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

Steve,
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
CEO
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY
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
HEARTLAND REGION/MISSOURI
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

Steve,
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
CEO
Pyramid
Electrical Contractors, Inc.

Park Hills Leadington Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards and Installation Banquet Entertainment it Was The Most Fun They Had In Months

Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards and Installation Banquet Entertainment
Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards and Installation Banquet Entertainment

As an organization that always strives to bring fun, and unique entertainment to our Annual Awards and Installation Banquet, the decision to hire Steve for this year’s event was a top-notch choice.

We’ve received nothing but positive comments from our investors, many saying it was the most fun they had in months.

Initially, we were in search of a comedian for this years event, however, Steve’s mind blowing magic tricks, combined wit his incredibly comical personality, truly made it a  night we will remember for many years to come.

We will definitely recommend his show to others, and consider him for future events!

Thanks you so much Steve, for providing us with phenomenal entertainment!

Sincerely,

The Park Hills – Leadington Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Company Holiday Party was Excellent, Very Fun and Audience Engaging

Company Holiday Party was Excellent, Very Fun and Audience Engaging
Company Holiday Party was Excellent, Very Fun and Audience Engaging

We hired Steve Barcellona for our company holiday party and he was excellent! His show was very fun and audience engaging which is exactly what we wanted. Also, the material was very professional and appropriate. Because of it being a company event we didn’t want any profanity or off-colored jokes. His overall presentation was extremely well received and his overall appearance was professional. Loved the way he mingled with the crowd before the show. It helped make the guests feel comfortable and it was a personal touch which made the guests feel connected when it came time
for the show.

The employees were still talking about him in the office the following Monday. We will definitely recommend Steve and will consider hiring him again for future events.

Thanks, Steve, for making the night fun, enjoyable and memorable!!

Sincerely,
Monica Andrews
Business Manager

Bankhead Orthodontics
3006 Highway K
O’Fallon, MO 63368
636·978-8848

After Dinner Entertainment from the early 90’s

After Dinner Entertainment from the early 90's
After dinner entertainment poster from the early 90’s.

It is hard to believe that this show was sometime in the early 90’s. Talk about throwback thursday! It was a dinner and a show at a local restaurant, I think I remember that it sold so well it turned into two nights. I would love to do something like this again. It was really the genesis of my after dinner entertainment career. Well this and Ricky Ricardo. As a kid I never wanted to go to the office, I always wanted to go down to the club to “try out that new number”. With Susan Mirto Scardilli

Client Event Entertainment Had the Crowd WOWED

Corporate Event Entertainment Had the Crowd WOWED
Corporate Event Entertainment Had the Crowd WOWED

Dear Steve,

Just wanted to say thank you for making our event so great. You did a great job of working the crowd and made all of our guests feel welcome. You certainly “WOWED” the crowd. We all enjoyed your tricks and your commentary. Thanks you so much for making our event SPECIAL. We received many compliments on your performance and wanted to share them with you.

Thanks,

Brooke, Katie and Phil

Phil Leathers
Financial Advisor
Edward Jones
Washington, MO

New Year’s Eve Event Entertainment was a Spectacular Time

 

New Year's Eve Event Entertainment was a Spectacular Time
New Year’s Eve Event Entertainment was a Spectacular Time

Dear Steve,

I would like to thank you for coming all the way to Burlington to put on our New Year’s Eve show! Everything was wonderful. You were always so friendly and easy to work with, not to mention hilarious and what a great magic show! All of our 130 guests had a spectacular time and we are still receiving compliments on what a great evening it was. They felt that the strolling magic really made them feel like a part of the evening as well. We would highly recommend you to anyone, so please feel free to use us as a reference needed. Again thank you for a true evening of comedy and magic. It was fabulous!

Warm regards,
Cary Skeens
Event Coordinator
Comfort Suites Conference Center
Burlington, IA

 

Luncheon Entertainment Will Be Difficult To Top

Luncheon Entertainment Will Be Difficult To Top
Luncheon Entertainment Will Be Difficult To Top

Dear Mr. Barcellona,

A big thank you for coming out to entertain the seniors of Dardenne Prairie at our August lunch . Everyone had a great time. You have a feel for your audience and definitely know how
to work the room and what will work for the crowd. No one left the building without a smile. As they left I received many compliments about what a great show it was, how that was just
what they needed, and that you were the best comedian/magician they had ever seen. I would personally recommend Steve Barcellona over and over again. This event will be difficult to top.

Thank you,
Melissa Nordmann, Event Coordinator
City of Dardenne Prairie
2032 Hanley Road,
Dardenne Prairie, MO
63368

Special Event Entertainment Everyone Was Completely Tuned Into The Show

Special Event Entertainment Everyone Was Completely Tuned Into The Show
Special Event Entertainment Everyone Was Completely Tuned Into The Show

Our show was for our graduating electrical apprenticeship students and their families. The audience ages ranged from eight years old up to about 65, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

I watched the entire audience throughout the show from different areas and everyone was having a great time and seemed to be completely tuned in to the show.

After the show several guests approached me and told me what an awesome time that they had and that it was nice to have entertainment for all ages.

Steve was awesome from the moment he arrived. He is professional, funny, and very personable and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.

I will be contacting Steve to check on booking for next year’s event.

Sincerely,
Tina Whitebear
IEC of Greater St. Louis

Company Event Entertainment Beyond Expectations

Company Event Entertainment Beyond Expectations
Company Event Entertainment Beyond Expectations

Steve,

I wanted to thank you know for making our event a great success. Everyone commented on how much they enjoyed your stage show and how much we all laughed. I really appreciate you taking the time during your strolling magic to make sure every table was contacted and able to join in the fun . You went way beyond our expectations and made sure everyone had a great time. We would love to have you back for future events and I would definitely recommend you to other groups.

Thanks again,
Charlie Myers
128 W. Central Street, Bethalto, IL 62010
(618) 377-3100

Employee Appreciation Event Ideas: Tips to Make Winners Feel Like Stars

Employee Appreciation Event Ideas: Tips to Make Winners Feel Like Stars
Employee Appreciation Event Ideas: Tips to Make Winners Feel Like Stars

It is awards banquet time again; time to recognize those employees or volunteers who have done outstanding work on behalf of your company or group. In addition to the plaque or certificate what else are you going to do to make the award winners feel honored and most importantly special? Here are a few tips to make them feel like the stars of your awards banquet.

Treat your award winners like celebrities
At a recent awards banquet, I performed strolling magic in the VIP suite for the winners. Having a special area for your awardees and their families makes them feel special and honored. Have the room stocked with drinks and appetizers. Make them feel like celebrities; remember most people never make it to the VIP room.  

Big stars sit down front
Did you ever notice that the likely Oscars winners always sit down front with George Clooney? Reserve some tables down front for you award winners. It is a simple way to make them feel special.  It will also make for a smoother presentation because it will be easier for them to get to the stage for their award. Having stairs front and center, instead of the sides make stage accesses quick and easy.

Red Carpet Photos
Capture professional photos as award winner and special guests arrive. Those “hurry up” onstage snapshots rarely look good. You don’t want everyone to remember the evening with eyes half-closed and a head half-turned photo do you. Where appropriate, arrange for a professional photographer.

Cap the evening off with Great Entertainment
After dinner and the awards are finished treat everyone to some laughs. Not everyone will be a winner, but everyone should have a good time.  I recommend to my clients interactive, high energy comedy magic show.  If you have many awards 30 to 40 minutes will be perfect if you have only a few awards 45 minute to an hour will be the right amount of time.  The entertainment should be light and something that gets people having fun. An inexperienced entertainer or a long winded speaker will kill the night. People that are laughing are having a good time and will have wonderful memories of the evening. Make this year’s awards banquet amazing!

Performing Strolling Magic and Comedy at EO St. Louis Event

Performing Strolling Magic and Comedy at EO St. Louis Event
Performing Strolling Magic and Comedy at EO St. Louis Event
Performing Strolling Magic and Comedy at EO St. Louis Event
Comedy magician Steve Barcellona at EO St louis event performing strolling magic.

Here are some recent photos from an event I did for The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) of St Louis. Super fun night with a really great group of people.  Thanks to Marvin Meyer Photography for the great photos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performing Strolling Magic and Comedy at EO St. Louis Event
Strolling magician EO St Louis At tables with ladies all smiles
Performing Strolling Magic and Comedy at EO St. Louis Event
Strolling Magician Steve Barcellona at EO St Louis Event

 

 

 

 

Sheriff’s Office Christmas Party, What a Good Time

Sheriff's Office Christmas Party, What a Good Time
Sheriff’s Office Christmas Party, What a Good Time

Hello and hope this letter finds you doing well. I just wanted to drop you a line and THANK YOU so much for the entertainment on Friday evening for my office Christmas Party. What a good time! You were able to mix into the crowd during the social hour and break the ice with the guests and make the laughs begin. And the after dinner spotlight was outstanding, don’t think I could of done much better as a host. I have heard so many compliments about the entertainment that I chose and the many Thanks that I have received for a great night. I would recommend your show to anyone with confidence. So a big THANK YOU goes out to you and I wish you the very best. Should you ever need a reference, point them in my direction.

May you and your family have a blessed holiday season.

Sincerely,
Jimmy Shinn
Sheriff Marion County

 

How To Hire An Entertainer For Your Holiday Party…Part 2

How To Hire An Entertainer For Your Holiday Party...Part 2
How to Hire An Entertainer For Your Holiday Party Part 2

Here is part 2 of my recent interview with GigMasters.com. They were looking for some insights to help guide clients in booking entertainment for all kinds of events. I thought it would be useful as kind of a “How To Hire An Entertainer For Your Holiday Party”. This is Part 1, please enjoy and spread it around if you like.

 

GigMasters: Do you prefer to work adult or children’s events? Or both?

Steve: I almost exclusively perform for adults. There are a couple of children’s charities that I work for. The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and Shriner’s Hospital are two groups I can’t say no to.

GigMasters: What services/specialties do you offer?

Steve: I have a package called “The Evening of Comedy and Magic” That I consider my specialty. It starts off with strolling magic during the cocktail hour and finishes with an hour show after dinner. It is all self-contained and hassle free for the client and it really makes for a complete evening of entertainment.

GigMasters: What is the most interesting/unique event you have ever worked?

Steve: I sure have had some interesting things happen. I remember one time at a medical society awards banquet an older gentleman accepted his award and then fell off the stage. Thank goodness he was OK. He just bounced up like nothing happened it looked like he was made of rubber. Then there was the time a pipe broke in the ladies room. That was a mess! Ladies were screaming so loud that it was obvious something bad had happened. A few of them came back looking like they fell in the lake! But you learn to take it all in stride.

GigMasters: Anything else you’d like to share?

Steve: People always tend to shop performers by fee. The assumption is that all performers are the same and it all comes down to price. Rarely are the best, most experienced performers the cheapest. Realize that if you have 100 people at your event and you only want to pay a performer $300 that is only $3 dollars a head. What kind of entertainment can you get for $3 dollars out in the world? A trip to the movies is $7 to $10 bucks. Always hire the best talent you can afford. This year’s event is only going to happen once, don’t take any chances.

 

How To Hire An Entertainer For Your Holiday Party…Part 1

How To Hire An Entertainer For Your Holiday Party...Part 1
How To Hire An Entertainer For Your Holiday Party

Recently, I was interviewed by GigMasters.com. They were looking for some insights to help guide clients in booking entertainment for all kinds of events. I thought it would be useful as kind of a “How To Hire An Entertainer For Your Holiday Party”. This is Part 1, please enjoy and spread it around if you like.

 

GigMasters: What should a client consider when looking to hire an entertainer for their event?

Steve Barcellona: First thing, always look at testimonials on GigMasters website and the performer’s website. Do they have any video testimonials? If the performer has glowing recommendation from past clients that is a pretty good indication that they have a quality act.

Second, clients should always match the performer to the event. What kind of event is it? Is it an awards banquet, holiday party, conference or is it a children’s party, school assembly. Some magicians are great at children’s birthday parties, some are great for family events, and still others excel at corporate events. Clients should always look for the specialist. A lot of performers like to think of themselves as an “all occasion performer” not many are great at everything. I would hate to hire a general practitioner when I needed a brain surgeon.
Also, you should watch their video to get a good idea of who they are.

GigMasters: What questions should a client ask a Comedy Magician that they are considering booking?

Steve: Clients should get a good idea of what kind of act the perfromer has. Are they a stage performer? Do they perform close up? How does what they describe fit in with what you have planned? Always keep in mind that it might be worth it to adjust a bit if what they describe sounds like it would be really something special.

Also, they should always find out what kind of audiences the performer has worked for in the past. Are they groups like yours? How large? Are they events like yours? Most importantly, what kind of questions is the performer asking you. Does it seem like he has done this before? That is pretty important.

Gigmasters: Once a client books you for a performance, what details should be discussed prior to the event?

Steve: I always get all the details down on paper in the form of an agreement. It is nice for you and the client to see everything in black and white. That way there can be no misunderstanding. It is always nice to meet the event planner earlier on the day of the event. That way you know exactly where to set up. You can also handle any last minute changes together.

Oh yeah, make sure the performer has a good GPS’able address. You would be surprised how often people take for granted that there address is on the map!

GigMasters: Please tell us – when did you get started with magic, and why do you do perform?

Steve: I have been performing magic since my teenage years. My mother worked for a publisher and she brought me home a couple of magic books. Once I showed a little interest she kept bringing more. And so began the spoils of a misspent youth! I took a short break from performing to work in the corporate world, but I realized that life is too short not to do the things you really love to do…It just happens that I like to lie, cheat and keep secrets. (My wife hates that joke)

GigMasters: What kind of gigs do you usually book?

Steve: I do a lot of corporate and association events. At banquets I usually perform strolling magic during the cocktail hour as a mystery party guest. Then I do a really funny comedy magic stand up after dinner show. It is the kind of thing you would see in a comedy club, but clean, PG13. I also perform at hospitality suites and trade shows and some private parties.

Part 2 coming soon…

Great Photo from Edwardsville Fundraiser

Great Photo from Edwardsville Fundraiser
Great Photo from Edwardsville Fundraiser

  This event was off the hook! over 1500 people at fundraiser for Edwardsville High School. I emcee’ed a circus style variety show. Thanks to my friends Josh Routh and Joe Wanko for this awesome picture. It was fun to be part of a cast again!

Strolling Magic at a Recent Wedding

 Strolling Magic at a Recent WeddingI don’t get to do a whole lot of weddings, but when I do they are always fun. I like this picture from a recent wedding I performed at. I went table to table while the bride and groom went off and had pictures taken. It is a great way to make sure everyone is having fun back at the reception.  As this picture shows we really were having a good time!

Magician MC for Fundraiser Concert Feed the Need 2012

I always have fun and my “job” (if you could call it that) but saturday was exceptional! I was Magician MC for the Feed The Need Concert Fundraiser 2012 in Alton, Illinois. The concert is held by Senior Services Plus and it benefits Meals on Wheels in the Alton area. My comedy magic opened the show and then I kept the party going. It featured two great bands Nitelife from Grafton, IL and the Shagadelics for Chicago. It is always fun when 800 people laugh at your jokes! Here are a few photos.

Magician MC for Fundraiser Concert Feed the Need 2012Magician MC for Fundraiser Concert Feed the Need 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magician MC for Fundraiser Concert Feed the Need 2012Magician MC for Fundraiser Concert Feed the Need 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magician MC for Fundraiser Concert Feed the Need 2012Magician MC for Fundraiser Concert Feed the Need 2012

 

Planning Ahead Is The Key To A Successful Event

Planning Ahead Is The Key To A Successful Event

It happened again just this morning…Someone called me, frantic, to see if I was available this weekend for an event. Surprisingly I get phone calls like this a couple of times a month. I feel sorry for event planners like this, the amount of stress must be huge. It would be so much easier if they just planned ahead.
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, professional meeting planners, caterers and yes entertainers, 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 a few days before an event in desperation. I always try to accommodate, if I am available, but skip the hassle and plan ahead.
I have already started to get requests for holiday parties. I know it is over 100 degrees outside who is thinking about holiday parties! Well some people are, I have even booked a couple. Plan ahead and pick your date and then give me a call.

Event Tip #101 – The Magic of Name Tags

Event Tip #101 - The Magic of Name Tags

When ever I walk into a cocktail hour or corporate event and I see name tags being handed out I know I am about to have a great night. It is so simple but so rarely seen at events. A name tag can take the pressure off everyone. 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.
I love them because as I work the room, performing for people in small groups, they allow me to introduce people to one another. They also allow me to seem like part of the company or group. I have even heard people say “He was great, he knew everyone’s name!” Name tags are a simple and effective way to make your events successful.

Annual Sales Meeting Entertainment Lots of Fun and Laughter

Annual Sales Meeting Entertainment Lots of Fun and Laughter
Annual Sales Meeting Entertainment Lots of Fun and Laughter

When I started looking for entertainment possibilities for our annual sales meeting several months ago, I came across a couple of entertainment companies with non-exceptional service – delayed or no return phone calls is extremely off putting, especially when I have many other things to worry about. Your response and follow up was right on target and as soon as I saw your video, I knew you were the one to close out our meeting with lots of fun and laughter.

The people attending our meeting comprises a broad range of age, background, and come from various places across the country. So, trying to put together entertainment that will get everyone involved and make sure everyone has a great time, can be difficult – but you pulled it off! I received several thumbs up signs during and after the show, along with several “nice jobs”. Although, the most telling reaction is always the smile and laughter coming from all corners of the room during the show or the abrupt sounds of laughter during the reception prior to the show.

I could not be more pleased with how the evening progressed. When putting these meetings together, I always strive to work with people who will put me at ease and not worry me about not showing, or showing up late or not being what was expected. I was completely at ease before getting to St, Louis after the many conversations we had prior to the meeting.

You did a great job dazzling our folks with your magic and kept us laughing far longer than your performance. Our people enjoyed being part of the show and your closing performance had everyone rolling on the floor wiping tears of laughter from their eyes…myself included.

It was a pleasure meeting you and doing business with you. I would recommend your services to anyone looking for a little fun and a touch of magic.

Erica Kelley-Gogel, CAS
Vice President of Sales
Bankers Advertising

Holiday Party at Ameren Services a Success

 

Annual Sales Meeting Entertainment Lots of Fun and Laughter
Holiday Party at Ameren Services a Success

 

We were very pleased with your presentation at our holiday gathering December 7th, 2011. I heard folks talking about it in our office today (How did he do that?) and everyone had a great time. You are very talented. I really liked the way you brought some of us “on stage” to participate in your act. This really made it enjoyable. You made it great even if the venue did not have a stage or a specific area for you to work in. You made it happen. thank you so much for a most enjoyable experience!

Jan Kretsinger
Ameren Services

Annual Christmas Celebration Entertainment a Hit at Douglass Community Services

Annual Christmas Celebration Entertainment
Annual Christmas Celebration Entertainment a Hit at Douglass Community Services

We Invited Steve after a personal testimonial from one of our staff who had attended one of his performances at another event. This was for our annual Christmas celebration for an audience of around 145, made up of our company staff and board members.

I found Steve to be very personable and easy to work with in arranging for the event. Our staff responded well to Steve’s performance, especially after getting to know him more personally as he went from table to table during the lunch demonstrating his expertise with a deck of cards. He is upbeat, constantly on the move, with no breaks once he started. His skill combined with his sense of humor make a great combination that was well received by our group.

I would heartily recommended Steve and Magic on the Menu.

Dave Dexheimer
Executive Director
Douglass Community Services Inc
Hannibal, MO

Audio Visual Setup for a Great Show

My goal is to make sure you have an event that your guests will talk about for months or maybe years to come. Below are some guidelines and requirements. Having the right setup makes a huge difference it the way the audience enjoys the show.  Any setup happens at your convenience, whatever works for the event. Everything is pretty flexible, if you have any questions give me a call.

Audio Visual and Room Set-up

Lighting: General stage wash. Just about everything happens center stage. If the program takes place in a banquet room general lighting will be fine.  Call for details or questions.

Sound: Depending on the size of your group a sound system may be required. You can provide this or depending on travel arrangements, I can provide a sound system with wireless mic. Your group can use it for announcements or awards before the performance to keep it easy for you. Please call for details.

Electrical: Two (2) electrical outlets near the performance space and out of the traffic pattern will be required.

Stage: For audiences over 75 people, a raised platform of at least 8’ x 12’ in size with stairs for audience access will make it easier for everyone to see (prefer 12’ x 16’).  Place the front row within 5’ of the stage. If you have a large group and you are doing a theater set up make sure to have a center aisle. If other speakers are using a podium or lectern please place it off to one side so that there is room to walk in front of it.

Performance Area Positioning. If the room is rectangular, position the “stage” in the middle of the long side of the rectangle (the 50 yard line). In that position, as opposed to one end of the room, almost all of the tables in the room are much closer to the stage.

Recommended room set up
30 to 45 minutes is required for set up and sound check . It can be done in a shorter time if needed, please call with questions.

SUCCESSFUL SHOW REQUIREMENTS:

SHOW TIME: After dessert has been served and all service has concluded. Service staff can easily block the view of the program and make it difficult for your audience members to enjoy the opening moments.

The Audience Must Be Seated. People standing, talking, or drinking can quickly change a captive environment into a struggle for the performer to try and hold their attention. There are ways to overcome these problems, but a normal interactive act may not survive the disruptions. An alternative approach to entertainment may be required such as strolling magic.

Close the Bar During the Show. (If possible) If people get up during the program to get a drink, it sends a psychological message to everyone in the room that they are no longer interested in the show

Avoid Obstructions to Viewing the Program. Columns, walls, large table decorations, or a large buffet table between the audience and the stage, block the view of the program. If they can’t see, they will talk, and be unable to enjoy the program.

Avoid a Dance Floor.
Occasionally, a dance floor will be placed in front of the stage creating a divided room with half the audience on the left side of the room, no one in front of the stage, and half of the audience on the right side of the room. The entertainer is forced to place his back to half of the audience at all times. When the performer addresses the one side of the room, the other side of the room is no longer able to see or be involved in the program. Audience interest is difficult to maintain. A small dance floor which does not divide the room into two separate halves can work, but special care must be taken to position the audience as close to the stage as possible. There must be an audience in front of the stage.

Recommended Layouts
The first 3 layouts will make for a great show. All of the tables are in front of the performance area and the entrances are at the back of the room so guests don’t have to walk in front of the stage if they arrive late or have to go to the restroom. The round tables work great for banquets, awards dinners and galas. The rectangle tables are great for seminars and meetings.

Steve Barcellona Corporate event set up 1Steve Barcellona Corporate event set up 2Steve Barcellona Corporate event set up 3

The following layouts make the performance difficult.  If the stage is surrounded some tables can’t see the show and lose interest. They will eventually start to talk, ruining the show for everyone. If there is a dance floor between the audience and the performance area it will act like a barrier and the audience will feel like they don’t need to participate. You might as well fill it with alligators!  Also the entrances are by the stage.
Steve Barcellona Corporate event set up 5

 

Steve Barcellona Corporate event set up 4

Other room set ups are possible please call for details

Holiday Party Entertainment Exceeded Expectations at Crowne Plaza St Louis

Holiday Party Entertainment Exceeded Expectations at Crowne Plaza St Louis
Holiday Party Entertainment Exceeded Expectations at Crowne Plaza St. Louis

Recently the Crowne Plaza Hotel St. Louis had the pleasure of having magician extraordinaire Steve Barcellona for our holiday party entertainment. Wow! He completely exceeded our expectations.

Knowing Mr. Barcellona I was not surprised that he was an excellent magician, I was not however prepared for the enormous positive impact he had on our event.  It is not just the great magic but how he works the room and gets everyone involved. Many of the guests wanted to know where they could see him perform again. He entertained and astonished everyone and where ever he strolled the laughter and amazed expressions followed. Steve’s vast repertoire and quick wit really made our event special. I am still hearing comments about him from people that were there.

Steve was a pleasure to work with. Arriving early and staying past his contracted time, he was the consummate professional.  I will continue to highly recommend Steve to anyone looking for a fun and entertaining way of upgrading an event and providing an authentic crowd pleaser, guaranteed to keep you smiling.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Best Regards,
Steve Molina, CSW
Catering Sales MAnager
Crowne Plaza St. Louis

Company Christmas Party, the show was a hit!

Company Christmas Party, the show was a hit!

We would like to thanks you for performing your Magic on The Menu act at our company Christmas party, the show was a hit! Our audience ranged in age from 21 to 85 and everyone thought the show was great. You really got the crowd involved and made everyone;s experience pleasant and your added humor made the show that much more fun! You have really been a pleasure to work with and I would highly recommend you as entertainment for anyone’s event!

Thanks again,
Stephanie Westendorf
EJ Water Cooperative