Exhibit City News is happy to welcome a new columnist to both our online e-zine and print/digital magazines. Jeff Civillico is not only one of the most talented performers in Las Vegas, having headlined for Caesars Entertainment at several Strip hotels for the last decade, he has also become an accomplished virtual and hybrid corporate emcee, host and entertainer. As a survivor of these challenging times by pivoting and learning new skills, he’s enthusiastically looking forward to sharing with ECN’s readers what he’s learned about producing virtual events and meetings every Wednesday on our site.
by Jeff Civillico, Las Vegas headliner, live/hybrid/virtual emcee & corporate entertainer
Hi there, event planners and tradeshow folks! If you’ve clicked onto this post, I can sympathize with your dilemma. It truly is a daunting question: To studio or not to studio?
To source a professional setting or work with what you have? With hundreds of shows as a professional emcee under my belt, I think I know just how to answer your question.
In reality, whether or not you utilize a professional studio or simply wing it from your break room relies on dozens of factors. From your budget and expectations to your professional emcee partner, a ton of different elements go into choosing your desired studio. So, sit down and buckle up, because this event emcee is about to take you event planners for a lesson.
Why Use a Professional Studio?
On first glance, the benefits of a professional studio are incredibly clear. Professional studios give you access to a talented team of photographers, videographers, audio and lighting professionals to make the digital components of your event shine. Not to mention, they also come equipped with tons of creative ways to share content, like with a massive video wall.
Even more, when you partner with a professional emcee with ties to their own virtual event production company, you tap into an existing workflow that you simply couldn’t replicate otherwise. For event planners, it’s helpful to think about it this way: You know how Day Two of an event is always smoother than Day One? That’s because everyone involved had a chance to work through the kinks and get to learn each other’s workflow.
When you partner with a professional emcee with a studio and production company, the team will have an established workflow. They’ve already learned each other’s mannerisms, skill sets, and preferences, to guarantee a production that goes off without a hitch. Plus, your professional emcee will have a fantastic rapport with the camera crew and IT team to ensure a smooth event.
Why Use a Temporary or Home Studio?
Though a professional studio comes equipped with all the bells and whistles you can imagine, there’s still no knocking a solid home studio. For professional emcees like myself, who were partners for several stay-at-home shows during the pandemic, our home set-up is way more complex than a simple camera and monitor. You can even take a glimpse at my home set-up here!
With a home studio, a full production team isn’t necessary. From reading off a teleprompter to engaging in the chat stream, everything can be done right from the comfort of your own home or office. And without a full production team, you can also remain a bit more nimble—reacting to event material or segueing into workshops on a dime.
Plus, leveraging your home studio or a professional emcee with their own home studio is a bit easier on the budget. There’s significantly less overhead involved, simply because you’re paying only for the entertainer and not an entire professional team. If you’re working within a certain budget, the use of a home studio can cut costs without cutting quality.
Pros and Cons of Either Option, According to an Event Emcee
So, now that you know a bit more about using a professional vs. a home studio, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. As you toy between studio options, it’s most helpful to create a simple list of pros and cons. After more than a decade as an event emcee, I can lay down the immediate benefits and drawbacks of either option.
Pros of a Professional Studio
- Fantastic audio and visual quality
- A team that functions like a well-oiled machine
- The latest tech gadgets to enhance your event
- Ample space to virtually work the room and entertain
Cons of a Professional Studio
- A hefty price tag
- Multiple moving pieces
- More individuals to keep in the loop
Pros of Home Studio
- Allow your professional emcee to pivot on a dime
- More cost-effective for smaller budgets
- Still include space for smaller entertainment acts
- Save costs for additional event elements, like swag
Cons of a Home Studio
- Less space for large-scale entertainment acts
- Fewer team members to produce the event
- Fewer camera angles to capture the material
The Final Verdict from an Event Emcee
As a professional emcee, I’m no stranger to partnering with event planners. And as a professional emcee with a fantastic virtual production company and studio, I totally understand the appeal to opt for the studio route. However, after serving as professional emcee for hundreds of virtual events over the past year, I’ve also come to appreciate the convenience of having my own home studio.
So, here’s my final words of wisdom for any event planner still wondering, “To studio or not to studio?” Ultimately, if you want all the frills and thrills—go for a professional studio. While I can still entertain and engage from home, I obviously can’t balance a 12-foot ladder on my chin or juggling chainsaws in a home studio like I can professionally. If you’re trying to keep things more budget conscious, or are looking for the verbal comedy rather than the physical, a home studio is a fantastic option instead.
Let a Professional Emcee Solve Your Dilemma
The best news is, whether you opt for a home studio or professional studio, an event emcee still has your back. For event planners, partnering with a professional emcee like myself means that I can access either studio for you. I like to refer to this as, “One contract, one contact.” Eliminate the worries of which to choose, and simply hire the event emcee to do the rest!
Jeff Civillico headlined on the Las Vegas Strip with Caesars Entertainment at The LINQ, The Flamingo and The Paris resorts. His family-friendly “Comedy in Action” show was voted “Best of Las Vegas” three years in a row by the Las Vegas Review Journal; he was named “Entertainer of the Year” by Vegas Inc.; and he was honored by his fans with a 5-star rating on Yelp, Ticketmaster and Google. He now takes his renowned clean comedy show to live, virtual and hybrid corporate events and conferences nationwide. He also serves as a host, emcee and keynote speaker and is the founder of his national nonprofit Win-Win Entertainment. For more info, visit jeffcivillico.com