How to Make the "No Exit" Strategy Work for You

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We’re all looking for that golden Kool-aid, that elusive elixir that you can pump into the water supply of potential clients and transform them from penny-pinching paupers to limousine liberals, prepared to spend as if they had just received a tax refund, or an inheritance from a wealthy old uncle who made it big in plastics in the 1960s.

No better way to score this type of gold, of course, than pulling off a performance at a gig worthy of an Emmy, or Tony, or whatever.


Well, at a wedding reception, try playing golden oldies and classics early on, thus winning over the older guests.

Also, take a cue from our favorite big-drinking philosopher, Sartre, and make it more difficult for guests to leave the dancefloor:  tighten the transitions between songs, or have your MC physically block the exit from the dancefloor—the “No Exit” strategy.

At the beginning of a wedding reception, capture the attention of a room full of guests by simply saying, “Hello,” and then waiting for their focal point to shift towards the center of the room. Or try a high-energy grand entrance, and “take people out of their element” by dimming the lights and pumping up the music.

Another creative tip: take audio footage of the bride or groom from childhood, and then produce a custom remix that can be used to dramatic effect for the grand entrance or first dance.

And prep a bridal party prior to a grand entrance. As entertainers, we should look to make this rare private time with the bride and groom and bridal party count. Try getting the wedding couple to “dial-in” and offer encouraging words, such as: “You’ve planned this celebration for months, and I hope that you enjoy every minute of it.” Or remind the bridal party that their energy is contagious, and that they have the power to control the success of the party.

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