Whether you are organising your wedding or planning a corporate party. The drinks reception is a crucial part of any event.

Guests will all be congregated into a single area and enjoying drinks whilst chatting to friends or colleagues. Often there will be pockets of people forming but the event might lack a togetherness which could possibly hamper the event.

It is vital that there is some form of drinks reception entertainment to engage everyone and bring about a cohesiveness. Over the years I have performed at hundreds of drinks receptions all over the UK & Europe. The one consistent thing that cements it all together, is having professional entertainment. Something that will break the ice and generate a feel good factor amongst everyone there.

Drinks Reception Entertainment Ideas

With over 15 years of experience of performing at weddings & corporate events. I have worked with many different types of entertainers. Some of them have been exceptional and offer the very best in drinks reception entertainment. I thought it would be a great to speak with these professionals and find out their thoughts on how their work has an impact on the events they perform at.

All of the acts below are ones that I have personally worked with, and come highly recommended. Their distinctive services work well on their own, but can also be paired with another to maximise the impact of your drinks reception.

Acoustic Sounds

Whilst the Prosecco and Beers are flowing, theres nothing better than live music to compliment. The important factor is to not got too loud too soon! Guests want to chatter and catch up in a relaxed fashion without having to shout over the top of a DJ or band. For this reason I recommend hiring an acoustic singer for your drinks reception.

Photo of Ben Haynes and his Drinks Reception Entertainment
Ben Haynes – Acoustic Singer

Acoustic music is more palatable and increase the overall ambience of an event without being obtrusive. Some acoustic singers even take requests, which is a good way to enhance the atmosphere and mood of your guests. Over the years I have worked with many acoustic singers, but the one I have had most experience with is Ben Haynes. Ben is a singer and acoustic guitarist who performs all over the country at weddings and parties. I recently caught up with him to find out the benefits of hiring an acoustic singer for a drinks reception:

“A musician eliminates the faff of pressing stop and start on the stereo. Or hooking up the playlist you spent precious time putting together through a poor quality sound system to then also discover you’ve only got 5% battery! Some chilled, live acoustic covers of your favourite songs will entertain you and your guests, providing a soundtrack to those ever lasting memories.” – Ben Haynes

Digital Photo Experiences

One thing that consistently attracts guests and produces lasting memories are photo experiences. They are non intrusive and guests can interact with them on their terms. Over the past few years, a world of new exciting, digital photography experiences have begun appearing at events. One such company that specialises in these products is Mirra Mirra. They are a Midlands based company who supply their services for corporate events and parties within the UK.

I first met Lucy Trevelyan, who runs the company with her husband Andy, a few years back at an event. She was demonstrating a range of really unique photo booths and I was amazed at just what the technology was capable of. They provided so much more than what my preconception of a photo booth was. I recently spoke to her to find out whats currently making her guests tick at their events in 2020.

Photo showing Mirra Mirra products
Mirra Mirra – Digital Photo Experiences

“Our Aura booth, unlike other photo booths is sleek and fits into any location. Event planners appreciate its portability and the fact it’s a non intrusive product. Perfect for guests to create memories on as they choose, whether this is a still image, a GIF or Boomerang. Guests can take photos with or without virtual props & filters, it really is a surefire way to get the guests roaring with laughter! Guests can send the images straight to their phone and have Instagram ready images within a matter of seconds. Photo templates can be designed to fit any occasion as can the photo booth start screen which is on display for all of the guests to see.” – Mirra Mirra

Casino Tables

Nothing generates the wow factor like having your very own Casino as part of your event. The first time I performed at a drinks reception that had also hired a private casino company was a ‘Business Awards’ event in North Nottinghamshire. The room was dressed just like a modern casino with Roulette Wheels, Blackjack tables and interactive games. It was an instant hit! Guests were playing games with casino branded ‘money’ and the whole room was full of laughter & excitement.

Since then, I have worked many corporate events, private parties and even weddings with the Blackjack Fun Casino company. A Nottingham based Casino hire company that specialise in transforming venues into authentic looking Casino experiences. I spoke with the company’s owner Dave, to find out just what is so appealing about Casino hire at events.

Image showing Casino hire for drinks reception
Blackjack Casino Hire

“Well it’s just perfect entertainment for a drinks reception! The glitz and glamour of a full sized casino setup with Blackjack and Roulette tables creates a real buzz around your venue. As soon as the casino opens it will encourage guests to mingle and provide a talking point as guests play the games trying to win as much as they can!” – Blackjack Fun Casino

It’s Not Real Gambling!

For those who might be concerned about ‘Gambling’ at your event, fear not! Real money is not used due to gaming licenses, this is all about the fun factor without any of the risk! Dave explained to me that by removing the financial factor funnels all the focus into fun.

“How it works ‘Fun money’ is handed out to all your guests to use at the casino tables. People come and play the games. At the end of the casino, the person/s who have won the most amount of ‘fun money’ wins a prize – Usually a bottle of bubbly and the all important Bragging rights! The excitement of a big win at the Roulette table helps fuel a fun atmosphere for all.”

Close Up Magician & Mind Reading

I couldn’t write an article on the benefits of Drinks Reception Entertainment without mentioning Close Up Magic. All events can benefit from having a close up magician perform at your drinks reception. I have discussed this in various forms on this website and the absolute recommended performance for any drinks reception is a ‘Mix & Mingle’ booking.

An image of Close Up Magic at a drinks reception
Magic is Amazing! Looch in Action

This type of close up magic is sometimes known as Meet & Greet Magic or Walk Around Magic. It essentially consists of hiring a magician to perform up close to small groups of guests. The magician will mingle at your party and introduce themselves before performing close up magic for a few minutes. Once they have amazed your guests, they will move onto another group and continue performing.

Close Up magic is a relaxed and informal type of magical performance that works perfectly during drinks. Guests can choose to engage and take part if they wish, but aren’t in a position where it is forced upon them. A good quality, professional magician is guaranteed to amaze everyone and create a magical and memorable experience.


A Caricaturist is a fantastically traditional way to enhance your drinks reception. However in this technologically driven society, the old school approach to drawing Caricatures has a digital competitor! The digital caricaturist has the advantage of being able to produce incredibly detailed work instantly. This can then be shared it with clients via their mobile phones.

I have had the pleasure of working with many wonderfully talented Caricaturists over the years. The response from guests is always fascinating, it creates a real talking point. One very talented such lady that I have found myself working with is Luisa Calvo. Her company, Wicked Caricatures have been offering event professionals a wide range of services all over the country for years. She has a wealth of experience working events and is guaranteed to provide unforgettable drinks reception entertainment.

Photo showing the work of Luisa Calvo
Wicked Caricatures

Luisa mingles with your guests capturing their likenesses with a fun and stylish flourish. We met up over coffee and spoke about her work. I was interested to find out how drawing caricatures can impact the drinks receptions she is hired for.

“A caricaturist must have incredible drawing skills, but just as important are exceptional people skills. Clients say I’m warm, friendly and have the ability to engage guests during the drawing process. This removes any possible awkwardness which makes it more fun and memorable. I was one of the very first caricature artists to embrace the trend of digital technology. However I am just as comfortable producing quick Black & White ink sketches, as I am full colour digital caricatures using my iPad.” – Luisa Calvo

Lets Plan Your Drinks Reception!

So if you are currently trying to organise your own event let’s have a chat! You are more than welcome to get in touch to discuss your event. I will suggest different types of drinks reception entertainment, and whats acts compliment each other. You can call me now on 07841 332816 or send me a message using my contact page.

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