in my balloon pop extravaganza were seated, I kicked into a very Ace-ified balancing act. Remember that shopping spree I mentioned? I managed to find tons of hardware and home goods to incorporate into my balancing act! Now, I tend to already use a plunger in my comedy act, which some may argue is Ace-ified already, but I wanted to dial it up a notch.
First, I balanced a simple garden hoe on my chin — which, while relatively simple, made for a bunch of fantastic (clean comedy!) jokes. Next, I asked the audience if they would be impressed if I balanced a steel Weber Traveler grill lid on my chin. They were, but that wasn’t quite enough for me… so then I balanced the entire Weber Traveler grill on my chin! That was of course followed by my signature move, a 10-foot ladder balanced right on the ol’ mug.
A Classic Toilet Paper Trick (with a Twist!)
Last, but certainly not least, I knew I wanted to end my set with a classic trick with a twist — an Ace-ified version of the trick. I returned to rummage through my treasure trove of Ace Hardware goodies and emerged with a leaf blower. But not just any leaf blower! It was a leaf blower with a paint roller taped to the end… which also had a roll of toilet paper attached!
The audience went wild once I had the leaf blower contraption balanced high on my chin, but you should have seen the reaction once I turned it on! Toilet paper began to ricochet to the ceiling (sorry, Las Vegas Convention Center!) and it was absolutely hysterical to watch. The best part, though, was probably when I “hosed down” the attendee was helping on stage with the TP!
The Value of Personalized Entertainment for Events
There’s truly no limit to how far I’ll go to customize entertainment for my clients, and this Ace Hardware event is a perfect example! The Spring 2022 Convention was the first time I’ve been in front of more than 4,000 people in a long time and it was so much fun to interact with the crowd and truly engage with content that was tailored to their brand and company values.
I was honored to be able to give the Ace Hardware team a true Las Vegas experience — which isn’t always the case when conferences are held here. Attendees come to Vegas to network, learn, grow, and connect, but they still recognize they’re in the entertainment capital of the world. They deserve to have some fun! While it’s not always feasible to gather 4,000 people to leave the hotel and attend a show for the night, a corporate entertainer like me can bring the show to you.
Not only can I bring my Las Vegas flair directly to your doorstep, but I can also customize the show just for your brand and conference theme. I offer a classic style of Vegas entertainment, replicating the dazzle of an iconic variety show but in a self-contained format. Plus, I act as a partner throughout the entire event planning process, so your event goes off without a hitch!
A Corporate Entertainer with a Personal Touch
As a corporate entertainer, there’s nothing I love more than taking a concept or a vision and turning it into my client’s reality. I had a total blast ransacking my local Ace Hardware to create personalized entertainment designed strictly for the Ace Hardware team — and I would be honored to do the same for your company, too!
Whether you’re in hardware or healthcare, technology or travel, or even retail or real estate, I can customize my award-winning Las Vegas physical comedy show to match your event. Send me a booking inquiry today to learn more about my services or share details about your upcoming conference or convention. I can’t wait to see what new comedy sets we come up with!