In doing around 2,300 successful, with hundreds of those being karaoke events, this Vancouver DJ has discovered that karaoke is a little bit like jazz music, you either love it or you hate it. That being said there are a number of ways to run a Karaoke event where it becomes super fun for those who love it and really entertaining for those who are more inclined to sing in the shower than in public.
You first have to think of karaoke as an event in itself. You then want to incorporate that event into your function in a way that is smooth, seamless and with a payoff for the karaoke participants. In other words, there has got to be a reason to get up there and sing.
For example, if Karaoke is part of your wedding reception, the best way to use it is to incorporate it into your event. You could say to the guests that instead of having people tinkle on their glasses so the bride and groom kiss, the guests come up and sing a song in order to get the bride and groom to kiss and depending upon how much effort the guests put into the song, is how much effort the bride and groom put into the kiss. You can even use Karaoke to determine which table gets to go to the buffet line. There are lots of things you can do with karaoke but the key idea here is to have the guests entertain the guests while at the same time having fun with a payoff. i.e. the bride and groom kissing or first to the food.
In my DJ Vancouver regular karaoke package I bring along fun props. The guests often get into character using some of the props and it becomes really entertaining for everyone. You can do the same thing by getting your props from the dollar store or a party store.
If it’s a corporate event like a Christmas party then maybe offer some kind of prize to get people to come up and sing. When I do my Christmas events with karaoke I always ask the clients to provide me with a couple bottles of wine. It's always a great incentive around Christmas time. I use that to either entice a group of guys or a group of ladies to the microphone and get them to sing a song that everybody knows. I usually pick a song that is a fun tune and we get them to use the props along with the interactive elements that I put in there. It can be really entertaining and once you get the first few guests singing, most of the time it’ll just keep rolling along.
Another way to get guests to sing takes a bit more planning. Have a competition between the different departments of your company. For example, the sales people could compete against a group of office staff or the girls against the guys, you encourage everybody to get into character with props, costumes, banners, you can have judges. You can base the winners on such things as the biggest ham in the group or the most off key group of the night or any number of sub-categories. It reduces the pressure because it is a group effort and the emphasis is on how entertaining the group is and not who is the best singer. Everybody can be a winner. After all Karaoke is all about just having fun, right?
I find Asian clients are really great at this. Take a look at the team spirit and banner waving at a karaoke event I did for T&T superstore to get an idea: https://www.facebook.com/BoogieShoesDJ.Karaoke/videos/10156204959680405/
You can even carry this interactive theme into the dance portion of your event by encouraging the guests to be proactive instead of reactive. However, that is another topic. The idea is to make your event exciting and different. With a little effort, you can have a great karaoke event with willing participants that are entertaining and fun.