The Emcee … or MC … or Master of Ceremonies … is a term that has a variety of meanings and applications.
Traditionally, the Emcee is the official host of a ceremony, a staged event or similar performance.
The term was first used by the Catholic Church during the 5th century, where the Master of Ceremonies was and still is an official of the Papal Court, responsible for the proper and smooth conduct of the elegant and elaborate rituals involving the Pope and the sacred liturgy.
Today, the term is often used to connote a person who presents performers, speaks to the audience, entertains the crowd, and generally keeps an event moving.
And THIS is why an Emcee makes a great deal of sense in the Trade Show environment.
Our clients at Magnet Productions will often ask us for an ‘emcee’ for their upcoming trade show. And that can often mean one of two things:
They would like a Professional Presenter to deliver an 8-10 minute presentation detailing their offerings at a particular show; a presentation that they have scripted, or one that they would like Magnet to script.
OR … they would like an Emcee or Host for their booth. In this instance, they may intend to have one of their internal staff deliver a detailed product presentation or actually do a live demo. And they would like someone to help build the crowd, deliver a high-level overview of their offering at the show and then provide a setup or introduction to their speaker.
This is a VERY effective trade show strategy for a number of reasons:
First, it assures the speaker that they will be addressing a Standing Room Only crowd. Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than having a Product Specialist at your company delivering a presentation to 25 empty seats. Needless to say, this can make a rather negative impression on trade show attendees.
Second, it provides the opportunity to provide context for the upcoming demo or presentation. Our Emcee can ask a series of qualifying questions. He/She can get the audience to raise their hands in response to some key qualifiers. This can provide great intelligence to the rest of your booth staff.
Third, it allows for the presentation to be structured in a more engaging and entertaining manner. At Magnet, we call it ‘breaking the fourth wall.’ After the introduction, our Trade Show Emcee can stand in the audience as your Presenter speaks. At some pre-determined points, he/she can ask a scripted question.
This can create a much more organic feeling to the presentation and differentiate it from the myriad of other product pitches going on at the show. In addition, at the close of the presentation, it allows for a graceful transition into a real Q and A with your trade show audience.
Finally, the Emcee can wrap things up with a specific call-to-action; reviewing the demo areas in the booth, encouraging attendees to speak with your team, and possibly coordinating a raffle for a prize-drawing at the end of each presentation. (This, by the way is an idea we STRONGLY endorse!)
At Magnet Productions, we offer Trade Show Emcees with a wide range of skill sets: If you want a traditional Emcee or Host, we can provide you with the best in the industry.
OR, if you’re looking for some specialty hosts, we also offer MC’s who can incorporate some illusions or juggling into their pre-show crowd-building.
Or if you REALLY want to take it to the next level, we can provide an Emcee who will ride a unicycle while escaping from a straitjacket … all the while delivering a 3-5 minute, content-rich presentation.
(I’m not kidding … we have video of this.)
It’s also worth mentioning here, that Magnet offers Professional Emcees for a variety of other Corporate events outside of Trade Shows: Sales Kickoffs, Workshops, Awards Presentations, Planning Meetings, Training Sessions. In short, any event that would benefit from an experienced Master of Ceremonies.
(And if you happen to be planning a Hip-Hop party, we can absolutely find you an MC for that as well. Of course, the wardrobe might be a bit different.)
Want to discuss some ideas on how you might use a Professional Emcee at your next trade show or corporate event? Please reach out to us. We LOVE to brainstorm.