Over the years we’ve compiled this list of Do’s and Don’ts which can have an adverse effect on the flow or the amount of participation and dancing at a party. Have you seen any of these?
DON’T: Seating guests between the band & the dance floor:
This seems like it would be obvious, but still happens occasionally, so is worth mentioning. Having guests seated between the band and the dance floor makes interaction between the band and the dancing crowd difficult.
It can also make the guests that are seated in that area feel like they are “in the way” or that the music is too loud. (Then the band turns down the volume and the dance floor crowd thinks the beat isn’t strong enough).
DO: Having the dance floor immediately adjacent to the bandstand is a much better seating arrangement.
DON’T: Having the Bar in a different room than band:
When the Bar is located outside the room where dancing is to take place, guests tend to get a drink and hang around the bar talking. Eventually, half the party ends up out at the bar and the dance floor gets thinned out.
DO: The atmosphere is much better when there is one “party” room where everyone is having fun all in one place.
DON’T: When a guest or family member gets up to speak or perform and will not leave the stage:
While this kind of thing can be fun for a while, before too long it can become a drag on the party.
DO: It is helpful to designate someone in advance who will come up and tactfully say “let’s hear it for (person’s name),” then usher him/her off as people applaud. Or the bandleader can be the “killjoy” and do the deed, taking the “blame.”
DON’T:Calling for group photos when the dance floor is packed:
When your photographer decides to take group shots when the dance floor is rockin’, either 1/2 the dance floor goes outside to take the picture, or the bandleader has to clear the dance floor to do these shots. This kills the momentum of the party.
DO:Try having the photographer do group shots during background music time. The bandleader will be happy to coordinate this with your photographer.
DON’T: No dance music during the meal:
Quite often, the caterer or venue asks the band to stop the dancing and get everyone seated for dinner, and then does not bring out food for 10 or 15 minutes. We know the importance of having everyone seated to enjoy the main course while it is hot.
However, the band is skilled at taking its cue from watching the servers, and will automatically slow the music down once service really begins.
DO: It is also important to play DANCE music between courses. If you play only slow music while all of the courses are served and eaten, everyone will get lazy and full and it will be difficult to get them up and dancing afterward. How much dancing that goes on at the event is directly proportional to how much FUN they have. This is what they’ll talk about for years to come.
DON’T: No dance music until after dinner:
Similar to the previous tip is when the client asks the band to wait until after dinner to start playing upbeat music. Often this leaves guests to initially enter the room to silence or background music, instead of lively music that says “there’s a party goin’ on!”
DO: Having the band playing as soon as the banquet doors open allows the band to warm up the crowd. It also goes a long way toward pleasing those guests who might not be into the all out fast dancing that often takes place after dinner.
Not to mention, having the band on stage from the very beginning allows you to rely on the professional emcee ability of the bandleader for any announcements being made.
DON’T: Meeting with the band between songs:
Whenever the client, a guest, or party planner attempts to micro manage and instruct the band frequently on the night of the event, it hurts the flow of the party, and can quickly clean the dance floor. Anything more than just a note or a quick statement is a distraction.
DO: It is better to have all of the details worked out, and make all of your requests known, prior to the party.
DON’T: When a client insists on picking every song the band will perform:
We know it is your day, and we make every effort to tailor the music to your tastes. However, the bandleader knows the songs that work well with each other, and how to organize those songs to get the best response from the crowd.
Clients often think they know what their guests are going to like, only to be surprised during their event at what songs their guests respond to.
DO: We found that what works best is to pick some of your FAVORITES and let the band work them into a performance that will energize ALL of the guests attending your event.
You can also put together a short list of songs you do not want played, so the bandleader knows to avoid playing these songs.