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Event Planner Guide

Will Your Event Sizzle OR Fizzle?
7 Steps to Pick The PERFECT Performer
Choosing the right entertainer for your function can be a daunting task. These seven tips will help you be confident in your choice.

The most important point to keep foremost in mind is the success of your event will be directly attributed to the quality of your entertainer and the match of the entertainer to your audience.

Using the following tips will help you systematically secure quality entertainment for your event that will be a successful match for your audience.

1. Determine the Needs of your Audience

Entertainment will make or break your event. The right entertainment can boost employee morale and team spirit. In addition, the right entertainer can help you make your message and objectives of the event be heard.

Is there is a goal or message for the event that you want your guests to take home?
Or perhaps the function is to show appreciation for exceptional performance and increased profits?
Is it to discuss the state of your industry or focus on specific objectives for the coming quarter?

Determine if your outcome is to purely entertain your audience or to support a message.

A good entertainer will be able to customize their materials to fit in with your message you want your guests to take home.

2. Maximize Your Time and Determine Your Budget and Date

When you budget for your entertainment, always remember to keep in mind that your entertainment will make or break your event.

Know how much you can allow for entertainment and know the date of the event before contacting entertainers.

This will save you a great deal of time when considering pro entertainers that may end up being out of your budget and local entertainers who are way below your budget (i.e. lesser quality)

3. Identify the Type of Entertainment that Would be Most Enjoyable
Interactivity, group participation and corporate content should always be your priorities with any type of entertainment you consider. There are different types of entertainment that produce different results. 

Would you like entertainment that is unobtrusive, such as a handwriting analyst sitting in the back of the room, or would you prefer a front and center professional after dinner stage show?

Depending on your message and needs of your audience, decide what form of entertainment is going to work best for your group.

4. Finding Your Entertainer

Website searches are the best way of finding professional entertainment. If you choose a hypnotist show, compare various hypnotist websites. Which looks most professional? Are there on line testimonials that don't look “faked”. Are there corporate client lists? Is there an online promotional video? Do they have tour date listings? 

5. You've Contacted Your Prospective Entertainers... Now What?

A professional entertainer will ask about your event and what your goals are for the event in just a couple of minutes, letting you know if they feel their services would be beneficial for your event.

Be cautious with someone who's willing to give you a cheap price just to book the event

Not every entertainer is right for every event. The pros will not waste your time offering their services if they are not right for your event.

A professional entertainer will turn down many programs because they know more than anyone what type of events they are best suited. They won't risk a unsuccessful event for you, or themselves.

Amateurs will not have the experience nor care to explore your event needs or determine whether they can successfully assist you. They will accept anything that comes their way with no regard for the consequences.

After briefly discussing your event, and if you both feel that there is a possibility that there is a match between the entertainer and the event you are planning, the entertainer should send out promotional materials for your consideration.

6. Selecting A Professional Entertainer

Some things to consider when hiring an entertainer:

• did they have references on their website?
• did they quote a professional fee for a professional service?
• are they easy to get a hold of or return your calls promptly?
• do they conduct themselves in a professional manner?
• do they have years of corporate event experience?

7. Contracting Your Entertainer

You should always receive a contract outlining the following:

• the date of your event
• the time the entertainer is to perform
• the length of performance
• where the event will take place
• production requirements
• fee for the show and deposit requirements
• travel and hotel fees, if applicable
• meals provided, ect. 

Always read your agreement thoroughly. If there is any item that you are uncertain about in the contract, don't hesitate to ask.

Following the above guidelines for hiring entertainment will make the process easier, and you can be confident that you have hired a quality professional that is a good match for your audience and will contribute to the overall success of your event.



If your staff appreciation event become the "same old thing", it could be that your employees have been stuck in meeting rooms all day, forced to mingle and network with people they don't know, or perhaps don't care to know, or sit through the same entertainment for the past 5 years.

So how can you make your next sales retreat, association meeting or company function a time for your guest to favourably remember?

The answer is to make it unique, interactive, fun and exciting with outstanding and memorable entertainment!

Many event planners are concerned about hiring bad entertainment for their functions. They worry that the material covered by the comedian will not be corporate friendly, the magician will be pulling quarters from behind the guests ears and making bad jokes, or the juggler who claims that their flame throwing baton act is completely safe, really isn't. 

This may be do to a previous experience with an unprofessional performer or a horror story from a colleague.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the right entertainment can add tremendous value to your event and make it a fun, memorable positive function. 

It can get your group involved working together as a cohesive team, it can get them laughing and feeling good about your event. 

And possibly more important, providing entertainment for your guests can also help you relay your events message to your group.

When creating a positive event with entertainment, it is important to remember the following:

1. The entertainment should be corporate friendly. The performance should be clean and free of inappropriate comments.

2. Your guests should not be humiliated in any way, shape or form.

3. The act should have good intent. Getting your audience laughing together is a wonderful thing, but the laughter should not be at the expense of others.

4. The entertainment you hire should be unique and interactive. No one wants to see the same thing they have seen before! You want to bring your audience something that is new, something to hold their interest.

Keeping these four things in mind, you can make your next event a memorable function that not only succeeds in entertaining your audience, but if you decide, can also support your events message and objectives! A great return on your investment!

Here is a helpful checklist of planning a corporate holiday party 

1. Budget. Break down all the amounts allocated to each task then you can have a clear view of how much room you have to play. Spend it wisely and know what your limitations are. The old rule of thumb is you get what you pay for. If it appears too inexpensive you may not be getting what you expected. Get the best value possible with the resources you have available. It is easy to spend ANY budget. You may have to make a few sacrifices. What gets eliminated first and what should be kept at any cost? Always keep in mind of what the overall impression by the attendees will be. Leave a lasting impression.

2. Number of people in attendance – estimate the number of people expected at the party. Keep in mind that a small percentage may not attend due to lack of babysitters, illness or vacation. 

3. Book the venue - banquet hall, restaurant, company auditorium. Pick a location that is convenient for your group with amenities like transportation, parking, etc. 

4. Food and catering – dinner / lunch, drinks or buffet – most halls will offer you different choices of meal options, hors d’oerves, desserts and per person amounts. Make sure there are enough choices for all tastes and food preferences - vegan, chicken, beef or fish...

5. Schedule and timing. It is easy to under-estimate the amount of time a function will take due to many unforeseen circumstances. Factors such as how long the speeches will take, time to bring out the food or attendees arriving late due to traffic. This can change the dynamic of your event - plan accordingly and have a contingency plan. 

6. Entertainment – hypnotist, comedian, juggler, psychic, magician, DJ and dancing, party games, or a combination of several of the above. Entertainment is a wonderful way to make your event memorable. Entertainment comes in many budgets and styles. Pick a solution that will not only make the company and event planner look good, but will leave a lasting impression on the attendees. Explore different options best suited to your group. Local or national performers can be considered. Many are available on the web and could be your first place of inquiry. Many agencies have a roster of people they can suggest. Keep in mind that entertainers are extremely busy during the holiday season – leaving booking your entertainment until the last minute is not a good idea as your date may no longer be available. Expect that at times entertainers will be on a specific time frame - during the holiday season many will have several shows during the day to maximize their earning potential. Note the exact times you require the performers and stick to those times. Some performers even charge for extra hours on site such as DJs so expect to incur extra costs and discuss the amounts beforehand. 

7. Sound, lighting, projection equipment and audio visual materials – Have a run-through and make sure everything is in place before your audience arrives so that you don’t have to deal with “technical difficulties”. 

8. Accommodations for your entertainer, out of town guests and transportation to and from the airport and hotels, valet parking or self-park. 

9. Taxi cabs for anyone that over-indulges in the open bar concept and to avoid liability. 

10. Registration – name cards for your guests, open seating or pre-arranged seating plan. 

11. Awards, door prizes and giveaways. Many of these can be donated by your suppliers or provided to you at their cost for your holiday event. It shows good faith, and don’t be surprised if the suppliers return the favor. There are also a large number of companies that specialize in corporate givaways - a little momento of the evening with an imprinted company logo may add a touch of class to your celebration.

12. Party theme and décor – color scheme, chair covers, centerpieces, flowers, ice sculptures. One of the more unique ideas I saw recently was a sports theme, where instead of elegant centerpieces, sports memorabilia was placed in the center of the tables, which was available for the guests to take home – these included running shoes and football helmets.

13. Dress and attire. Let the attendees know what to expect to wear – formal, casual or business attire.

14. Invitations or a simple announcement in the company newsletter and bulletin board. 

15. Contracts. Commit to the people you will be doing business with, since it usually is done on a first come basis. Halls, performers and caterers have limited availability. Be decisive and direct. Most people will give you a price range that would depend on your choice of options. Many event suppliers will require non refundable deposits to commit, which are regularly 50 per cent. 

16. Presentations – keep the speeches brief and to the point. Number of speakers should be kept down to a minimum. After all, people are there to be social and not to be lectured. 

17. Most companies want to have thier party on a Saturday. You may find that having an alternate day of the week may greatly reduce your expenses and make it easier to hire entertainment and book your venue.

18. Include meals for the crew, entertainment and other behind-the-scenes people. Show them the spirit of the holiday season and include them in your celebrations.

19. If your business is busy during the holiday season, consider having your event earlier or later. It should not make a difference if your function is held in November or January instead of December.

20. Have a cell phone handy for any last-minute emergencies the day of your event. If a cell phone is not an option (no signal or simply unavailable), make sure your suppliers have the venue address and phone number.

21. Your function will be attended by people from many walks of life and backgrounds. Make them all feel included by making it memorable and fun.

Fun Facts about Hypnosis
Did you know...

  • We all experience hypnosis at LEAST twice a day


  • Hypnosis is NOT sleep, but a natural state of mind


  • The earliest examples of hypnosis are found in tribal ceremonies of early humans


  • One of the earliest recorded descriptions of hypnosis was found in an Egyptian tomb written on papyrus dating back to 1500 BC


  • Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used hypnosis for medical and religious purposes


  • In 1892 the British Medical Association (BMA) formally recognized that hypnosis had applications in modern medicine


  • Sigmund Freud used hypnosis with his patients while developing his theories on psychoanalysis


  • Hypnosis was used in World War I and World War II to treat soldiers with combat neuroses. It was also used to replace anesthetics when supplies were low.


  • In 1958, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared hypnosis an useful medical tool


  • In 1847, the Roman Catholic Church recognized hypnosis as a natural part of our own ability, and not the work of the devil. It stands by this claim today

Celebrities Who have Used Hypnosis

Orlando Bloom was so hooked on chocolate as a child, his mother called in a hypnotist to help him shape up.

Other celebrities who have used hypnosis as part of their weight-loss program include:

Fergie, the lead singer of the Black Eyed Peas (and a solo artist in her own right), keeps a hypnotherapist on speed dial when she’s touring, according to Marie Claire magazine. The singer-turned-actress (she’s starred in Rob Marshall’s movie “Nine”), had to gain and lose several pounds for the role. Fergie keeps her weight in check by strength training and of course, dancing around the stage night after night.

Lily Allen (singer)
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York 
Sophie Dahl (model)
Geri Halliwell (singer)
Chuck Clausen (former coach of the Philadelphia Eagles)


Steve Hooker of Australia won the 2008 Gold Medal in Pole Vaulting after his hypnotist helped him to visualize his success.

Felix Baumgartner became the first person to reach supersonic speed without traveling in a jet or a spacecraft after hopping out of a capsule that had reached an altitude of 128,100 feet above the Earth, in 2012.

2008: The only two shooters who won gold medals for the U.S. worked with a Hypnotherapist.

1984: Mary Lou Retton used hypnosis to block pain in her foot and won the Gold Medal for Gymnastics.

1983: The Chicago White Sox hired a full-time Hypnotist and made the playoffs.

1967: The Swiss ski team used a Hypnotherapist and 3 members won medals.

At the age of 13, Tiger Woods began seeing a hypnotist to help him to block out distractions and focus on the golf course.

Jimmy Connors is said to have used hypnosis techniques to practice his winning strokes prior to the US Open Championship.

Kevin McBride, the celebrated Irish heavyweight boxing champion summons his hypnotist before every game, to get into the right frame of mind.

Championship golfer Jack Niklaus lauded hypnotherapy and visualization techniques as the sole reason for his improved concentration.


Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud developed modern psychiatry as a result of learning about and practicing hypnosis.

Mozart (1756-91) apparently composed the famous opera “Cosi fan tutte” while hypnotized.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) physicist – was known to have his hypnosis sessions every afternoon. His theory of relativity came to him during one of these sessions. He also used trance states to develop his ideas.

Lord Tennyson Alfred (1809-92) wrote complete poems while hypnotized.

Thomas Edison used self—hypnosis on a regular basis

Aldous Huxley used trance—like states to explore the nature of Consciousness.

Rachmaninov (1873-1943) reputedly composed one of his concertos following a post-hypnotic suggestion.

Sir Winston Churchill used post-hypnotic suggestions in order to stay awake and carry out his duties as Prime Minister during WWII.


Mark Knopfler, Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Ellen DeGeneres, Ashton Kutcher and Charlize Theron released their smoking habit through hypnosis.

Sylvester Stallone worked with the famous hypnotherapist Gil Boyne while filming Rocky in 1975.

Hollywood actor Aaron Eckhart has credited hypnosis with changing his life forever after he used the practice to give up
smoking and alcohol.

Kevin Costner flew his personal hypnotist to Hawaii to cure his seasickness.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis used hypnotherapy to relive and let go of tragic events in her life.

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) politician used post-hypnotic suggestions in order to stay awake all night and avoid tiredness during W.W.II.


Jessica Alba, pregnant with her second child used HypnoBirthing. This program was created by Marie Mongan, a Certified Hypnotherapist and is used throughout the world.

According to The Mirror, Kate Middleton used HypnoBirthing, a powerful technique created by Certified Hypnotist, Marie Mongan. She used it to to stay calm and visualize birth. Multiple reports claimed that the Duchess was considering hypno-birthing as a delivery option. Kate had her husband, Prince William by her side to support, reassure and coach her during the labor.

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