Gala dinners are an essential part of Singapore’s corporate and social landscape and are most popular for fundraising events, awards ceremonies and company celebrations. Planning such an event involves sourcing gala dinner entertainment ideas and activities which can be daunting!
I, Adrian Ang, with experience in the events and entertainment industry since 1999, am sharing wonderful insights into how to keep your gala dinner guests fully engaged. Keep reading to find out more!
Gala Activities and Games
Arrival Drinks Reception Entertainment
Most gala dinners start with an arrival drinks reception held in a separate room from the main function hall. This is the ideal opportunity for creating first impressions and setting the tone for the rest of the event. Picking the right entertainment from the beginning is vital!
Elegant soloists or duos playing music in the background works well for smaller gala dinner events while a low-key band could make a welcoming introduction to larger functions. Research shows that event background music elevates mood and unites people, encouraging a networking opportunity and guest interaction.
When incorporating background music at your arrival drinks reception, consider your gala dinner theme. Jazz bands are great for classical events while acoustic acts prepare your guests for a contemporary evening.
If you need more convincing about including entertainment at your arrival drinks reception, consider these statistics. According to a study done with 7,581 participants, listening to music:
- Relaxed and made people feel happy within 13 minutes.
- Boosts energy and mood levels within 9 minutes.
The power of background music is that it helps your guests to feel comfortable enough to interact with each other while creating an inviting ambience for the event from the start.
Dinner Entertainment Ideas
As your guests transition from the reception area to the gala dinner hall, you need to think about entertainment ideas that welcome them to the main event. While guests are being seated at their tables, you could have instrumental acts such as a pianist, string quartets or a harpist playing in the background.
When matching entertainment with dinner themes, consider the following:
- Audio and visual equipment: Items such as microphones, sound systems and visual equipment ensure that your entertainment runs smoothly.
- Lighting: Creating the right atmosphere is important, especially if you want to create a themed ambience. Lighting plays a big role here so make sure you get the experts to help you.
- Staging: If you’re planning to use live acts for gala dinner themes such as masquerade or carnival events, staging is vital. Performers can do their job properly while guests won’t miss out on anything.
Opening acts can make or break your gala dinner and hiring the services of corporate live events experts can take the angst out of doing the abovementioned steps yourself!
Interactive entertainment is another excellent and fun way of engaging guests during the meal. Table-side magicians, interactive circus performers and drummers can all help to break the ice and encourage attendees to engage and enjoy the event.
Integrating entertainment and dining has been proven to create a memorable experience, embrace fun and laughter and build an upbeat and lively atmosphere. By successfully blending entertainment with the dining experience, you can rest assured your guests will remember your event for years to come!
Having post-dinner activities gives your guests the cue to get into party mode! Not only do these activities entertain your guests further but it energises the atmosphere for the rest of the event. Now is the time to bring out the dance band or DJs for lively entertainment while your guests spend the rest of the evening dancing the night away!
With over 1.5 billion people worldwide preferring to listen to dance music, you can’t go wrong with playing this genre after dinner. Consider using a live band or singer to keep the atmosphere alive!
Customised performances tailored to match the company’s values or event theme make for wonderful evening entertainment once dinner is done. Themed or bespoke shows are winners for such occasions.
Use the following steps to help you select and customise your gala dinner entertainment:
- Stick with the theme: Tailor the acts to match with your gala dinner theme. If your theme is the carnival, consider hiring acrobat contortionists or aerial hoop performers.
- Match entertainment with the gala dinner occasion: Rousing speakers work well for awards ceremonies while a stand-up comedian could keep guests entertained during fundraising dinners.
- Consider the event’s budget: When planning customisable entertainment for a gala dinner event, discuss budget constraints with your event management team before booking an act.
- Consult with an events management team: Hiring the services of events and entertainment experts can help you coordinate and customise your gala dinner entertainment.
Specialised Activities and Games
Hosting the perfect gala dinner involves considering various factors such as the cultural background of your attendees. Choosing specialised activities and games that are traditional or culturally themed for the Singaporean audience would be well-appreciated by both young and old guests.
How about culturally-themed quizzes to get a bit of competitive spirit going while encouraging guests to interact with each other? Showcase the past by playing traditional Singaporean games such as Five Stones, using virtual reality to captivate the younger audience.
Cultural activities help to unify people from various backgrounds and a multinational company could find this a useful form of entertainment to bring their employees together.
Team building activities can foster teamwork and networking at a gala dinner event, allowing guests to engage with other attendees in a fun and interactive way. Activities that involve group challenges or collaborative games are ideal.
The following steps will help you to organise team-building games for the gala dinner:
- Define objectives: Knowing the purpose of the game will help you identify appropriate activities for team-building without compromising on the gala dinner experience.
- Choose fun and inclusive activities: Make sure everyone can participate regardless of age, background, gender or physical abilities. Fun activities make it easier for everyone to have a good time!
- Consider the time: Keep activities short and sweet by playing games that require little physical or mental input. Allow for downtime so guests can socialise and enjoy the event’s entertainment and dinner.
- Hire an event emcee: A professional event emcee can ensure the team-building activities don’t get too heated and that the event runs on schedule.
With innovative technology solutions and a skilled team of technicians, you can keep your gala dinner guests entertained and engaged for hours on end! Virtual reality experiences or interactive digital games can be used to take your gala dinner to a whole new level.
Virtual events became big during the COVID pandemic, andthe trend hasn’t slowed down since the end of lockdown. Tech-driven entertainment at physical and virtual corporate events continue to be as popular as ever as artificial intelligence and metaverse innovation grows.
Immersive technology lets your guests engage and absorb with it while exceeding expectations at your gala dinner. Booking virtual events allows multinational organisations to include a broader audience worldwide without having everyone physically present at the gala dinner.
Awards and Recognition Segment
Gala dinners are often held to celebrate achievements within the company. When incorporating an awards ceremony, consider creative presentations or including guests’ recognition segments. To plan an awards and recognition segment for your gala dinner, consider the following steps:
- Seat winners or keynote guests close to the front: To avoid delays or too much scuffling to get to the front, make sure prize recipients are seated close to the podium.
- Prep the awards announcer: Ensure the awards announcer knows how to pronounce the winners’ names properly and the sequence of handing out certificates so the ceremony runs smoothly.
- Hand out false certificates: Use false certificates to avoid the real deal getting damaged during the ceremony!
- Use live music between different segments: Transition from one awards or guest recognition segment to another with a band playing lively music between each one. This enlivens the occasion and keeps the atmosphere upbeat.
The most important key to a successful awards ceremony is keeping the process streamlined and moving steadily. This way, guests can appreciate the segment before heading to the dance floor!
Choosing the right activities and games for your gala dinner in Singapore is important if you want your guests to enjoy a spectacular evening. I encourage hiring a one-stop experienced events and entertainment company to create a memorable and engaging corporate gala dinner. This way, you can expect high standards, cultural relevance and multilingual needs to be fully met! And you only need one vendor to help with it all.
Consider these entertainment ideas and activities for your corporate gala dinner and contact our team at That’s Innovative Pte Ltd. for support and advice when organising your next event. We’re well-equipped to give you a gala dinner you and your guests won’t forget!