Hosting an event is an exciting experience that sets the tempo for everyone in attendance. Whether producing a milestone birthday party or emceeing a fundraising gala, being the host of an event is probably the most important job of anyone there. With this in mind, it can be stressful trying to successfully pull off an event while juggling different variables as a host. But your worrying doesn’t have to be in vain. Apply those nerves to proven strategies for being an outstanding event host, and use them to make your event the talk of the town. Read on for tips that can help.
1. Know Your Audience
Every audience is different. The tastes of a crowd at a wedding are different from the vibe of a company holiday party. For this reason, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into. Your approach to hosting will change depending on the type of audience you have, so ask beforehand what kind of audience you’ll be working with. Are these folks more reserved or are they outgoing? Do they dress flashy or are they conservative? Answering these questions will help you determine how best to interact with your audience. On the day of the event (if you can), mingle with the people in your audience before the event begins. Are these the kind of people who want maximum energy from the beginning, or would they appreciate a gradual build that leads to a grand closing? Knowing what your audience needs will help you give them what they want.
2. Prepare Yourself
Going in cold is rarely a good idea when trying to approach any task—event hosting is no different. Aside from knowing your audience, knowing your hosting style is equally as important. Practice how you plan to present yourself to your audience, how best to highlight the people/subject of the night, and how you plan on keeping the momentum going. Memorizing what you are going to say comes off as professional, but it might still be helpful to write what your main points are on a few index cards. Without preparation, you risk forgetting key information, missing crucial insights, and not doing your best job. Be the best host you can be by putting time and care into your preparation.
3. Add Interaction
Few things are more boring than having to sit through someone talking at you with few breaks. A great way to avoid boredom in the audience is to interact with them face-to-face. You can go into the audience and ask them specific questions that have to do with the subject of the event, or even call them up on stage to participate with you. Or how about a game? You can choose attendees to play something fun on stage and encourage the audience to cheer them on. “Call and response” also works well for getting groups of people excited for whatever direction you are leading them in. Adding interaction can help add comic relief, break up silent moments, and bring more fun to the occasion.
4. Have Fun!
What good is hosting an event if you’re not going to have fun doing it? Your audience can pick up on your discomfort, nerves, and even disinterest. So take a deep breath, shake it off, and be determined to maintain a mindset that says, “I am going to have fun at this event!” Show up with an attitude that lets people know you’re having a great time and you want time to have a great time too. When you remember that fun is one of the main objectives, event hosting becomes more easeful and less nerve-wracking. Once everyone starts having fun together, the momentum of the night begins to pick up, making it easier to keep having fun.
5. End With a Big Closing
A sure way to keep people talking about your event’s success is to go out with a big bang. A good event may have fluctuations in energy throughout its duration, but they always end with a climax to create a nice payoff for everyone in attendance. If you are able, coordinate with the event planners to figure out a way to end the event in a big way. Whether hyping up the final round of a tournament or adding a celebratory interaction as a closing, be sure to captivate attendees with something that caters to their interests. With a nice ending, your event will be fondly remembered for the excitement it brought.
Your event is bound to be successful with the right approach and attitude. Your job is to guide the event in a way that everyone enjoys. With tools like these to rely on, your hosting can take things to the next level. At the end of the day, there’s fun to be had. Be confident, show up, and show out!