Music has a strong correlation to memories and mood. Whether you choose a DJ or live musical entertainment for your event, make sure their playlist and their style match the atmosphere you want to create. If you succeed, attendees may remember your event for years to come every time they hear a certain song or listen to a specific band. That’s the power of mood music.
Successful mood music is no afterthought. There are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider before making any musical decisions, and you’ll want to get busy with that as soon as you start planning your event. Not only is music integral to your entire event experience, the best DJs and bands often book up far in advance.
Here are four key elements you’ll want to think about:
Your Event's Purpose and Audience Determines Style of Music
If you want people to celebrate a corporate milestone or spend money at your charity auction, upbeat music is a must. If you want people to relax and focus on your presenters, something calming (but not too snoozy!) is best.
Is there a theme? It’s entirely possible you’ll want different music for your big welcome as guests arrive, during the opening mixer, at dinner or during presentations, afterward for dancing or as a stage performance. Regardless, it should all consistently support your event theme/purpose.
Along with the purpose/theme of your event, consider the age and general culture of your audience. No matter who they are, make sure your DJ or band has a playlist long enough to keep their performance time from becoming redundant and varied enough to keep your audience interested.
DJ, Band, or Solo Artist: What Does Your Budget Cover?
Cost of musical entertainment covers a tremendous range. That’s good news for every budget, however, you still want to get the greatest impact for whatever you spend. Ask what the price includes. Will you have to supply extra equipment, food and beverage, or other special requests? That’s fine, but be sure you understand your total cost before comparing prices or making any decisions.
In general, a DJ will be cheaper than a band, but maybe not a trio or solo artist. Large bands charge more because they have more people to pay and more equipment to maintain. Timing plays a role in cost, too. DJs and bands can charge more when demand is highest — the holidays, summer (if you’re competing with festivals), evenings, weekends. If your event is scheduled for a weekday afternoon in the off-season, you could land an amazing band at an amazingly affordable price.
Your Event Space Will Determine Type of Performance
Your band should fit the size of your space and the size of your audience. Large bands are usually best for larger spaces whereas smaller ensembles are nicer for small spaces. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with the band’s size or sound. With that in mind, sometimes less is more even for a larger event.
Do they need to be seen, or mostly just heard? Will your event fill a single space or multiple rooms? Will you have sequential activities such as reception, dinner, dancing, or is there a single focal point? Think about where you want to locate the band so they integrate nicely with the rest of your layout and program agenda. Make sure your venue can accommodate power needs as well as space (your AV team can help here). Do they have sound level restrictions?
Do Your Homework
Once you’re clear on how you want music to contribute to your event, you can decide if you want a DJ or live musicians. Then, it’s time to get specific. You can research online, ask business colleagues or others for referrals. And ask your AV team! We have lots of contacts and first-hand experience with musicians of every type and style.
We know who sounds great and is also great to work with (for us and for you, as the event planner). Frankly, a somewhat more expensive band that is pleasant and flexible is worth their weight in gold compared to a cheaper-but-demanding group that will cost you in time and headaches.
With all this in mind, you can choose ideal mood music and the ideal performers to give your audience an event experience they’ll happily remember for years to come.