If you are planning an event, one of the first things you need to consider is, am I doing this myself or do I require a host?
If you are thinking of doing it yourself, then you have a think about whether you can spare the time during the event to be the person running it. You don’t want to find that you are too distracted running the event, that you actually don’t enjoy it yourself, and you are also too distracted to make sure that you get the best out of it.
Using the professional non celeb’ host is generally a sensible option. It is what they do all the time and they run the whole thing, getting people in the right place at the right time, keeping things on schedule and delivering your messages in a warm and positive fashion.
Using a celebrity will mean that you should have a draw to your event. However, you must be careful in choosing someone who is relevant to your organization or you could send out either the wrong signal or even damage your brand. They also are unlikely to run your whole event and may need facilitating themselves.
The both option mentioned above is a very sensible one if you require the name to get bums on seats, so to speak, but you wish to guarantee your event runs smoothly.
Below is a guide to qualities that apply to both types of host mentioned above. So if you require a host then this guide will take you through the attributes you should be looking for in your host, or hosts, to make sure the event goes off with some impact.
There are a number of key elements to making a good event host, however, the host has to be suited for the specific event. The first step would be to check their history and see if they have hosted similar events in the past and gather reviews about how the event went and the success of the host.
Any event host should be confident when talking to large crowds of people with, where appropriate, comedic value included to entertain clients. Additionally, it’s great if they are also willing to talk to the audience on an individual or small group level throughout the course of the event to ensure everyone is having a great time.
The host should be well organized so there are no last minute hitches which could affect your event. A great event host will have done their research beforehand, know the purpose and goals of the event as well as being well aware of timings, the structure of the evening and the role they will be playing.
Your host should also be willing to go above and beyond by putting in that extra little bit of effort with the audience. They should be a people person and love to interact with your guests, allowing them to enjoy an experience they will remember for a long time to come.
A host who can make an audience laugh will enhance the whole experience for everyone involved. However, there are two caveats here. An actual comedian can be a risky proposition due to differing senses of humour. Secondly, it is important that the host maintains a level of professionalism at all times as they become the face of that event and need to be a trustworthy representative throughout.
An additional quality a host must have is to be prepared and ready for any circumstance to arise within the event. A quick thinking approach and the ability to improvise at the drop of a hat will make sure any mishaps don’t have a lasting impact or even go unnoticed by everyone except the organizing team.
All of the qualities mentioned above tie together to create the best event host/hosts possible, which in turn will ensure your event runs smoothly and is a complete success.
James Hasler is a professional toastmaster, master of ceremonies and event facilitator, a Fellow of the Guild of International Professional Toastmasters. He is experienced in running all kinds of events from conferences, awards ceremonies, fundraisers, and weddings of all cultures that take place in the UK. He has worked with and for people from all walks of life, from the most humble to celebrities and even members of the Royal Family.