Guest at murder mystery dinner party laughing out loud

How to get the best show for your buck

Getting your room organized in the best way possible is so important to the success of your show. Check out our list of things you can do to get the most out of your room setup.

A note about laughter

Did you know it’s contagious?  Yes, just like the dreaded cold bug, laughter can be transmitted among people who have little more in common than proximity.  So if you want a laughing audience at your event, we suggest you keep your tables as close together as possible while still leaving room for servers to take care of your guests.  Even if your room is massive and your audience is small…the closer the better. Trust us!

Leave just enough room for a dead body

At, Jest, we pride ourselves on involving the audience in every aspect of the show…including the death scene. When setting your tables up close together, remember to leave just enough room in the middle for a dead body (we suggest about 10ft x 10ft maximum). It’s important to stick to these dimensions because if the space is larger than we suggest, you may be spreading your audience out too much. See our post on Table Setup for more details.

Lights, lights and more lights

Most banquet facilities will try to turn the lights down to set a mood for an event. We don’t need any romance at our shows, we want fun! Please turn all the lights all the way up! With low lights, the audience will be timid when it comes to lol-ing. Trust us, the brighter the light…the better.

Family and friends laughing at murder mystery party

Table service between acts please

In order to make sure that your show is the absolute best that it can be, our entertainers will not perform while servers are working in the room or while your guests are eating.  And the reason we don’t do that is very simple.  Attention.  We want your show to be great and for that to happen, our entertainers must have the audience’s attention.  So, we ask that everyone finish chewing and servers take a break while the entertainers are performing.  We want to give you the best show possible and this is one simple way to make that happen.

Let them eat cake…or rolls

If you are planning to wait to serve the meal, make sure that the audience has something to nibble on in the meantime.  This could be a plated salad, bowls of chips or anything that will keep them in the mood to laugh before the dinner bell rings.  

Sounds like fun

We recommend you think about getting a sound system when your audience reaches at least 60 strong. Your show won’t be very much fun if the audience can’t hear it! It’s also a good idea to avoid rooms with vaulted ceilings and concrete floors. Please refer to our post on Sound and why it matters for more details.

Audience participation at murder mystery party

Competing noise

Sometimes banquet space adjacent to yours might be rented by a loud group like a wedding reception with a live band or a group of rowdy bikers practicing their cymbal playing. These kinds of groups can hinder the quality of your show by distracting your audience. So, we recommend that you speak to your venue and make sure that a noisy group is not going to disrupt your fun.

Changing space

Bet you didn’t know this but our entertainers are chameleons. They will change personas several times throughout a show and will need a private space to do so. Great places for entertainers to change are…storage closets, boiler rooms, the boss’ office, unrented banquet rooms, storm drains, etc. Our entertainers are pretty easy going and can change in just about any private space. But, I must let you know that this cannot be a public bathroom. You wouldn’t want an audience member to walk in on a half-dressed actor…this is not that kind of show!

Only superman can see through walls

Visual obstructions such as supporting pillars, middle of the room fireplaces or walls will make it difficult for your audience to enjoy the show. Therefore, it’s important to keep this in mind when you are choosing a location for your spectacular event. Be sure that everyone will be able to sit and enjoy the show from their table without needing to lean around a pillar!

Guest at murder mystery dinner party singing and making their friends laugh

Setting the mood with music

If you would like to play music during the meal breaks or before the show, have at it! Music can be a great tool to get people in the mood for a great show. Just make sure it gets turned off during the acts of the show so it doesn’t distract your audience from the main event!

Sharing public spaces

Sharing is hard, that’s why it’s important to have a private space set aside for your show. Not only will the public be a disruption that could affect the quality of your event but you wouldn’t want any uninvited guests to arrive and enjoy your show duty free!


Correct room setup is essential to having a quality show. Be sure to follow these suggestions so your show can come in and go out with a bang! Read to pull the trigger? Get Pricing