When most people think of where they can get work as an Emcee or Master of Ceremony, they immediately say, as a Corporate Events Emcee or as a Wedding Emcee. And yes, these are both great markets to work in, but they are not the only places!
If I think of all of my professional colleagues that I know personally, I think most of them have developed one or two niche Emcee markets that they dominate. This allows them to be “front of mind” when any client in that area is looking for an Emcee. As I’ve said previously, you can always bet that a client is going to book a specialist Emcee over a generalist Emcee.
We have assembled here a huge list of exciting Emcee niches that are ripe for exploring. While many of these are very well paid assignments, some of these clients will cry poor and claim they have no budget for the Emcee. We have often written about the “value” of doing unpaid assignments, so I will leave it up to you and each individual case. The argument is of course, you gain experience, you are getting your name out there, you raise your profile and you can obtain testimonials. The opposite argument is – the only thing you get by doing a non paying gig as the Emcee, is other offers of non paying Emcee gigs.
Now, a few of my ExpertMC subscribers are going to be a bit annoyed that I mentioned some of these market areas! There are a few here that are a bit “under the radar,” that don’t get talked about very much, yet are highly lucrative Emcee assignments.
In some cases I’ve clumped a couple of different niches together and the order is a bit of a jumble, so don’t just skim through the titles. There are also a few Emcee Ideas & Notes notes on each, including why you should possibly think about working there and other possibilities that might come from doing so.
I have not personally worked in all of these niches, but I know from personal experience that all of them they do require or sometimes use, outside Expert MC’s just like you! If I’ve missed any, please let me know via the comments section and I’ll expand this resource in the future.
Emcee Marketing – Action Steps.
So the next bit is up to you. Grab a sheet of paper and as you read through the list make a note of any ideas that come to you. For instance – do you know anyone who works in that particular industry? Is a particular venue close to you? Are any big stores / malls getting built near you. Do you have a local paper, bulletin board or internet forum where you can keep an eye out for certain events.
Often by the time you read about an event they may already have their Emcee in place, but make a note in your Marketing Diary and if the event is an annual thing, approach them in 6 months. Or go to the event and watch the Emcee at work.
So here’s the list of 47 Niche Emcee Ideas, places where you can get work!
Emcee at Fairs
Large or small, Fairs need announcements to be made and shows to be run. In the USA the giant State Fairs are a big example. In Australia we have a similar large event in each State that runs for a week. But smaller examples also happen in most towns or communities once a year.
These of course provide the core of many professional Emcees work. Some people also provide or organise the entertainment services like the DJ or the floor show. Some MC’s also move into the field of actually being the Wedding Celebrant.
Fashion Show Emcee
A very specialised field and quite often done by an “in house” presenter, but certainly if you had an interest, connections and a certain style you could do well here.
Sporting Events Emcee
Ranging from smooth “Voice of God” announcements in large stadiums to smaller centre stage or on field appearances. There are always announcements to be made, VIP’s to be introduced, Sponsors thanked, Prizes awarded. Think – Boxing, Wrestling, Cycling, Motor Sports etc.
Shopping Centre Emcee
Plenty of work here ranging from working at a single store promotion to large scale “centre stage” activities. Celebrations like Christmas, Easter, New Years Eve often require Emcee’s.
Music & Cultural Festival Emcee
Whenever you have lots of acts, you need an Emcee. I spent several years as Emcee at the Blue Mountains Music Festival introducing some very famous acts and honing my skills.
Art Exhibition Emcee
The opening events at Art Exhibitions often have some formalities. Here’s another one that may not pay much or at all, but it could put you in front of an interesting audience.
There is a huge number of Expo’s & Exhibitions that happen all year round and they need dynamic Emcees. I’m referring here to events aimed at the general public rather than Trade Shows which are aimed at industry attendees. Some examples – Caravan Shows, Camping Shows, Fishing Shows, Recreational Vehicles, Retirement, Wedding Expo’s. A lot of these have a lecture series or onstage presentations that need a professional Emcee.
Trade Show Emcee
Focussed at people in the industry rather than the general public, these huge events happen daily around the globe. Work is available either for the main stage presentations and general announcements or working for individual exhibitors gathering attention and leads for the client.
Two teams pitted against each other following a strict set of criteria. Each debate has a moderator who runs the event, setting the tone, introducing the teams and keeping them to time and within the rules. A nice entry point to explore the field of group facilitation & panel discussions.
Annual General Meetings
AGM’s require a Chairperson to run the event. Most groups, associations, clubs & societies are required to have an AGM. Like debates, it is another entry point that can get you onstage once you have an understanding of the rules and procedures. There are some professionals who do paid freelance work in this field.
Opening of New Business
Most new business ventures that have a public outlet, shop, store, mall, like to have a big launch with an event of some kind. There are announcement to be made, the Mayor to be introduced, Lucky Door prizes to be drawn, Ribbons to be cut etc.
A lot of established places have an Open Day once a year for different reasons. Schools, Fire Stations, Vets, Hospitals & Police Stations. Once again this is more of a profile building exercise.
Product Launch Emcee
A very high profile assignment that may include exact scripts, long rehearsals, high production values and a high pressure performance. Some industries that I have done Product Events for include – Electronics, Cars, Motor Bikes, Travel, Plumbing Supplies, Office Supplies and Alcohol.
Road Show Emcee
These are the extended form of Product Launches. Doing a series of Product Launches in different cities or venues repeating and/or adjusting the same formula at each one.
Talent Show Emcee
In Clubs, Theatre Venues, Cruise Ships & Shopping Centres, these are a popular and well established form of entertainment. A string of acts need introduction, thanking and co-ordination. It’s best if you also have an “act” yourself, though this is not always required.
Most circus events, either Traditional or Modern, have someone in the Ringmaster Role. MC’s often feel like Ringmasters’ controlling all the different aspects of an event, so why not explore being the real thing.
Food, Craft, Car Boot, Art, Antique, Collector etc. Not a huge earner, but a way to get ‘Air Time”
The Short Play movement is very popular around the world. A series of quick 10 or 15 minute plays are presented in one evening. An MC is required to be the glue that holds it all together.
Likewise, Poetry Events are a growing trend around the world that need a host.
IndependentTED events happen around the world. Some are bigger and some are better than others but certainly an opportunity to get that all important “stage time.”
Trivia Night Emcee
Running Trivia Nights in the age of Smart Phones is a slightly trickier proposition than it use to be, but there are still plenty of them going on at Corporate Events and in Pubs & Clubs. Many now use a Game Show approach, so it’s perfect for dynamic MC’s. We did many years of Corporate Trivia events, often with custom questions for the company. Here’s some Info on the best source of Trivia Questions
Big Car Dealerships often have family days & “run out sales” a couple of times a year. The more that’s going on, the more they need an MC or Host!
Theme Parks – There are Stage Shows to run, Promotions and VIP guests to introduce and announcements to be made. They often need a Host / MC.
Many groups organise Networking events for their members and guests to meet each other. Someone has to setup the structure, keep the energy up and keep things moving along.
Business to Business Networking
B2B Events are a niche market that not many people know about unless you are actually involved. There are several dynamic companies producing multiple events around the world every month. They make big money putting suppliers together with clients in a number of different ways. Although they often do the Emcee work “in house” there are opportunities for professional specialists. I’ve worked for a couple of different companies that do this around the world.
Convention and Conference Emcee
The bread and butter of the Corporate MC’s work. These are usually multi day affairs that require plenty of preparation, briefings, custom writing and a high level of involvement during the event itself. High pressure but high pay. You also have a strong possibility that clients will use you for several years if you do a good job.
Corporate, Government & Association Events
The smaller version of the Conventions and Conferences. This might be a Sales Day where they pull in all the team in one place, Teambuilding, a Kick Off event, Planning Day etc. Facilitation skills can be a big plus here.
Awards Night Emcee
In every big hotel and function centre around the world Awards Nights are being run. Salesman of the Year, Dealership of the Year, Best Rookie, Franchise of the year, Lifetime Achievement Award etc. They need classy, dynamic MC’s.
Charity Events / Gala Balls
Likewise, there has to be someone keeping these events running along smoothly. Remember to always ask “is the venue getting paid? What about the waiters,” when you get asked to donate your time.”
Personal Development Seminars
Ranging from small events to mega extravaganzas. Introducing speakers, hyping up the crowd, encouraging purchase and signups for programs.
Multi Level Marketing Events
Most MLM groups get together frequently to celebrate, train recruit & enthuse their teams. While mostly done “in house” there are opportunities for paid work here.
Professional Development Events
Many professions and industries require their members to attend Professional Development sessions. These can be 1 day Training Events or longer events like the Conference / Convention framework. Financial Services, Accountants etc are a good example of this. Once you understand which groups have PD events it focuses your target list quite a lot.
A very specialised role, running a Stand Up Comedy Show. However many MC’s do come out from the Comedy Club scene.
For smooth performers with a certain style and perhaps an MC “character” that fits the framework, Burlesque Events can be a fun opportunity.
Variety Show Emcee
The classic mix of Singing, Sight Acts, Dancers and Comedians may seem a little “old school” but it’s still a very popular form of entertainment at clubs and theatres.
Most ethnic and religious groups have large important ceremonies that mark a persons passage through life. The Bar Mitzvah is just one example of this and they need entertainers, caterers and of course MC’s.
Anniversaries & Birthdays
Likewise in a non religious manner, we often celebrate significant life events. 60th & 70th Birthday events are often quite big affairs with entertainment and speeches.
I know several professional Emcee’s who use their skills in this niche. This can be for Charity Events, Antiques & Collectibles or for Real Estate itself, where they need someone with a bit of pizzazz to really create a buzz around a property on Sale day. I have a couple of friends who do this. Check the licensing requirements in your city/country if you want to explore this field.
There you are, plenty of opportunities to get paid and/or get on stage and improve your skills. Please leave a comment if you have a niche that we didn’t cover.