aptivating an audience and putting on a show is DCi’s specialty. Executing an elaborate affair is no easy feat, but thankfully, DCi’s in-house entertainment manager is there to ensure every event features talent that complements the experience and leaves the audience in awe. From scouting local musicians and violinists to scheduling acrobat performers and celebrity impersonators, there are many moving parts to consider when planning entertainment. In this blog, we learn the ins and outs of being an in-house entertainment manager at DCi and discover some of the team’s favorite performances so far.
Meet Stacy Ruffell
For every epic event that DCi puts on, Stacy Ruffell plays an essential role behind the scenes to land talented acts on stage. After beginning her career at an entertainment production company, she secured a position with DCi on the operations team as an account coordinator and was later promoted to operations account manager. A few years later, Stacy stumbled into a serendipitous conversation between Kristin Hoffman, national account executive, and CEO Brynne Frost that resulted in the creation of a totally new role – DCi’s in-house entertainment manager. The position was then offered to Stacy, who was the obvious choice given her expertise and enormous passion for all things entertainment.
A Day in the Life an In-House Entertainment Manager
While no two days look the same, there are a handful of tasks and responsibilities that DCi’s entertainment manager handles regularly. The main focus of Stacy’s role is to source talent, develop cutting-edge entertainment options, and keep a finger on the pulse of the industry. She’s the entertainment expert to both the DCi team and clients, and rather than going through talent booking agencies, she works directly with the talent to protect clients’ ROIs Stacy and the DCi team take pride in managing all aspects of sourcing talent so clients don’t have to.
Best Parts of the Role
One of the first steps in the planning process is deciding how to translate an event’s theme into entertainment. Typically, DCi sources and presents talent options tailored to each individual client, brand objectives, event theme, group demographics, destination, and budget. The creativity and research that goes into every hand-selected performer is one of the most important and exciting parts of the role. Stacy and the team continually strive to develop interactive activations, secure speakers and musicians that engage guests, and provide memorable experiences to guests and clients.
Seeing all the hard work pay off and witnessing the audiences’ reaction in real-time, along with actively managing and executing the event on-site, are some of Stacy’s favorite parts of the role. It doesn’t come without its challenges, of course. Working with headliner talents and managing their extensive rider requirements can be demanding, but it makes the end result even more rewarding. When asked about some of DCi’s favorite headliners over the years, Stacy mentions entertainers the likes of Jay Leno, The Beach Boys, Dennis DeYoung (formerly of Styx), Chris Daughtry, Train, Sheryl Crow, Natasha Bedingfield, and many others.
The Need for Speed
DCi has put on a whole lot of memorable performances on stage over the years. Recently, this included a Top Gun-themed event complete with Air Marshall “greeters” donning khaki flight suits directing attendees with glowing air traffic control wands. What’s more, DCi also brought a Tom Cruise impersonator with a replica of his motorcycle from the original Top Gun movie for a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity. In addition, the 360-degree photo booth – complete with flight jackets, helmets, and thematic props – was a hit with guests. And so was the cover band on the main stage, belting out top tracks from the iconic film.
Another recent event ripe with interactive entertainment was a USO-themed evening that took place on The Broadway Pier in San Diego. The experience included a “Lady Liberty” living statue ready for photo ops, a real-life Rosie the Riveter, an Uncle Sam stilt performer, and a USO-themed strolling table. Guests were serenaded by a barbershop quartet from America’s Got Talent, a local DJ, and a grand finale performance from America’s Got Talent’s “Voices of Service”. If that wasn’t enough, a spectacular pyro spectacular cold spark fireworks display boldly closed out the show. How’s that for entertainment?
Entertainment for All
Lastly, DCi developed a program in Palm Desert where attendees’ brought their children to tag along. The team made sure to provide activations that appealed to both adults and their tots. Throughout the program, DCi provided entertainment for the kids by way of butterfly greeters, dried flower tattoo artists, geode cookie creation stations, and custom hat creation stations. Meanwhile, the adults indulged in a beer tap trike, a bicycle buffet station, and watched an artist live painting with wine. All attendees got to enjoy seeing colorful holograms projected against a water screen, play engaging games, make memories in a VW photo bus, and listen to a headliner string trio, a DJ, and a cover band.
According to Stacy, many tech-related advancements are on the rise, rapidly infiltrating the events and entertainment industry. A few of these futuristic features include robotic bartenders, 3D food printing, life-sized holograms, AI face-morphing photo stations, selfie robots, sketchbots, and many more innovative enhancements. The future of entertainment is quickly coming onto the scene, and DCi is eager to incorporate more engaging entertainment into future events.
Interested in working with DCi on your next event? Contact us today.