Learn From Saturday Night Live How to Play to Attendee Preferences

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Saturday Night Live, meetings
Melissa McCarthy as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicerce

Since its Sean Spicer spoof, Saturday Night Live has been on a roll. There’s a lot to learn from the show’s over-the-top brand of satire about what captures audience attention and keeps them coming back again and again.

Add a Touch of Theater

There’s nothing like the big stage to wow attendees. Whether that means adding a stage show to your entertainment, selecting a theater venue for an awards ceremony or using big-name Broadway “stars” to meet and greet attendees, a touch of theater goes a long way. Definitely one of SNL’s most hilarious skits of the past season was the satiric play on Chicago’s “Roxie.” “Conway” had Kate McKinnon poking fun at Kellyanne with her name flashing across the stage in bright lights. “And when the world goes up in flames,” said Kellyanne, “at least for now they knew my name.”

Integrate Comedy

Unquestionably the skit that revived SNL’s top spot in the ratings was Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Of course, her acting was second to none, but what really took it over the top was the writers poking fun at the smallest details: Spicer’s gum-chewing habit, the moving podium and of course his new nickname, Spicey. Adding humor to your event, whether that means sprinkling in some fun during speeches, hiring a hilarious emcee to lighten things up or bringing in a well-known comedian will make it unforgettable.

Bring in a Big Name

Want attendees to be talking about your meeting long after it ends? Bring in a big-name performer or politician, one they will go home and brag about seeing. Chris Pine, Jimmy Fallon, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: This past season, SNL’s most successful in years, featured these major stars and more. Piggybacking off another meeting or show that is in town or hiring a star who lives locally at your meeting destination are two ways you can cut the cost, too.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.