Music for Meetings and Conferences? Go for Baroque

Music for evening eventEnergizers are important for meetings and conferences especially when participants are going to be in a passive "listening" mode. Music is one of the most powerful energizers for meetings. You can use music to relax attendees, refresh pooped participants, restore calm in rowdy groups and stimulate the free flow of ideas during brainstorming exercises.

Why is music the perfect energizer? The work of noted Bulgarian physicist Georgi Lozonav sheds some light on this. His groundbreaking studies revealed the fact music charges and energizes the brain. His studies demonstrated the effectiveness of Baroque music for facilitating language learning. The reason for this is that the rhythm of Baroque music matches the alpha brain waves that accompany the heightened state of relaxation for optimal learning.

This doesn't mean that one should only play Baroque music. Based on audience preferences, play a variety but use Baroque music before challenging learning exercises or difficult content.

While Baroque music is effective from a brain physiology point of view, it can be a turn-off, particularly for younger audiences that have not had much exposure to classical music. Depending on the results of participant profiles, event planners may need to be creative and search for options like "modern Baroque music for learning," "Baroque rap music" and "Baroque hip hop". Here are some examples:

Baroque Music Goes Modern


Baroque Hip-Hop Music


Catering to Diverse Learning Styles

When considering audience preferences, avoid wall to wall music as this won't appeal to everyone. I have previously identified energizers that appeal to:

Music appeals to all learning styles. The only difference is how you use it. Let preferences identified on participant profiles and learning styles surveys drive your selections. With analytical and structured learners, it's best to use music before the meeting starts, during breaks, relaxation exercises, stretches, in participant lounges, from time to time, dinner or lunch entertainment, and as a finishing touch to end meetings or conferences on a high note. With most kinesthetic and visual learners, you can also embed music during presentations and use background music and music DVDs during quiet reading periods, brainstorming exercises, group discussions, and dance energizers. 

Music DVD for Relaxation or Background Music

How to Legally Use Music for Business Meetings and Corporate Events

If you want to use music for meetings, corporate events or conferences, you have a few options.

  • purchase and use royalty-free music
  • approach music producers emerging artists and obtain permission to use their music. My company has done t his for years with great success and enthusiastic response from participants. (In exchange, sell the music CDs and DVDs at the back of the room).
  • obtain a license to legally use copyrighted music

For permission to legally use music for events, in the U.S., contact BMI or ASCA. In Canada, to obtain a license from SOCAN.

For more information about using music for events and conferences, also consult Dialing Up the Conference Experience with Music and Energizers for Conferences and Off-site Meetings on the Cvent Event Blog and Musical Music: Music for Accelerated Learning

Photo Credit: Luxury Corporate Events, Executive Oasis International

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