10 Red Carpet Awards Banquet Ideas

10 Red Carpet Awards Banquet Ideas Annual Awards Dinner Corporate event entertainment
I hear you, you want to make this years awards banquet the best one ever. Here are some awards banquet ideas to really give your event an upgrade. For many companies and organizations the annual awards banquet is an important event to recognize accomplishments in front of and with the entire team. Annual awards can improve engagement and service by providing focus on goals, but I know coming up with awards banquet ideas to make the evening special can sometimes be difficult. Over the years I have been lucky enough to perform at many volunteer and employee recognition events all over the country. In this article I am going to share with you  some of the best ideas I have come across in the years of doing awards dinners and events.  I know you will find something useful here.

1. At an Awards Banquet Everyone Walks the Red Carpet

Your awards banquet should be a special night and everyone should feel a part of it. Having a red carpet at the entrance to the event is a simple way to let everyone know that tonight is special. Bonus points if you get everyone to ham it up! Double bonus points if you have an emcee announcing guests as they come down the red carpet. Set a tone of celebration and fun. What does your company do to set the tone at your awards dinner?

2. Make it Special with Invitations or Tickets Instead of a Sign in Table

This is not a conference or a convention this is an awards dinner- a big night. Creating a clever invitation or at least having a tickets let’s everyone know that this is no ordinary evening. Make it really special by mailing them out instead of just passing the word around the office. Invitations also help build anticipation for the event.

3. The Simplest of Awards Banquet Ideas – Name Tags!

Take the pressure off awards dinner guests. Simple name tags make it easy for people to mix and mingle. You can give everyone clever titles like stunt double or executive producer instead of their regular titles. Better yet have them write their favorite movie under their names as a conversation starter. This is a fun, simple way to keep with the theme and help to break the ice.

4. Go Ahead and Make it a Black Tie Event

Big time awards banquets are always black tie events. Giving people a reason to dress up will make the evening stand out. Of course there will be people who grumble, ignore them, let them come dressed as they wish. The majority of attendees will have fun with it.

5. Have a Mystery Guest as Guests Arrive to Connect Attendees to Each Other and the Event

After seeing hundreds of awards banquets we all know what is going to happen, everyone arrives and grabs a drink and waits for the doors to open. Instead imagine your guests encounter a mystery guest who uses hilarious comedy magic to help them connect with one another. When you hear loud bursts of laughter you will know your awards dinner is off to a great start.

6. Have Red Carpet Photos for Everyone

Awards Banquet Ideas | Comedy Magician | Awards Dinner St. Louis, MOWe have all been there. You win your award as you walk across the stage someone asks you to pose as they take a quick picture. Let’s be honest, these photos never make it on anyone’s wall let alone see the light of day. Plus they steal the momentum and ruin the show. Hire a great photographer to set up a backdrop in the lobby. It is not as expensive as you think to have it custom made with the company logo and website and you can use it year after year. Or have the photographer shoot in front of green screen and put in later with Photoshop. Award winners can get an extra moment with the CEO or owner as they get a great photo after the show. Bonus, if you have the backdrop made up guests can take pictures in front of it as they arrive down the red carpet. Remark below if you have ever hung one of those hastily taken pictures on your office wall. Here is a great vendor Red Carpet Awards Backdrop

7. Have Nominees So That More Than One Person Can be Recognized

This is a simple way to recognize more people in your organization. The more people you recognize the bigger the night feels. It also gives the whole room a great positive feeling. Instead of a few people doing good work it feels like many people are succeeding. It is an honor just to be nominated!

8. Nominees and Winners Get the Best Seats in the House

Meryl Streep always sits down front at the Oscars so when she wins she is just a few steps away from the podium. This simple seating decision make the winners feel special and helps with the flow of the whole evening. It sends a strong message when the executive team takes the best seats in the house and the winners sit in the back. In fact all seats should be assigned so that groups mix at dinner and build a stronger bond. What would happen if your company made sales and operations sit together at dinner?  Great awards banquet ideas don’t have to hit your budget!

9. Gift Bags, So Everyone Goes Home Feeling Like a Winner

No one is suggesting you put a $50,000 Rolex in the gift bags but a little something for people to take home at the end of the night soothes the fact that not everyone can win. You can ask you vendors for some goodies or fill it with company SWAG, a Starbucks gift card couldn’t hurt.

10. Award Everyone With Great Comedy Entertainment with a Positive Message

Let’s face it, you can’t give an award to everyone, but you still need to send everyone out the door on a high note. All great awards shows have the best entertainment. Corporate clean comedy entertainment after dinner will be the exclamation point to your event. If you are planning and awards dinner or any corporate event in the future I would love to collaborate with you to make it unforgettable. My email in on my profile page, I love to talk about events because events are what I do. Do you think your group would enjoy some laughs and amazing comedy magic after dinner?

Bonus Awards Banquet Ideas

Bonus 1 – Have an after party so winner can bask in the moment

It’s all going to be over too quickly, before you know it will be Monday and everyone will be back to work. Throw an after party so everyone gets a chance to congratulate the winners and share the moment.

Bonus 2 – Create a HASHTAG #yourcompanyredcarpet so everyone can share photos from the evening

Creating a hashtag is simple and it gives everyone a chance to share their photos. It gives a second life to your event, builds camaraderie  and makes people look forward to next year.

I hope one or two of these awards banquet ideas will help you upgrade your event.  Employee recognition events in general are important ways to increase employee engagement, improve customers service and motivate people to believe in what is possible. Contact me if I can help you put an exclamation point on your awards dinner.

16 Corporate Christmas Party Entertainment Ideas

I hope you are sitting down relaxing because the holiday season will be here before you know it! You are going to need some good Corporate Christmas Party Entertainment Ideas | Company Holiday Party | St. Louis, MO and Nationwidecorporate christmas party entertainment ideas and the soon you get started the better.

Organizing a successful company holiday party is a difficult and stressful job. There are so many details and it is easy to forget something important. After all, the success of the entire event rests squarely on your shoulders…NO PRESSURE. It’s no big deal; just remember everyone is counting on you. 🙂

After years of performing and attending many corporate events, I have seen my share of stressed out event planners. I hope some of these ideas will help you preserving your sanity. bookmark it so you can refer back to it. Please feel free to share it with friends or others planning parties or events. I hope it is helpful to you and relieves some of the stress.

Let’s Get Started

6 Corporate Christmas Party Entertainment Ideas To Get Started

1. Plan As Far In Advance as Possible…Like the Summer!
It is never too early to start planning your event. The sooner you pick a date the easier it will be for your guests to plan on being there. Three to six months in advance is a good time frame. Hotels, banquet centers, caterers and entertainers (like myself) will still have many dates open making it easier for you to get the date you want. It always amazes me when someone will call me 10 days before an event in desperation. I always try to accommodate, if I am available, but skip the hassle and plan ahead.

2. Pick a Great Venue
The first place most people think of is a hotel or banquet facility, but don’t be afraid to push the envelope a bit. What about museums, wineries, country clubs, stadiums. You could try historic homes or estates. Why not look into the smaller restaurants in downtown. There are many places if you just use your imagination. Sometimes an interesting location can make your event outstanding.

3. Think About The Food.
Many facilities have catering packages to choose from but there are some things you should keep in mind. Make sure you know exactly what is included in the package. Are soft drinks like soda, tea and coffee included or will there be a charge? Are there any vegetarians or vegans in your group? Make sure the facility is willing to accommodate any special dietary needs in your group. You want everyone to be able to enjoy themselves.

4. Get Some Feedback On Last Years Holiday Party
If you want to satisfy your guests you have to know what they want. Some of the best corporate holiday party entertainment ideas come from last year’s guests. Find out what people liked about last year’s event and what was not so hot. Ask questions about the food, the venue and the entertainment. What would they like to see this year? You can do it by email, in person or just pick up the phone. Taking some time to find out information like this can save you from making the same mistakes as last year.

5. Set a Budget
Obviously you want to consider food, beverage and venue costs as well as recognition awards. But some other things to keep in mind include rentals and a sound system. And of course don’t forget the entertainment. Here is a note on prices. Remember, it is not always wise to shop price. The most expensive performer or caterer is not always the best and the cheapest is not always the best value. Just get some general ideas on budget at this point, you can always adjust later.

6. Pick a Theme
If it can work for your event pick a theme and go all the way with it. Don’t be afraid to go crazy, how about “The Holidays in Hawaii” or “Awards as Big as Texas”. You can even use concepts like loyalty, teamwork or customer service. Use your imagination and then start thinking about the props and décor you can use. Then you can move to the food. My favorite theme is “A Night of Magic and Mystery”, who would have guessed.


5  Simple Corporate Christmas Party Entertainment Ideas

7. Name Tags! Name Tags! Name Tags!
One of the simplest corporate christmas party entertainment ideas but so rarely seen at events. A name tag can take the pressure off Corporate Christmas Party Entertainment Ideas | Company Holiday Party | St. Louis, MO and Nationwideeveryone at a holiday party. No one has to remember anyone’s name they can just relax and have a good time. You can make it simple and have everyone write their own name tags with a marker. Have them write something as a conversation starter, for example, if your event is at an auto museum everyone can write the name of their first car or their dream car. You can ask them a question and have them answer it on their name tag under their name. Questions like, what is your favorite kind of food or restaurant? What is your favorite vacation destination? Or they can write any interesting fact about themselves. Use your imagination and make it fun.

8. Think About the Traffic Pattern
Set up your welcome table just outside the door. You don’t want people wandering around wondering where the event is. Once they enter make sure you set up the bar or soft drinks across the room away from the entrance. This will avoid bottle necks and force people to go all the way into the room. If you are having entertainment or a speaker make sure to set up the platform on a long wall and not at the end of the room so that every one can have a good seat. The entrance to the room should always be opposite s the platform never behind it. Trust me, I once performed at an event where the entrance was next to the stage and it was a nightmare for everyone. It interrupted the presentation every time someone entered or exited the room. Plus, nothing is worse for a guest than having to cross in front of the platform to use the restroom.

9. Make Sure There is Something Happening Right Away – How About A Mystery Party Guest
Here is one of my favorite corporate holiday party entertainment ideas. If you want your christmas party to be a hit you need everyone having fun right away. You don’t want anyone standing around wondering when the event will start. Having some entertainment while the hors d’oeuvres are being passed can really break the ice. A mystery party guest who performs walk around sleight of hand is perfect for the cocktail hour or before dinner. As someone who specializes in being a mysterious, mingling party guest it is a lot of fun and gives everyone something to talk about. Most people have never seen this type of entertainment close up and it never fails to leave a lasting impression.

10. Use a Seating Chart
Nothing is more stressful for your guests that having to rushing around trying to save seats. Having a simple chart can take this stress away. It could be organized by department, work group or name. It also gives you control over who sits with whom. This can be a great tool if you want two groups to cooperate more. Just sit them at the same table and hopefully by the end of the night everybody will be friends.

11. Corporate Christmas Party Entertainment Ideas
Quality entertainment can really enhance your event and make a lasting impression on employees and guests. A younger crowd may enjoy a band or DJ. But sometimes the loud music can be a turn off to the “grown ups”. Besides you can be sure that whoever has to sit next to the loud speaker will want to leave early! I recommend strolling sleight of hand before dinner and a comedy magic performance after dinner and the awards. But don’t make the program too long, especially if there are awards. 30 to 40 minutes of comedy magic after dinner mixed with strolling magic before will be perfect. Whatever corporate holiday party entertainment you choose make sure it is completely hassle-free. You have enough to do without having to cater to a high maintenance speaker or performer.

5 Quick Tips for the Night of Your Company Holiday Party

12. Get There Early
Don’t put yourself into a tailspin right at the beginning of the night by running late. One hour early should be fine, but at least 30 minutes.

13. Be Easily Found
Make sure you check in and say “Hi” to the banquet manager so she can find you and remember you easily if needed.

14. Charge Up Your Cell Phone
People will need to find you and you might need it for emergencies. Nothing is worse than doing an event with an event planner with a dead cell phone.

15. Act Like the Host
Mix and mingle, introduce people and have a good time. The hard work should be done now enjoy yourself a little, you deserve it.

16. Create a HASHTAG #yourcompanyholidayparty2017
Creating a hashtag is simple and it gives everyone a chance to share their photos. It gives a second life to your event and makes people look forward to next year. If this is the easiest and most effective corporate christmas party entertainment ideas.

Well, there you have it 16 corporate christmas party entertainment ideas. Obviously, if this is not the first event you have planned you may have already known some of the tips in this report. But I hope you found something that you can use to ensure your next event turns out to be a huge success and you get the applause, accolades, and acknowledgement that you deserve.

If you are searching for someone to wow clients at your event, please get in touch to learn more about how I can help you at your next client appreciation event.  Click here and fill out the form for more info.

Corporate Event Ideas that will make your event full of laughs


Corporate event ideas : Dinner and a Show A textile company from New York came to St. Louis for a convention and needed some corporate event entertainment to liven up their client appreciation dinner. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse was the setting as I performed strolling magic as everyone had cocktails. After dinner the fun continued with comedy and magic. Giving your clients a fun experience will make for easy conversation starters. Plus, when everyone asks “What did you do last night?” you can be sure your company event will be the topic of conversation.

Of course I forgot to hit record on my camera for the after dinner show. Luckily, St. Louis’ top photographer Deej Gausling was also there to take some great shots of the laughs. She saved the day and got some great photos of the after dinner entertainment.

Corporate Event Entertainment To Put a Smile On Their Faces

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse was a great choice for a client appreciation event but any good restaurant or hotel would do. It all gets started at the Corporate Event Ideas Dinner and a Showcocktail hour. Strolling magic is always a big hit because it happens right there in your guests hands and sets the tone for the evening. Then the after dinner show is full of comedy that gets everyone involved. The show can be 30 to 60 minutes or more depending upon the event.
It is a complete evening of comedy and magic that will send you clients out the door with big smiles on their faces.

Corporate Event Ideas for your Conference or Convention, Contact Today

Don’t miss out on one of the most hilarious corporate event ideas. Centrally based in St. Louis, Mo and available nationwide. Contact Steve today for a free event consultation. His one goal is to make sure your conference or convention is a big hit!! You can check availability by clicking here and filling in the form. Please provide as much information about your event as you can. The fastest way to get your questions answered is by phone, you can find the number at the top of the page.


Corporate Event Entertainment in the 90’s

Corporate Event Entertainment | Missouri and Illinois

Corporate Event Entertainment When I had Hair! WOW! This is an oldie but a goody! In my early 20’s I provided corporate event entertainment on the east coast with a small illusion show and this was one of our promo shots. It really raises a lot of questions for me. Like, why are we crouching? Are we trying to get underneath something? I am sure Gina Zampetti and Joanne Passantino look exactly the same now but what the heck happened to me??? I tell you one thing if I had hair like that now I would double my fee!!!



Client Appreciation Events: 14 Ideas to Make Yours a Success

Client Appreciation Events 14 Ideas Corporate EntertainmentClient appreciation events are an important way to demonstrate an important message to your clients; that they mean more to you and your organization than just a name and a number on a balance sheet. It gives you and your representatives an opportunity to build rapport and trust in a natural way. Client appreciation events also pay a huge compliment to your clients. The loyalty that they build is a measurable way to create business growth. Here are some tips for client appreciation events.

4 Reasons to Have a Client Appreciation Events

  • Your clients want to know that you value their business, they really want to feel appreciated. This one reason alone may help you hang on to clients for years without doing anything other than a periodic phone call.
  • Clients who feel appreciated are far more likely to stay with you through a down market and are more likely to give you referrals!
  • If sending an impersonal birthday or holiday card is all you do to keep in contact with clients throughout the year, it is past time for you to step up your game.
  • Want to reach next-generation clients? Invite your clients’ family and friends to attend your events. There’s no faster way to make a good first impression than when your clients are happy, relaxed and personally engaged with your firm.

The 3 R’s for Your Client Appreciation Events

The goal of any client appreciation event is rapport, retention and referrals.

  • Rapport- Give yourself a chance to strengthen rapport and build on relationships in an easy environment. The conversation gets a lot easier if there is something else to talk about besides business.
  • Retention – It is incredibly important to make an emotional deposit into a client’s mental bank. By far the best thing to be associated with is a fun, pleasurable evening.
  • Referrals – The most powerful way to build on a business is through referrals. Clients will freely offer up your name to friends and family with just a little push from you.

What kind of event should you have? 4 great ideas

  • Happy Hour or Cocktail Party – Happy hour events are fun and if your clients partake in alcoholic beverages, they have a way of loosening people up to a degree that allows engagement. Plan a two to three hour event where you can offer two drinks and hors d’oeuvres. It is a nice relaxed environment making it easy to move around the room, meet people and answer questions. I regularly perform strolling magic for a client who holds an event like this on a regular basis at an upscale hotel lobby bar, which is the perfect ambiance.
  • Coffee and Dessert Party – Desert parties can be a perfect solution. They are great if you have a clientele that is a bit older or maybe wouldn’t participate in a happy hour. They’re informal, inexpensive, and fun and because the environment is relaxed, attendees don’t feel pressured or awkward and are more likely to open up. Spring for some special desserts, something out of the ordinary. Again a hotel or a nice restaurant with some ambience would be great for this type of event. A Mystery Party guest could definitely liven it up.
  • Wine & Cheese tasting – A classy event where you can mix and mingle with your clients. A lot like the happy hour. Have a table where the wine is served and explained. Keep it casual instead of a full blown wine class.
  • Dinner and a Show – This is a wonderful way to really show your clients how much they mean to your organization. Start with a cocktail hour and then dinner. After you make a short presentation an hour of standup comedy magic that ends on a high, positive note will send everyone home raving about your event and will be sure to garner referrals. This can be a perfect holiday event.

3 Ways to get the word out about your Client Appreciation Events

  • Newsletter – Make sure you let your list know about your event in the newsletter. It needs to be in at least two editions and make sure you ask your clients to RSVP.
  • ­­­­­­Website – A blog post or a page on your website with a form for clients to RSVP is a great place to direct interested parties.
  • Phone Calls – Make sure your most important clients get a personal invite.

Be careful you can’t invite everyone. You want them to feel special and having a huge crowd won’t accomplish that goal. Somewhere between 50 and 100 will make a manageable group, this way you can spend some time with everyone. It is better to have two or more events than to have a group so large that there will be clients that you never get to.

Make your event something they will want to tell their friends about. A great event will make it easy for them to mention you the next time they talk to their friends and family. “We went to an event that our (your firm’s name here) put on and it was amazing! It was so much fun that I can’t wait for the next one.”

If you are searching for someone to wow clients at your event, please get in touch to learn more about how I can help you at your next client appreciation event.  Click here and fill out the form for more info.

New Year’s Eve Entertainment Greenville, Illinois Bicentennial Celebration

New Year’s eve entertainment at the Bicentennial Celebration in Greenville, IL. Obviously, I decide to bring the new year in with GOOFY face syndrome! I thought about calling this post “Some things seen cannot be unseen!” My apologies to the entire town of Greenville.

An Evening of Comedy and Magic on New Years Eve

None the less, We had a great time bringing in the New Year! We kicked off the party with tableside strolling magic and then stand up comedy and magic after dinner!
Thanks to everyone on the committee for having me. I had a great time sharing my New Year’s eve with you.



Steve Barcellona Comedy Magic Ta Da!!New Year's Eve entertainment at Greenville IL Bicentennial New Year's Eve entertainment at Greenville IL Bicentennial New Year's Eve entertainment at Greenville IL Bicentennial New Year's Eve entertainment at Greenville IL Bicentennial

Steve’s Introduction

You Are Going To Be My Opening Act

It’s important to have someone introduce the show. It gets everyone’s attention and gets them focused and quieted down so the show gets off on the right foot.

Sometimes, before we get started, some remarks are going to be made or there will be an awards presentation. It is best to have these things happen before the show. Whenever these festivities have concluded the MC should go into one of the following introductions.

If you read them as written you will get at least 3 laughs. I have seen many people try and adlib, I have rarely seen people make these remarks funnier, but it is up to you! Have a good time with it.  Remember, we are trying to get everyone relaxed and change any preconceived ideas they might have about what is to come.

This first one is the one we will most likely use.

Introduction 1 (No Music)

Our entertainer this evening became interested in magic at an early age and after years of practice… he still isn’t any good.

His company Barcellona Presentations helps corporations and associations get their events off to a great start, by providing motivational comedy entertainment for banquets and sales meetings throughout the Midwest…whether they like it or not.

His main goal is to make magic cool, hip and sexy.
Instead of dumb, geeky and lame.
But face facts, it is really just a desperate cry for help.

Let’s put some magic on the menu with a warm round of applause for the master of magic and mirth…Steve Barcellona.

(Lead the applause, when I get to you we will shake hands and
then you walk off and enjoy the show!)

Occasionally, if there is a long walk out prerecorded music might be used to cover the transition. In that case we will use the second introduction which ends a little differently because the music has an announcer’s voice on it.

Introduction 2 (Music Intro)

Our entertainer this evening became interested in magic at an early age and after years of practice he still isn’t any good.

His company Barcellona Presentations helps corporations and associations get their events off to a great start, by providing motivational comedy entertainment for banquets and sales meetings throughout the Midwest…whether they like it or not.

His main goal is to make magic cool, hip and sexy.
Instead of dumb, geeky and lame.
But face facts, it is really just a desperate cry for help.

Thank you all for coming and on with the show!

(Walk off as music plays Steve on)

Awards Presentation Entertainment

Awards Presentation Entertainment Made Event Even More Special

Awards Presentation Entertainment Made the Event Even More Special

Thank you for making our special event even more special! Your impromptu interactions during the coffee hour were wonderful and your opening act got everyone in a happy spirit for our
awards presentation. Your stage show was amazing. We are still hearing about you, your magic and your humor.
What a pleasure it was working with you from our initial phone call to your final act. You were professional, accommodating and friendly. We couldn’t have asked for more.
We look forward to having you at future events.
Thank you very much, Magic Man!!

Andy Lawrence
Alliance Real Estate
Home Services

Fundraiser Entertainment for Arthritis Foundation A Success

Fundraiser Entertainment for Arthritis Foundation A Success
Fundraiser Entertainment for Arthritis Foundation A Success

Dear Steve:

Thank you for being part of the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run Top Fundraiser Party at Hollywood Casino recently.
Our guests were texting me before I made it home to tell me how much fun they had at the event.

It’s great to see how you engage with the guests and make them feel special. We will definitely be calling you for our event next year.

Donna Henderson
Special Events Director
9433 Olive Boulevard, #100
St. Louis, MO 63132
Direct 314-991-9333
Fax 314-991-4020
Toll Free 800-406-2491

Corporate Party Entertainment at Gateway Center a Raving Success

Corporate Party Entertainment at Gateway Center a Raving Success
Corporate Party Entertainment at Gateway Center a Raving Success

Thank you for making our corporate party at the Gateway Center in Collinsville a raving success. Our office staff and field personnel attended the event and they are still talking about your performance.

Your combination of comedy and magic is awesome. From the beginning, while you were mingling during the cocktail hour, you made your performance so personal. I had several people
tell me they were sorry when the cocktail hour ended because they thought that was the end of your engagement. Were they surprised to see you reappear after dinner!

Your onstage performance was nothing short of electrifying (so appropriate for an electrical contracting firm).

You were a pleasure to work with from the initial booking process through the final act. I enjoyed meeting you and I look forward to working with you at future events.

Ken Keeney
Electrical Contractors, Inc.