There’s a lot of talk in the industry these days about corporate “junkets” (*shudder*). Lots of complaining about expensive trips, with big-name, high-maintenance, high-buck entertainers. And yeah, I suppose those trips happen.
But I am here to tell you, it’s not always that way. Yesterday, at Minneapolis’ uber-cool Dakota Jazz Club, we saw first-hand what can happen when you put the RIGHT kind of entertainers in front of an audience. Entertainers who ENGAGE the audience … deliver a message … unite the crowd … and lift them up with a feeling that they’ve just been given a spectacular gift. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Yesterday’s event was MB’s 7th intermittently-held Speaker Series event, where we offer our clients and friends … FREE … the chance to hear spectacular presenters and performers in unique venues around the Twin Cities. This most recent event celebrated affordable, engaging entertainment….and it was all that.
First off we had local legends Jearlyn Steele and Patty Peterson, who brought down the house with the story of their “unlikely friendship” (their words) and some high-energy, high-powered songs. Moral of the story? Be open. Expect to connect. Talk to the person next to you on the plane. It can lead to a lifelong friendship!
Next, Jazz Impact played some hip tunes and brought us all to the realization that … really, organizations are like jazz players. We all improvise, all day. We rely on others to play their parts, take the lead when necessary, and step back to let others shine once in a while.
Then it was a solo set by Keb Mo, Grammy-winning blues guitarist/singer … and all-around amazing entertainer. He had us from hello.
And when he brought up Jearlyn for an impromptu duet of “Summertime,” the whole audience was riveted, feeling the joy those two had in that performance and their love of sharing their gifts with as many people as they could. Magic moment. First time they’ve ever performed together … but I’m guessing it’s not their last.
So, see? No bowls of green M&Ms backstage, no enormous technical riders, no “junkets.” Just the right people, at the right time, with the right message. And an engaged audience who will never forget what they saw.
(Keb Mo is represented by Monterey International)