It goes without saying, but a host or master of ceremonies can make or break your event. Select a master of ceremonies that will work with your events staff in a cooperative manner, while managing the proceedings in a capable and professional manner. He or she sets the atmosphere of the event and can add brevity (or not) to the event to lighten the mood and keep your guests entertained.
Stay Current with Industry Trends
Stay abreast of what’s going on in the industry and archive or list hosts and speakers that have generated publicity or recognition – we have a speaker’s list of great speakers archived on our Pinterest page and social media can give you good feedback for selecting a great master of ceremonies or plain vanilla host.
Also, check with your productions team to see who they would recommend and then go online and see if the individual has archives of past meetings he or she has hosted. Many will have a YouTube channel with some brief clips that will give you a deeper dive into who they are and what their potential chemistry might be for your event.
Can be a good idea to stay plugged in to and attend industry networking events – in some cases you can get a first hand sense of the master of ceremonies or live acts form others that you may want to hire at a future date.
CEO or Professional Master of Ceremonies?
If this event is for a product or service launch, you may want the CEO of the company to act as master of ceremonies or senior executive. Or, she/he may want to share these duties with a professional host or hostess in some way that makes the event more meaningful and entertaining for your guests.
If you are hosting a charity fundraiser you want an individual who is extremely knowledgeable about the charity itself and who can aggressively submit donations form the audience.
A Bit of Brevity Goes a Long Way at Your Event
The most desirable skill of any host or master of ceremonies is their ability to keep the audience engaged and entertained during the event – he or she should drive participation and create an atmosphere that is light (some humor) and exciting, moving the evening along based on the pre-arranged schedule.
Humor from you master of ceremonies can be like pepper in a gourmet sauce – just the right amount can be delightful; but, too much and the evening or event can be ruined. You don’t want the event to come across as a comic roast, especially if its’ a corporate event. Some light humor goes a long way to liven up the day or evening.
But, to much and your host can ruin the flavor of the event. Make sure you talk with them about this beforehand and that he or she is attuned to the type of events and the demographics of the attendees.
So, select a master of ceremonies that is well suited for your event – you want a professional who has some experience hosting similar events in most cases, who is aware of the event needs, demographics of your attendees and one who is culturally attuned to the industry or type of business. A CEO may not always be the right choice – or, it may be better to ask she/he to co-host the event.