Hiring a good emcee for corporate events is tricky but crucial. The last thing you want is to choose someone who freezes up on stage, tells horribly inappropriate jokes, or makes everyone cringe so hard you can actually feel the discomfort in the room.
Ideally, you’ll find someone on the opposite end of the spectrum: He or she will lead your event with confidence and charisma, keep attendees engaged and interested, and bring forth valuable insights and ideas.
Finding the perfect person for the job is easier if you know exactly what you want and understand the process of searching for, interviewing, and hiring candidates. However, almost no one goes into the search with all their ducks in a row. That’s why we’ve put together this guide for sourcing a corporate event emcee who will (hopefully) fulfill all your wildest dreams.
Firefly Team Events would be thrilled to provide the ultimate emcee experience for your corporate events. We’re hilarious, fun, easy to work with, and we iron out all the other event planning details. Contact us to get started!
How To Find A Great Corporate Event Emcee
1. Look in the right places.
LinkedIn is usually a good place to start your search. People’s profiles and connections can speak volumes about the way they conduct themselves professionally. You should be able to quickly and easily sort through candidates with a few simple searches and form a list of contenders you’d like to interview for the job.
If LinkedIn doesn’t fulfill your needs, try Trusted Herd. Trusted Herd is a great site for peer sourcing, and it attracts experienced talent just as much as LinkedIn does. This is a great option if you find yourself in a pinch — for example, if your event is tomorrow and your original emcee canceled — but this speed comes at a price. Some profiles are lacking in details, so you’ll need to do a significant amount of vetting on your chosen candidate before you make an official hire.
FInally, if you’re willing to endure some sticker shock to ensure you find the highest quality person for the job, try a speakers bureau. They’re more expensive than the freelance agents you’ll find on LinkedIn or Trusted Herd but they are also pre-vetted by the bureau, which will give you some peace of mind as to their level of competence.
2. Check their qualifications.
If you opt to go through a speakers bureau, much if not all of the background research has been done for you. You can simply ask for an emcee with the professional background you’re looking for and the bureau will help you find a good match.
If you’re looking at LinkedIn or Trusted Herd — or any similar websites — choose candidates that identify themselves as a master of ceremonies for hire as a freelancer or through an agency. Experienced emcees will list this as their current job.
Steer clear of candidates who emcee as a side gig or who list an emcee job two or three slots down in their resumes. These people may be great — or they may not be. If you’ve ever mentioned in passing that you’re looking for an emcee and your great uncle Fred offered to do the job because he’s the life of the party at his weekly bingo events, you’ll understand why it’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Don’t skip the interview.
We get it: The event is looming closer and closer, and you really don’t want to have to hire your great uncle Fred or emcee the event yourself. However, even if it’s just a quick Zoom call to make sure your top candidate can speak English and has at least one good joke up his sleeve, do the interview.
You can tell a surprising amount about a person by the way they speak and present themselves during an interview. Considering that speaking and presenting things is the exact job you’re hiring them for, getting an idea of this person’s style beforehand is crucial.
4. Know your requirements.
Even the best emcee in the world is not the best fit for every event. We recommend gauging candidates in three main areas: energy, polish, and personality. What you want out of each of these areas will vary based on the personalities of your coworkers and employees, the style and location of the event, and the activities you plan to do.
For example, a high-energy emcee may be beneficial for certain types of events, but distracting at others. If you hire an emcee for an event with mostly C-suite executives and board members in attendance, look for someone with a polished delivery suitable for a higher-end crowd. Finally, the emcee’s personality determines how well he or she will connect with the group — and this connection can make or break an event.
5. Ask for specifics.
You’ll want to get a feel for where the emcee falls in each of the above three categories — personality, polish, and energy — but these aren’t the only qualities to assess during the interview.
Be forward enough to ask directly what kinds of events the emcee has done before. You’re looking for someone who has hosted an event with similar deliverables and execution to your own. A long history of hosting experience is great, but if none of their previous events have been similar in style and tone to yours, they may not be the best fit for the job.
At Firefly, we hire all types of hosts with different levels of experience. But the important part comes after we make an official hire. Before we put anyone on stage, we train them to be a great match for the specific events they’ll be hosting. If you don’t have the time or inclination to provide training, look for someone with the right experience, not just the most experience.
6. Resist the urge to DIY.
Have you ever seen that episode of The Office where Michael hosts the Dundie Awards? This episode is a perfect template of what not to do.
In other words: Avoid choosing a coworker to host an event.
When employees see one of their peers onstage, it makes the event seem less important than it really is. Plus, people often aren’t as funny as they think they are! This can make Monday morning pretty awkward when everyone remembers the cringey antics that happened at the corporate event.
Unless everything goes perfectly, it’s likely your DIY event will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
7. But if you really must choose someone internally…
It’s tricky but possible to pull off a successful event without hiring a professional emcee. This is especially true if you or one of your coworkers has experience hosting similar events.
We recommend following these three guidelines to make sure everything goes smoothly:
- Keep the delivery light and fun.
- Don’t tell personal jokes about yourself or anyone on the team. No exceptions!
- Help to guide the show; don’t strive to be the show.
Stay within those lines, and everything will probably work out just fine.
Work with Firefly Team Events and receive a fantastic, loveable, and possibly even dashingly handsome emcee to lead your corporate event.
Firefly Team Events provides skilled emcees for any and every event you plan with us. And, as a bonus, you don’t have to actually do the event planning itself. That’s what we’re here for. We have a robust list of events we regularly host, but we also provide custom events if you have something specific in mind. Just let us know, and we’ll be happy to accommodate!
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