Events are the ultimate opportunity to entertain and put on a great show. Live stage spectacles and musical performances always garner appreciative audiences. Opportunities that draw guests in on the entertainment action also make for dynamic, in-the-moment engagement and ice-breaking interaction.
Tap into recent TSEvents e-news stories on magicians and psychic readers for some terrific audience-participation required talent, plus check out the following for ideas and entertainers that put guests in a starring role:
Known for its large-scale entertainment productions, Toronto-based Creativiva also custom designs unique roaming acts fuelled by ideas its creative team – experience architects – cull from their travels and event work around the world. Specialty props and signature costumes are key, such as the 1,000 shiny reflective pieces that cover the Mirror Men. Using dance and pantomime to interact with crowds, the characters make for popular photo ops. There’s also giant Illuminated Stars, great for after-sundown events. Performers inside the inflatables change the LED coloured lights and move the star’s spikes in reaction to attendees’ touches.
Using sleight of hand and an impeccable sense of balance and timing, Lacey Lucidity stops crowds in their tracks with her visually stunning contact juggling. A strolling or stationary performer, Lucidity’s graceful, fluid movements instil the ball with life, seemingly levitating or moving on its own as she masterfully orchestrates its path through the air and into body rolls. A multi-disciplined performer, and former event planner, Lucidity pulls from her teaching experience as director of Juggling Is Awesome to inject on-the-spot classic juggling lessons. An accomplished and passionate speaker, juggling becomes the metaphor for life in her messaging.
Visually spectacular, Linda Googh Enterprises’ Scream Theme strolling tables are definitely attention getters. Trained character animators costumed as themed décor are tremendous ice breakers, engaging guests in conversation as they glide their unique “table bodies” among the crowd, serving cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and more. Try an element of surprise with “The Head,” aka George Kash. With only his head above-table visible, Kash remains as motionless as the decorative carving he’s made up to be until a guest approaches and he opens his eyes and starts chatting. Awesome fun and an excellent way to impart scripted messaging!
Spray Can Action
Tangible Interaction’s Digital Graffiti Wall fuses responsive technology with street art and mega branding opportunity. But this isn’t just any wall designed to engage guests’ inner graffiti artist. Tangible’s digital canvas is scalable in size and, since its inception a few years back, has evolved to include an expanded range of user-friendly touch-screen art tools including backgrounds, stencils and stickers that add a refined edginess to spur-of-the-moment creativity. Guests select painting widths, drips and opacities with a touch of the digital spray can nozzle. Live screen-captures and instant email capabilities ensure guests send their art, and your message, into the social media stratosphere.
Improv in Toronto is a public event group and art collective that conjures up wildly random, cool ideas that affect others in a positive way – Robin Hood pranksters if you may. Their mission is to draw bystanders into interactive art projects, urban experiments and events while imparting a good story or message for participants to take away and share in turn. Staged mainly for public entertainment, the team, led by creative director Cole Banning, can customize ideas for corporate or private crowd activations. Sponsored events range from flash mobs (singing, dancing — you name it) to smaller scale experiential events, or experiences specifically created for viral videos and/or publicity.
Piñatas aren’t just for kids! Part decoration, part physical entertainment, and, of course, part catering (candy counts, right?), the celebrative papier-mâché effigies make for terrific blind-folded-come-out-swinging fun! A former event manager, Michelle Larratta of Big Ass Piñata builds ‘em huge, customized by theme and using a wide range of non-traditional materials including jeweled bling and old comics. If desired, trick release trap doors for candy, branded giveaways and more, help preserve the art. A life-size Stanley Cup and a rideable fire truck are among the piñartist’s portfolio which also includes dancefloor/party starter piñatas. New are miñatas, perfect tiny giveaways holding one candy, three confetti and a personalized message. They open with a small pull string.
No matter what age the invite list, there’s nothing better than fun and games to catch the attention of, and amuse guests. From arcade machines that transform folks into pinball wizards to carnival skill-testers like ring toss and hi-strikers, event rentals specialists such as Superior Events put amusement directly into guests’ hands. With summer picnics straight ahead, look to giant inflatables to deliver wacky interactive games such as Superior’s Meltdown, a scaled down take-off of the Total Wipeout game show that pitches competitors against weird obstacle courses with giant moving parts.