by Matt Alderton | November 12, 2017
If meetings were cakes, entertainment would be the icing on top: It may seem like an accent, but it's everyone's favorite part.

"For many [meeting planners], entertainment is often an afterthought. A line item they slot into the budget after the venue, travel, food and beverage, production, and guest speakers have been addressed," says Successful Meetings contributor Kevin Viner, a mentalist based in San Diego. "But for attendees, entertainment is also often the final segment of a meeting, the denouement of days of hard work when they finally have a chance to relax and celebrate."

Because entertainment is often the most memorable part of a meeting, it's important to get it right, according to Viner, who says meeting planners can make event entertainment more effective by crafting a strategic introduction.

"A recent study by The College of New Jersey in partnership with magician Joshua Jay found that the right introduction can make an act up to 50 percent more impactful," he explains. "Whenever possible, a C-level executive should make the introduction, which should always be pre-written and supplied by your entertainer. This important step engages the audience's attention and allows your entertainer to walk onstage to an already captive audience."

In fact, introductions are so effective that you should consider introducing your entertainment even earlier, according to Viner.

"Unless you're booking an act who everybody knows by name, don't save the entertainment as a surprise," he continues. "On your agenda, link to the performer's website or have them create a custom YouTube video that can be distributed to attendees in advance. It is far better to create buzz and excitement before the show than to surprise your audience with talent who they may love but have never heard of."

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