Is Your Emcee Hurting or Helping Your Event?

AL Colorado Muckfest 2015

Remember that uncomfortable moment at the awards program or holiday party with the emcee telling bad or off-color jokes? Or how about the luncheon where the host drones on with irrelevant personal stories? Then there’s the live concert, race or festival with the DJ literally begging the audience to respond to “How ya feelin today?” Look, these folks, they’re trying; but the fact is, they’re potentially hurting your brand and killing your event!

All too often I see organizations undervalue the impact an event emcee can have on helping make your event successful and your brand shine. A great event emcee is an extension of your brand and able to be the voice of your story. He/she can be a bridge that both lives within the event and beyond. A great emcee enhances the connection with your stakeholders and helps create a memorable experience that aligns with your voice.

With this in mind and end of the year awards programs on the near horizon, here are some tips when choosing an emcee for your event.

5 Emcee Tips To Enhance Your Event & Brand

1. Align Your Emcee to Your Event Style and Goals

What is the endgame for your event and does the emcee help you get there? Ensuring the right connection between event and emcee means you increase alignment and the likelihood of success. This pertains to look, personality and style. Provide an overview of the event and then have him/her communicate and restate in his or her own words what they believe the event to look like, what the expectations are and how they feel they would bring unique value.

2. Engage Your Emcee in the Planning Process

All too often, I hear about companies making their event emcee decision last minute. This immediately hinders you. If you hire the right event emcee, he/she will have experience and be able to add value and ideas to your event. Why not take advantage of that? Engage and involve him/her early and reap the rewards.

3. Hire a Communicator and Engager

I often hear from companies that they hired a local media personality and what they got seemed so different from who they saw on TV. Another statement i’ll get is, “the emcee didn’t connect. He/she looked good and had a great voice but didn’t seem to really reach out to our audience.” Empathy, communication and connection are key assets you should look for in an emcee.

4. Ensure Your Emcee is a Brand Ambassador

Brand is much more than just a logo and tagline, it is a culture. Your event is an opportunity to let your stakeholders experience that culture first hand. As such, the emcee you hire should embody that brand. Spend some time sharing your brand guidelines and culture. Give the back story of the company and event and make sure he/she understands who’s in the audience and why. Ask them to communicate how they feel they add value to your brand and what they can bring to the event to help enhance your brand and the event.

5. Know What You Want to Say to the Audience

You have a captive audience during your event and there are multiple opportunities to speak directly to your stakeholders. The key is to identify what to say beyond the obvious sponsor recognitions and special thanks. For example, I served as an auctioneer for a large non-profit event. Every opportunity they had, they wanted me to identify ways people could help on a personal level year-round. They knew most attendees would not be able to spend lot’s of money that night, but they counted on a strategy of showing how easy it is to help the rest of the year. The result was a dramatic increase in individual giving throughout the following year and an increase in volunteers.

A quality emcee delivers your brand both in body and spirit. This is no easy task and why there are event emcees who are exceptional and those who are forgettable. Your event should be both exceptional and Unforgettable and your emcee, if selected properly, can help you achieve both.

Al Emerick
Al Emerick is a passionate & energetic entrepreneur with a passion for helping people and organizations move forward through better communication of value and purpose. As a pitch consultant and expert in brand communication, he has been blessed to be able to do what he loves for most of my life. Al founded Al Emerick Productions, LLC in 1998 and has developed over 500 marketing/advertising campaigns and re-branding initiatives, voiced and been on-camera talent for more than 10,000 radio and TV commercials internationally, and emceed/hosted live events for audiences across the country. Al holds an EMBA from Jacksonville University and currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida.