The Importance of Choosing the Right MC

Importance of Choosing the Right MC

6 min read
From Drab to Fab Corporate Events

The MC can make or break your event - here's how, and what you can do about it. Click To Tweet

1. Why Your MC Can Make It Or Break It

MC Keeps the Event Running Smoothly At last, the big night is here. Everything is going swimmingly. The guests have arrived, mingled over canapés and are now seated.

All good.

Your MC takes the mic, introduces himself and delivers a few jokes that fall completely flat. Awkward! The audience is all sideways glances and raised eyebrows.

It dawns on you that the MC wasn’t the best choice, and you cross your fingers the night will get better. Here’s what you need to know about MCs to avoid your otherwise fabulous event going down like a lead balloon.

2. Set The Scene

As formal host, the MC plays an important role in setting the tone or ‘personality’ of your event. Delighting your audience right from the beginning gets things off to a flying start.

The MC sets the scene in a number of ways:
  • personality
  • delivery style
  • celebrity status
  • choice of language, and
  • values they represent.

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All these need to be considered when choosing an MC to ensure the right fit with your audience.

Understanding your audience demographics is mission critical when it comes to choosing an event host.

  • What is particular to your audience?
  • What is the general age, gender, income, industry and ethnicity of the group?
  • What values do they hold dear?

These factors influence the audience needs, wants and interests, and how well the MC will resonate with them.

Choosing the Right MC: Catriona Rowntree

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For instance, an MC with a strong presence, great comedic timing and the ability to speak off the cuff will engage an audience of 30-45 year-old, mostly male mortgage brokers at an awards night celebration. The same MC might overwhelm a mixed male-female group of accountants attending a new accounting software launch.

Even though both groups above are in the finance industry they have very different needs, highlighting the importance of understanding audience demographics before choosing an MC.

3. Keep The Audience Engaged

With the event off to a great start and the audience keen to hear more, it’s up to the MC to keep guests engaged right through to the end. Once the crowd switches off it almost impossible to re-engage them, spelling doom for your event.

The MC keeps the audience focused by:
  • Providing structural pauses between event sessions. This is particularly important where the main content is lengthy and information-heavy. The MC may use humour or commentary as ‘light relief’ to re-energise the crowd and help maintain focus.

  • Segueing from one topic to the next to create a logical flow, which streamlines the event and distils the messages you want to get across to your audience.

  • Working the crowd in line with your event objectives. If it’s a charity gala with fundraising the main goal, you’ll need an MC who can ‘work the room’ and convince people to dig deep and bid on auction items, purchase raffle tickets and donate money.

  • Reining in table groups that are starting to chat. An MC will direct attention to the chatters, or even hover nearby their table to nip in the bud any early signs of tuning out.

Structural pauses, segueing, commentary - all in a day's work for a professional MC. Click To Tweet

4. Keep The Event Running On Time

Most people are busy with multiple commitments and families to get home to. An event that drags on and runs late is a sure-fire way to irritate the audience, leaving a less than favourable impression of your event.

Importance of Choosing the Right Event MC

Get Organised

Use this free Event Run Sheet to:

  • Easily plan your entire event program
  • Streamline communication with suppliers and stakeholders
  • Save time

Unfortunately, delays can occur despite all your hard work and flawless preparations. Perhaps the kitchen has a problem and the main course will be late; a keynote speaker might be stuck in a traffic jam. The MC will work with you to shuffle the running order, speeding up their own segments or even ‘padding out’ the time if things are running significantly ahead of time.

5. Take The Event From Drab To Fab

Drab is the event that runs late, with disjointed topics and a host that doesn’t grab the audience. Fab is the event that outshines all others you’ve managed before, because you chose the right MC and they absolutely nailed it!

Avoid your event going down like a lead balloon - what you need to know about MCs. Click To Tweet

Your guests go home delighted, your boss is ecstatic and you’re tired but completely chuffed with yourself.

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About the Author

Gav George

When his school music teacher loaned him a cassette tape (yes, he's that old) of a fusion band, Gav entered the jazz world after years of classical music training. He was lucky enough to play with some of the greatest living jazz musicians and toured key festivals. Then Enhance founder Alison Clarke called on Gav to work on the company's marketing. This led him to his new passion of… marketing! Gav oversees Enhance's marketing initiatives, gets a kick out of connecting with clients and unearthing new talent. Gav still has that cassette tape, so if his music teacher reads this, please get in touch so he can return it.

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