How to Make the Most Out of a General Session Opener

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Written by Tim Grable

July 5, 2017

When you are planning large-scale events, such as business conventions, being a perfect host is understandably harder than in other cases.

The one first winning step towards this aim is to set up a smart general session opener.

Why smart?

A session opener is the kick-off event which you can use as an opportunity to address attendees at once. Plus, this way you can let them know what the tone and vibe of the event will be.

Start on a strong note and get your guests all excited with our suggestions in this article.

The ‘Why’ of a General Session Opener

To understand the whole benefit of an opener, we suggest a mental exercise: try to put yourself in your guests’ shoes and think of the events you attended.

Isn’t it that the first impression mattered? Weren’t you looking forward to the entire event if the opening stages were organized engagingly?

If the answer is “yes,” you can fully assess the advantages of a perfect general session opener.

How to Make the Most Out of a General Session Opener

It conveys a strong message to your attendees: I strongly value your attendance, and I have put thought into offering you the best experience.

Right off the bat, they will feel valued and, thus, more invested in the upcoming events.

As an event planner, instant connection to as many participants as possible is all you could wish for. Setting an inspiring session opener saves you lots of trouble in this department, so make sure you follow a few basic tips and tricks.

The ‘How.’

To open your event on a strong note, here are a few points to include on your checklist:

  • goal definition – the content of a session opener is structured differently according to the intent you have in mind.
  • take time for the welcome speech – it should be laid-back, but also brief and comprehensive.
  • the venue should sport a dynamic decorum – locations which are too busy in decorum tend to project a heavy vibe.
  • entertainment should be a focal point – keep the content professional and to the point so that you can make space for entertainment bits.

Break the Ice in Great Fashion

When you leave home in the morning, you usually expect to feel you have started off on the right foot. While you cannot control this feeling with daily mood, you can do it when it comes to an event.

This is where the entertainment part comes into play.

Plan it accordingly, and you will reap the rewards when excited participants spread the word about your brand. Fail to do so, and you could well lose their interest in hearing more once the event has concluded.

Most event planners hire keynote speakers and somehow consider them as part of the entertainment factor for a general session opener. While keynote speakers are excellent for openers, they still deliver speeches which require focus – especially if the aim of your event is a product launch or update.

speaker, keynote, keynote speaker, conference opener

However, you are aiming for more, so the most efficient approach to go about this whole affair is to consider small breaks which are diverting and engaging. This will ensure that your guests will be able to take everything in effortlessly.

We Can Help

Off the top of our heads, we would say a good balance to keynote speeches would be hiring variety acts. From performing arts to ventriloquists, these artists have an unusual ability to adapt to the exact message you wish to convey.

Incredible Conference Opener Ideas

Conference openers set the tone of an event, so it is important to choose an entertainer who is universally appealing, funny and knows how to work a crowd. Comedians and performers such as Joe Castillo, Piff the Magic Dragon, Ron Pearson, The Bucket Boys, and Max Winfrey have charmed audiences all over the world with their diverse talents, and they make excellent opening acts. Their audience-friendly combinations of humor, magic, and fun ensure that any conference or corporate event will be enhanced by their performances.

Joe Castillo combines artistry and storytelling to create a memorable multifaceted event. Piff the Magic Dragon is the perfect mixture of quirky comedy and memorable magic. Ron Pearson and Max Winfrey are hilarious comedians who have performed their gut-busting comedy acts all over the world. These entertainers ensure that any conference opener is memorable and exciting.

Joe Castillo is a new kind of storyteller. He uses sand art to create vividly animated tales that have amazed audiences all over the world. As a sand artist, Joe has the unique ability to bring the audience into his art, incorporating music and creating images that inspire and touch home.  He has appeared on the hit television show America’s Got Talent, where he was a finalist, and he has performed in every single continent. His act combines sand, a light table, and music into a multimedia experience unlike any other.

For a conference opener that breaks the mold, look no farther than Piff the Magic Dragon, seen on America’s Got Talent, the hilarious magician in the dragon costume. With his gasp-inducing magic tricks, deadpan comedy act, and adorable Chihuahua sidekick, Piff the Magic Dragon has become a global hit. He has performed everywhere from the Sydney Opera House to Radio City Music Hall and has amused audiences everywhere with his eccentric humor and illusions.

Ron Pearson is an in-demand comedian who has performed at corporate events, for live studio audiences, and at comedy clubs. He has entertained at corporate events held by Toyota, Motorola, McDonald’s, Miller Beer and more, and rarely fails to bring the audience to their feet. His verbal wit, physical comedy, and endless charm is sure to please any audience.

Max Winfrey is a fast-talking, high-energy comedian who excels at audience participation. His improvisational comedy does not merely entertain the audience; it depends on them. He plucks audience members from their seats and involves them in his crazy hijinks, and he has come to be known as the go-to guy for corporate events.

Bob Stromberg is a physical comedian that relies on visual gags, such as shadow puppets, his staircase routine and other inventive ways of playing a trick on the audience’s eyes. His family-friendly focus on sight gags and the occasional story makes him an excellent choice for any event.

RePercussion, a high-spirited pair of percussionists use everyday items like bin lids, garbage cans, buckets, street signs and pots and pans to produce hip and danceable rhythms.

The energetic and engaging duo from Chicago combines comedy with their unique tempos to provide a memorable and interactive performance. They select members of the audience to demonstrate their remarkable music. Under RePercussions’ tutelage, this makeshift band of audience members bangs drumsticks on trash cans and clangs on a cowbell to create a fast-paced cadence that inspires the rest of the audience to dance.  They have toured and created their unique music for over 16 years. They have played in places as diverse as Dubai, India, New York, and Illinois.  Their hilarious antics and extraordinary percussion sounds provide an unforgettable musical experience.

These entertainers all make excellent conference openers. Their experience performing at corporate events has given them the skills to connect with an audience, and their talents make them the perfect way to begin an evening.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need to make up your mind when picking one of these amazing acts for the entertainment part of your general session opener.

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