Back to Blog

Jazzin’ Up Your Opening Session

The look, design, and feel of your opening session sets the tone not just for an event but for an entire conference. While look, design, and feel are three key ingredients for any successful event or conference, the element of surprise is another way to keep your attendees engaged.
Incorporating entertainment, whether it kicks off or ends a session, is a great way to surprise guests. Imagine if the meeting was in New Orleans and the CEO (or keynote speaker) parades into ballroom on a float preceded by a high school marching band. Now that’s a wake-up call! Or the reverse could be done leading your CEO (or keynote speaker) off the stage with a parade and all your guests are following behind (the second line) waving white handkerchiefs in the air (New Orleans style). Other elements of surprise can range from gospel choirs, comedians, impersonators, celebrities, etc.

The right music is usually a safe bet. And if you want to throw in a little CSR (corporate social responsibility) in the mix, the Birthplace of Jazz (New Orleans) has giveback options directly tied to donations that support high school marching band programs (uniforms, instruments, etc.); programs that empower the youth of New Orleans through music education, academic support, and mentorship; grass root charities providing support to displaced New Orleans musicians by Hurricane Katrina; non-profit organizations which awards instruments to music programs; and many more.

Using a local DMC or event planning like AlliedPRA New Orleans will save you hours and hours of vetting the entertainment and finding the best organization aligned with your company’s philanthropic mission. To learn more, visit us at or connect with me at