Top tips for planning the entertainment at corporate events


Whether you have been tasked with planning the office Christmas party or finding a great band to help that will let employees let their hair down after a long conference, booking entertainment for a corporate event is not an easy thing to do.

To begin with, you’ll want something that will appeal to everyone at the event, no matter how selective their taste, and will thereby ensure that everyone has a good time. The last thing you want is for YOUR event to be the one that everyone remembers for all the wrong reasons!

However, planning a corporate function is very different from planning a private one for friends and family. You work colleagues are just that – your colleagues! Some of them will have only just started, and you are bound to know some of them better than others… especially if you work in a large company!

Add to this the fact that, if you aren’t the boss, no matter how informal the circumstances are at your company, there will still be an amount of pressure to get this right!

In this blog, we at Last Minute Musicians will give you some classic options of live music, for various popular scenarios of corporate events, and help you plan a function that will go down in history as one of the all-time greats!

Fancy dinner: Jazz group

If you have been tasked with putting on a nice dinner for all your colleagues, then you might want to consider booking some live music. This is a great addition and one that is guaranteed to impress both colleagues and potential clients alike.

While there are multiple acts that you could source for this section of your day, most people’s go-to genre for dinning music is always jazz – it adds a wonderful atmosphere of class, particularly to any black-tie event, and will usually still facilitate conversation.

Jazz groups come in many different line ups, from jazz duos with a vocalist, to large instrumental ensembles. For this reason, it’s important to pay attention to any potential act’s promotional material. Jazz groups will usually perform from sets of “jazz standards” like “Autumn Leaves” “All Of Me” or “Fly Me To The Moon”.

Frankly Jazz

Drinks reception: Cocktail pianist or swing singer

Whether you are entertaining work colleagues after a long meeting or are looking to unwind with clients after a long business negotiation, putting on a champagne or cocktail reception once you are done can be a brilliant way to relax and celebrate a job well done.

If you’re really looking to impress, then why not book some live music to perform in the background? A cocktail piano player will help provide an amazing backdrop for your guests to share a drink and get to know each other a little better.

Similarly, if you’re planning a drinks reception later in the evening (perhaps while a conference space is being turned around or while the dinner service is being prepared) then a swing singer will perform all of your favourite crooner and big band classics, from Frank Sinatra  to Dean Martin, and Michael Bublé to Gregory Porter.

Post-conference party: Function band or vintage band

If you’ve been tasked with providing entertainment for later on in the evening, perhaps at a conference in a hotel or somewhere where the guests will have accommodation, then you should immediately look at booking a live band.

There is nothing quite like live music to bring people together and, no matter what sector you work in, there are few sets of employees that won’t enjoy a great function band.

Function bands (or party bands as they are sometimes known) will have a diverse repertoire of material to draw upon, ensuring that the majority of the guests at your event will be hearing songs that they know and love. Every band will put their own spin on this, but you can generally expect to hear music from the 1960s, right up to the modern-day charts. This means you could hear everything, from The Beatles to The Kinks, and Ed Sheeran to Taylor Swift. Because of this, if you’re looking for an event with a packed-out dancefloor, then a function band might well be the way to go.

Ambassador Band

However, if you’re looking to give your corporate event a theme, then one of the most popular trends of recent years has seen many event organisers opt for a vintage theme, perhaps based around popular shows like the BBC’s Peaky Blinders or HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. If this is for you, then not only do you have to option to decorate your venue and encourage your guests to dress in the fashion of the period you choose, but you can also reflect your theme in your choice of band! More and more “vintage” bands are starting up right around the country, playing either popular hits from the decades in question, music from vintage-inspired artists like Meghan Trainor or Imelda May, or perhaps taking modern chart music and rearranging it in a vintage style… Or, of course, potentially doing all three!

Office Christmas party – Christmas band

If you have been handed the sacred job of organising the office Christmas party this year, then the pressure is on. Not only do you want to, at the very least, meet expectation (or, perhaps, quietly wishing to excel on last year’s event!) you want to provide your colleagues with the opportunity to really let loose and enjoy themselves.

With this in mind, you’ll never go wrong with booking a Christmas band. While they will generally share a lot of repertoire with a function band (probably branding themselves as such for most of the year!) a Christmas band will learn all of your favourite Christmas hits, thus ensuring that, whether you’re a fan of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” or Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody!” you’re not going to be short of Christmas hits!

Whatever type of event you are planning, we at Last Minute Musicians wish you the very best of luck for a successful event. If you’re still looking to book live entertainment, consider browsing through the over 3300 acts currently listed on, to find the perfect act for your event, today!

This content is sponsored by Last Minute Musicians.

Molly Hookings
Author: Molly Hookings

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: