With so many year-end functions, Christmas parties & corporate events happening around this time of year, I thought I’d share something that’s been irritating me.  If you’re an event co-ordinator, or a party planner, you may have experienced this kind of frustration with corporate event entertainers before.

Occasionally I get the honour of sharing the stage with some of South Africa’s most well-know MCs, comedians, singers & other performance ‘artistes’, & so I relish to opportunity to watch their performances & learn from their experience & techniques.  However, I find it absolutely shocking that some of them use foul language or risqué material at the most inappropriate times.

I’d agree that in certain circumstances this may be considered acceptable by the audience – comedy club audiences have completely different level of tolerance for sexist, racist or sexual jokes & material.  But all performers at a client’s company event should be fully aware that they are not only damaging their own reputation (with potential repercussions) but the reputation of their client.

Corporate event entertainers are expected to assume that inappropriate language, humor or materials will not be tolerated; except under situations where the client’s representative has cleared this during the event briefing process.  In my humble opinion, even performers – particularly comedians – who have become established because of their extreme behaviour should be very careful when they consider what material they will be performing.

Foul language is ‘easy humour’ – but a true professional understands that event is not ‘about them’ & they are not the main feature of the event. The client’s guests are to be treated with the utmost respect, since it’s because of the guests’ support that event is happening at all.

If you have had the misfortune of working with an entertainer that made you cover your eyes out of embarresment, or had to deal with guests’ complaints, please comment & tell me your story.  Please do not mention the entertainer’s name: rather, let this be an opportunity to share your experience & what you learnt with other event planners & corporate function coordinators.