Making a Private Comedy Event Great - the ultimate guide
Updated: Jun 4, 2022
Improbable Comedy has been presenting live, stand up comedy shows since 2011. We have brought shows to large stages, smaller venues, dive bars and private parties. People often call or reach out asking about inviting Improbable Comedy to an event and wondering how they can ensure it will be a success. Of course, we do know a thing or two about making events that people love. So we have put together some of our top tips for ensuring that an event will be a hit when you are bringing a stand up comedian to entertain.
Some Quick Guidelines on Comedy Shows
When you are thinking about bringing a comedian to do an event for your company or family, you want everyone to have fun, laugh a lot and be happy they attended. Here are some suggestions for how to make that happen:
Tip #1: Decide What You Want
The first thing you should decide when planning an event is: what is your goal? Is it to celebrate a loved one? To entertain a large group at a family reunion? To show appreciation for your company's hard working staff? Comedy can bring people together, create a positive shared experience in a networking event and be an amazing form of self-care.
So think about about your audience and what you are bringing people together for. Then you can share with the comedian how much time you want for the comedy show and how many performers you think you would like.
Tip #2: Be Clear about Content
Some people might think that all comedy shows are created equal. Or worse, that all comedians are the same. (Yikes. Perish the thought!) Nothing could be farther from the truth. Because comedians are different in their style, material and delivery, you want to find one who will do well with your group.
Think about the sense of humor of your audience: Are any topics off-limits or offensive to your group? How important is it that the show is clean and what does that mean to you? Is there any information about your industry or company that you want the performer to know or avoid. Including some of these items in an informational email to the performer can be helpful in tailoring the show to your group. Many top-notch comedy comedians will do well in a variety of environments, but we certainly want to know if they’re going to be entertaining a college sorority, an office party, or a senior center.
Tip #3: Set up the room for success
You can help the show be a success by setting up the room right. Most important: you want to make sure that everyone can see and hear the comedian. Having a microphone, small amp, and a little lighting (if it's a dark space) can really make the event shine. Depending on the size of the room, putting the comedian on a small stage or an elevated platform can help everybody know where their attention should be drawn. You can borrow or rent this equipment for the one night and it will make a big different in how much your guests enjoy the event. Be sure to test it before the event and have a spare microphone and cord on hand, just in case.
Tip #4: Relax. Have a seat. Stay a while!
Most people will enjoy the show more if they are seated during the comedy show. It helps them relax, focus their attention, and to let themselves be entertained. In a larger space, you can have some high top tables in the back, but be sure to have enough chairs in theater seating or around small tables so most people can be seated and relaxed. If you do the show outdoors, some people can sit on blankets or sit on outdoor folding chairs. You do want to make sure that even the farthest person from the stage can hear and see the comedian so they feel a part of the show.
Tip #5: Plan for Fun
A stand up comedy show is funniest when the audience is watching, listening and wants to be entertained. So you want to make sure that people are expecting a comedy show (or at least that they are open to it). Make sure that people have eaten something - most people aren't in the laughing mood when their stomach is rumbling. And make sure that during the show, the focus is on the comedy. If it is a special birthday or family reunion where people will spend want to spend a lot of time catching up and hanging out, you want to make sure they have some time to do that either before or after the comedy so they don’t feel the need to chitchat during the show.
Make sure your crowd is open to comedy
Plan the event so people are ready to laugh
Set up the room for success
Test your equipment in advance
Communicate with the comedian (or agent) about any content limits or preferences
Make sure that when the show starts, the focus is on the comedian (not food or socializing)
Even just these few things will make a huge difference in creating a great environment for your comedian to thrive in.
You can always reach out to us at Improbable Comedy to book a great comedian or show for your next event. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this information form to find out more.