These tips are valid whether you are doing a comedy show for 500 people at the Marriot, or 70 people at a golf course.
1) Place the crowd close to the stage - Comedy does not work if there is 20 feet between the first row of people and the corporate event comedian. Place the first set of tables no more than 5 feet from the stage. Laughter travels from the front of the room to the back of the room.
Remove any visual obstructions on the stage such as a podium or decorations that come between the crowd and the comedian.
2) Lighting is key - Your corporate comedian will need light on their face. It doesn't have to be a spotlight. They can be even be Home Depot cheapies. Just make sure there is light on their face. It focuses attention. If a row of lights can be up while the rest are off, great. Otherwise you need to get something pointed at the entertainer.
3) Sound is everything - If you have bad sound, you have a bad show. Ask your corporate comedian what type of microphone they prefer, wired or wireless. John prefers a wired, handheld microphone because even though wireless gives you freedom to move around the room, there is always the chance the it will cut out or the battery will die. The chance is slim, but if you are paying good money for corporate entertainment, you don't want to take the chance.
4) Do not do a show during dinner or dessert, ever - Self explanatory. When people are eating, you cannot make them laugh. The best you can hope for is to make them choke. Make sure dessert plates are cleared before you start your show. Because you don't want the commotion of the servers dishes clanking as they clean the tables.It is OK to serve cocktails during the show.
5) Try not to have intermissions right before the comedy show - Sometimes people will do the awards, and then let everyone break for the bathroom or a smoke break before the comedy show. It seems like a good idea. The problem with this is getting everyone back sitting down and focused at the same time is very difficult.
Do it like this:
- Dinner, BREAK, Awards, Comedian.
If you have a lot of awards do this:
- Dinner, BREAK, Some Awards, Comedian, BREAK, Finish Awards.
NEVER DO - Dinner, Awards, BREAK, Comedian.
Follow these simple tips, hire the right corporate event comedian, and enjoy your night!