A Guide To Your Perfect Corporate Event Music Playlist
In the second season of the television series Arrested Development, Michael Bluth attends his family’s company’s holiday office party. In the festive spirit, he teams up with his niece Maeby to perform a karaoke duet. It’s all in good fun, until they awkwardly discover that their song choice—the 1970s hit Afternoon Delight—is “more adult-themed than its innocent melody would have you believe.”
Other than to make you laugh, why do we bring this up? Because the episode is the perfect case for why exactly you need to be reading this blog post.
Whether you’re planning a small office party, a workshop, a community fundraiser, or a large gala-style event, creating a music playlist for your corporate event calls for time and consideration. How exactly do you determine good songs for corporate events? It’s often a fine line between finding appropriate songs, but not boring your guest to death with elevator music.
If you’re planning a workplace event, here’s how you can get started in planning the music.
Clearly communicate to your DJ or band the type of event you’re hosting
Red Soda offers both DJ and live music services. From years of performing as a corporate entertainment band, we’ve played at a wide range of events. We’ve found that the atmosphere, formality and intent is never quite the same. Much like at weddings, the type of music we might play at your corporate event will vary greatly dependent on corporate event themes, the location or venue, and the overall tone you’d like to establish.
If you do hire a live band, these factors may also affect the size and type of band that’s most appropriate for the event. For example, if you’re hosting an small afternoon cocktail hour, we might suggest a solo guitarist or harpist, while a full nine-piece band will play the high-energy songs needed for large conferences.
Keep your event’s primary purpose in mind
On that note, don’t forgot about the goals of your event. Are you celebrating your hard-working team and want to give them a fun night out? Turn up the volume! Are you hosting an event where networking is the main objective? In that case, music isn’t the main attraction and should be low enough that conversation will flow.
Have walk-up songs for each of your speakers
If you’re ever at a professional baseball game, keep an ear out for the songs that play when players approach the plate. Each Major League Baseball player has hand-selected their own walk-up song that gets them amped up to bat.
Bringing speakers on stage is no different. Ask your presenters if they have a preferred (and appropriate) song for when they approach the podium, which will set the tone and mood, and get both your speaker and audience ready for to hear their message.
Take employee requests—but do your research before you accept them
Who is attending your event will also affect the songs that you put on your playlist. If members of your staff fit within the main attendees’ demographic, ask them for suggestions. However, as the Arrested Development example proves, do a quick Google search before adding a song to the “must -play” list.
Even if you think it’s just an “oldie but a goodie” or that a particular performer is a safe bet, they might not be. Public perception of performers and song lyrics can change with the times. Some recent examples: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is no longer played by many radio stations during the holiday season. Similarly, Chris Brown, R. Kelly and Michael Jackson all make upbeat music, but scandals in their personal lives have made their music unplayable to some.
Not sure where to stay with your playlist? We’re experts, so please get in touch. No matter your corporate event themes, we’re ready to help suggest appropriate and high-energy songs for your next conference or workplace event.