Music & Mood: Setting the Tone For Your Audience September 14, 2017 — Jeannette Wagner, CMP, CGMP Think of a scary movie you have seen – most likely it had some eerie music leading up to a scream or a happy movie that had upbeat music which implied to the viewing audience that the characters are in a joyful state of mind. Without the music the power of the story can get lost – you may be able to see that it is a scary or a happy moment; but the added element of fear or delight is not as impactful. Often, when producing conferences or events – unless it is specifically a music festival or concert – the music aspect is not at the top of the list of importance when planning. But, it is a critical element and should be well planned versus an after-thought – or worse, cut-out all together. The Power of Music Music can excite and energize your audience, inspire and motivate, add reflection on a moment, aid in transitional breaks or panel changes or create the vibe and experience you want your audience to take away. It provides an effective and exciting way to improve engagement – especially when trying to reach a younger audience. Sharing a specific message through music at an event can also increase the impact on the intended audience. For instance, if you are hosting an event on mental health awareness – selecting artists that address the topic in their songs could be appropriate and strengthen your messaging. Genre and Timing Select the genre of music that suits your crowd and consider time of day when planning. For example, avoid playing “Enya” genre music as your 7:30 a.m. opening conference background selection – unless you are hosting a relaxation and sleep seminar. You may love that type of music, but consider all aspects- pertaining to your audience and theme of your event- when selecting your musical compositions. Using music throughout a conference or event will keep audiences captivated –even if it is just in the background – music can affect their overall experience, so take the time to incorporate it and plan ahead. Related Tip: Music Licensing - this is an area of discuss all by itself. Keep in mind to be safe - if you are playing artists’ music that will be heard by the general public – you will need a public performance rights license (handled by ASCAP and BMI). Fines are pretty hefty if you don’t pay and get caught – so, make sure your contracted artists, hired DJ, audio visual company, hotel or property, and/or event producer is covered in this area.