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Setting the tone: How to choose the right music for your next event

Once just the realm of drinks receptions and dancefloors, music has become a key part of conferences, awards dinners, and corporate events in recent years as organisations take inspiration from more mainstream events to create meaningful experiences that their delegates will never forget.

Choosing the right music sets the vibe for your event, and more and more we are seeing clients embrace the power of the playlist to get people energised and ready to engage. Over the last year, we have seen some brilliant examples of clients using music in innovative ways, from speakers at Atomicon entering the stage to an empowering song to get the crowd going to a full delegate sing-a-long with Big Ian Douherty to launch the Good Work Place Pledge in 2023. The team at Opencast put energy centre stage, with every conference speaker walking onstage to their own choice of uplifting music, which can sometimes be themed specifically to the topic in discussion.  

Our team at BeaconHouse Events loves to get creative when it comes to event details, and music isn’t just nice to have; it can create those moments of surprise and connection that can elevate your delegate’s experience with you. 

Forget the dodgy DJ; we asked the team for their top tips on choosing the music for your next event…

Get creative 

Just because you’re planning a corporate event doesn’t mean you can’t be creative when it comes to incorporating music into the day. Consider the points in your event when delegates might need a little pick-me-up, or if there are breaks in the schedule when you could surprise and delight with a pop-up live performance. Think about whether your delegates know each other already or if they will be meeting for the first time. Could a musical start to the event act as an icebreaker to get people feeling at ease, or an interactive musical teambuilding to end the formalities of the conference ? If people want to let their hair down, why not consider live band karaoke as an alternative to the original dancefloor? 

Playlists with purpose

Music has the power to connect people and really set the tone of your event, so think about the environment you are trying to create and plan your playlist accordingly. Consider whether you are asking your delegates to be reflective, to stimulate new ideas, or to be excited about the year ahead and spend time planning your music around your purpose. More clients than ever are working with us to create staff engagement experiences and bring their teams together in a meaningful way. Think about the last festival or gig you attended; music is a fantastic way of giving people a feeling of togetherness if deployed thoughtfully. While music isn’t always conducive to a learning environment, it is perfect for creating structure and signaling the end of one segment and the beginning of another, which can break up learning and make it easier for people to stay focused and retain messaging. 

Make it memorable 

Pairing key ideas with music can make them more memorable, so think about the messages that you want people to take away from the day and plan your music accordingly. Research shows that people’s memory for faces is vastly improved when they listen to emotionally touching background music, while other studies show that music is intrinsically linked to our mood. Why not share a QR or link to an online playlist from the day to help people reflect or feel inspired when they are back in the office? 

Consider Accessibility 

Remember that loud noise can be overstimulating for some delegates, so make sure to create quiet spaces where people can get away from the hustle and bustle and turn off for a while. Events can be overwhelming, so these spaces could incorporate quiet, calming sounds to help people take a moment to themselves. A silent disco is an accessible way for people to share in an experience together, choose their music through headsets, or just enjoy the peace and quiet. 

Work with professionals 

Finding an audio-visual partner that you trust will take away a lot of stress on the day! A professional team will make sure that everything from the speaker mics to the band sounds amazing. You may have chosen the perfect audio accompaniment for your event, but if the sound quality is bad, that is what people will remember. Ask your chosen venue about their sound systems and talk them through the brief for the event. If you’re enlisting the help of an external team, make sure you talk them through the number of attendees, the floorplan, and the layout in advance so they can provide the best experience possible. 

A client giving us the scope to get creative is music to our ears. To discuss bringing your next event to life, email or call 0191 691 3456