5 tips to create song lists for corporate events
1. LET’S TALK ABOUT A SONG LIST FOR CORPORATE EVENTS!
When putting together a song list for corporate events you have to think different then if it’s a wedding. Often times, very good Wedding Bands will try to pass themselves off as also being Corporate Events Bands. While there are many similarities these are very different types of animals. Where as a band that primarily only plays at Weddings tries to keep the Bride, Groom and in laws happy a Corporate Band has to set the tone for the party. It might be a more refined reception after a difficult annual shareholders meeting or it could be a rowdy product launch party! The place to start is at the beginning with the Corporate Event Producer.
- Set a meeting with the Client, Planner and Music Director. Most of the time a client/corporation will look to the Corporate Event Producer, but it is equally important to have the Music Director present when discussing music.
- Who is the band performing for at the corporate event? Some gigs it’s really going to be for the CEO and the music needs to reflect what the CEO and VP’s enjoy – So should it be The Rat Pack style of music with some more contemporary thrown in? Or the opposite. Does the leadership want a more “hip” and “contemporary music” selection?
- Is this an adult only party or will the families be attending? Everyone should have a good time and no one should feel awkward because of the music. The Corporate Event Producer will have the right answer to this question but it’s always good to ask.
- What is the corporate flavor of company? Is this a young technology startup and are expecting to go crazy and dance all night or is it a more reserved and traditionally corporate reserved culture. Everyone wants to have fun so make sure that the music is tailored to your corporate client.
- Should we try to get everyone up and dancing or should it be more like a concert or background music? The Replicas Music offers a wide range and style of music/musicians. In addition to our variety acts we represent groups such as Jazz, Classical Strings, Big Band.
A professional band provides value for the clients. Musicians don’t just the show up and perform. It’s the methodical practice and planning to make sure everything is correct. The job isn’t just to perform an amazing show, but to make the organizer look like a rockstar because they did help choose the right band to tie the whole event together!
2. SHOULD THE SONG LIST REFLECT THE THEME?
If the event has a country western theme then maybe Daft Punk isn’t the right vibe, but Willie Nelson is!
What is the mood? Is it bright and “shiny” like an LA party or is it dark and moody? The music should reflect it.
Some huge corporations can afford to hire big name acts like Bruno Mars. I actually attended a couple of events at the St. Regis in Orange County thrown by a finance company 2 years in a row and they hired Sugar Ray and Ludacris. The year they hired Ludacris they also designed their room with human size bird cages with go-go dancers.
3. KNOW YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Will the band be inside or outside? Is the event in a residential area?
Are the local sound ordinances an issue? What is the Law in that area? What time must the band stop playing?
How long do you need the band to play? If the noise law says to stop at 10pm sharp, and you hired the band to play for 3 hours, be sure they begin playing at 7PM.
4. CORPORATE EVENTS, KEEP IT CLEAN, PEOPLE!
Ask the client if they need/want expletives to be deleted/altered out of the songs that contain them. Some clients don’t care! In any case, communicate this with the act you hire. In general most bands will have altered the songs and sing a cleaner version. For example, a few years back, we all remember the song “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green? We all know what the actual lyrics to that song are. We all loved to sing along to it in the car. Some even felt empowered by singing the words “F*&k You”. But not every event is going to be cool with the band actually saying those words. It’s safe to say that the bands should always choose to keep it clean and let the audience sing whatever they want! That’s what our musicians do.
5. ONE MORE THING ABOUT CORPORATE EVENTS: WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE SINGER? BAND?
The Replicas Music sends out a questionnaire to each client so we can help them narrow down their decision. Two of the questions we ask are, “Who are your top 5 favorite artists?” and “What are your top 5 favorite songs of all time?” Usually those 2 answers will give us a clear idea of what act and song list the client wants.