Music can make or break your event. Misread the room, and you’ll end up sending guests running. Music can be used to set the mood and tone of the event, but can also be a form of entertainment.
Understanding who will attend and keeping in mind the purpose of your event will help you make the right choice for your music. Here we review 8 tips to help you pick the perfect music for your event venue in Vaughan.
1. Understand your guests
The people attending your event are the most important factor in music selection. Is this a corporate event? Is it for family and friends? Is it a conference of some sort? While some events might have a common age range, others might be more inclusive with people of all ages. All of these “demographics” should be considered when you make your music selection.
2. Consider the psychology of music
Because music affects the mood, it will set the tone for the entire experience. Do you want your music to be relaxing or stimulating? Elegant, or hip? Is your music part of the event, such as introducing keynote speakers or helping wind down presentations, or is it strictly for entertainment purposes? Is it simply meant to provide background music so people can network, chat, and get to know each other?
If your event is business-driven, your music will also play an important role in how people view your brand. This means music should help instill memories about your event messaging, whether it triggers pleasurable memories, motivates, or empowers.
3. Start with an inspirational song
When you understand your audience and the psychological aspects of how music helps create the right experience, you can choose an inspirational song that will help set the tone for the rest of your music selection. This makes it easier to come up with a music strategy. It is a jumping-off point that helps you determine where you want your music to go.
4. Live, DJ or playlist?
Here are the ideal choices based on your event type:
Live music is best left to events where the entertainment element of the event is important. Mind you, you might find you still need some background music via a playlist building up to your main event, but your main goal is to find the right band to suit the event. Do you want people to dance? Do you want to set an elegant tone with a jazz band or classical quartet?
This is the go-to where dancing is a must (but please ensure that social distancing is adhered to during COVID-19, as per the recommended guidelines!) As well, it allows you to control the music by choosing the DJ who best reflects the style and tempo of the music you want them to play. When it comes to budget, DJs tend to be the more cost-effective choice as live bands tend to be expensive.
This is the ultimate background music choice and the most affordable. You have complete control over the music played, and most events will require some form of background music in hand with the DJ or live band.
5. Create a no-play list
Whether you are working with a DJ, live band or have someone creating a playlist, having a no-play list is a must. This is usually determined based on things such as inappropriate lyrics or over the top extremes of certain music genres.
For example, a young crowd will find Pat Boone crooning 50s love songs is just as offensive as baby boomers “tutting” at the expletives used by someone as harmless as Lana Del Rey.
6. Time of day
This might sound an odd consideration, but people won’t want to listen to a throbbing bass line at a morning conference. People attending a night event will be looking forward to something a bit livelier than a string quartet. It’s all dependent on the type of event you are holding. Some good rules of thumb to follow are:
Conferences and corporate events
Energy building music works well at these events as it keeps people moving and awake. However, you can also consider having some form of musical interlude to help keep people engaged, such as having a live band at lunch.
Upbeat music is fine if it’s light and instrumental. Ideally, this is simply background music that keeps people invigorated but not hyper.
Formal cocktails or evening networking events
This calls for your choice of either smooth jazz or classical music. If you’re going the live route, a string quartet, jazz trio or even subtle mariachi band works well.
Sit down dinners call for low volume music suited to your guests’ taste. A good starting point is to check out dinner playlists for inspiration.
Once the night kicks in, upbeat music is the all-hours of the night choice, allowing people to let down their hair and enjoy themselves. DJs are your best option here, although sometimes you can kick the night off with a lively band.
7. Consider the venue
Your venue will likely have some restrictions on music, sound levels, etc. If you are planning an event where music is a must, make sure you choose a venue that can accommodate your needs, whether it is a good sound system for background music, space for a stage and band or acoustics and sound walls to allow for a loud DJ. It would be best if you then came up with a floor plan that allows space for your music.
Consider how many tables are required, if a dance floor is needed, what COVID-19 guidelines need to be considered, and then space for the music provider. DJs take up less space than bands in general. Some venues might even provide an actual piano if you want to have a pianist tinkling in the background.
Once all is said and done, your musical offering will be dictated by your budget. Your cheapest bet is creating a playlist to be used for background music. Depending on the scope of your event, you might run into licensing issues if you decide to play a copyrighted song on repeat without permission.
In most cases, this won’t be a concern, but a good example is Neil Young suing President Trump for using his song “Rockin’ in the Free World.” The right music helps set the perfect tone for your event. These tips will help you make the best choice to meet or exceed your guests’ expectations.