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Music is an important ingredient to event design. Like a great film score or soundtrack, event music has the ability to evoke our emotions and emphasize key messaging at just the right moment. If your goal is create an environment for guests to let their hair down and connect with one another in a meaningful way, the right musical experience has the ability to draw out the music-lover in all of us and create powerful engagement.

This works because the experience of live music takes us back to our youth when we were perhaps a little freer and a little more daring – A time when we might have frequently gone to loud concerts, listened to entire albums, fell in love with rock stars, maybe even played in a band with friends. But, as it often does, time goes on and busy schedules take over, and before you know it the guitars are retired to the closet, the record collection gathers dust, and attending concerts becomes an occasional occurrence.  However, events that use music in the right way can resurface these wonderful memories and musical aspirations we have inside.

Here are 3 ways to draw out the music in your guests:

1) Identify In-House Talent

Audiences love seeing one of their own up on stage. At the massive Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Public Enemy’s producer Hank Shocklee had been a panelist earlier in the day on a session about music licensing, so it was a nice tie in and thrill for the guests to have him in the DJ booth that night.

What made it even more special was when he was joined on the decks by the party’s host and music lover, Michael Petricone, Sr. VP of Government Affairs at CEA.

Michael’s joy at being a DJ alongside the hip-hop legend was infectious, providing a warm, fun connection between the entertainment and the guests.

You might not have a famous music producer like Hank Shocklee attending your event, but there’s almost always someone — either from your team or one of your guests — with some real musical talent who can help you connect with your audience in a personal way. Remember – audiences LOVE seeing one of their own up on stage.

2) Crowd-Sourced Playlists

When possible, include your guests in the music decision to generate greater interest and buy-in. If you’re throwing a themed party, let’s say for Halloween or the Oscars, ask people to submit their favorite scary song or movie soundtrack as part of the invitation. If you are inviting guests via Facebook, this doubles as a fun social media campaign and gives your guests a personal involvement in your event. On the night of the party it won’t be just any music creating the atmosphere, it will be songs that they themselves suggested to get the party started.

3) Tap Into Your Guests’ Creativity

Virgin Richard Branson

Create powerful connections by getting everyone involved in creating the music. We helped 1,500 Virgin employees write, record, then perform a song for their fearless leader, Sir Richard Branson.

What was meant to be a 15 minute “meet and greet” at which only a few people would get close to the guest of honor, became a full-blown rock concert where everyone partied, got a photo, and laid their hands on the bashful business icon. This isn’t the first business leader we’ve seen crowd surf — and it’s never a result of a PowerPoint presentation! It’s the music that creates these unforgettable moments, especially when the guests have been an integral part of creating it.

There’s always musical and creative talent right under your nose, whether it be your guests or your colleagues. You just need to identify it and then let everyone have fun with the music!


This SongDivision article was featured on the DesignDawgs blog.


Create the right musical environment to unite your guests.

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