Whether you have been given the all-important responsibility of the head of the planning committee, or have been asked to brainstorm inspiration on how to plan the Summer ball of the century, entertainment remains high on the priority list. Regardless of how luxurious the venue or tasty the meal is, without one-of-a-kind entertainment, you’re like to struggle to get students involved.
Having the opportunity to provide photo booths in London to some of the most prestigious university events across many years, we’ve been lucky enough to see some of the most unique entertainment the nation has to offer. With this in mind, we have devised a guide to our favourite Summer ball entertainment ideas – we promise that there will be something for everyone!
The Best Summer Ball Entertainment Inspiration!
Before going ahead with any form of Summer ball planning, there are a few tedious tasks that you must complete before the fun can commence – the first of which is budgeting. It is more than likely that the university finance department would have given you a total budget; however, this then needs to be drilled down further into expense categories. Budgeting is going to be time-consuming and somewhat dull, but it is imperative in ensuring that you do not fall into money-related problems in the lead-up to the event. Begin by listing each component of the ball, including venue, catering and of course, entertainment, then place an estimated cost next to each. For more information on successful budgeting, you can find a full guide on how to create an event budget on the Endless Events website.
If you must raise money to fund the event, then this should, again, be taken into consideration before beginning planning. To raise as much money as possible, start by putting your tickets on sale in advance, so students have plenty of time to decide whether they would like to attend. Make sure to set up fund-raisers and decide which local businesses may benefit the most from sponsoring your summer ball. The more money you have raised and gained from ticket sales and sponsors, the more you will be able to spend on entertainment and the better the evening will be. Here are a few suggestions for some fantastic entertainment ideas, suitable for any university summer ball or prom.
1. Live Topiary
Live topiary is one of the quirkiest and most outrageous walkabout entertainment acts that will keep your guests entertained all evening. Surprise your guests with The Human Hedges who are sure to be the talking point of your event. This innovative entertainment idea is a great alternative to traditional human statues. Give your guests a good scare with human-shaped bushes that are guaranteed to fill the evening with laughter and hilarity. They look exactly like the real thing, although they walk, talk and cuddle their way around events. Could this unique entertainment act be perfect for your summer ball?
2. Photo Booths
A photo booth is a ‘must-have’ for every event, theme and celebration. Although we may be a little biased, they are guaranteed to go down a storm!
Providing hours of entertainment for the evening, guests will be queuing up for their opportunity to take some fun snaps with their closest friends. Photo booths are endless fun, with no limits to the number of visits groups can enjoy, so you will most definitely get your money’s worth. A photo booth hire will give your guests the chance to let loose and mingle with others.
For most of your Summer ball attendees, this will be the last celebration before friends and housemates part ways to begin the next chapter of their lives, so entertainment that provides keepsakes will be hugely appreciated. Every group will receive their own photo booth printouts, which they can look back on for years to come. Photo booths are now equipped with the very best equipment and technology to ensure that your photos are of the highest quality. You can also opt for photo booths that can be customised with your artwork or decorations.
3. Funfair Hire
While hiring a funfair is one of the priciest entertainment ideas you could opt for, it is most definitely work the investment if you have a slightly higher budget or manage to raise over your target. Fairground rides are an exciting and nostalgic way to entertain your guests, elevating your event to new heights (quite literally!).
To ensure that your funfair-inspired ball satisfies all guests, its essential to hire rides that vary in intensity from thrill-seeking roller coasters to traditional carousels. In doing this, you can guarantee a better turn-out and an exciting lead-up for everyone involved. Events & Attractions specialise in funfair ride hire and provide a range of different attractions to locations across the UK. They can work with you to pinpoint the perfect rides to bring your Summer ball to life, ensuring that all health and safety standards are met.
To bring an extra touch of authenticity to your fairground-themed ball, why not also consider hiring a candy floss stall and popcorn machine. You can never go wrong with a treat break between rides!
4. Digital Graffiti Wall
As another unique but more creative entertainment idea, adding a digital graffiti wall to your prom offers your guests the opportunity to get creative and instantly showcase their masterpiece on a large interactive digital screen. Guests will be provided with the necessary tools and ability to create exciting and original pieces of art. Designs created by your guests will be saved as a standard jpeg format so that their artwork can be printed onto stickers, mugs, and t-shirts, providing the perfect souvenir of the evening!
Your guests will also be able to customise spray patterns and stencils, which will also let them add a user’s name, picture or logo. Having a digital graffiti wall at your summer ball or prom is the perfect way to get everyone involved and being creative. Similarly taking home a photo booth selfie, the ability for your guests to leave the event with a memento with their artwork on, is a great way to make your evening memorable.
5. Fireworks Display
A firework display will always add a special touch of magic to every event. Fireworks create the perfect atmosphere, getting everyone together to celebrate their university journey just that one last time before students begin their next chapter. Many firework display companies allow you to choose music to accompany your display. You can request songs that are significant to your university year group to give your evening an emotional end to the night.
The UK Firework Company are highly reputable providers of choreographed firework displays. They carefully choose fireworks that suit the beat of your selected songs for a truly unique experience.
6. Glow Performers
Glow performers are a super quirky way to add atmosphere to your Summer ball. Using LED glow props such as hoops and juggling clubs, the performers create images, shapes and even spell out words using light. You can also request for them to choreograph a customised message, logo or image into their routine, creating the perfect personal touch for all attendees.
If you’re interested in booking glow performers, we suggest taking a look at Warble Entertainment. Their acts are able to perform three 30 minute segments throughout the evening, ensuring that all guest have the opportunity to watch this unique entertainment. All performers are also circus trained, which means that other glow shows such as glow acrobalance and glow drummers are also available.
As another fantastic way to provide every guest with a keepsake of their Summer ball, hiring a caricaturist will always be a great way to break the ice and get everyone involved. With the ability to create a cartoon-style portrait of attendees in as little as five minutes, caricaturists are guaranteed to leave everyone speechless, eager to get their friends involved. Caricaturists are super talented as capturing every unique feature of their models, bringing their personality to life using just a pen and paper.
When searching for a caricaturist, it is imperative to do thorough research to ensure that you hire only the most talented artist. Spend time browsing their previous work, check out their reviews and perhaps even contact references. Alive Network has put together a handy article on everything you need to know about booking a caricaturist if you’re hoping for more information.
Entertainment Guaranteed To Go Down A Storm!
When considering entertainment for your university Summer ball, the possibilities are endless. You will never be short for inspiration, which means that it’s likely that you’ll have to embark in a little extra research to ensure that you opt for something that suits all of your guests. Once you have shortlisted your favourite entertainment ideas, you may benefit from sending a survey to all students so you can get a better insight into those that will be most appreciated. SurveyMonkey is an excellent tool for creating your own free surveys, which can then be passed on via a link.
We hope that our seven entertainment ideas have come in useful, if so, why not share with your fellow event planners on social media?