Location, location, location! When the bar is too far away from the band that means no dancing which leads to low level of partying and then leads to people leaving early. This is something we run into all too often at private events whether it is a wedding reception, fundraiser, corporate event, etc.The Scene: The three hour charity fundraiser dinner is over and the live auction has just wrapped. The bars are open on the far west wall of the room and everyone dashes to wet their whistles. The music starts up and the stage lighting is popping with flashes of brilliant colors and the beams move across the dance floor. After about 15 minutes among the chatter you hear "Great band!" or "Wow, they sound amazing!" but something is missing...Oh, yeah...nobody is dancing because the dance floor is a tiresome trek of 50 feet across the room on a level carpeted surface! Walking is not an option...
The good, the bad and the ugly: Clients book a live band to get the party started and of course the libations help, but wherever the bar is set up is where the crowd will stay. On many occasions the drinks are only being served at the opposite end of the venue from where the entertainment is located and this is a recipe for disaster! Even if there is a decorative barrier set up, small partition of some sort or tables that are in the way, these very small things subconsciously hinder people from moving past them. Oh, and if a group of friends is hanging around the bar then you'd better pitch a tent because they will be camping out there for the evening. This means a minimal amount of people will enjoy the band and pretty much nobody will be cutting a rug! (Unless it's a wedding reception with a bunch of children.) This also means the patrons are going to get tanked and it will happen fast! If people aren't on the floor bustin' a move they have more down time to partake of adult beverages. If they were dancing it would give them a break from throwing a few back every 5 minutes and the exercise from dancing may help to metabolize some of the alcohol and could possibly keep them from Ubering to a Motel 6 with Pat from accounting and making a terrible life altering decision. So, back on point! When the party dies early it's not only disappointing for the client but also puts a damper on the band's performance. If nobody is out on the floor gettin' it then the band's morale and spirit will follow suit. After putting a lot of hard work and effort into looking great, sounding amazing and having a dazzling light show nothing bursts your bubble more than having an event turn out to be a flop on account of faulty venue set up.
Problem solved: If your venue has a built in area for serving drinks then request a second bar station set up closer to the stage/performance area. Even if the 2nd bar only serves wine and beer it will keep people on the dance floor and that means the last part of your event is sure to be a success. Keep in mind there is normally an up-charge from the venue for a second bar ($200-$400 normally). If that isn't in the budget then request that be the only bar but have it fully stocked. If none of these options are available then get the main soiree planners on board to hit the floor and the sheep will follow...more to come on that in my next blog.
Until next time... Drive safe and Drive often :)