Our band Flipside plays a lot of corporate events, probably about 50 a year. They range from huge medical groups with 1400 guests in a giant theatre in Hartford to under a 100 people in a hotel ballroom in Boston, but they all share a common goal: to get people to forget they are a t work function long enough to dance and have a good time. It can be a particular challenge for a dance band like ours to lure people onto the dance floor in front of their co- workers: nobody wants to be Elaine from Seinfeld! I have usually found that little bit of strategic lighting goes a long way towards helping the guests loosen up.
Thsi night was a perfect example because we partnered with local events company Best Of Boston and they brought in some especially good lighting. Most noticeably, their AV partners brought in a modular “Atomic Wall” from a company in Pennsylvania that pieces together and reflects colors from lights. This made a huge difference in transferring an otherwise very nice ballroom into a party zone. Naturally, it made a strong first impression – even the band was getting cranked up while sound-checking because we knew we were in for a fun event. The AV company had some lights placed on the floor behind the stage, pointed up on to the backdrop and set to synch in time with music. They also had some moving vari-lights on either side of the stage.
Naturally, the evening started off with dinner and some company awards, so the light were kept subdues. We were asked to provide a theme song for each of the 12 people being given awards. They were all surprise awards and only the CEO knew who was getting them, so we weren’t given the names of the people beforehand, but were able to come up with something spontaneous from the intro. For instance, he would say “Now this next person, she really fights for a sale, she may be short in stature, but she’s a giant when it comes to going to battle for the company” and then we would play “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar. It was a slightly older crowd that was more into classic rock than top 40, so those cues worked perfectly.
After dinner, the hotel dimmed the house lights, turned on the Atomic Wall and we worked our way through some classic Motown and 70s sand 80s dance music and got everybody out of their seats and on to the dance floor.