Whenever you are dealing with any sizable crowd you can expect only 20% of people to get involved. Only 20% are going to shake it on the dance floor. Only 20% are going to get silly with the photo props. Only 20% will stick around to the very end. The other 80% will sit quietly on the sidelines absorbing the atmosphere.
I don’t know about you but these numbers have never sat well with me. I’m always a part of the 20% doers and really appreciate it when others get involved too. So what are you supposed to do to get the reception hopping??
Hire excellent event entertainers first! If your entertainers are mild mannered or not super qualified for weddings, expect a ho-hum response from your guests. There is nothing worse that an event where there is no chemistry between the entertainers and the crowd. I would even go so far as to hire one or two professional crowd pleasers. You know the people that walk around getting everybody hyped (think cruise ship director). If you need to save some cash ask an outgoing friend or relative to take on this task, just make sure to have them introduced to the crowd first.
Activities are a great way to inspire people to get off of there rears. The typical guest book can be transformed into more elaborate spectacles. Right now there are a ton of new options for unusual guest books. Fingerprint trees get everyone excited about the visual outcome. Receipt box guest books invite people to write more than their signature. Have you heard of a cootie catcher? These area really fun interactive way to educate your guests on your quirky habits and tid bits.
Remember that no matter what, this day will be amazing because a couple has decided to become one. Even if no one jumps up to the Electric Slide or shoots off finger pistols with the photo props this is going to be one of the very best days EVER!