5 Hollywood Tricks to Steal for Your Next Meeting

Web Editor Kate Mulcrone attended the 67th Annual Emmy Awards at Los Angeles's Microsoft Theater — and picked up a few tricks that any planner can use to dazzle attendees.

Web Editor Kate Mulcrone on her way to the Emmys.
Web Editor Kate Mulcrone on her way to the Emmys.

I was lucky enough to attend the 67th Annual Emmy Awards at Los Angeles’s Microsoft Theater on Sunday, thanks to the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. I watched the long-overlooked Jon Hamm hoist himself onto the stage to accept his first-ever Emmy for playing the role of Don Draper on Mad Men,” and listened to Best Actress in a Drama winner Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder’) quote Harriet Tubman in what was easily the most eloquent speech of the evening. But glitz and glamor aside, there were several unique aspects to the production that would up the wow factor at any large, corporate event:

1. Give speakers star treatment.
At the beginning of the show, television’s two favorite Amys (Poehler and Schumer) walked up the aisles and onto the stage to present the first award, pausing at the bottom of the steps for a bit of hair and makeup TLC. You may not want to break out the powder puffs, but why not have mirrors and combs available just offstage for your speakers?

2. Put the band up high.
The futuristic stage set for this year’s Emmys included a large round platform for the house band that was raised above the rest of the set pieces. (It was also a handy place for host Andy Samberg to perch during one of the show’s segments.) A spaceship-inspired multilevel platform might not be in the budget, but you could ask musicians to set up on the balcony instead of below the audience.

emmyone3. Use social media cues between sessions to keep your audience engaged.
During commercial breaks, Emmy-goers were prompted to take a photo with the person next to them and post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #myemmysneighbor.

4. Want people to hold the applause? Ask twice.
Before the Emmys’ memorial reel was set to play, the stage manager asked the audience to hold their applause until the end. Then, immediately before the preceding commercial break ended, he asked again. Most of the crowd maintained a respectful silence.

5. Make closing remarks short and sweet.
Once the writers of “Game of Thrones,” which won the award for Best Drama, had wrapped up their speech, Samberg announced that the show was over and wished everyone a good night with a cheerful wave. After three-plus hours, brevity is the soul of consideration .

Kate Mulcrone

Kate Mulcrone is digital editor of Convene.