I put a great deal of time and thought into selecting the music to be played at each and every corporate event our company produces. I do so because I am certain that music plays an active role in how people react to an experience. Whether it’s a movie, TV program, theatre production or “business theatre”, (such as a product launch event or sales meeting), music triggers emotional reactions, consciously or unconsciously. If chosen strategically, music can help you direct your audience’s thoughts and emotions to the benefit of your business event strategy.
Music – carefully sequenced – can help you build up the audience’s energy and sense of expectation during walk-in to the venue. In the 20 minutes or so between opening the doors of the ballroom or theatre to the moment the first Presenter walks out on stage to begin the event, you have essentially 5 songs (at roughly 4 minutes each) at most to leverage to your advantage to get your audience in the exact frame of mind you want them to have. Don’t ignore this important opportunity!
A very strategic sequencing to the last 5 songs leading up to the “curtain up” moment on stage is crucial. Think this through backwards – from the minute before your first Presenter is introduced on stage backwards to the first song of walk-in. What is the energy, level of excitement you want your audience to feel in that last minute before the “show” starts? You want to build up to that moment. Once you are clear about exactly how you want them to feel in that minute before the start of show, then pick that song very carefully.
Now that you have your last walk-in song selected (song #5), then pick song #4 – the perfect song that would seamlessly segue into that last song before your first Presenter’s walk-on to stage. The tempo, energy and style of song #4 should fit well with song #5.
AND – if you are using music with lyrics – be certain that the words to all your songs build up to the exact message and attitude you want to convey to your audience just before the curtain rises on your event. Note: Do not make the mistake of choosing popular radio hits that have a great rock tempo, energy, yet have depressing or negative lyrics in some way.
Of course, visuals are extremely important in this process as well. Yet I believe music is the stronger emotional trigger.
This is not new science. Much has been written about the physiological effects of music on the brain and, in turn, on emotion in art and commerce. (See these links below for more on music and neuroscience from the highly regarded research conducted by Oliver Sachs and Daniel Levitin):
Knowing which music is strategically perfect for your business event goals and the impact you want to have on your audience requires you to know a few basic things. We’ll talk about those specifics in Part 2 of this topic to follow here soon. Stay tuned!