The music played at corporate events will strengthen them, directly influencing the flow of events, ambiance, and the room’s energy. Songs for corporate events are an extremely important factor—and can be the difference between a room thriving with conversation and one that falls flat on its face.
THE BUSINESS CONFERENCE MUSIC PLAYLIST | WHAT ROLE DOES IT PLAY?
Music is a great interactive conference idea that can definitely make an impact. But remember that it’s a corporate event, not a party, and the last thing you want is to distract your attendees or potential new clients.
But before you start planning your next event and crafting your playlist, what role does music play for corporate events exactly?
THE IMPORTANT ROLE MUSIC PLAYS
Consider the music played at a corporate event to be one of the guests itself. This guest is a speaker, constantly shaping the dialogue that’s taking place and even controlling the tempo of the room. It’s the glue between each moment in the corporate event. In many ways, it informs people on how to act (whether it’s time to quiet down, converse, or focus).
A few things to consider:
- The Music Reflects the Event: The music, while also influencing the mood of the room, needs to reflect the corporate event itself. If you’re hosting a business conference surrounding environmentalism and eco-sustainability, it might be an odd choice to have a playlist composed solely of heavy metal. Just as well, if you’re throwing a corporate event yet your brand is somewhat of a rebel within those confines, allow the music to showcase who you are.
- The Music Can Guide the Crowd: The music you choose for your corporate event can help guide the audience when transitioning between speakers to team building or networking time. It can tell them, now is the time to talk and be social or now is the time to quiet down. For instance, selecting a specific song for the moment speakers walk up to the microphone will automatically tell the crowd what’s about to happen.
- The Music Can Tell People How to Feel: Music has a direct correlation with the way we feel. Thus, you can use it as a tool to draw your desired emotion out of the crowd and create memorable experiences. For instance, when guests walk in, playing an upbeat, high-energy song can foster the perfect ambiance for team building. But when you’re about to introduce the keynote speaker who will talk about an important subject matter, transitioning to a relaxing instrumental can settle the audience into a more pensive state.
LIVE MUSIC OR STREAMED?
Live music depends greatly on the budget, location, and the business conference activities. It’s usually the more expensive option between the two and can, if done correctly, be a key factor that makes your next event memorable.
- Live Music: Live music typically means higher energy. By having live musicians in the mix, the conference adds another layer to the experience. The problem? It can be distracting if not planned to work with the flow of the corporate event. Live music should be incorporated when you want the guests to pay attention to it, such as during breaks or after programming concludes. You don’t want to play live music during or between speakers as this might take away from the message they’re delivering.
- Streamed: Streamed music means control. It also means being at the mercy of your sound equipment. But with streaming music—especially if you hire a DJ—you can curate conference songs and create a schedule around the corporate event itself. You lose the personality of live music, but perhaps your corporate event doesn’t call for live musicians. By creating a conference music playlist, you can map out the schedule to determine what songs play every hour.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CURATING A BUSINESS CONFERENCE MUSIC PLAYLIST
With the above in mind, before you create your playlist, it’s important that you consider a few key factors about your conference itself. This will directly influence the music you choose.
- The Formality: How formal is your business conference? Should you stick to instrumental music and create an ambiance with classical and jazz music (being that these genres are often linked with professional and classy settings), or is it appropriate to mix it up with some modern hits and oldies? Also, remember that conference songs and music for business meetings are two entirely different things.
- The Agenda: Do you want to help create pacing with the music you’re using? If so, consider the agenda. Perhaps you begin the cocktail welcoming with some classical guitar, switch to some high-energy songs during team building or “networking hour,” play instrumental music between speakers, then finish the night off with rhythmic music to get the crowd moving!
- Your Budget: Renting sound equipment and plugging in an AUX cord can absolutely be the music solution for your business conference. However, a sound engineer, a band, or even a DJ could make a huge difference. Most times, this comes down to the budget you have for the corporate event.
- The Venue: It’s paramount that you take your venue into consideration when you’re creating your business conference music playlist. How big is it going to be? Will upbeat, high-energy music be too much for the small space? Will your equipment be able to support the sound necessary?
- The Theme: An amazing aspect of music is that you can allow it to communicate a message for you. Is there an overall theme for your corporate event? Is there a specific genre of music that can communicate your message? Tying the entire event together by deploying a thematic playlist could be what makes the entire experience cohesive.
By considering these factors, you’ll be able to choose the perfect playlist for your business conference.
THE FOOL-PROOF PLAYLIST
Below, you’ll find a curated playlist that’s great for turning most business conferences into memorable experiences. It’s also broken down into a generalized event agenda.
The Welcoming Jams
When people walk into your event, you immediately want them to feel energized and happy. For the upbeat welcoming:
- “Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars: Think of music incorporating the “feel good” nature of Uptown Funk. From “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, to “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake, songs like Uptown Funk will immediately put your attendees in a good mood.
For the classier upbeat welcoming:
- “Fly Me to the Moon,” by Frank Sinatra: If your business conference calls for some classics, then choose them according to the same upbeat, “feel good” sentiment. Think “I Hear Music” by Billie Holiday, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye, “Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond”, and “Stockholm Sweetnin’” by Scott Hamilton.
Now that your attendees are plugged-in, energized, and focused, there is an opportunity to bring their attention to your main event and speakers.
- Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat Major, Opus 9, No. 2: While you might think that going classical is a massive switch, then you’re correct. What you’re doing here is creating a transition, signifying to the audience that it’s now time to settle down and focus. This is usually a single song in the playlist, but you can also think of Beethoven’s Symphony 7, Allegretto, and 2nd movement.
- A Generic Speaker Song: If you want to help with flow, then choose a song that will be repeated every time a speaker takes the stage.
- Let the Speaker Choose: If you want the music to be personalized, let the speaker choose what music will play as they walk up (given the song selection is appropriate).
The Ending Music
When it comes to ending music, consider what your objective is. For instance, grocery stores often use slower music because it helps shoppers lessen their pace, meaning they have more time to peruse the aisles—ultimately ending in more purchases.
Thus, when it comes to ushering your guests out of the event, consider playing:
- “Hey Ya,” by Outkast: By playing a fast-paced, uplifting song, your guests will exit the event in a positive attitude, and that feeling will stick with them once they leave. Think “I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor” by the Arctic Monkeys, “Viva La Vida by Coldplay”, “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC, and “Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners.
DISCLAIMER: LICENSING | OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE
Despite what music you choose for your business conference playlist, it’s important that you consider licensing. For some popular songs and artists played publicly at a sizable corporate event, certain legalities need to be addressed. Be aware that even hotels that play music in their lobby often have a licensing agreement in place.
YOUR BUSINESS CONFERENCE MUSIC PLAYLIST
If you need guidance or support in executing a tailored music experience for your next event, consider the event planning and production professionals at Vario. We work with clients to create unique memorable experiences that will delight and inspire guests using various tools and technologies.