Music is one of the most powerful yet underutilized meeting and event design elements. When used effectively, music can:
- underscore an event theme
- signal a group that is time to return from a break or lunch
- mark transitions in the agenda
- calm a rowdy group
1. Themes for Themes
Finding music to reflect an event theme is probably one of the easiest aspects of using music for events. Take your pick from popular songs, movie themes, music from specific countries, holiday music, and classical music. There is literally music for every theme that event planners can dream up so the possibilities are endless.
Music is one of the 12 Key Ingredients for Bringing Event Themes to Life.
Since it's fall foliage season, Autumn from Vivaldi's Four Seasons is a perfect fit.
2. Bach From Breaks
Even the most conservative and analytical audiences will appreciate some background music during break time. Event planners can signal that it is time to return to the meeting either by playing music during the break and stopping it 5 minutes before the meeting resumes or having a quiet break and playing music to signal it's time to return to the meeting.
Have fun with it. The fast movement of the William Tell Overture, An American in Paris, The Entertainer, or any other music that is associated with being in a hurry will add a touch of humour. Use our play on words and play Bach when it is time to come back from breaks.
I shared Tips for Getting Attendees Back From Smoke Breaks in a previous blog post.
Use music to signal a change in activity. For example, the theme from Rocky or Chariots of Fire can be an effective way of bringing an important speaker on state. For conferences or training and development programmes that include games, YouTube has a Game Show Theme Song channel.
4. A Calming Effect
Let's face it sometimes groups get so rowdy that it's tough to capture and maintain their attention. When this happens, by changing the tune.....literally facilitators, meeting and event planners can change the tone. Give the group a time out for a written exercise or pause for reflection and play Claude Debussy (Claire de Lune, Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun, Arabesque I), Mozart (Adagio in E Minor, Fantasy in D Minor). Some excellent choices are also available from Australia's Ken Davis Music.
Here are some other tips for Re-capturing the Attention of Rowdy Meeting Participants.
The Cvent Event Blog has previously discussed how music can be effective in:
- energizing a groggy group during notoriously low energy times of day (e.g. last hour before lunch, mid-afternoon)
- bridging generation gap and cross-cultural gaps
For more examples of how music can wow your guests read, Artists Delivering the Wow Factor for Corporate Events and Cvent Kaleidoscope Events Display Art of Wowing Guests.
Photo Credit: Dorothy Finley