Music plays a crucial role in professional seminars, industry conferences, and annual meetings. Besides setting the mood, it also energizes the participants and cues up the moment. In this regard, it is important to understand the music strategy when planning corporate events. Such meetings require music that will improve the tempo and vibe during the proceedings, as well as the dj equipment that is required for this to work. Therefore, I always emphasize the following tips when selecting music for a corporate event.
Music forms part of the agenda when organizing the very first brainstorming meeting. I seek opinions from other planners to ensure that the soundtrack is in tune with the ceremony. To achieve this, I engage my team to choose a song that will play at the start of the event.
Another way is to assign team members a task to searching playlists, DJs, and live bands. Still, I go through the program to check the number of breakout sessions, and the shifts between main speeches and Q&A sessions, and if the event is about brainstorming or team building.
Both recorded and live music have pros and cons. While recorded music is cost-effective and has a vast range of songs, music styles, and tempo, live music has the power to stir emotions and brings people together with a shared experience.
Nevertheless, the choice of music that I plan for will depend on the budget, as well as the goals of the event. If I’m operating on a strict budget, then I always opt for digital playlists. But if the budget is on the higher end, then I fuse recorded music and a live band. However, I prefer recorded music for walk-ons and workshops, small music groups for luncheons, and a band for evening events.
A conference for seasoned industry executives won’t have the same tune as that of young professionals. Young conference attendees endear themselves to independent or current mainstream hits, but attendees above the age of 50 are likely to prefer classics such as Clearwater Revival and The Beatles, and Creedence.
A general conference is likely to attract both old and young. Therefore, I always liaise with the organizers to create a custom list that meets the taste of everyone from different geographic and cultural backgrounds. I sometimes go the extra mile to engage my social media following to see their preferences regarding various music genres.
Irrespective of the diversity of attendees, I also consider songs that resonate well with everyone. They include Happy by Pharell Williams, All-Star by Smash Mouth, Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Viva la Vida by Coldplay, and Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, among others.
I always seek expert opinion on the dos and don’ts of the playlists. This is because certain popular songs do not do well for some events. Some DJs may not be aware of this, and I always let them know. Therefore, before the event, I compile a list of songs that the DJ or the band should avoid during the event.
It’s important to match the music and the time the event is being held. For instance, heavy bass music isn’t ideal for the early morning workshops when people are still sipping their coffee or tea. To start the events, I choose music that engages the audience and builds up their energy. I go for the anthem-like or upbeat tune to set a mood of excitement.
For early morning team building or networking sessions, I opt for light background music. As a transition to the next seminar, a live band performance comes in handy. It re-energizes the participants, wowing them with an electric experience. I prefer bands such as barbershop quartets, marimba bands or bluegrass bands.
If there are numerous speakers in the afternoon session, then I plan for walk-on tunes to play as each one of them is introduced. Such tunes may include but are not limited to Blitzkrieg Bop by the Ramones, Baba O’Riley by The Who, and Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac.
As most corporate events require licensed music, it’s my responsibility to seek permission from the relevant copyright organizations on the legal requirements for various songs.