How to Choose Songs for Corporate Events (+ 2 FREE Playlists)

No one likes an awkwardly quiet corporate event. Not having the right music is a surefire way to bore all your attendees. Luckily, curating the perfect playlist for a company conference pumps up the energy in the room and sets the tone for your event.

Aside from crafting a playlist, you also have the choice of a live band or DJ. Both provide endless entertainment, but which is ideal for your event?

Keep reading to find out how to choose the right songs for corporate events.

How you can set the tone with music

Every corporate event is different. Depending on the purpose of your event, you will want to set a specific tone. For example, if you’re organising a team-building event, you’ll want to include an upbeat playlist to evoke a positive and productive mood.

If you’re hosting an event for new clients, choose songs that reflect the vibe of your brand. In addition to setting the tone, you should also think about matching the overall mood of the event. For instance, if your corporate event is a fancy gala, choose a playlist filled with jazz and easy listening music. Hosting an afternoon lunch event? Aim for more fun jams.

Another way to create a great ambience is to find music that fits your theme. If you’re hosting a women’s empowerment event, songs like Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” help guests loosen up and immerse themselves in the theme.

It also helps to consider the demographic of your attendees. For example, millennial event-goers probably don’t want to spend an evening listening to Neil Diamond (no offence to Neil Diamond). Therefore, tailor your playlist to appeal to your guests’ tastes.

Now that you’ve figured out which type of music you want at your event, it’s time to decide if you’re going to have a DJ or live music.

Corporate event DJs

DJs bring great energy to any event. They know the perfect songs for corporate events and can help create the ambience you desire.

Some pros of hiring a corporate event DJ:

  • It’s cost-effective. A DJ will cost significantly less than a live band.
  • You get a customised setlist. A DJ has access to thousands of songs and mixes. So there’s no limit to the music you can play at your event. Want a mashup of Taylor Swift and Cardi B? They’ve got you.
  • DJs take up less space. A DJ and their equipment can fit in a smaller area than a live band can. So, if you have a lot of attendees and want to maximise your space, go with a DJ.
  • There are no breaks. Your DJ will keep the music going all night long. Even if they need to take a quick break, they can queue up a few songs. With a band, your guests may be left with an odd silence during intermission.

Some cons of hiring a corporate event DJ:

  • You can’t control the volume. A DJ can control the volume and keep things at a decent level for a small to medium-sized venue. For larger spaces or outdoor venues, all your guests may not be able to enjoy the music. And a DJ with a larger sound system may cost more.
  • There could be equipment problems. A DJ without equipment is like a bird without wings. If something goes wrong with the sound system, there is no music.
  • They are not as entertaining. Although a DJ can engage with the crowd and get them pumped up, they’re just not as entertaining as a live band.

Choosing live music for your corporate event

Corporate event musicians provide an electric and vibrant musical experience. Your attendees will love to see a live musical performance. Not to mention, most bands can easily cover songs your guests will know.

And you’re not limited to just bands. Cocktail pianists, chamber groups, and other musical stylists add an elegant and intimate flair to your event.

Some pros of corporate events with live music:

  • Bands supply high-quality sound. A good live band sounds impeccable. And if you’re hosting an event with important shareholders, you want to give them the best experience possible.
  • They have the wow factor. People making music together is dynamic and exciting. Bands also give more emotional engagement, which is what you want at your event. A live band will thoroughly entertain even the most hard-to-please guests.

Some cons of corporate events with live music:

  • Bands are more expensive. Bands are costlier because you have to pay several members. Therefore, this isn’t the best option if you’re on a budget.
  • You get less variety. No matter how fantastic the band is, their setlist is probably finite. Also, a live band is likely to play only specific genres – like rock, R&B, or country. If you want an unlimited variety of music, hiring a DJ may be your best bet.
  • Volume may be an issueMost bands crank up the volume, which can be overbearing for some guests – especially if your event is in a small venue. A rocking band may not be the best choice for a chill networking event or cocktail party.
  • Bands take up more space. A band takes up a considerable amount of space because they have more equipment. Depending on how big the venue is, hiring a live band might be out of the question.

Which should you choose for your corporate event?

For large-scale events (given you have a big budget), having a band and a DJ allows guests to enjoy the best of both options. When the band goes on a break, a DJ can swoop in and keep the music going.

But if you have to have one or the other, we recommend a DJ for a fun and casual event and a band for a formal evening reception or fundraiser. A live band will also be the perfect entertainment option for a conference.

Songs for corporate events: your 2 free playlists

Stumped on which type of music to play for your event? No worries, because we’ve got you covered. We created two FREE playlists to give you inspiration for your next event.

One contains instrumentals that act as low-key background music, and the other gets everyone on their feet.

Upbeat & Energised Playlist

Ideal for: team-building, celebrations, hyping up the crowd

From the 20-year-old intern to 50-year-old Janet in accounting, everyone in your organisation will recognise and rock out to these tunes. We’ve included today’s Top 40 hits from artists like Lizzo, Ed Sheeran, and Justin Bieber. There are also some timeless jams sprinkled in there, too – like music from Salt-n-Pepa, AC/DC, and Journey.

This playlist supplies four hours of non-stop fun and good vibes. So if you aim to create a friendly and communal atmosphere for your event, this playlist is it.

Check out our upbeat playlist below:

Laidback & Easy Listening Playlist

Ideal for: fundraisers, receptions, formal events

The smooth sounds of Kenny G and Chris Botti provide the perfect soundtrack for mingling and chatting. Instrumentals are great songs for corporate events. They’re soft enough so that guests can hear their conversations, and they fill the air with beautifully composed music.

Not to mention, this playlist gives your attendees a chance to relax and enjoy a nice evening.

Check it out here:

Ready to go?

Music creates a vibe, but it won’t make or break your event. So, don’t sweat the details too much.

If you don’t know which type of music to play at your event, just refer back to our playlists. Feel free to use them as the basis for your own playlist.

Tackling event planning can be a challenge, but our event management software makes it easier. Our integrative system allows you to seamlessly plan and produce any live experience.

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