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4 reasons why your next corporate event should have live entertainment

Entertainment can add a lot of value and enhance the success of your corporate event. And live performances, in particular, can become focal points for attendees. With the help of corporate event budget software, you can book outside entertainment such as bands to help in adding spice and interest to the occasion. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider booking live entertainment for your corporate event.

It engages guests

Brass Band Brass Animals 4 reasons why your next corporate event should have live entertainment

A live performance is entertaining and fun, which improves interaction among guests at a corporate event. It boosts the energy and mood, thus making it easier to pass important messages to them when the time comes since they remain interested and upbeat throughout the event.

It reinforces the values, mission, and vision of a brand

Brass Band Brass Animals 4 reasons why your next corporate event should have live entertainment

You can tailor the performance at an event to reflect the values, mission, and vision of your company and give a befittingly positive impression. The same can be done to reinforce the image and value of the event itself by matching it to the intended goals. Guests will more likely be interested in learning more about the company or the event, which generally enhances your brand.

It helps in forging useful business links

Brass Band Brass Animals 4 reasons why your next corporate event should have live entertainment

Using the live performance as a talking point can be a great way to network. By breaking the ice at a corporate event, entertainment creates the best environment for starting informal conversations that may finally become formal and land your business good partnerships or deals. Good entertainment has been known to create memories that are talked about long after the event is over. This may help in spreading your message to potential partners who did not attend the event through word of mouth referrals in ways you never imagined.

Revitalises and enhances the morale of employees

Brass Band Brass Animals 4 reasons why your next corporate event should have live entertainment

At the end of a long and hectic year, entertainment at a corporate event might be what your company needs to motivate and give a refreshing break to employees. A properly organised corporate party with entertainment rejuvenates them and gives them a much-needed break before they resume their duties with a more satisfied and refreshed mind.

Live Music At Your Wedding: 6 Reasons Why You’re Making the Right Decision

No doubt your wedding planning has been full of magical moments. There are also a fair amount of stress-inducing debates to be handled and among the most important is what to do about the music for your wedding ceremony and reception. Do you go with a DJ or should you have a live band? Do you go all out and have both, or have none and just let your karaoke-loving cousin serenade everyone?

You are going to see plenty of opinions about it on the internet (though across the board the karaoke cousin is a hard “nope”), and the debate may rage hot, causing you ever more confusion. Have no fear, we’re swooping in to save you from a relationship-crushing argument and sooth the stress of making the decision by giving you a firm answer. Yes, you should have a live band at your wedding. Here’s why it’s the right decision.

1. It sets the tone and the mood like nothing else

There is no denying that live music brings energy and emotion to a room that even DJs have admitted are beyond compare, whereas listening to canned DJ jams is little different than listening to the radio. If you want your wedding to have a certain feel to it, finding the right musicians can create the perfect atmosphere and truly be the so-to-speak cherry on top of your ceremony or celebration.

Live musicians can change to mood of a room as it is needed. They can bring a grand level of elegance and sophistication to your wedding, especially to the ceremony, cocktail hour, or during dinner. Depending on what you want, they can bring a little energy or a ton of energy to the dance floor at your reception, making even the wallflowery-est of the bunch tap their toes and get moving.

2. It’s an encompassing experience


Why do people go to concerts instead of staying home and listening to the radio in their bathrobes? Performance. People not only love listening to live music but also seeing and feeling it. A band makes music come to life and turns it into an experience for many senses, not just your ears.

Even those that can’t dance (like your Aunt Martha who just celebrated her 100th birthday—you go Aunt Martha!) can enjoy the experience of listening to and watching live musicians. A DJ just does not have the same showmanship or entertainment value as a live band.

3. Live music is a uniting factor

San Francisco brass band

Live music can bridge gaps and unite generations of people. A DJ may play dance music that is currently popular, or a list of typical songs played at every reception across America. You’re always going to have one or more generations that aren’t into what’s being played (“not my jam”, “music in my day was actual music!”, etc.) But live music seems to get everyone past their biases, even if the song is particular to a certain generation. The fun of watching and listening to musicians surpasses all that.

4. Live music is always a unique experience

Leading a Second Line Wedding Parade

You are going to get one first dance with your new spouse; do you want it to be exactly the same as thousands of other couples who have listened to the same exact pre-recorded song played in the same exact way for everyone? Or would you rather be able to say that is was something unique played just for the two of you?

Musicians are living, breathing people so there is going to be subtle variations in the way they play their instruments every time they play a song—even if they’ve played it a thousand times. Each band also has its own unique style and flavor that they add to their music. These elements combined make any song that is played totally unique to your wedding.

Songs that a DJ would use have been recorded for posterity and it will always sound exactly the same no matter how many times it is played (it has no autonomy, so it has no choice). It will sound exactly the same to your ears as to every other couple who has played it. With musicians you have an option that you don’t with pre-recorded music—you can ask for variations of style or tempo in the song and a great band will be better able to accommodate that request.

5. It creates a memorable experience for you and your guests

Holiday Party

Why are you going through all that trouble of planning your wedding down to the last gorgeous detail if not to make it an incredibly memorable event for you and everyone you love? If you’re fretting about how many leaves you want each baby’s breath stem to contain, you’d want to put even more care into something as big as the music and entertainment for your wedding, wouldn’t you? That’s why having a live band is such a great decision.

Do you remember the name of the DJ who spun at the last wedding you attended? Neither do we. Even though there are some great DJs out there, for the most part, they all start to blend together. Live bands have a memorable uniqueness to each of them. They not only make a great topic for conversation among strangers who are eating dinner at the same table, but it’s also an element that creates special memories to talk about later on.

6. Live musicians have flexibility

Billy Jo -- 9.24.17-0726

As far as being able to make adjustments on the fly, stop and restart without problems, or being able to react in the moment to anything the room throws at them—live musicians have the advantage. For instance, your young ring bearer starts walking down the aisle, freaks out when all eyes are on him and makes a run for it. The last thing you want to be worried about AV problems with stopping and starting the music. A live band can pause and restart exactly where they left off without an issue, and they will be more inclined to spot problems and adjust as soon as they start.

What the critics say and why they got it wrong

There’s not enough variety with live bands: Not true. Yes, it is true that a DJ can download a song you request if they don’t have it (though experience has taught that not all of them will bother doing it even when you ask). Live musicians need a little more lead time to learn a song. But at the same time, professional bands who play many different events have tons of music in their repertoire. In fact, they can often play many different genres of music from classical, to rock, to pop, to Latin, to current dance songs and more. If a particular band can’t produce the sound that you want, just move on to the next one who can.

Live music is too loud, especially for my elegant ceremony: Unless you are planning on hiring the local garage band that has one volume—obnoxious—this is also just not true. Many professional musicians are quite flexible and adept at controlling the volume of their music to meet the mood of the room. Bands who are experienced at playing ceremony or background music know how to avoid overpowering a room, whereas amps set up around the room by a DJ can be grating on those who sit near them.

Bands have to take breaks. Yup, that’s true. They are human and are prone to human needs. But should this be a deal-breaking issue? Bands don’t want to break up the flow of dancing or celebrating anymore than a DJ does. Find a band who has the means and know-how to play some recorded songs (songs you can pick out) during their downtime. That means no real break in dancing and the party can go on.

Live bands are more expensive. Like anything you pay for, it depends. They can be more expensive than some DJs or less expensive than others. If you find a band whose sound you love but their price is out of range for you, the bandleader or manager is likely open to discussing how they can make it an affordable option for you (like reducing the number of musicians that play).

The music is not as good as recorded songs. Wow, the critics were really off base with this one. Now we’ve all heard a favorite musician, singer, or and on the radio, but when we saw them live in concert thought “is this actually the same person? It sounds nothing like what I’ve heard!”. It’s not the same when it comes most professional musicians who play weddings and other events. In fact, many of them have had years of practice with degrees in musical arts. Even the ones without degrees have a passion for what they do and are excited to do what they love for people who appreciate it.

If you’ve listened to audio or video recordings of a band that you are considering but still have doubts, find out if there is a way to get a live sample of their music or speak to others who have heard them in person. In any case, it’s always a good idea to get a well-rounded idea of what any live band can do and how they’ve interacted with their clients and guests.

The band will upstage the bride and groom. Ridiculous. Once the bride starts walking down the aisle no one is thinking, “man, this band is the most gorgeous and amazing thing I’ve seen today!” All attention is on her and the band is just background to lead her down the aisle.

Of course, as mentioned, a band will bring that special, memorable element to the wedding–something that most couples want. The band leaders are not looking to steal the thunder from anyone’s special day and clearly communicating what you want or don’t want beforehand will prevent any unnecessary hiccups or distractions.

Flexible, skilled, and guaranteed to give a one-of-a-kind performance, live bands can add elegance to your affair or rock the party (even doing both in the same evening). You and your guests get the benefit of a private concert, so to speak, and create long lasting memories for everyone in attendance. And that is why hiring a live band for your wedding is the right decision.

7 Things Every Event Sponsor Wishes The Live Band Would Know and Vice Versa

The contract has been signed, the band has been hired, and you can’t wait to hear them perform at your event. Except things didn’t go exactly the way you had envisioned them in your head. The band thought everything went great and that they gave you exactly what you asked for, and maybe even a little extra!

Miscommunication or the lack of communication can turn the highlight of your event into disharmony. What are some things you wish you had told the band when you signed them on? What are the things the band wished that you had told them beforehand?

1. Sponsor: Don’t pressure us to hire you.


Of course, everyone wants to make their pitch to sell themselves and get hired, we get that. But it doesn’t matter if it’s a used car salesman, tourist trap souvenir hawker, or a band—being pressured into paying money for something we’re not sure we want is a real turn off.

Even if we do give in to the pressure, we may not be happy about how things went down, and it could start our relationship off on a sour note. We may even find reasons to be dissatisfied with small, inconsequential matters. As the one paying good money, we need to feel comfortable with who we are hiring. Put us at ease. We know you aren’t the only option out there.

Band: Contracts are a must.


We try to be friendly and mesh well with those we work with. But the friendly nature of our relationship doesn’t mean that a handshake works as a contract (an initial agreement, maybe, but so much more is necessary). A contract lays out what each side expects from the other—it’s really a protection for everyone involved, including you. The Musicians Union strongly recommends that we always have a comprehensive contract laid out and signed—this helps cover the expected as well as the unexpected (which definitely happens).

2. Sponsor: Background music shouldn’t be played at concert volume.

This isn’t a sold-out arena or the club, and as much as you are an essential addition to the event, it’s not really about you. Events where people are mingling, networking, or otherwise involved in conversation, is not the place to max out your speaker volume and become the only thing people in the room (and maybe even people outside of the room) will hear. People want to talk, not have to shout, to be heard above the music. Have you ever tried to have a 15-minute conversation that is mutually screamed in faces or ears? It’s not pleasant. If you were hired to play background music, please perform it at a level that keeps it in the background.

Band: Don’t hold back from telling us what you want.

7 Things Every Event Sponsor Wishes The Live Band Would Know and Vice Versa

Hey, we’re here to make you happy so we’ll perform according to your wishes as much as possible. Just be specific about what the event is and what you want our role to be. Give us as much detail as possible so we can keep everyone happy throughout the entirety of the event. If at any time during the performance you feel that the music is too loud (or even too soft), please just let us know and we will make adjustments to our volume.

3. Sponsor: If you speak to the crowd, reference our (your hosts) name a few times throughout the event.

7 Things Every Event Sponsor Wishes The Live Band Would Know and Vice Versa

We’ve done all we can to drum up support for our event, which includes hiring you to entertain everyone. If it’s a wedding, make sure to mention the guests of honor. If it’s a corporate event, fundraiser, conference, etc., please mention the host company or charity. We don’t just want people to have a good time, we want them to remember why they are there.

Also, please make sure you get the name(s) right (let’s avoid an awkward situation) when giving your shout out. Publicity and respect go both ways—we’re happy to let you have your time in the spotlight and just ask that you give a little of it back to us.

Band: We thrive on publicity and good reviews.

7 Things Every Event Sponsor Wishes The Live Band Would Know and Vice Versa

When people are looking for a band, they check websites for demos and pictures, but they also rely on what others have to say about us. If we did a good job and you were happy with our work, please let everyone else know. Leave a review on our website or social media pages (or both! We can never get enough good feedback). You may not think one review matters, but good recommendations are the lifeblood of live bands.

Even if there were things you wish we could have done better, let us know. You can kindly make suggestions on our web or social media pages, but it’s even better if you contact us directly. We’d be glad to discuss any of your issues.

4. Sponsor: If you’re the main attraction, get the crowd involved.

7 Things Every Event Sponsor Wishes The Live Band Would Know and Vice Versa

We want our event to stand out and have people remember it for a long time to come (the event of the century!). Don’t be afraid to be extra—invite people onstage to sing or dance with you (who doesn’t feel special when that happens?), dedicate songs, sing directly to audience members (make the ladies—or gents—swoon), start a second line parade and have the guest(s) of honor take the lead. For some in the audience, just watching others be involved with the band (especially if it’s a friend or family member) creates a fun, memorable experience. Go that extra mile to impress us—we won’t forget it, and neither will everyone involved.

Band: Clue us in to the type of crowd you are expecting.

We want to go the extra mile for our sponsors and “fans”, but knowing who we are entertaining will help us tailor our performance to your audience. Members attending an introvert convention will probably not appreciate being pulled into the spotlight on stage, while a crowd of Millennials might not be into entire sets of pre-1990’s music.  The more information you can give us, the more targeted we can make our performance.

5. Sponsor: Take special requests.

We’re paying you to play what we want to hear. Sure, we give you leeway to play your specialties or popular genres, and if you had a setlist planned beforehand, that’s great. But if we want to hear something specific, please do your best to accommodate us. Give your “fans” what they want to hear, and we’ll be happy.

Band: Try to give us special requests beforehand.

7 Things Every Event Sponsor Wishes The Live Band Would Know and Vice Versa

We do our best to accommodate our hosts and we know that you may have some must-hear songs that you want to be played. Even though we can often add in a song on the fly, as live musicians, we have to learn and practice any songs we play. Giving us your requests beforehand will allow us time to learn and/or practice any special request songs that aren’t typically in our setlist.

6. Sponsor: Have solid AV equipment so that we can speak to the audience.

7 Things Every Event Sponsor Wishes The Live Band Would Know and Vice Versa

As professionals, we expect you to have equipment that is in good working order. You may not really need much in the way of speakers or mics in order for your sound to be heard, but we want our guests to be able to hear anything we (or you) have to say. How can we properly thank you and our guests if no one can hear us?

Plus, having poorly maintained or half-broken AV equipment reflects badly on you as professional musicians and nothing detracts from a message like crackly feedback into a microphone.

Band: Let us come early to do a soundcheck.

7 Things Every Event Sponsor Wishes The Live Band Would Know and Vice Versa

We want to make sure that everything is working properly, that everything we need is at the venue (outlets, extension cords, etc.), figure out what we do need to bring, and get a feel for the layout of the space so we can have a smooth setup.

Most likely we won’t be able to enter the venue without you arranging for us to be let in. It might be a bit of a hassle to make an extra trip to the venue, but trust us, it’s worth it to let us get everything worked out well before the event begins.

7. Sponsor: Don’t mess around behind us while we’re talking.

Seriously, guys—grow up. We know you are there to entertain and we want you to have fun with the crowd, but there is a time and a place for everything. If we are trying to thank important members who contributed to the event, relay important information, or give heartfelt speeches—who can pay attention or take us seriously if you are clowning around behind us or throwing up bunny ears behind our head (is that even still a thing?).

You might not be into what we are saying into the mic, but we would appreciate you letting our audience listen to us undistracted. Please show us the same respect any other professionals would. And when it’s time to have fun and be entertaining, by all means, do your thing.

Band: Be clear what you expect of us entertainment-wise.

Brass Band Brassanimals Top 7 Tips For Choosing Background Music At Corporate Events

This kind of goes along with letting us know who our audience will be. We play all different types of events from classy, dignified affairs to all-out rocking shows. We can keep to the background, get the crowd involved, be funny and goofy, high energy, low energy—whatever you want, just tell us beforehand. We don’t want to embarrass you, ourselves, or your guests by providing entertainment that isn’t appropriate to the function.

Whether you are planning an event or playing it, it all boils down to good communication. Everyone should be clear about their expectations (and have it in writing) and not be afraid to ask important (or seemingly unimportant) questions. Working together ensures that things go smoothly, everyone has a good time, and there is nothing but smiles at the end of the day.

DJ versus Live Band

Oh, the eternal party planning struggle—do you go with conventional DJ or do you take a gamble on a live band. A DJ may seem like the safe route to go when it comes to choosing a musical host for your event, after all, aren’t there more variables and chances for a total music fail when choosing a live band?

Choosing to have a live band play at your event may not be as nerve-wracking as you think (or DJs would want you to believe) and in fact, there are distinct advantages. Of course, every decision has its pros and cons, and the same is true in the old DJ versus live band debate, but let’s discuss why having a live band play at your event can be such a party-changer.

A live band can bring the right vibe

What kind of vibe do you want your party to have? Music is pretty important for setting the tone for your event. You might have a specific theme going (Mardi Gras, holiday party, wedding, etc.), certain genres that you and your guests love to sing and dance to, you might want a style of music that reminds you of certain times in your life (like bringing you back to your high school or college years), or you might want a mellow or even romantic tone set by your music selection.

DJs and live bands will bring different vibes to the table (or dance floor). Ask yourself: “Which one will be able to capture the spirit of what I’m going for?” “Do they have enough music in the genre I want to hear to play or spin for several hours (or however long you want)?” These are just a couple of factors to consider, but there is so much more.

Live music is more dynamic

Vibe and atmosphere aren’t only about the playlist. Style of music, song selection, noise level, etc. are important factors, but the way the music is played also has a big effect on the mood.  

The difference between a live band and a DJ is the difference between listening to a song on the radio and listening to it at the front row of a concert. We don’t care who you are, it’s hard not to be excited by a live performance. Even the most hard-and-fast wallflowers will find themselves tapping their feet or humming along to the music of a live band. Older ones who can’t get on the dance floor will also appreciate a live performance to keep them entertained if they can’t cut that proverbial rug anymore.

For those who do like to party on the dance floor, the feeling of a live band can be electrifying. When a band is close to the dance floor, people can feel the energy. While you can often feel the energy from the bass of a DJ’s speakers as well, it’s missing that human element—one of the things that makes a live band so outstanding.

That human element along with live instruments makes for a dynamic presence in the venue. Live music gets a crowd excited because it is soul-stirring, emotional, dramatic, and motivational. Do you remember the last time a DJ made you and your guests feel that way?

Each band has a unique personality, a composite of all the characters within it. Don’t discount the entertainment value of a trumpet player who is totally rocking his solo like no one is watching.

A more interactive experience

Part of what makes the human element so important when it comes to a memorable music presence is that people can be interactive. A DJ speaks from his booth and may even call out to the crowd to sing or shout various phrases and guests love doing it. It makes people feel that they are an integral part of the party.

On the other hand, DJs usually aren’t any more interactive than that—they are somewhat limited. A good band leader, however, not only knows how to emcee, he knows how to interact with guests. Unlike a digital music player, he knows how to connect to the people around him and keep guest engaged.

More than that, a live band can be mobile, adding a fun, special element to the event. DJ is separated from guests behind his equipment which can create a small barrier physically and mentally for the crowd. A band can get up to walk and play among guests, making them part of the experience.

Creativity and Flexibility Factors

DJs have a pretty vast and eclectic repertoire of music,  but they can only play whatever music they can buy or download. They lack a certain amount of flexibility and spontaneity in a performance that only real live humans are capable of.

Many might make the argument that a live band is limited in the music they can play. But those who make that argument probably never heard an amazing, very professional live band play (much different from the garage band playing Springsteen covers at the local bar)(not that there’s anything wrong with Springsteen, we love The Boss as much as anyone else).

Some people want to hear the songs they love exactly as they were recorded and that’s great! A DJ is perfect for that—giving people the sounds of their favorite artists as they were meant to be. Many DJs can even create exciting mixes, letting their creativity shine in that way.

If you want to hear creative musical twists on new and old favorites or expertly mixed genres and styles (think Beyoncé songs played by a brass band), a live band is the way to go. Many musicians love to get creative with their compositions and give guests sounds that are unique and may not be heard anywhere else.

Live musicians also have to ability to improvise and bring spontaneity to the set (for example, the rockin’ solos previously mentioned). Their ability to read a crowd makes them adaptable to the personality of the party. This usually makes them better at transitioning from one song to the next and keeping everyone engaged. Ever heard a DJ who starts one awesome song after another, getting you in the groove only to switch each one out 30 seconds into it, completely wrecking the flow? Yup, good transitioning is important.

Upscale or professional affairs with low key musical needs

What if you are having an event that requires a mellower sound? Some might fear that a live band will be too loud, too in-your-face, or can’t bring a sound that is appropriate to the event. Is that always the case? Are live bands not an appropriate musical choice for quieter affairs?

Professional musicians know how to balance sound. DJs seem to only have one volume and it can be nearly impossible to carry on a conversation above it (why is the whole office hoarse the next day? Maybe it was the 4 hours of screaming about their last vacations or their kid’s accomplishments to each other?) A live band filled with professional musicians will be better able to tailor the volume, tempo, and tone of the music to suit the needs of the host. They can provide light background music—often with vocals or just instrumental to keep the level sound just right for dinner or conversation.

Addressing other concerns about live bands

The argument could be made that a DJ usually takes up less real estate in a venue. While it’s true that a huge, 20-piece ensemble might not be practical for a party in your basement or sorority house living room, a venue that has space for a DJ has that same amount of space for a band. A DJ still needs room for his equipment and speakers (something a live band doesn’t need) which means they take up a bit of area.

Sometimes with a DJ, electrical outlets can be an issue. There may be space in a venue for a DJ to set up, but no place to conveniently plug in their equipment. A live band is man (or woman) powered—they don’t need outlets, they bring the electricity to a room.

Another concern that many event-throwers face is budget. DJs can cost less, which is very appealing if you’re working with limited funds. However, DJs don’t always cost less, and often they are still quite an expense. It’s good to do a price comparison and check out any specials a live band might offer (are they cheaper on certain days or at certain times of the year?).

Worried about musical variety or potential lack-thereof with a live band? DJs do usually have a large selection of songs in their bag of tricks—they wouldn’t be a very good DJ otherwise. Likewise, a professional live band wouldn’t be very good if it didn’t have a wide range of songs to play either.

If you hire a genre-specific band like a salsa or polka band, chances are you won’t see much variety in the musical selection, but many professional bands like to mix things up. Like a DJ, their job is music, so the best bands are going to be constantly adding songs to their repertoire to give clients a great, variety-filled performance.

The verdict?

A DJ with plenty of personality can get a crowd going, that much is true. But you have just as much risk of getting a DJ who will leave your guests snoring and your dance floor boring. Or maybe even worse, obnoxious and cheesy. And then you have the rage-inducing request-takers who hijack your party by playing everyone else’s tunes, (For goodness sake, who is requesting the Electric Slide for the 9 millionth time?) even when they are on your firm Do Not Play list. All are prime ingredients in a party-killing cocktail.

No one wants to spend precious time and hard-earned money on an event that most people will hardly remember or is indistinguishable from any other party or event they’ve ever been to. A live band will give your event or party that “wow” factor, and can even add a touch of class if that’s what you are going for. Live music will give your guests something they can talk about.