How a Professional Emcee Can Help #EventProfs Avoid Post-Pandemic Jitters
It’s been a wild few months for my #EventProf and #MeetingProf friends. If you’re an event planner or coordinator yourself, you absolutely know what I mean. Between organizing virtual events (which was likely a first) to navigating pandemic restrictions (definitely a first), it’s certainly been a whirlwind of a year. Take it from a professional emcee who’s conducted more than 250 virtual pandemic events — those post-pandemic jitters can be no joke.
Now that live shows are coming back to the main stage, you might be a bit hesitant to plan your first event. From the agenda to the venue, it can be tricky to gauge just how comfortable your audience members will be when they attend your event. If you’re one of the #EventProfs struggling with post-pandemic jitters, check out how a professional emcee can help.
1. Be a Knowledgeable Partner
If you’re in the midst of planning your first post-pandemic live event, you need more than an entertainer or keynote speaker — you need a partner. More specifically, you need a professional emcee. A professional emcee acts as your companion throughout the entire event process, from start to finish. They offer an unlimited knowledge bank of how to engage, connect, and delight audience members.
An experienced professional emcee can also advise event planners on which material works best for the event at hand. For instance, they can guide scripting for event speakers like company CEOs, or help establish the type of engagement pieces used throughout the event. Once the event is underway, a professional emcee can also socialize with attendees and help the event planner smooth over A/V hiccups or timing delays.
2. Plan the Agenda
With a professional emcee as a partner, event planners no longer need to worry about an unsuccessful agenda. Seasoned professional emcees have been to countless events — both live and virtually — and understand what works, what doesn’t, and what event planners should avoid. The best example of this is scheduling when high-priority workshops or keynotes occur.
Professional emcees have been to morning, afternoon, and evening events and can let event planners know when audience attention will peak and when it will crash. They’ll have the hindsight to shift main event keynote speeches to after lunch but before cocktail hour. Professional emcees can also advise on the type of agenda activities, such as physical team-building or think groups, that would be most appropriate for your event objective.
3. Set Up the Room
With so many responsibilities on their plate, the layout of the event is often the last thing on an event planner’s to-do list. However, when the physical layout of the event location goes ignored, it’s pretty easy for disaster to strike. Case in point: A dance floor wedged right between the stage and the first table. Or even worse, a photobooth set up smack next to the shared bathroom.
Though table, dance floor, stage, and refreshment placement might seem like minor details, they’re truly nuances that can make or break a successful event. Ideally, attendees should be able to navigate the room simply, moving between refreshments, their table, and the dance floor with ease. With tons of live emcee experience under their belt, professional emcees can help event planners organize a physical space that makes the event shine.
4. Prepare to Pivot
While no one likes to be the bearer of bad news, it’s anticipated that not all live events will remain live over the next few months. Depending on your geographical area, potential spikes in COVID cases or local restrictions may force a live event to become a virtual event. In this case, it’s essential that event planners partner with a professional emcee who can seamlessly transition to a virtual format.
The best professional emcees are prepared to pivot and come complete with their own virtual event production company. This way, event planners don’t need to rush to find someone else to host their gig or invest in costly production software. Instead, the professional emcee can facilitate the event, engage digital viewers, and mingle with attendees in the chat room completely remotely, all for the same price event planners had allocated for live entertainment.
5. Meet Attendees Where They’re At
If you’re an event planner struggling with post-pandemic jitters, you can anticipate that some of your audience members will be a little anxious as well. However, that’s not to say that all attendees will shy away from conversation. It’s actually quite the opposite. Attendees are looking for connection now more than ever —and event planners need to ideate safe ways of bringing that to them.
So, event planners should expect to meet attendees where they’re at. Tap in your professional emcee partner to create systems that allow attendees to express just how comfortable they are with physical connection or networking. Above all, acknowledge that there will be varying levels of comfort and provide multiple opportunities for each audience member to form connections.
6. Let Laughter Break the Ice
You know what they say, laughter is the medicine! When you’re dealing with an anxious crowd, or feeling a bit nervous yourself, laughter is an absolute necessity. By injecting laughter into a live event, event planners can help everyone in the room let their guard down and become significantly more open to the event material.
Likewise, with a professional emcee on board, laughter can be your gateway to team-building or fundraising. A professional emcee uses humor to break the ice and draw attendees from out of their shell. And with a roster of clean comedy, an experienced professional emcee can ensure that no audience member feels embarrassed or offended.
7. Strive for Engagement
Last but not least, the top tip for event planners struggling with post-pandemic jitters is to strive for engagement. Don’t partner with an entertainer who will hide in the break room between keynotes. Instead, find a partner who will work the room, strike up a conversation in the cocktail lounge, and get people on the dance floor. Find yourself a true Master of Ceremonies!
A professional emcee naturally knows how to get the party going. They understand what audience members and event planners have been going through these past few months, because they’ve been living it too. So, instead of shying away from the event when the spotlight isn’t on, a professional emcee will dive headfirst into conversation to generate that much-needed engagement.
Basically, Professional Emcees Are an #EventProfs Dream
After the past year that we’ve had, it’s really no wonder why some event planners are nervous to get back to live events. Fortunately, the time has come when we can gather safely again. If you’re battling post-pandemic jitters while planning your company’s return to the live stage, partnering with a professional emcee is a must.
With more than a decade of experience as a Las Vegas Headliner under my belt, I know how it feels to be in the spotlight. And after guiding dozens of companies through their first virtual events last year, I know how to engage a crowd both in-person and digitally. Contact me today to plan your best event yet — no jitters necessary.