Choosing a Dinner & Dance Theme
When it comes to organising a corporate event such as the annual Dinner & Dance, the many different themes & options available can be overwhelming. Especially here in Singapore, one is faced with an even more difficult task---our truly international multi-cultural ethnic profile, who are spoilt by overexposure to countless events.
How to satisfy so many different types of people at the same time???
Well, all you need is to go to the simplest most crucial decision-making criteria...
Let me help you narrow your Dinner & Dance themes down, based on my years of experience in the local Singapore special events & entertainment industry...(illustrated with my own pix & clips of course) with 4 simple Tips
1. DECIDE ON THE BUDGET
Yes! The dreadful Budget!!!
Are you given a luxurious budget to pay attention to detail? Or do you need to squeeze the living daylight out of a dried prune? Some themes are far more expensive to execute than the rest. If you have little, then work with simpler themes that do not require costly props & decor.
Do you have staff who are eager to perform to help defray some of the cost for entertainers? Or would you have excess budget to hire professionals to handle the entire event?
Be realistic. Don't expect miracles. Quality does require some spending...Of course, you can still create magic by spending on what's more important first.
There's simply no point decking up on decor when you should have considered getting a good Dinner & Dance Emcee or MC (Master-of-ceremony) first.
Don't try to find it in-house because it takes talent, wit & years of experience to ensure that the formal part of the Dinner & Dance programme flows well into the informal.
The professional emcee is going to be up there on stage the entire night to do the formalities & morph into entertaining the audience & ra-ra them up.
That theme you finally choose make sense because the emcee knows how to make it work, knows how to work the crowd & get them going.
So Budget-wise--- if you've got a lot, leave it to the professionals to handle the entertainment & the event. You can fuss about the invitation cards, the decor, pre-dinner activities, you can hire any entertainers from singers, dancers, drummers, acrobats, magicians, stilt-walkers to aerial artistes, band musicians to present the bosses in the most fanciful presentation & fanfare, to keep the guest overwhelmed or to highlight the award winners---the possibilities are endless!
If there're isn't, then choose a easier-to-work theme & get the most important emcee settled first before considering the rest. Work with him to create the theme, by injecting creative ideas with songs & games in the programme, so to maximise your dollar!
A creative emcee can finish the event on a high with a Mass Dance, like this one:-
2. UNDERSTAND THE GUESTS
Ultimately, they are the ones to satisfy. If your guests are happy, then it's a successful event!
So ask yourself-
What sort of profile are they? Blue collar or White Collar, or a mix? Do they like to dress up to any particular theme? Are they game for it? Or just want to look glamourous or dress down in casual jeans. Are they shy & reserved? Or are they wild & happening? Is it better to choose a common theme such as Retro or Rollin' Good Times
or easy to dressup theme such as Wild Wild West because everybody has a pair of jeans & a shirt to look & feel comfortable enough
Do they love dancing & latin ballroom theme such as like Hot Hot Hot, Salsa, Tropicano would be perfect?
Or are they adventurous enough to try an inventive theme of Cosplay, Superheroes or Movie Magic in which each table can dress up to a movie theme?
Just make sure they understand the theme well enough...try to suggest to them some ideas if you think they might misunderstand the dress code-
eg for Peranakan theme-Guys come dress up in your batik shirts, ethnic prints, Ladies come in your Sarong kebayas
So that should help you narrow down to a few options-- to ensure at least your guests would enjoy the theme of the event.
3. WORK WITH THE VENUE
What sort of venue have you selected? Decor plays an important part but sometime takes a big chunk out of the budget, unless there's a lot to play with & the sky's the limit. Or else, one should never go against the ambience of the venue but try to work with it. If the place too posh with ornate chandeliers, there's no point try to go for a Safari Jungle theme.
So work with the venue's decor, ambience, capabilities, as well as the eagerness of the venue managment to offer additional decor & logistics support to enhance the theme. It can go a long way to helping you achieve the perfect setting for your theme.
If the venue is posh, go with something like Glitz & Glamour, A Night of Stars
If there's overwhelming ethnic elements in the decor, then perhaps an Ethnic theme will be perfect!
So let the venue speak to you in terms of narrowing it down further to the few themes that will fit well.
4. ENGAGE THE SHOW
Like it or not, the entire Dinner & Dance is a show!!!
No matter what- you need a professional emcee or entertainers to anchor the event. Yes, staff can definitely put up some crowd-pleasing performances, because everyone knows them personally. This is a great idea when the budget given is low.
However, you should still pay well for a professional host to pull it altogether, especially an experienced entertainer, one who is funny, able to engage the audience, one with a few talents to keep the audience entertained constantly through the whole night. He should also be spontaneous enough to have a bag of tricks to fill in gaps in-between or make try to cover up some last-minute changes in the programme because some entertainer has a last-minute wardrobe mulfunction. Because in a event, anything can happen!
LIST OF DINNER & DANCE THEMES
So finally, here's a non-exhaustive list of currently popular Dinner & Dance Themes in Singapore, Malaysia & all around Asia:
1.Peranakan- Hot favourite theme that plays to Singapore unique blend of ethnicity in culture & cuisine
2.Hollywood Stars- Everyone loves to dress like a superstar or impersonate one, all you need is your best outfit, or run down to the costume shops to look like Elvis, Marilyn or Michael Jackson
3.Multi-Cultural/ Unity in Diversity- Singporeans love their rich heritage where ethnic Chinese, Malay & Indian influences come together.
4.Around The World- Great to give everyone the chance to dress to their favourite ethnic costume from all over the world.
5.Retro- People love to reminisce about the good old days, the music & entertainment options are endless. You can be more specific like the Disco 70's or Rock Around the Clock, or Rockin 50's, Funkadelic 60's or keep it wider to cover anything from the past.
6.Masquerade- All you need is a mask, you can either have a best mask contest on top of best dress.
7.The Great Gatsby- Inspired by the blockbuster movie, adapted from a well-known novel. It's classic, its dandy, the bosses love a theme in which they can wear their favourite suits, look & behave like a million dollars, the ladies have countless dress options to look the part.
8.Wild Wild West-Who doesn't feel comfortable dressing in your jeans? Just throw on a cowboy hat & you are good to go!
9.Latin-It's the music, the rhythms, the moves... Even if you are new to it, you'll get hooked soon with the passion & the heat!
10.Back to School- It's still a walk down memory lane except you are free to go over-the-top childlike or childishness.
11.Broadway Cabaret-Its for the more artsy & refine taste.
12.Hawaiian, Safari- Go rustic if the place is just next to the beach like Sentosa Island.
13.Colours or The Red Party or Black & White Party-When you have tried everything, go with a colour-oriented theme that showcases diversity actually even though it sounds like a simple theme, visually it really makes an impact!
14.Fashion Runway - Everyone loves to dress up & catwalk their style, so why not!
Yes some of these themes do overlap, & permutations & combinations are not unusual- but its a good start to explore. Dancing with the Stars is already a Celebrity theme combined with Latin!
Be creative enough to combine them to come up with your own!! eg if you like colours & the Around the World theme, combine them to make Colours of The World as your theme!
BOOKING THE EMCEE
Well I hope this article helps you---you've read my advice, seen my pix & clips, so if you are considering settling the Dinner & Dance Emcee first, make a booking with me quickly because the popular dates often get snatch up real quick!!!
Drop me a message here to book me or if you need more help with your dinner & dance themes...feel free to comment!
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