Getting the entertainment brief right

By Mel Remme

The Line Up team attended JLA’s Royal Variety Show last week at Cadogan Hall. There was a real mix of diverse talent, from renowned host ‘Alexander Armstrong’ to less familiar performers like ‘Duke Beatbox’.


We all avidly discussed the performances after the show, with everyone having a differing option about who their favourite performer was; ‘Kerry Godliman, no Phil Wang, no no definitely Tom Allen although Duke were amazing and so different…’


This debate got me thinking about how subjective entertainment is, and how hard it is to find acts that will please everyone. This is so true of the corporate market and after the show, I couldn’t help thinking… ‘which of our audiences would work best with this act…’ . I ummm’d and urrrr’d for a while and suddenly realised that we often go for the safest, least controversial option when choosing talent, especially as audience ages, gender and social backgrounds can vary so widely. Trying to please everyone is such a challenge.


Often the emphasis is placed on getting a ‘big name’. But there’s so much new talent out there to explore maybe we are missing a trick here? Maybe we should swap the ‘big name’ for a handful of up and coming names… Maybe we should move away from the cautious and towards the undiscovered? Audiences are getting ever younger, and preferences more diverse by the minute.


Ultimately the entertainment should reflect what the event is trying to communicate.  We are not always being asked to find some vanilla flavoured act to please everyone.  Often the brief is to search for something that embodies the brand, or the brand target audience, that evokes emotion and surprise.  Put on a show that the audience doesn’t expect – that’s what they’ll remember.