How Road Warriors Can Eat Healthy

As a 20 year veteran road warrior I know how limited food choices can expand my waistline more quickly than a supersonic concord.

Luckily things are getting better in the airports as far as healthy food options. 5 years ago I used to walk through a major airport and could not find ONE place that wasn’t selling either processed, fatty, salty, or sugary foods. Often it was all 4 of those on your plate. Now you can find some good options in most airports. Here are some of my favorite spots to eat.

Breakfast-
1. Nature’s Table
2. Jamba juice (steel cut oatmeal)

Lunch or dinner-
1. Chipotle (brown rice burrito bowl)
2. U-food Grill
3. Mediterranean Grill

Snack-
1. Pure nut and fruit mix
2. Beef Jerky
3. Fresh fruit

Don’t forget plenty of water while traveling.

Once at your hotel things often don’t improve. In general the smaller the town the worse the food options are going to be. If I am staying in a small or economically depressed area I know I am going to see a lot of pizza, burgers and greasy spoons. That’s when I make a B line to my local grocery store.

If I have a fridge in my hotel and there’s a microwave in my room or the lobby then my options are decent for grocery shopping.

Here are some of my staples

Tyson’s 2 pound bag of pre cooked and frozen grilled and sliced chicken breast.
This gets tossed in my fridge to thaw and will keep for about a week. When thawed you can eat cold on a salad or they can be warmed up on a plate with the rest of your meal.

For vegetables I get a resealable container of mixed salad, the greener and more color the better. Next is fresh veg in small microwavable steam bags, Green beans, snap peas, Broccoli all winners. I get snacking veggies too like carrots and celery.

The game changer was when I could get a decent carb in the grocery store, that I could prepare in a microwave. Here enters pre-cooked and heat in the bag brown rice. Lots of varieties and brands too.

For snacks or quick meals, hummus, whole grain bread, deli sliced turkey and of course fresh whole fruit too.

Oatmeal should be eaten every morning if possible. Not the pre-flavored single serving packs. Get it plain, either at your hotel’s free breakfast or from the grocery store. Then add your own REAL fruit on top, your body will thank you.

When you are deciding how to make your food choices the best way to decide is ask yourself this simple question.

“After this food came from the tree, ground or animal how many processes did it go through to get here”

The more processing it’s gone through, the worse it is to put in your body.

Stay safe and healthy on the road!

Get the Most Out of Your Event Production Staff

 

So you’ve hired top pros for producing your private event. If used improperly due to poor planning that money might as well have been tossed out the window. An experienced event planner knows this and schedules tech rehearsals and sound checks very carefully.

The best advise I can give is to do most of your planning well before you are onsite at the event. Get all your technical riders from your speakers, entertainment and presenters. Nothing eats up time onsite than sending someone to hunt down that video adaptor someone overlooked.

Get a detailed rider from your artists and get that to your production team as soon as possible. A rider should list any and all needed materials for the artist’s presentation. Here’s an example of my rider that I send to planners and or production / technical staff,  Technical-Rider.html

Onsite things rarely go perfect. A projector bulb burns out perhaps you are having trouble controlling the house lighting system. Or like one event I did, a pipe burst in the food prep area right behind the stage and fried all the electric. It happens, stay calm and give your biggest problem priority and work intelligently towards solving the biggest ones and working your way to the smaller details.

Planning your soundcheck and rehearsals is the next most important element when maximizing your production staff. Make sure all presenters have a tech starting time and duration that is agreed upon prior to rehearsal day. They have to stick within that time frame and any remaining problems must be solved after all presenters / artists have done their assigned tech run through.

Lastly think about needed rehearsal time and be realistic when hiring your entertainment and production team. Don’t hire a cirque style production and expect them to set up in the same time frame as a stand-up comic. Make sure to ask the artist or presenter how much tech time they require before the final decision to hire them for your corporate event.

One of my strengths is I run a very tight show, without the need for any rehearsals. Just a quick video and sound check via my laptop and I run my whole show myself. This system is bullet-proof and I trust it enough to have used it when I was LIVE on the #1 television show America’s Got Talent.

Follow this advice and you will get less onsite headaches and have a better end product all your attendees will love.

Mistakes Corporate Entertainment Planners Often Make

By Charles Peachock

In order to use your corporate entertainer successfully, it is best to take his advise when planning your evening of entertainment.

I recently had an event where the client had set the room up for an entertainment disaster. They made the two biggest mistakes you can make as a planner.

1. Planning dinner while a show is happening?!

This is the biggest way to throw your company’s money away. When an entertainer has to compete with dinner, food ALWAYS wins. Along with throwing your budget dollars out the window, an ignored entertainer center stage reflects badly on the image of your planned event.

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2. “The Dance Floor of Death”

In the corporate entertainment industry this is the title we performers give to an empty dance floor in front of the stage. Having 20 feet or more of empty space between your entertainer and your group… that will greatly diminished the necessary energy exchange between them.

Here’s a billion dollar company’s big annual event I was hired to perform for.

Looks beautiful right?

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Here’s a closer look at the stage… more importantly the huge space in front of it!

how not to stage your entertainment at your corporate event.

Also in this case the flowers obstructed the view of my show. The flowers were removed as well as fixing the empty space in front of the stage. The result… two standing ovations and a planner who greeted me off-stage with tears of joy in her eyes.

When I arrive on-site and I see these pitfalls in the scheduling or room set-up my heart sinks… every time. I know this is the planner’s event and I have to convince them that what they have planned is going to really hurt their event’s outcome. I do this with a great amount of humility and diplomacy, I know it is often hard for an event planner to give up control to a guy who juggles ping pong balls with his mouth?!

I will not offer my opinion on your centerpiece choice, catering selection or who you hire for your DJ. As the planner that is YOUR arena of expertise. When it comes to you getting the most from my product… no one knows how to do that more than I do.

In the end it is your event and if you choose not to heed the advice of your hired entertainment expert, that is your choice. Be warned though… it will cripple your entertainment and put you both at a severe disadvantage before your corporate event even starts.

The reason you hire top talent is (not just their show) but their expertise.
Aside from a stellar show, here are just a few touch points you get when you engage my services.

1. I can handle problems (technical and otherwise) on the fly during a live performance. This helps your evening roll on seamlessly no matter what unexpected problems show up at your corporate event.

2. Working with your production team is a specialty of mine. I know how to speak their language and how to get us working together quickly and smoothly for a well produced and planned show.

3. I know how to work hand in hand in the planning stages with you (the event planner) to make certain everything runs like clockwork. I make your life easy while maintaining a high level end product that results with your attendees on their feet cheering for your event!

Utilize all you have paid for by taking your professional entertainer’s advise. It’s necessary in order to guarantee your event’s success!

Dear Entertainers, You should be advising your planner about these common mistakes.
I have them laid out in my contract’s rider attached below here. I have found it’s the
best way to stop the problem from forming.

Pasted Graphic

Charles Peachock Google+

New Corporate Event Customization Wows!

By Charles Peachock

While performing for important corporate events it is crucial for an act to customize their show for your group.

MicroSoft - Corporate Event CustomizationYour corporate events are held to celebrate your company. Everyone wants to take pride in their job and feel connected to their co-workers while at an event. When I perform I take every opportunity to make it all about your company.  I write custom jokes (always in good taste) that relate to your company and its employees. I take the time to research and learn about what exciting is happening in your industry and company. Being an informed entertainer makes every employee in attendance immediately connect to me. If your act can’t connect right away he’s not doing his job to the fullest.

If you combine customization with a big WOW factor, it will bring your corporate event to another level. This is exactly how I close my performance with your group.

My closing glow routine is a show-stopper by itself. It’s been my closer for over a decade (it’s that strong). I just implemented a new effect that literally brings the house down. Below are some pictures of this stunning effect. I can integrate multiple text, logo or pictures into this jaw-dropping closer.

Coke2

Here are some of the past ideas we’ve used at corporate events.

1. Matching your theme-  I just did an event where the theme was “everyday heroes.” A lot of the company brass were dressed in superhero costumes and they had an amazing logo for their event. Well I grabbed their logo online and added numerous superhero logos (superman, batman, wonder woman, etc) I used that sequence of images and their company logo perfectly timed with music to close their big event!

2. Product launch- A company did a reveal of their hot new product at this corporate launch. My whole routine is 3mins in the dark. While I was wowing the crowd with my closing light show. The stage staff were secretly wheeling their new product upstage in the dark behind my performance. I used text in my light sticks that built anticipation for their new product and then a countdown displaying each number individually 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1!  when the lights came up I had disappeared and the new product was right there center stage to cheering applause!

3.  Send a message- Does your company have an expected outcome for your event. It should, all the great ones do. Whether it’s to reward your top sellers with a fabulous evening of entertainment, woo new clients with your great hospitality or get your employees informed. I recently did an event where the message was “look before you leap”. I was used for a brain break during this informative seminar. However to close out I tied my show into the message. That’s right displayed in lights was the event message “look before you leap”.

Apple

As you can see there are so many way to use this powerful technique to create an amazing custom effect for your important corporate event!

Charles Peachock Google+

5 Tips for Hiring the Best Corporate Entertainment

By Charles Peachock

Corporate Entertainment Tips - charles-peachock-major-company-endorsementsCorporate Events are an integral part of any corporation’s image, culture and employee pride. Finding an entertainer or act that is a fit for your corporate event is vital to its success.

Choosing the right corporate entertainment can be stressful but knowing what to consider before hiring can enable you to go forward with confidence. Below are steps to selecting the right corporate entertainer or act that will surely have you considered a superstar event coordinator or planner.

Tips for Hiring Corporate Entertainment Acts

  1. Give your entertainer the necessary tools – Know your space and equipment. Any entertainer no matter how good can look bad if you don’t frame them correctly. Poor staging, inadequate sound or lights can put your entertainer behind before they even start. The most seasoned professional knows what he needs to entertain and capture your group’s attention. Listen to them, read their technical rider and discuss any concerns well before the event. Your entertainer should work hand in hand with you the planner to make the show look professional without breaking your budget.
  2. Type of Entertainment – Decide on the type of entertainment you want, for example, if your audience is not too uptight and not afraid to unwind you can feel safe hiring a comedian or belly dancer. Some favorites are R&B artists, trios, dancers, magicians, jugglers, and celebrity impersonators. For a more sophisticated audience, you may want to hire an opera singer or classical pianist. I will say in our experience though no matter how sophisticated you think your group is, all audiences love to laugh. Just make sure your entertainer isn’t using crude or off-color humor to do it.
  3. Talent and Budget – Make sure the act you hire is talented, reasonably priced, and fits your budget. Do research by calling local talent agencies and going online before choosing where you will get your entertainment. Finding out you paid too much later or hired the wrong type of act can be embarrassing and have consequences.
  4. References – Check references. All reputable agencies have references to show you but more importantly, you want to call those references to see how they felt about the entertainment first hand. Careful hiring an act who sites many credentials but doesn’t have the proof posted on his site i.e. testimonials, video footage etc.
  5. Contract – Make sure it is clear what you will receive for your money. It is important to convey all expectations at this point for no misunderstandings. A contract is the surest way to know what to expect from your entertainment from start to finish. Whatever is promised to you be sure it is reflected in your contract. Additionally, you need to have a clear understanding of the entertainer’s or act’s needs during the event, with celebrities, this could run the gamut, so be sure to ask in advance for the act’s rider.

As you can see, there is much to consider before choosing your corporate entertainment act and assuring a successful corporate event. Using the tips above to hire an act or corporate entertainer should help you be free of any anxiety you may have had about hiring someone for your next corporate event.

Even Ellen Degeneres Doesn’t Know What One Is

By Charles Peachock

Ever heard of a piano juggler?

Charles on a piano - charles-peachock-piano-juggler-2When Ellen DeGeneres heard about a Piano juggler coming to her show she first said, “Wow that’s gotta be heavy” Ellen had the wrong idea, it’s not the throwing of pianos in the air. It’s instead something more memorable.

In his piano juggler routine, Charles combines 2 art forms. The old art of Piano playing and the ancient art of juggling. Piano is relatively new compared to juggling (which dates back to 4000 BC)

In his piano juggler routine these two at forms meet once again in a totally unexpected way. Instead of playing keys using one’s hands and fingers, instead they are played with balls (juggling balls)

The routine consists of bouncing rubber balls (up to five at a time) off the piano keys to play different songs and melodies. It’s truly an eye-popping stunt! In fact that piano juggling routine propelled him on America’s Got Talent to be the most successful juggler in the show’s history!

Charles has been know to even create custom songs for his corporate clients. He recently performed for United Airlines annual conference where he played their theme song Rhapsody In Blue. The reaction was over-the-top the attendees were literally standing on their chairs screaming and cheering!

One-of-a-kind innovation has been added by Charles himself. Like using backing tracks and even a live orchestra to enhance the already amazing impact of this routine.

He is also the only artist to play on a full sized grand piano. A routine he showcased live on the #1 Television show.

Charles Peachock on Google+

Tips From The Road As a Corporate Entertainer

By Charles Peachock

Corporate Entertainer Tips - Delta Airlines - creative commons - wikipediaIf you are a successful corporate entertainer you will fly… A LOT.  Ask most entertainers and they will tell you the most unpleasant part of their job is the travel, in particular airports. I fly on over 100 planes a year and I find that giving myself some extra comfort on the road is priceless. Here are some tips you can learn form my 20 plus years of airport travel.

My number one recommendation is the American Express Platinum card. This card comes with an annual fee of around $450. Don’t let that scare you though, if you travel a lot it is worth every penny and more. Plus there are also some built -in rebates that ease that annual fee.

One rebate feature is baggage check-in. I use my American Express Platinum card at check-in to pay for any baggage charges. I am then re-credited on my statement (up to $200 annually). Right there is almost half the card’s annual fee covered. Next is inflight internet rebates. When I purchase a one-flight gogo internet pass ($5) I am again re-credited for that up to 10 gogo passes a year. That’s another $50 in my pocket. Lastly this year I applied for Global Entry Program (also known as G.O.E.S. ). GOES should cost me $150 but my AMEX Platinum picked up the bill.

As you can see the annual cost is easily redeemed through normal travel usage. If you apply for the card, it does require a good to excellent credit score. If you have ever had a bankruptcy it’s likely they won’t be accepting your application.

Now let’s talk benefits. One of the best features for frequent travelers is access to almost all major airline clubs. If you have your Platinum card you can get into just about any airline club that your current flight is on. Show your boarding card, ID and AMEX then you are in. These clubs are a wonderful oasis from the crowds, cramped seating, no outlets and costly WiFi.

In airline clubs you have an open bar, complimentary snacks, free WiFi and office workstations. The amenities vary from airport and airline but almost all have the above on premises. The Delta club in Atlanta even has a wonderful shower facility. I have often seen a layover there on my itinerary, that’s when I pack some fresh clothes in my carry-on. The club even provides a nice toiletries kit for your shower.

Other benefits are too numerous to go through. Some highlights are: free roadside assistance, hotel upgrades, personal travel concierge and double extended warranty coverage on purchases. For a full list of benefits click here .

Travel safe… and in-style!

Charles Peachock on Google+

Will Your Entertainer Connect With Your Group?

By Charles Peachock

Corporate events rent massive ballrooms, hire catering crews and book world class entertainers for their events. Have you ever asked, “Why go through all that trouble? They could just all go to dinner and a concert or a comedy club”.

corporate event party dinnerIn order to best illustrate why I like to use what I call “The Thanksgiving” model. Imagine bringing your family to Thanksgiving at Grandma’s house… being with family in a private setting it gives most people the warm fuzzies.

Now compare that private dinner at home with the whole family going to a public sit-down restaurant. It will be a far less enjoyable and memorable experience.

A private corporate event, is a celebration of the company and a chance to strengthen the bonds of your employees. It’s a place that everyone can feel like they are around family. When you have a business relationship, it is always strengthened my making it more personal.

Your corporate entertainer should think the same way, “make it personal.” Most entertainers advertise personal, using a common claim of “we customize every performance.” Yet often they use canned jokes about corporations and events. Do this and your entertainer will fail to connect with the group they are presenting to.

A performer that doesn’t integrate your company’s beliefs, message and brand into their show is missing the best way to connect to your group. If you do have an entertainer that does his homework and integrates your company throughout their performance that tees your evening up for a big success.

Most entertainers who are working a lot of corporate events, are solid acts. The ones that stand-out are the ones that connect on a personal level at your event.

What steps are your entertainers taking be part part of your company tribe?

Charles Peachock on Google+

A Great Question For a Corporate Entertainer.

By Charles Peachock

Before I get started with the funny questions I get asked… I have worked with fortune 500 companies like Disney, Microsoft and United Airlines and take a great deal of pride in my abilities as a top corporate entertainer.  Make sure to visit here http://www.charlespeachock.com/Why-Charles.html after you read this article to learn more about the best entertainment choices for your corporate event.

As a comedy juggler I get asked a lot of the same questions. “When did you start?” “How much do you practice?” “Can you balance my checkbook?” etc.

charles-peachock-photos -1After my show at corporate events I do a de-greet I meet the audience after the show for pictures, to sell DVDs and connect with them. I usually do 100+ pictures and answer about as many questions. I enjoy giving back to my audiences, they kindly give me their wonderful gift of applause and laughter, it’s the least I can do. Yet last night one question was a gift to me.

A tall slim fellow about in his mid-20s asked me, in a calm and clear tone, “What are the three most important things juggling has taught you?” The question made me smile. Finally a good question that I don’t have an auto-responder loaded in my brain to regurgitate.

I was pretty quick to answer even though as I spoke I wasn’t sure what the three were. The first one was easy.

“Juggling has taught me persistence.” People think juggling takes a lot of practice. Those people are wrong… it takes an insane amount of practice! I have found persistence is key in so many of life’s successes. You want to be the best or get ahead? Then you have to be willing to not quit where everyone else does. It’s a simple premise but rarely executed. A great quote for Albert Einstein, “I don’t think I am an exceedingly intelligent man. I just refused to give up looking for answers when others had stopped.”

My second answer was, “juggling has taught me humility.” Juggling is the most inconsistent discipline you can learn. In fact no matter how good or consistent you are as a juggler, the only way to have flawless shows is to perform far below your actual juggling ability. When I was young I really wanted to show-off the new trick I had been working so hard on. I would tell myself, “the audience will love it!” The reality is, the audience doesn’t know how hard tricks are, they do know when you drop tough. I learned to pull-back, now I only use tricks that I have had in my pocket for 5 years or more. It was a paradigm shift and I was no longer putting myself first but instead the other 1000+ people in the room.

My Third response I had to ponder a bit. This will come off a little hokey but it was in my heart so I just said it, “to never give up on your dream.” Now it may seem cliché but I have really found a bigger picture in this practice. I am not just talking about making millions becoming a pro-baseball player or a pop-singer. I learned more importantly, if you fail or succeed in chasing your dreams that it is irrelevant. The important thing is if your heart is happy and being fulfilled. Chasing your dreams does that pretty well.

Are you following your heart, doing the things you love? It’s a scary concept for people who haven’t taken that leap but so clear to others that are living their passion. Mind you it doesn’t have to be glamorous. Juggling certainly doesn’t conjure up images of Hollywood stardom. Yet I would wager I am happier than most Hollywood Stars. The same could be said for my friend who restores Pinball Machines. It’s not glamorous, not even that profitable but he loves fixing and playing them and therefore never works a day in his life. Find what you love and just do that… and forget about money.

Here’s one of my all time favorite videos about this exact premise I urge you to watch it here .

I want to say a special thanks to the fan who took the time to think of a telling question. It made me take a closer look at the gifts my life-long passion has secretly passed on to me.

Charles Peachock on Google+

Can Your Corporate Entertainer Handle an Emergency

By Charles Peachock

Have you hired a corporate entertainer that can handle any situation?

No matter how well you plan your entertainment something can always go wrong. It can even happen to a company who is better at planning and executing entertainment better than anyone in the World… Disney Entertainment. I recently saved them from an entertainment emergency that could have derailed their multi-million dollar 3 day event.

Disney Entertainment - Comedy Juggler - Headliner - Charles Peachock Corporate Entertainer

Disney’s big opening night entertainment was a massive Disney themed production show involving a cast and crew of over 40. Well even the best in the business that hire the most talented people and use state-of-the-art equipment are not immune to technical catastrophes.

The problem happened during the last tech run before the doors opened. The audio player and automation track (which runs everything from lights to pyro) were no longer in sync. In fact they were completely out of sync. With a show that has 300 plus technical cues there’s no way to manually run them. They couldn’t put on their big opening night show!

I didn’t know anything about this disaster, I was fast asleep in my room. I had just come from doing a television spot that morning. My day had started at 4am and I finally got some time to lay down at about 5pm. That didn’t last long though as my phone rang at 5:30 pm and there was a panicked entertainment director on the other end. He informed me of the emergency and asked if there was anyway I could take the stage for the scheduled opening time of 6:30pm. Mind you I am sleep deprived, in my underwear and haven’t un-packed a thing. I said I will do whatever I can to make it happen.

I jumped out of bed filled with adrenaline. Whipped on my clothes, ran to the theater with my backpack and 2 prop cases. All the techs were there, and knew I was there to help save the night. A very fortunate thing for them is my show is totally self-run.

I trigger all my own video and sound cues using a very simple wireless system run from my laptop and to this day has yet to fail me. Because of the way my show operates there was no need to do a rehearsal (which we wouldn’t have time to do). We did just a quick sound check and video check then they were ready to open the house, on time at 6:30pm.

The show went flawlessly and received 2 standing ovations . The entertainment director was thrilled and I got a personal thank you from the vice-president of Disney entertainment. Can your entertainer not only handle emergencies but come through with flying colors every time?

If you want to see the audience reaction of that Disney show click here.

Charles Peachock on Google+