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55 Creative Entertainment Ideas for Your Next Event or Meeting

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Planners, clients and more often ask me for some creative entertainment ideas for their event or meeting, so because of that, I put together a nice list.    Feel free to pass this on to your friends and colleagues.

1. Hire a comedian who can poke some fun at your CEO, do an impersonation of him, or even make light of your industry as a whole.

2. Hire a magician that can incorporate your sales message into his magic, or cut your CEO or receptionist in half. He might even be able to vanish the CEO, much to the delight of the employees.

3. Book a vocal improvisation group to take requests and spin them into a funny performance.

4. Have a musician write a song about your company and play it at the event.

5. Hire a celebrity impersonator to come to the event and sign autographs and take pictures with guests.

6. Book a caricature artist to draw personalized sketches of each employee at the company. These are fun souvenirs as well.

7. Book a digital caricature artist who composes his or her photos digitally on a computer right in front of your eyes. They can even personalize the backdrop to reflect the company or event. This is a great souvenir for the guests to take home.

8. Book a balloon artist that makes the life size figures such as Disney characters, scenery like palm trees, huge company logos, and more. The balloon artist can do these figures with everyone watching making it an experience to watch the balloons being put together.

9. How about a strolling juggler who can mingle through the cocktail hour.

10. Book a stilt walker to make a big announcement for your company at an annual conference or meeting. It is a fun and guaranteed way to get everyone’s attention.

11. A clown is a great option for events with children or families. There are also evil clowns for events with no kids or around Halloween.

12. Book a palm reader to make psychic predictions about the future of the company or to tell people’s fortunes.

13. Hire a reality TV star to interact with guests. They are far less money than big time Hollywood celebrities.

14. Book a tribute band to play the songs of an artist that is popular among the guests.

15. An a cappella group can perform on stage or stroll through the event during a cocktail hour or dinner.

16. Hire a symphony orchestra to play at the event. You will need to consider space requirements for this type of an act.

17. You could have a mime act out a corporate message to employees or event customers.

18. Book a DJ to play only requested songs or songs from a certain era such as the 80’s

19. Break dancers can be lots of fun. They are generally young, hip, and add a sense of youth to an event.

20. How about a mariachi band for some festive music.

21. A steel drum band can be a nice addition to a high end gala event.

22. Booking a fire eater can be a great way to kick off the launch of a hot new product or service.

23. Carolers can be nice addition to any holiday event.

24. A living statue can be a great idea for almost any event. Make sure you ask for a living statue that matches closely to the theme of your event or meeting.

25. Booking a cirque act is a great idea when the event needs something remarkable or to get a buzz going. Make sure you can accommodate for the space some of the cirque acts require.

26. A snake charmer is a unique way break up a meeting or attract a crowd at an event.

27. Hire a mentalist to read the minds of the guests. This is creative way that the performer can interact with the audience.

28. How about an ice sculptor who can sculpt the company logo or a corporate message live while people watch it being carved.

29. Acrobats provide a lively addition to an event.

30. Singing waiters are an a cappella group dressed as formal waiters. This catches guests off guard and is an offbeat way to infuse entertainment into the dining experience.

31. Ballroom dancers can be popular with all the dance themed TV shows like Dancing with the Stars and others.

32. A barbershop quartet is an a cappella group where all the members wear red and white costumes, similar to that of a barbershop pole. This has a nostalgic feel to it.

33. Dueling pianos are a fantastic way to get the audience involved with nonstop entertainment

34. You could have your employees put on the entertainment by having a talent show and getting everyone in the company involved including the CEO. You will want to record this so everyone can watch it later on, or you may even want to send them all home with a copy, or mail it to them afterwards. You could also post them on YouTube for all to comment on.

35. A marching band can be an official way to introduce somebody special at the event. It can also be a way of showing that the company does not take themselves too seriously if they book a fun themed marching band.

36. Book the 60 second novelist. He comes with his own table and a manual typewriter and asks guests a few questions to get a sense of who they are, and he types out a short life story in one minute. He even binds it so guests can take it home. The story is funny, imaginative and true. This is a fun way to get people to open up and share their stories and get to know each other.

37. Face painters are a neat way to entertain the younger kids.

38. A choir can be a nice way to make a grandiose statement.

39. How about an opera singer for a classy event or gala.

40. A graffiti artist that can create a painting of someone or something with a large crowd watching. Some artists do this type of thing super fast, making it intriguing to watch.

41. Book hula dancers to mingle on the dance floor with guests.

42. How about Polynesian dancers to inject a unique culture into the event.

43. A ventriloquist can be a great entertainment choice that can play well for kids or adults depending on the performer.

44. Hire a dynamic storyteller who can weave a message about the goal of the event or meeting.

45. An escape artist is a dramatic way to convey messages such as, escaping or breaking free of limiting beliefs and constraints. This can be a nice way to motivate employees to achieve a goal.

46. Booking a hypnotist can provide a serious element or a comedic one.

47. A rapper could perform a comedic rap specifically written about the company. Some rappers can even improvise this on the spot.

48. A puppeteer is another option for younger children to keep them entertained.

49. Hire a sword swallower to attract the crowd or if it fits into the theme.

50. You can always hire a real Hollywood celebrity to attract the attention and buzz you need or try booking a couple of smaller celebrities to make better use of your funds and get more celebrity drawing power.

51. You might want to book a political impersonator that is popular such as Sarah Palin or Barack Obama.

52. A harpist can add a light musical touch without loud music. This would be nice for a laid back, high end atmosphere.

53. How about having multiple celebrity tribute artists on stage performing a bunch of hits songs from the various artists they impersonate.

54. Have a stage where different executives from the company do karaoke for a variety of songs.

55. Finally, the best way to guarantee a creative entertainment experience is to have the performer or performers customize their acts to your event or meeting. This creates a memorable experience guests are sure to remember for a long time.



Venues

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The Washington Metro area is becoming a more diverse place for unique event spaces. The DC area is known for it’s beautiful historic buildings and homes, but the diversity of event spaces in this area is changing. Venues like rustic or modern lofts, art galleries, multi-purpose restaurants or renovated buildings are being transformed into event spaces and becoming more popular for social events, parties and galas. The options are expanding and I want to share with you some of the event spaces I uncovered in Washington, DC. There are multiple venues for events that are popping up each day in the DC metro area that I plan to cover, but this is the beginning of many blogs about event spaces in the area.

SHERATON PENTAGON CITY

Address: 900 S Orme St.,
Arlington, VA 22204
Phone: 703-521-1900
Website: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview

We are proud to offer one of the largest meeting facilities in the D.C. area, boasting 25,000 square feet of meeting space. Most are located on the same level and all of our meeting rooms feature unobstructed views. With 19 breakout rooms and a spacious exhibit area, we can accommodate groups of up to 900 people. Our Common Wealth Ballroom offers approximately 10,000 square feet of meeting space and our rooftop Galaxy Ballroom provides spectacular, panoramic views of Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. No matter what size your event may be, our dedicated Convention Services staff will ensure it is a resounding success.

Click here to view our banquet and catering menus.

Number Of Guest Rooms:416
Number Of Meeting Spaces:21
Largest Meeting Space:9,082 sq ft (843.75 sq.m)

View Floor Plans & Capacity Charts

Starwood Meetings & Events Features

From intimate events to corporate functions, we provide the tools you need to plan the perfect gathering.

  • Executive Meeting Specialist - A dedicated, highly trained Executive Meeting Specialist will be at your side throughout your event, ready to help with anything you and your guests need.

Our Features

  • Non-Smoking Meeting and Event Facilities
  • High Speed Internet Access in Meeting/Event Facilities by Request (Charge)
  • Convention Services Staff
  • Pre-Function Space
  • Meeting and Event Facilities
  • Complete Audio Visual and Production Services

 

THE FLYING BRIDGE

Address: 444 North Capitol Street, NW
The Hall of the States
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-258-3168
Website: http://www.theflyingbridgedc.com

The Flying Bridge, a premier rooftop venue with one of the most breath taking views of the city, offers a memorable space for your event. Unlike some of the other rooftop venues, this space was built to prevent issues pertaining to the weather.

There is a retractable awning that covers over 2,100 sq. feet of the rooftop. It also has removable clear side panels that can be opened as needed along with heating and air-conditioning that allows it to be used year round for events.

This will definitely prevent clients from spending money on expensive cooling/heating systems and fans.

The enclosed space can accommodate 200 guests for a seated dinner, or 300 for a cocktail reception. The total guest capacity on the rooftop is 470. In addition, there is also a lower terrace available for receptions or dinners that can accommodate up to 300 guests. Caterers will love the kitchen prep area located on the same level as the rooftop space, which makes things easy and efficient.

Whether you are planning a wedding, private affair or gala – this venue will offer you a unique experience along with an unforgettable view.

MALMAISON
Address: 3401 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-817-3340
Website: http://malmaisondc.com

Georgetown is known for its great shopping, but you can’t forget about the amazing restaurants as well! Malmaison is one of those restaurants, which is also a great event space. It is located in a historic, industrial building with unique European architecture. This restaurant offers a French inspired menu, but in addition to great dining, it can easily be transformed into versatile party space for your next affair. There is 4200 square feet of open space with views of the Potomac River, Rosslyn skyline, and the Key Bridge. The space is split into two levels with two full bars, media service (18 foot projector screen), dance floor, private dining area, and separate cocktail bar space.

This event space can hold anything from weddings, corporate events, private group dinners and other special occasions. I think this space works best for more intimate affairs like birthday parties, anniversary dinners and product launches. They have a culinary and events team that can assist you with creating a memorable menu and affair.

Other great features of the space include:

* Lower level dining/bar area is 980 square feet, the upper level bar/lounge area is 1406 square feet

* Accommodates approximately 500 standing, 300 standing with furniture

* Modern, open concept

* Raised, semi private DJ booth with sound system setup

* Covered outdoor area

* 3 fully functioning garage doors on front façade

* Large industrial sized kitchen

* Working fire place

Malmaison is great space that will definitely offer you a modern and stylish feel for your next function!

TABULA RASA

Address: 731 8th Street, SE
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-258-3168
Website: http://www.thetabularasa.com

Tabula Rasa is located in a lively area of South East, DC nestled right in between a variety of shops and restaurants. You would never know that this modern and functional event space existed. The concept of the space started as a meeting place, but it has turned out to be much more than that. When the owners of the space came up with the name Tabula Rasa or “Blank Slate” they wanted it to represent a space that can go from a business meeting by day to cocktail reception by night allowing the space to be seen as a versatile environment.

Some of the highlights of the space include:

* 1,095 -square foot, ground-floor event space, featuring state-of-the-art video and sound systems

* 8-foot-long custom made rolling laptop bar, contemporary; suitable for cocktails, stationary hors d’oeuvres, and product displays

* White lounge and conference room furniture, including white leather sofa and club chair, cafe tables, birch and Herman Miller chairs

* Spacious professional prep kitchen, which may be used by the client’s choice of caterer or one of our catering partners

* Adjustable track lights, LED, A/V equipment, signage and other rigging

* Ceiling grid for art and other decorative installations

* Dedicated high-speed, wireless Internet

* Easy street-level load-in and load-out, as well as alley access

* Accommodates up to 40 guests for a seated dinner or 100 people for cocktails

* Handicapped accessibility

* Street-level advertising opportunities, including one over-sized display window

This venue is definitely a great fit for any intimate affair ranging from birthday parties to boutique pop ups. As stated on the website, “the indoor/outdoor component allows for guests to move freely, while also enjoying the quaint courtyard, which is the connector between the front and back part of the venue. The white walls and clean look of the venue truly allows for customization of the event and transformation of the space”. This event space is a hidden gem in the city that you should definitely consider for your next intimate function.

THE POWERHOUSE
Address: 3255 Grace Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-584-0062
Website: http://riseeventsdc.com/Powerhouse/index.html

As you turn down this small side street in Georgetown, you would never imagine that a raw, yet beautiful event space exists there – The Powerhouse. It’s not your typical venue in the DC metro area. Although there is something to be said about the character of a historic museum or home, it’s nice to also have options for that modern, industrial feel. It truly is a blank slate, allowing any planner’s vision to come alive in this space. The exposed brick, steel beams, 30’ high ceilings, dramatic smoke stack and large windows provide a unique backdrop for any event. A large outdoor courtyard and trestle bridge connect the Powerhouse to M Street and the Shops at Georgetown Park.

Some of the other features of the space include:

* 2 story venue with 6,500 square feet of event space
* Second floor mezzanine balcony looking over a potential dance floor
* Fully renovated to include brand new top-of-the-line bathrooms and a catering prep kitchen
* State-of-the-art sound system with audio inputs throughout the space, fully wired for easy event lighting installation

Another challenge in the DC area is finding large venues that can hold 300 or more guests outside of a hotel or museum. There is enough space at The Powerhouse to hold a large wedding, party or gala, but also accommodate an intimate affair. The Powerhouse is truly a versatile space. You don’t have to worry about another function interfering with your event, because the space is exclusively yours. Unlike many other spaces in the city, this venue is strictly an event space. It’s refreshing as a planner to see my options expanding – so that I am truly able to offer a space that suits the needs of my diverse clientele.