In preparing for your trade show it is easy to pay close attention to detail on everything but the master of ceremonies. You can buy great give a ways and spend tons of cash on having the most advanced booth in the complex, but if you pick a terrible master of ceremonies you can unravel all of your hard work and pretty much ruin the entire show..
If your host is just plain awful or says inappropriate things to attendees you may damage your show beyond repair. But, while it can be a problem to have an over eccentric host you don’t want someone who is so underwhelming that they will put attendees to sleep. Remember when picking a Master of Ceremonies, that this person WILL essentially be the face of your business. He will be what your attendees remember.
If you have an MC on staff usually you will just pick this person because they are already on payroll. This can almost ALWAYS be a mistake. You want someone that is high energy and someone that would be recognized by a larger crowd. If this is in your budget I suggest that you ALWAYS hire an MC that is not already on payroll. Try to get someone who will be known by the mass audience, it does not have to be someone that is an expert in the field they just have to be high energy. For example, Flavor Flave might not be an expert on your field but I guarantee more people will stop by to see him than an unknown wedding DJ.
Here are some tips for the Master of Ceremonies at your next event:
1. Prepare for an opening. The Grammys doesnt just start with them announcing nominees. Your show shouldn’t either. Craft a story to draw your audience in. Don’t just come out and jump right into the mundane!
2. Remember that you are not the star of the show. You are the ‘north star’ steering the crowd through the presentation but that in no way means you are the main attraction. You are just the captain of the ship making sure the information is delivered and that the attendees take interest in the company as a whole.
3. Your personality sets the tone for the event. While you are not the star you are still a very big part of the show. You set the pace and how you behave will reflect on the audience. If you are funny, the audience will laugh. If you are serious, the audience will be stiff. If you are all over the place, the show will have no focus. Find a space in between all of that and remember the most important thing is to have high energy but get a point across
4. If you are not a professional comedian, do not tell jokes. If you don’t know what you are doing and try to tell a joke to put an audience at ease and bomb it completely you have done just the opposite. Unless you have experience in stand up or know the routine down to the bare bones of it, don’t attempt it.
5. Have a prepared close. Just like the opening ceremonies, you need to tie it together with a closing story or a call to action. Recap the highlights of the evening, and challenge the audience in some way (even if it is to come back next year!). If you have no closing ceremony then there is little to remember.
About the author:
Jonathan Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques, and using trade show marketing strategies to boost revenue.