April 04, 2012
As part of Band Month, we've been discussing how best to utilise a live band at an event. A few weeks ago, Wedding Coordinator Alice Chorley wrote an informative piece over at wedding blog Love My Dress detailing how to get the most out of a live band at a wedding, it's well worth a read and many of the points are relevant to other types of event. But weddings and corporate gigs are different beasts and there are a few other issues that might crop up when booking a band for a corporate event.
With that in mind, read on for our Top 5 Tips for Getting the Most out of a Live Band at Corporate Events
Know Your Audience
It's important to discuss audience with a band or agent early on in the process of booking an act for a corporate event. Things like number of guests, age range, gender split and even profession can make a big difference to a band that allows them to construct a set-list accordingly. We're not saying that all sales people like Drum and Bass and all IT departments like Prog Rock, but most bands have played enough gigs to know that a room full of medical professionals at the end of a 3 day conference want a slightly different thing from a crowd of recruitment consultants after an award ceremony.
Give Some Sample Songs
In the initial stages of suggesting bands, a few well chosen songs can be really helpful to narrow down the range of bands who would be right for the event. That being said (and we've said this before in regards to bands, DJ and most of our musical acts) it's important not to get too carried away with the song suggestions. The best function bands are experts at constructing set lists that flow between tracks to keep guests engaged and also playing off crowds, sometimes modifying their set lists on the fly.
Try Before You Buy
No one expects you to leap in with both feet on a band you haven't heard. That's why we try to offer as much promotional material for bands as possible. Sound clips, pictures, sample set lists and video are all great ways to get familiar with a band before making the plunge. Bear in mind that recording and filming is an expensive business, so most bands have around 3- 4 high quality sound clips to give a cross section of what they do. If you're still not sure, it's often possible to arrange to see a band performing at another gig before the event (provided it's done well in advance) so it's always worth asking!
Be Prepared to Pay Extra for Special Requests
Bands spend years building up their repertoires and they're constantly adding to their back catalogues of cover versions. That being said, there's always gaps in the set lists of even the most experienced function band so it's not always possible for a band to play every request. If you give a band enough time before an event, they'll be able to prepare pretty much any song but to compensate for the time spent arranging and rehearsing the song request, they may ask for a little more money.
Consider the Fiddly Bits...
By that we mean the set up and pack down of all the gear. How is a band going to get in and out of the venue? How Long after they've finished playing can they pack away their gear? What time are they sound checking? And so on and so forth. This isn't just important from a logistical standpoint, but also effects the cost - the longer a band is on site, the more they'll need to be compensated. For this reason it's important to make firm timings and stick to them wherever possible.
To discuss any of our brilliant function bands for corporate events, get in touch!