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How many networking receptions, drinks, and dinners have you been to that are just plain boring? How often do budget limitations restrict the content delivered at events?

Whilst event entertainment can be seen as a 'nice to have', and can be cut when budgets necessitate it, is that really true? Event entertainment, can really help bring a 'boring' drinks reception to life. It can provide a focal point, a talking point; a diversion. Choose the right entertainment and they'll help you create the right atmosphere to put your guests at ease, enjoy their time in your company and remember a positive experience.

We talked to an expert in the field, Gaia Saccomanno, MD of GS Live to find out her thoughts.

LVP: Hi Gaia, for those that don't have the pleasure of knowing you, please can you give us an introduction about your company and what you offer event professionals

GS: GS Live is an entertainment agency and creative production company. We work with a great variety of acts from music to dance, circus to cabaret, we also offer a number of music and art related team building activities, We are always out there looking for what is new and also we like to explore new ways to engage with audiences (using technology for example) and to use entertainment not merely to delight but also to communicate and promote brands, products and corporate messages. We work closely with our clients to select (or create) the right act that will match the event and the venues needs paying particular attention to the guests experience and the quality of the service provided. 

LVP: You mention working with your clients to sometimes create the right act. So who have you worked with previously?

GS: There are a multitude of creative minds, talented artists, innovative musicians, skilled costume makers, experienced choreographers, technical experts that I work with. Our UK based network is vast and I get the right person involved based on each job. Our team is dedicated to our clients and to the constant scouting of acts.

Our client base is incredibly varied from Hotels (such as Park Plazas, The Ritz, Baglioni Hotel), to DMCs (Wedgewood, The Competitive Edge), conference and event organisers, companies (Investec, Facebook) and venues of various sizes (from the British Museum and National Gallery to historic Venues such as Tower Bridge and restaurants such as Park Chinois).

LVP: A great client base and so varied. So how did it all start for you in the events industry?

GS: It all started 12 years ago when I decided to start a career in this industry andtook a degree in Events Management and Marketing which included work experience in an Entertainment Agency (my first love indeed!). I then moved into the public events sector, organising music related events and festivals, having the opportunity of working in great venues and music auditoriums around the UK (from The Royal Festival Hall to the Sage in Gateshead). I then took on an amazing opportunity at Kings Place where I project managed the opening of the venue and ran the events production and communication department. Thanks to my marketing knowledge, I have worked within the arts marketing sector too before deciding to move back into the meeting and special events industry. I started working in a beautiful London listed building venue (Sunbeam Studios) running the events department and then worked in an events agency (Wedgewood) having the opportunity of managing all aspects of events planning. Soon after I realised that my passion for entertainment was still there andthere was the need of an entertainment agency that would bring innovation as well as knowledge of events. And that is how GS Live was born.

 

 

LVP: A very impressive resume and certainly an inspirational journey that has seen you follow and realise your dream . But why are you passionate about bringing entertainment to events? What do you think entertainment adds to an event?

GS: I think it’s hard not to be passionate about the events industry in general, especially if you are a people person. Events are about people, they are essentials in people’s lives, to connect, share, learn, trade, feel.

Music and other art expressions have the power to touch the senses and speak to the emotions, hence they are an essential part of the event mix. Because they make an event memorable.

Entertainment can also be used strategically for promotion to communicate a message, it can be used to enhance a venue feature, to showcase a culture, to entice people onto a dance floor and in a myriad of other unique ways. Working with artistic talents and other industry professionals to create such memorable experiences brings great satisfaction.
I am also an organizing freak which is a skill a lot of us event managers have in common!

LVP: We definitely agree with you about making events memorable. It's no good having great content if everyone forgets about it afterwards. How do you think entertainment can work hand in hand with a unique venue to create an inspirational event?

GS: Venues are the canvases of events and therefore the key for the overall event experience. The variety of unique venues is as exciting as the variety of artistic talent which exists in this country.

Venues are often the inspiration for an event theme. They can represent a frame for an act or vice versa a live performance can be used to enhance an architectural element of a venue or it can be evocative of its history.

Space gives opportunities and venue restrictions represent a challenge to find new creative solutions. At the best events venues and entertainment become one when the event is live.

There is plenty of scope to work closely with venue managers to select or create unique acts that go hand in hand with the venue’s needs and that can be proactively put in the mix at the beginning of the planning process, creating opportunities for all. Entertainment is the sugar and butter of an event, together with the venue, catering and AV rather than simply the cherry on top. 

LVP: A pleasure talking to you Gaia! We wish you and GS Live all the best future success.

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