Your Event Right!
April 2008, North Vancouver BC
By: Allison Cousins, Rex Image
These days, there are a lot of events competing for guests attention.
You can’t even assume that employees will attend their corporate
functions these days. Your guest has to be engaged and motivated.
So how do you get people to come to your event? The first key is to
plan a great event. The second is event branding and promotion. Here are
5 tips for creating effective promotional materials for your event.
Who is your guest? Brainstorm a profile of your ideal guest. It is key
to understand who you want to attend your event and, more importantly,
what appeals to them.
1. What’s in it for them? Now that you understand your guest,
brainstorm on 10 reasons why they would want to attend your event. Be
specific! Promising “great food and a fun night” is too generic. Prizes,
activities, a particular network or a guest speaker are examples of
features that may appeal to them.
2. The headline! When reading a newspaper, how do you decide which
article to read? The headline! Make the headline meaningful to your
guest. Your headline can even include an enticing reason to attend the
event: “Attend my seminar and learn how to reduce your tax payable by
3. Less is more. Too much text or cheesy graphics are overwhelming. Any
description of the event should be concise and include your best “What’s
in it for them?” statements. Be sure to group the logistical information
in one area so that people can find this critical info at a glance.
4. Call to action! Once you’ve got people all revved up, tell them
exactly what to do next… and be specific. For example, don’t just put a
website address. Say “Visit our website to reserve your seat before July
Ipod Weddings by Ed Mullen
Yet another article about the scourge of the iPod? Well, yes, but this
is one to share with grooms who are being tempted by DIY…
Getting married, mister? Congratulations. Are you handling the details
with your fiancée? Great. Your job is to arrange the music? Brilliant.
You are doing it yourself? How so? Your iPod! You’re kidding, right? How
much are you spending on your wedding? Oh, it’s a control issue? You
want your favourites played? Have you really thought this through?
Didn’t think so.
Although an iPod is a very efficient personal music system, there are
several problems that arise when depending on your iPod to handle your
wedding reception. Your risk vs. reward is not as clear cut as you might
think. So, here comes the “tough love.” I’ve been a mobile disc jockey
since 1979. I have some frank advice for you, since you get only one
chance to handle this wedding music issue…
To put it as simply as possible: Get a pro. A experienced professional
disc jockey solves many reception issues in the planning. Your
preferences and song list should be completely explored months before
the ceremony and delivered by someone who has been there before. The
well-prepared DJ also has professional grade sound equipment and back-up
gear that is dependable.
Got some home speakers? What
are you using for your amplifier? Briefly, my professional DJ speakers
are better than your home speakers. I use powered JBL EON-15 G2
speakers, some of the best portable speakers available. A mobile disc
jockey depends on durable, high-performance equipment gig after gig
Thinking of renting PA gear? Rental equipment costs money. Rental
equipment also costs time. Pick-up and drop-off does not include your
shopping time spent finding the right sound rental company. Got time? In
the week prior to your wedding, time is your most precious commodity.
Does the money-back guarantee give you any comfort if it fails at your
Risky business. You will not get a chance to test rental equipment. You
can’t even do a venue sound check. Are all the connecting wires
included? Are your XLR cables matched with 1/4″ speaker inputs? Too
technical? This is just chapter one. Do you plan on any toasts or
blessings to be delivered? Did you forget about the microphone? Would
you say that all microphones the same?
When you are listening to your iPod, you involuntarily adjust the
volume to your comfort. You’ll soon find out that all songs are not
recorded at the same volume. Since you are pumping raw iPod sound, you
have no volume control or equalizer (bass vs. treble) control. Your iPod
is smaller than your keys. Have you ever misplaced your keys? Doesn’t it
turn your stomach if your drop your digital camera on the floor or your
cell phone on the parking lot? How durable is your iPod? Any back-up
plan? What could possibly go wrong?
What about your song
selections? With an iPod wedding, you’ll get your songs and your random
mix, but, you won’t get pacing, such as breaking up a lengthy,
fast-paced set with one or two ballads. This is especially vital for a
reception including a variety of ages. Are guests of all age groups
“Got my favourite song?” Who will be asked this question? You will. It
seems you forgot about audience requests or what tendencies are
occurring on the dance floor. Observation is one of the most important
skills of disc jockeying.
A pro disc jockey takes the bride’s and groom’s song preferences and
presents them in such a way as to provide the guests with the couple’s
very own musical signature. “Reading the crowd” is the disc jockey’s
primary skill. Do you really think that “the crowd will dance to
anything” anyway? Are you willing to bet your special day on that idea?
Keeps on Slippin’…
Should your wedding day
responsibilities include troubleshooting power needs like batteries or
chargers? Your attention will be directed to many different people
during the ceremony and reception. Every person in attendance would like
some of your time. Not to mention, your new partner. Your priorities
need to be re-examined if your iPod gets as much attention as your new
wedding ring. This statement will also be posed to you, by your new
spouse. Guaranteed. Remember the difficulty that you two had selecting
the names on your guest list? Your time spent with selected family and
selected friends is such a memorable part of the wedding reception, so
hold it as a gift with great value. Is your attention going to be
diverted by sound equipment during the most important day of your life?
Maybe you hade the breakthrough idea to ask a wedding party attendant
to watch your iPod. So it seems that this friend is no longer a guest,
but is now working for you. Maybe you’ll trust a non-guest who will baby
sit the iPod. And maybe you’ll want a first-time chef baking your
wedding cake too. Speaking of other vendors, are you aware that
experienced vendors like the disc jockey, caterer, photographer, venue
manager, video-grapher and wedding coordinator together work out the
final details and fine-tune the timing…during the event!
Is it cheaper? Sure, hiring a
professional costs more than a do-it-yourself project. But, is your
wedding really a do-it-yourself project? This may not be the best time
to show how frugal you are. You are planning the biggest party in your
life and you have the opportunity to select experienced, professional
vendors-so do the right thing. Although your input and your needs are
essential in the planning stage, you must transition to the “guest of
honour” stage to fully enjoy your wedding day. Don’t you want to
experience it together with your new bride as the happy couple?
You will get a fair representation of what the modern disc jockey does
during your personal meeting, months before your event. That’s why I
like meeting the wedding couple to get both bride and groom perspectives
on what to do and what not to do. The clients supply me with a song list
and wedding preference timeline, just like they will tell their needs to
the caterer, florist and so on. Your mix of traditional and modern
choices makes your wedding unique. The DJ is the one who will weave your
choices into a musical tapestry worthy of your most special occasion.
You should know, by now, that
the modern disc jockey is not so anxious to play line dances. This
optional choice is covered in part of the couple’s song-list and is
called the “do not play list”. We understand and appreciate that kind of
instruction. You should know that the modern disc jockey uses judgment
concerning objectionable lyrics. Your iPod does not have that kind of
filter. The glut of sunny wedding music advice on the web does not give
you the real life pros and cons about the modern disc jockey. There are
some major practical limitations when you pre-program the music event,
days before your guests see you walk down the aisle.
Every vendor wants a well-planned wedding, just like every client. So,
let the chefs cook. Let the florist bring the flowers. Let the
photographers shoot. Let the limousine driver drive. Let the
professional disc jockey provide the soundtrack for your
Did you ever hear the old line about “making or breaking the
reception”? What do you think they were talking about? A smart bride
once said, “Good entertainment isn’t cheap and cheap entertainment isn’t
So, you want to have an iPod wedding? Are you kidding?
Party Like Santa! Save Like Scrooge!
November 2008, Vancouver B.C.
By: Deborah Wallace, The Finer Details Event Planning
Just because the economy is shaky doesn’t mean you should scrap the
whole idea and cancel the Christmas Party. Holiday events are to thank
staff for a great year, let clients know you appreciate their business,
and send a message to your stakeholders your business has many reasons
to celebrate. But instead of being wildly extravagant, plan carefully to
make your celebration a delight–with the emphasis on light!
DO be economical and budget conscious about…
• Gift Giving – A few substantial door prizes being raffled off during
the event can replace expensive individual gifts, and keep the energy
• Theme – Pick one splashy element, such as funky ice luge for the bar
with your company logo, instead of endless balloons and themed swizzle
sticks that will get tossed at the end of the night.
DON’T look cheap by cutting the wrong cost…
• Don’t cancel the band and hire your accountant’s brother’s nephew to
play at the party (unless he’s really, really good).
• Don’t rent a cheap room in a cheap hotel. You still want your party
to stand out in people’s mind, and a boring room is not the way to do
• Don’t assume that cocktail receptions are cheaper than a full meal,
unless you just serve veggies and dip. Choose a menu that fits the
budget and create an occasion.
Finally, remember that an event planner, such as The Finer Details can
help to bring your event in on target and budget. A professional event
manager’s fees are worked into the event budget, while staff wages and
time are often an additional and omitted expense. So, rather than
burdening your office staff with party decisions when they should be
attending to customers, allow a professional to focus on the party.
For more tips on how to be frugal this holiday season, check out our
Fore! 3 unique ways to
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Business golf is undoubtedly
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Students of Quantum Business Golf will learn everything that they need
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for more details.
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the choice of top level event planners. You worked hard for a fun and
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an Event Planner
We know your golf tournament
is not only about the game, but also the impression left on your guests.
Vancouver event planner and recognized expert, Deborah Wallace of The
Finer Details Event Planning, will bring her experienced team to the
links. Her extensive background in corporate events makes dollars and
sense, particularly during these less certain times. This professional
team is committed to organizing all your logistics, assisting with
sponsorship as well as being on site to produce a polished experience
that will be remembered for years to come! Deborah and her team are
committed to keeping you on track and within budget.
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5 Tips & Trends in
Corporate Event Entertainment
September 2010, Vancouver BC
By: Ozzie Kipnes
When your party is over, people will talk. What do you want them to
One week after the event, 91% would say the entertainment was the most
memorable part. Here are a few tips to keep the entertainment fresh and
exciting at your next corporate event:
Bring an air of distinction to your next
corporate party with a live Jazz pianist for even just the first portion
of your event.
Having a professional DJ service has many benefits such as the
ability to play during the cocktail reception and then kick it up a
notch when it's time to dance. The right DJ will offer a variety of
music and your guests will rave to you months later. Do you want to
trust your event’s music to a ‘dude’ with an ipod?
Audience participation can bring groups of all sizes together.
Consider bringing in Dance Heads, which is taking Vancouver by storm.
Imagine small groups lip syncing their favourite dance tunes while their
heads and expressions are shows on a screen for all to see. A great way
to energize and engage your guests!
Consider a Latin Band and salsa dancers. Remember that all bands
take breaks so, if your budget permits, hire a DJ to play in during
these awkward lulls.
Corporate event entertainment is by no means limited to music.
For added fun and diversity, think trendy…select a caricaturist, a
temporary tattoo artist, a hypnotist, magician or comedian.
Whatever idea tickles your fancy for
your next corporate event, Rule #1 is to hire a professional. You need
to make sure your entertainment provider has the highest quality of
service, and will meet all of your expectations.
Ozzie Kipnes – Co-owner
Hot Wax Mobile Music
The Secrets to Hiring the
Right DJ Service
By Ozzie Kipnes, Vancouver
It is true what they say about the entertainment at a wedding, it is the
most important component. It is no secret that the market is saturated
with DJs, so how do you hire the right DJ for your budget? What is the
difference between a DJ and a DJ service?
The process of
narrowing it down:
DO NOT make price the deciding
factor. Compile a list of DJs you have seen in the past, ask friends for
referrals, and ask for “preferred DJs” and opinions from your other
event vendors. Then narrow your selection down to 3 professional DJ
services. Look for a DJ Service that stands out from the rest. A DJ
service can be a full time professional DJ company that has a number of
DJ's in their roster. This way, should one get sick, or be unavailable,
you will always have a DJ at your event.
Book your DJ at least 6 months
in advance. Although email inquiries are increasing in popularity,
nothing beats talking with your DJ service over the phone. How they
conduct themselves over the phone is a great indication of how
professional they are and how they perform in public. Things to listen
for… Are they confident? Can they offer you a professional and easy to
read website to refer to? Did they answer their phone when you contacted
them? Was there a quick turn around time when responding to your
inquires? Or do you have to wait days for a reply back? All of these are
indications of whether you are considering a full time professional DJ
service. Do not be fooled into thinking that all-inclusive packages are
the only options for your entertainment. A professional DJ service will
spend the time getting to know you first and talk about pricing last.
Whenever possible, ask to meet
with the DJ or DJ Service at their office/residence. A professional DJ
service will be proud of their environment, and will welcome the
opportunity to display their equipment. This consultation is a great
opportunity for you to meet with them in person, and start to build a
relationship. This consultation will give you an idea of how they will
treat your wedding and making your day a memorable one.
The full package:
For your special day you need
the full package. This includes a professional DJ, high quality
equipment and lighting, and the right songs for your party. Some DJ
companies emphasize the need to have a music library in the tens of
thousands. Ironically, only 60-70 songs will be played, but if they are
not the right songs then your celebration will not be memorable. An
experienced DJ can help with this. Determine a general play list in
advance and provide your DJ with a “do and don’t” play list. Get their
input on your evening. Will they be interactive? Can they help with the
cake cutting ceremony and the first dance? What are their suggestions?
Get it in writing:
A professional DJ service will
send you a contract. Make sure you discuss payment options and
cancellation policies prior to signing. This is the time to determine
additional items like: whether dinner for the DJ needs to be provided,
music request list policies, exterior arrival times, lighting packages,
and determining your assigned DJ. And let’s not forget pricing and extra
Don’t just take
their word for it:
Ask to see the DJ service’s
references and then qualify them by calling. Make sure to contact a
previous client that has used the DJ that is assigned to your wedding
function. A professional DJ service will be honoured and proud to
provide you with at least 3 recent contacts.
Price is one thing - quality
is another. All DJ's are not created equally. A DJ’s rates can vary from
a low $500 to a high $1500 in most Canadian cities. Anyone below $500
should be scrutinized to ensure quality of service, equipment, and
"track record.” Chances are, they are not a professional DJ, and they
may lack experience, and most likely don’t have a license or carry
liability insurance. Most experienced DJ's should be priced around the
$800-1200 range, depending on level of experience. Book the DJ you can
afford and NEVER EVER book the cheapest (unless you are receiving a
discount or there is a valid reason that they are the lowest price).
Trust your gut feeling for the DJ service you like and go with them.
Remember, with hiring a professional, comes peace of mind.
Key questions to
What type of sound system do
they use? A professional disc jockey will use a professional sound
system, not just a home stereo system. You are not only paying for the
DJ to keep your guests entertained, but you need the professional
equipment for good sound quality. Interested in lighting? Ask your DJ to
explain the various options. Make sure that you ask about your DJ’s
equipment backup policy because equipment failure, though rare, can
• Do they have a business license? Ask to see it; don’t just take their
word for it. Would you feel comfortable giving someone $500-$1200 cash
6-12 months in advance if they do not operate as a full time business?
• Do they carry liability insurance? This is crucial! If someone gets
injured at your wedding by accidentally tripping on the equipment, or if
the DJ causes damage to the venue, then you as the signing client would
be protected by the DJ’s insurance coverage. If they are not insured,
simply put, you are liable.
• Do they use AVLA licensed music? (Audio Video Licensing Act) Some DJs
download MP3 files which are condensed, and can compromise sound
quality, and are illegal unless they have a licensed hard drive.
Licensed music are the only form of music your DJ should be using. If
they are using an alternative, you should keep looking.
• Are they members of the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? Consumers can
rest assured that when they find a BBB member they are dealing with a
company that is proud to make a public statement about high ethical
Top 6 Party Favour Ideas
March 2011 by Ozzie Kipnes, Vancouver
Seriously, at our wedding we gave away matches. Everybody did? These
days, besides the covered almonds in tiny white tulle bags, the options
vary from budget, lifestyle, theme and anything else you can think of.
The following is a list of popular favourites that can be both useful,
un ordinary, unique, while personalized.
1). Hand Held Fans-planning an outdoor summer wedding? these will be
useful and your guests will be grateful!
2). Lip Balms- you can't have too many. Some are tinted, some
flavoured, and always useful for the end of the night
3). Candy Table: who doesn't love candy? bring out the 'kid' in your
guests as they indulge in a variety of colors, flavours and textures.
4). Comfy Slippers-seriously...even the guys will love this one. We
love using them in hotel rooms...why not put a smile on your guests
faces as they think of you everytime they slip them on.
5). Mint tins-who doesn't get a craving for a mint? great to store in
the car or purse.
6). Photobooth- Everyone can get in on the fun. One photo for them to
take home, one for you to keep in your guest registration book with
their special comments. Memories to last a lifetime!
Capturing Special Moments
June 2011 by Ozzie Kipnes
Turning another year older can be a life altering experience.
Fortunately the other day, I had the pleasure of being a guest,
celebrating a friend's birthday. It wasn't about me at all. And this
friend is a 'guy', so even better. It was all about the fun, the people,
and the wine.
It was a collection of Steve's family and friends, newborns and
grandmas and dear old dads in their 80's. Real life.
Steve's sisters prepared the food and pretty well did all the work. He
is 50 you know...and it was kind of a big deal. He was all smiles from
ear to ear. You could feel the joy he was feeling as he greeted each
guest at the door. His 2 teenage kids were manning the 'registration
table' and giving each of us our 'name tags'. The whole atmosphere felt
very 'small town and homey' in a very good way. It was like being curled
up in a blanket watching your favourite movie-again. We only knew the
guest of honour and his sisters so the name tags helped say 'hello'.
What did bring everyone together was the photo booth that we brought
(as his gift). For 3 solid hours I played voyeur. I witnessed the
laughter, the smiles, the joy of the moment, the silliness, the "I don't
care what I look like just pose!" the babies on the laps, the
grandparents wearing boas and fedoras as they snuggle with their
grandchildren, the new families, the young couples...it was all there.
Each took a keepsake of their experience and left a piece for Steve in
his scrapbook to reflect upon later in private. Each participant
expressed how much fun they had, and wanted to find another person to
pose with. It was becoming an addiction, or perhaps endorphins were
50th birthday parties are rare and surrounding yourself with those that
you love and represent who you are, and how you got to this point, are a
treasure. Giving them the opportunity to experience 15 seconds of joy
and imprinting it on a piece of paper...well...it's priceless!
Secrets of Hiring the Right DJ Service
It is true what they
say about the entertainment at any event, it is one
of the key components to a great time. It is no
secret that the market is saturated with DJs, so how
do you hire the right DJ for your budget?
The process of narrowing it down:
Do NOT make price the deciding factor. Compile a
list of DJs by asking friends for referrals, and ask
for "preferred DJs: and opinions from your other
event vendors. Then narrow your selection down to 3
professional DJ services. Look for a DJ Service that
stands out from the rest.
Book you DJ at least 6 months in advance. How's
their website? was there a quick turn around time
when responding to your inquiries?
The Majority of bookings are done over the phone.
Should you wish to meet in person, this option
should be available to you.
The Full Package:
The full package includes a professional DJ, high
quality equipment and lighting, and the right songs
for your party. Did you know that only 60-70 songs
are actually played? but if they are not the right
songs for your group, then your celebration will not
be memorable for the right reasons.
Get it in writing:
A professional DJ service will send you a service
agreement. Make sure you discuss payment options and
cancellation policies prior to signing.
Don't just take their word for it:
Ask to see the DJ service's references and then
qualify them by calling.
Price is one thing-quality is another. All DJs are
not created equally. Most good DJ services should be
priced in the $700-$1200 range. Book the DJ service
you can afford and NEVER EVER book the cheapest.
Remember, with hiring a professional comes peace of
5 key questions to ask:
What type of
sound system do they use? a professional service
will invest in their equipment and not use a home
sterio system, and backup equipment will not be
required to sit in their car.
Do they have a
business license? would you feel comfortable giving
someone $500-$1200 cash, 6-12 months in advance ?
* Do they carry
liability insurance? makes sense
Do they use VLA
licensed music? MP3 files are condensed and
compromise sound quality
Are they members
of the Better Business Bureau? consumers can rest
assured that when they find a BBB member they are
dealing with a company that is proud to make a
public statement about high ethical standards.
was Then, this is Now
When parties had a DJ,
Old Time Rock n Roll and Brown Eyed Girl were the
token hits and the DJ called the buffet tables by
That was then...
This is now...
Playlists are customized to the crowd , the
organizer can preview the song list on-line, hear
songs and watch videos right on our website.
Who eats first from the buffet? Well, that can be
determined based on a variety of related customized
Trivia questions and top hits are incorporated into
Now I can't say that this is true with every DJ
company today, but we believe in changing with the
times. Updating equipment and following trends is
crucial to our success and ultimately, the guest
experience. When you are paying a premium rate, you
Hot Wax Entertainment..."Invite us to your next
Vey, just say cheese!
Bat Mitzvahs are a perfect opportunity to bring
family and great friends together. Add a photobooth
in the mix, some fun props and you've got the
perfect formula to create memories to last a
We love to entertain at family events on the
dancefloor as well as off.
Birthdays are a joy, Photoshop me later!
Turning another year
older can be a life altering experience.
Fortunately yesterday, I had the pleasure
celebrating a friend's birthday. It wasn't about me
at all. And this friend is a 'guy', so even better.
It was all about the fun, the people, and the wine.
It was a collection of Steve's family and friends,
newborns and grandmas and dear old dads in their
80's. Real life.
Steve's sisters prepared the food and pretty well
did all the work. He is 50 you know...and it was
kind of a big deal. He was all smiles from ear to
ear. You could feel the joy he was feeling as he
greeted each guest at the door. His 2 teenage kids
were manning the 'registration table' and giving
each of us our 'name tags'. The whole atmosphere
felt very 'small town and homey' in a very good way.
It was like being curled up in a blanket watching
your favorite movie-again. We only knew the guest of
honor and his sisters so the name tags helped say
What did bring everyone together was the photobooth
that we brought (as his gift). For 3 solid hours I
played voyeur. I witnessed the laughter, the smiles,
the joy of the moment, the sillyness, the "I don't
care what I look like just pose!" the babies on the
laps, the grandparents wearing boas and fedoras as
they snuggle with their grandchildren, the new
families, the young couples...it was all there. Each
took a keepsake of their experience and left a piece
for Steve in his scrapbook to reflect upon later in
private. Each participant expressed how much fun
they had, and wanted to find another person to pose
with. It was becoming an addiction, or perhaps
endorphins were being released?
50th birthday parties are rare and surrounding
yourself with those that you love and represent who
you are, and how you got to this point, are a
treasure. Giving them the opportunity to experience
15 seconds of joy and imprinting it on a piece of
your next office Christmas party, people will talk.
do you want them to say about the music?
These days, everyone’s a DJ. And everyone knows someone who knows
someone that’s a DJ. And just like friends shouldn’t let friends
move them, colleagues shouldn’t let their spouses DJ their office
8 Tips on how to hire the right
DJ or DJ Service for your company:
Compile a list of DJs by asking friends
for referrals and ask your vendors to recommend their “preferred
DJ’s: since they work with DJ’s more often, they are likely to know
what’s out there.
Don’t make the price the deciding factor. Pricing is one
thing-quality is another. Price can range from $500-$1500. DJ’s are
not created equal and equipment, experience and level of service all
come into play. $800-$1200 is the average for a Christmas party. The
difference between a bad experience and a great experience can be
DJ service is generally priced higher than just hiring an
independent DJ. The benefits of hiring a DJ service? Most are full
time and offer liability insurance. Also, if the DJ gets sick,
they’ll have a suitable replacement.
How quickly do they return your call or email? We once booked a
client within 60 seconds of answering their call just because we
answered our phone! They were tired of not hearing back from all the
others. You still need to do your homework to ensure they’re the
right fit for you.
Does it look like they invest in their business? How’s their
website? Can you view their music selection on line? Do they offer
lighting? Are they a member of the BBB? Do they have an online
Get it in writing: you should always have a Service Agreement that
requires your signature and outlines the terms and conditions, form
of payment and cancellation policy.
The music: A great DJ will stand up all night and read the crowd. A
Lazy DJ will just press play and take a seat. If your company
strives to be the best in its field, then don’t settle for just a
DJ. Will they have the type of music your group is into? Will it be
radio edited or full of ‘f’ bombs? Will they take direction from the
organizer? Are they living for the moment? Or do they want to get an
A on their report card so that they may see you next year?
Biggest myth? No DJ or DJ Company needs to have backup equipment in
their car, unless of course they use shoddy equipment!
A professional DJ company
will work with you to create that signature event your colleagues
and invited guests will rave about for weeks, months, even years
later. It’s all about the relationship and creating great memories
that help strengthen office morale and increase productivity.
Here’s how a Photo Booth Rental can work for your business
Hot Wax Open Air Photo
Booth recently partnered up with The Living Lab to
provide Photo Booth entertainment at the Interior
Design Show West 2011 ( IDS West 2011). Featuring
200 exhibitors showcasing quality products and
services to an audience of industry professionals,
architects, designers, consumers and media. It was a
What made this unique and exciting for the show’s
attendees at The Living Lab booth, is the unexpected
opportunity to not only see the Calgary made
“Garrison” Chair with its solid wood frames, soy
based foam seating, and complete with a lifetime
warranty , but to actually sit in it and document
their experience for the camera.
Hot Wax Open Air Photo booth spent 3 days at the
show snapping hundreds of custom The Living Lab
branded photos. Guests at the booth posed with
feather boas, wild oversized sun glasses, furry
hats, and glamorous sequined fedoras. The
versatility of the chair was showcased by the
ability to allow each guests to instantly change the
chair cover to reflect their personal taste and
style which coincidentally acted as a backdrop in
Some would say it’s just a photo booth, but at Hot
Wax Entertainment we believe that this can be used
as an effective marketing tool that creates both an
educational and memorable experience for your
Hot Wax Open Air Photo Booth is one of Vancouver’s
best provider for professional photo booth rentals.
Our past happy clients include events for: wedding
receptions, corporate events, bar/bat mitzvahs,
class reunions, graduation receptions, after grads
and birthday parties.
Our experienced staff will work with you to create a
memorable event that is sure to be a hit! Choose
from a variety of 4 x 6 photo options from single
pics to strips. You may also include a custom
scrapbook that your guests can sign.
Hype up your next Tradeshow experience with a Hot
Wax Open Air Photo Booth!
Big Should it be? Make Sure There's Enough Space On The Dance Floor
A few years back we were
entertaining at a wedding at Grouse Mountain. The venue was perfect
for the couple. They did, however underestimate their guests’ desire
to dance. With every hit that was played, a chair , then two, then
eventually as many tables that could be removed from the room, were,
in order to accommodate ALL the guests so that they could join in.
The dance floor simply expanded before their eyes.
Small dance floors are too cramped and big ones make people too
self-conscious. A good rule of thumb: There should be at least three
square feet of dance floor space for every two guests. So, if you
have 150 guests, you would need a 15' x 15' dance floor; 200 guests
would be about an 18' x 18' area; 400 guests calls for about 25' x
25' of space. Ask your reception site about adding on extra flooring
if the standard seems too small (you party animal, you).
Tips for those that want their guests to
have a ‘great’ time:
Align Your Seating Chart
Seat friends and family who love to
dance closest to the dance floor. They'll be more likely to get up
and start grooving early if there's easy access. And once they're
out there, others will be sure to follow. As for your more elderly
guests, do them a favour and keep them away from the speakers.
They'll appreciate it!
Skip The iPod Idea
may have the most genius play list in mind, but there's a reason why
DJs and bands are so common at weddings—they are there to read,
interact and adjust to your crowd's mood throughout the evening and
to make sure everyone is dancing and having a good time (so you
don't have to). Besides, do you really want a friend or family
member getting up to grab the microphone all night to announce your
cake cutting and bouquet toss? Didn't think so.
Don't Limit The Genre
if you both truly love indie rock, there's a good percentage of your
guests who probably haven't heard of Modest Mouse and won't
appreciate it like you will. A play list made up entirely of '80s
dance music, rap or country is the same story. Don't get us wrong:
Including your favourite genre at your wedding is fine (in fact, you
should!) but do so in moderation.
Make Music Interactive
Let guests in on the fun by allowing
them to request songs via the RSVP card. Or set up a poll on your
wedding website and ask everyone to vote on your first dance song or
the last song of the evening. You'll have everyone looking forward
to the voters' choice song reveal.
Create A (Short) Do-Not-Play List
There's no bigger dance floor
turnoff than hearing your least favourite song. (Did someone say
"Chicken Dance?") Put together a short list of please-don't-play
songs for your DJ or band.
Keep The First Dance Brief
You may have fallen in love
listening to "Free Bird," but imagine how long nine minutes and
eight seconds will feel alone on the dance floor. (And if it's
dragging for you, imagine how your guests will feel!) Pay careful
attention to your favourite song's length before committing to it
for your first dance. Same goes for those mother-son and
Musical Note: Time your song and practice dancing to it beforehand.
Even four minutes can kill you if you're just rocking back and
forth. If your heart is set on a certain (long) ballad, try to have
it cut down to a reasonable length. Work with your DJ or band to
come up with the perfect shortened version.
Keep Things Exciting
Give guests a treat they won't
expect by introducing a never-seen-that-before act. Think hip-hop
dancers, break dancers or flamenco dancers. Time it right so that
they make their entrance just as the toasts are wrapping up to get
all your guests back up and moving on the dance floor and out of
their food coma.
Get Out There And Dance!
Set an example for everyone by
getting your newly married butts out there as soon as the dance
floor opens up for the evening. Your guests will notice and be more
likely to join you when they see how much fun you're having.
Your reception will be a long busy
evening, so let your bridal party know beforehand how important it
is to you that your guests dance, and ask them to lead the movement
to the dance floor. That way, if you do get caught up talking with
the grandparents, they'll have your back.
Read more: Wedding Song Tips: 10 Ways To Keep 'Em Dancing All Night
Long - TheKnot.com
Candy Bars at special
When you think of a candy bar buffet, do you instantly get images of
young kids rushing to the table to gobble up sweets?
Actually, candy buffets are for kids of ALL ages. It tends to
satisfy the sweet tooth as well as have that ‘wow’ elegant element.
Recently at a family brunch, we were introduced to our cousin’s
friend who happened to mention that she was considering having a
candy buffet at her wedding. We immediately got excited and started
to share with her our experience.
guests were all adults and they all shrieked with excitement when
they saw an 8 ft table lavishly adorned with jars of all sizes
filled with candy of all textures and flavors. We happened to have a
white theme so most of the candies were either white, cream or a
pale yellow. We also included silver balls as an accent. Each candy
jar was tagged with a description of what’s inside along with a mini
scoop. We included clear bags and encouraged our guests to sample
and scoop. Some walked nonchalantly around with their private single
serving stash and others discreetly hid them in nooks and crannies
so that they could take them home at the end of the night. And of
course most did both!
It wasn’t till we ended our story that our new friend realized that
the candy she was given by our cousin last September was the candy
we had at our event. She loved how they made her feel and how
excited our cousin was when she shared them with her.
Are candy buffets still popular at weddings and events? Absolutely!
music at your wedding is like eating a multi layered slice of cake
without the calories! - By: The DJ’s Girl
Ever wandered by a bakery window and your mouth
started to water when your eyes locked in on a multi
layer cake? Knowing that each layer was going to be a
mind blasting experience?
Then I suggest you treat your music selection at your
wedding in the same manner. Peel off the layers and
provide your guests with a musical journey throughout
Most times I get couples cringing when it’s time to
select the music as many think that they need to pick
each title. Others get giddy as they want to pick each
title and some…well…they just want this task to go away.
I’m here to simplify the process so that It’s fun, you
get to have a say, and your guests will talk about it
for weeks, months even years later! Because we
know…people will talk about your event…what are they
going to say about the music?
The month before your wedding, start communicating with
eachother to determine the styles of music you are
interested in hearing. Remember, music should be thought
of as a ‘gift to your guests’.
Just like a house sells faster when there’s curb appeal,
the cocktail hour should set the tone, create a buzz ,
get your guests excited and ready for what’s to come
If you are having a cocktail hour, there are many genres
to consider as ‘background’ music. It could be jazz,
instrumental, classical, or chill Lounge. Of course
there are more options, but I think you are starting to
get the picture? There’s no right or wrong…it’s what you
want to reflect your distinctive taste and style. If
your venue has a specific atmosphere, you may wish to
parallel the cocktail hour to reflect that. Now you
don’t need to get too specific with the artists, but
relaying your genre preference to the DJ service is
Now let’s move on to the Dinner hour…why not add another
dimension to the atmosphere you’ve started to create.
Keep in mind, dinner service can increase the volume
around the room, people start to talk with others at
their table, silverware is clinking, so background music
will be softer, somewhat less vocals and at a volume
your guests can hear it at, but still talk to each
other. If they’re tapping their toes beneath the
table…shhh…that’s their secret to keep! You do not need
to provide your DJ with an itemized song list, nor do we
recommend you spend time previewing each of these songs,
just specify a genre: Easy listening, jazz, classical,
light rock, etc.
It’s time to dance and kick it up a notch! This is where
your input is most valuable. Now don’t get anxious…we’ve
simplified the process event further. Let’s go with the
20 rule (really a guideline). You might be thinking…Can
I tell my DJ what we want to dance to? Absolutely! Give
us an idea as to what you’d love to dance to. Not
hear…but dance to! How much direction should I give my
DJ? You can provide us with 20 artists, or get really
specific…provide us with 20 of your favorite titles.
Your DJ will then create sets around your personal
requests and if you are open to the DJ getting requests
from your guest, then they will incorporate that into
the musical program as well. How many songs are
typically played at a wedding reception? 60-80 songs.
What if the DJ service doesn’t have the music you are
wanting? Don’t panic! Just share with them your vision.
You youself may even have this select music in your own
collection. And if that’s the case?Bring it the night of
your event and the DJ would be happy to play it.
When you’re ready to start designing your musical
program… Click here:
Why should your DJ have liability insurance at your event? - By Ozzie Kipnes (the DJ’s girl)
Any professional business that is legitimate should have
liability insurance coverage regardless of their
industry. The DJ industry is not regulated so is it
typical for your DJ to have $2 million in liability
insurance? No. It’s becoming more common these days that
those serious DJ’s that do a lot of business that want
to be recognized, do. But don’t expect every DJ to have
this in place, you need to verify. DJ’s bring with them
expensive gear, lighting, equipment and play in both
private and public venues where the inevitable can
June 19 2013
5 reasons why it’s important for the DJ Service to have
Some contracts such as
Government held events, Open to the public events
such as festivals, walkathons, fundraisers and third
party events will require its vendors to provide
proof of insurance before hiring a DJ.
If a guest at an event stumbles
on a speaker stand and knocks over a speaker and it
lands in the dessert buffet, the DJ will be covered
for damages under the liability coverage and the
client is protected.
If the venue or private
residence has faulty electrical wiring and somehow
the equipment is damaged, the DJ may be able to
recoup the damage from the venues insurance company,
or residence insurance policy (hoping that they do
have insurance) and they will have back up insurance
with their own provider.
If your guest injures
themselves by tripping over the speaker stand and
incurs a medical bill, the DJ will have insurance in
place to handle this.
If the DJ equipment causes
damages to your venue or residence, the liability
insurance can help in paying for the repairs and any
Lighting it up on the dance floor -
By Ozzie Kipnes (the DJ’s girl)
June 20 2013
are often asked this question by our clients: “do we
need lighting”? and we always answer “It depends on
a variety of elements when it comes to dance
lighting and up lighting”.
What is your venue like? What time of year are you
having your event? Do you have lighting in the
budget? And is the lighting a part of your overall
What is your venue like:
. Does your venue already provide lighting that you
can use. It could save you money as long as the DJ
has access to this during the night.
. Does your venue have lots of columns? You may
consider showcasing them with up lighting.
. Imagine a rock concert in the dark? Dance lighting
sends energy onto the dance floor and can enhance
everyone’s experience as no one likes to dance in
What time of year is your event held at?
· If it’s during the winter season, then dance
lighting and/or uplighting is highly encouraged
· If it’s during the summer time and your venue has
lots of windows and floor to ceiling windows
specifically, it may not get dark till at least
10pm, so the lighting may not be seen until much
later. So if you wanted up lighting during dinner,
you may want to reconsider this option.
· If you are having a Christmas holiday corporate
event, then the lights make it festive and provide
more of a visual and become part of the décor and
Do you have lighting in the budget:
. Lighting comes in all shapes and sizes and the
right light (even 1) can pack a big punch for
. Lighting packages can vary from $100-$400+
. Up lighting can be static and be set to specific
colors to enhance your décor, the venue and
backdrops. Price can range from $25-$40 each
. Up lighting, when done well and connected 5-6 ft
apart from eachother can be static during the dinner
hour and then change colors during the dance portion
of the evening.
Overall esthetics in your vision:
. Some brides have indicated that the colors of the
dance lighting do not match their color scheme. This
is true. Most lights are green, red, blue, white,
yellow. We encourage them to select a lighting
package because, once the lights are turned down,
and the dancing starts, people cannot see the
centerpieces or any of the other decorations to
notice that the color scheme has changed. They want
to dance and have fun
. If you are having a Christmas holiday corporate
event or even a winter theme wedding, then the
lights make it festive and provide more of a visual
and become part of the décor and theme.
are at least 9 reasons to choose Hot Wax Entertainment …Although our
clients tell us there are many more
-By Ozzie Kipnes (the DJ’s girl)
June 21 2013
We are a full time professional Disc Jockey
and Entertainment Company ready when you
need us (and all calls are returned
promptly!). We have heard countless times,
that the client is still waiting to hear
back from the other DJ’s to get their quotes
so that they can make a decision. Really?
It’s been 2 weeks, and they haven’t called
you back yet? I’m guessing that they do this
on a part time basis and haven’t sorted out
the customer service aspect of their
offering. You have patience of steel!
We use AVLA "radio edited" licensed music.
We were recently handed a USB drive by a
client with some of their favorite songs.
Half way thru the first song we (and the
other 300 guests) heard “this has been
illegally downloaded this off of iTunes!”
suffice to say…we stopped their music
immediately and continued entertaining with
our playlist. Radio edited licensed music
will not have any profanity and has been
legally purchased. We will purchase from
iTunes when necessary as clients nowadays
are wanting unique covers of their favorite
We carry $2 million in event liability
insurance, we have you covered! It’s not a
given, we don’t all have this in place. Not
only are we covered…you have peace of mind.
In case your guests trips on a speaker stand
and causes damage to the venue, we have
insurance. In case that same client trips on
the same speaker stand and damages the
equipment, our insurance will cover it. In
case there’s an electrical power surge at
the venue and it causes damage to our
equipment we are covered…starting to get the
picture. Liability Insurance is just another
great tool in place for the pros to have.
Members of the BBB (Better Business Bureau)
with an A+ rating since 2006 - We are so
confident in our product that we have listed
ourselves with a governing body so you can
rest assured we will deliver what we
promise. We are only one of 2 companies in
the Vancouver Lower Mainaland with this
designation. Everyone can get this…but they
Mackie SRM 450
and QSC K12 professional speakers ensuring
the finest in sound quality – Wait until you
hear your favorite songs on our sound
system! Then for added base we use QSC K12
subs. We do use the best equipment possible
and never have backup equipment in the car.
Anyone that says they do, should upgrade
All lights are LED sound activated, offering
the latest in style, design, and colours
while generating energy in the room – we’ll
give your guests something to talk about!
Have you ever been to a concert in the dark?
No one likes to dance in a dark room either.
Our DJ’s are uniform-dressed and
professional. We have uniforms that are
appropriate for any occasion. This ensure
that your blood won’t boil as you won’t see
ripped denim, stuffy suits and tuxedos that
look like the groomsmen.
Our exclusive and professional DJ’s have
been trained to Hot Wax standards to know
how to capture your unique spirit and taste.
This isn’t their show, you are the client,
music genres and event goal are determined
in advance. If it’s a themed event, the DJ
is a team player.
We are committed to partnering with you to
create that signature event that your guests
will rave about for weeks... months... even
years later! Our business is referral based,
and based on trust. We have to be great!
How to end the night and make it memorable -
By Ozzie Kipnes (the DJ’s girl)
June 26 2013
“This is the last song of the night”...Almost
every DJ will say make this announcement, but if you
choose to stay to the end, you have two options: you can
let the dancing fizzle away slowly, or end it with a
finale. If you choose your last song carefully , plan to
stay till the end and the remaining guests will join you
on the dance floor and it will become one of the most
memorable moments of the night. Some bride and grooms
like to select a slow song, other want it more upbeat so
they can belt out the tunes. There’s no right or
wrong…why not pick one of each? You will definitely feel
the love your guests have for you when you are all
huddled closely on the dance floor.
50 Top Last Dance Wedding Songs.
1. Save the Last Dance For Me- Michael Buble or The
2. I Had the Time of My Life (From Dirty Dancing)- Bill
Medley & Jennifer Warnes
3. Don’t Stop Believin’- Journey
4. Last Dance- Donna Summer
5. Closing Time- Semisonic
6. We Are Young- Fun
7. Glad You Came- The Wanted
8. Home- Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zeros
9. The Time (Dirty Bit)- The Black Eyed Peas
10. Wonderful Tonight- Eric Clapton
11. Take Me Home Tonight- Eddie Money
12. At Last- Etta James
13. Time Of Your Life (Good Riddance)- Green Day
14. Piano Man- Billy Joel
15. Good Life- One Republic
16. Sweet Caroline- Neil Diamond
17. What A Wonderful World- Louis Armstrong
18. Let’s Get it On- Marvin Gaye
19. Today Was a Fairytail- Taylor Swift
20. Marry Me- Train
21. We Are Family- Sister Sledge
22. I Won’t Give Up- Jason Mraz
23. Friends in Low Places- Garth Brooks
24. I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing- Aerosmith
25. Goodnight Sweetheart- Spaniels
26. Shout- Isley Brothers
27. Forever- Chris Brown
28. One More Time- Daft Punk
29. You Are the Best Thing- Ray LaMontagne
30. All You Need is Love- Beatles
31. Send Me On My Way- Rusted Root
32. Come Away With Me- Norah Jones
33. Stand By Me- Ben E King
34. I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You- Elvis Presley
35. You and Me- Dave Matthews Band
36. Don’t Stop Me Now- Queen
37. Let’s Stay Together- Al Green
38. Bless the Broken Road- Rascal Flatts
39. I Don’t Want This Night To End- Luke Bryan
40. Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen
41. Livin’ On A Prayer- Bon Jovi
42. Then- Brad Paisley
43. Home- Phillip Phillips
44. New York, New York- Frank Sinatra
45. Home Sweet Home- Motley Crue
46. Take Me Home- Phil Collins
47. Raise a little hell-Trooper
48. Celebration-Kool and the Gang
49. 500 Miles-the Proclaimers
50. Come on Eileen-Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Best questions to ask a DJ service when
looking to hire a DJ - By Ozzie Kipnes (the DJ’s girl)
If you’ve never called a DJ service to hire a DJ for
your wedding or corporate event, it can be a daunting
task. Asking questions is a good thing. Going with what
your gut says? Is the best way to determine if you’re on
the right track.
June 27 2013
THE most common question is “how much do you charge?”
It’s such a loaded question because pricing varies based
on type of event, length of event, size of event ,
lighting, location of venue, etc. It’s tough to
determine pricing by expecting a generic email response
from any vendor. Just a price is only one layer, and we
all know that there are many layers to an event. The
best way to determine pricing is by having a detailed
conversation with the DJ service and perhaps a
consultation. Consultations allow you to meet the DJ
and/or the owner of the business, view the equipment and
really talk about the logistics of your event and share
Important questions to ask when Hiring a Wedding
- Do you take requests?
- How much time do you need to set up?
- How early do you arrive for setup?
- Will you be charging me for setup and take down?
- Will you be the DJ for my event?
- Do you charge extra to Emcee my event?
- What equipment do you provide?
- Do you provide a written contract?
- Do you charge for travel?
- Can you provide music for the ceremony and the
- How much do you charge for overtime?
- What type of equipment do you use, is it
- Do you have backup equipment on site?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Can we pick the music we want to hear and do not
want to hear?
- Do you provide wireless microphones for toast or
- Do you arrange and execute the timeline at the
- What do you wear to my event?
- Do you provide lighting? Does it cost extra?
- How many years of experience do you have?
- What is the total price for the package?
- How much is the deposit?
- Do you take credit cards?
- How is final payment arranged?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Are there any additional fees I should be aware
- Do we need to provide dinner for the DJ?
- Do you require a table for set up? Do you bring
your own table?
- When do you need to have our music list by?
- What happens if the DJ gets sick? Who’s the back
Making a Grand Entrance! - By Ozzie Kipnes (the DJ’s girl)
June 28 2013
What are the BEST songs to walk into at the
Often called the Grand Entrance…popular these past few
years is the entire bridal party walking into a song
that best represents them that will also set the tone
for what’s to come. I recall back at my wedding in the
mid ‘80s that this was popular too. What was my Grand
Entrance song you ask? Celebration by Kool and the Gang!
Believe it or not…it’s still used today!
So do you just walk in and the music plays? Or does
someone have to say something? Is it followed by a
special dance? Or can you simply walk in? Generally, you
will have this already worked out in advance with your
DJ. Pick a fun song that will get your guests standing,
or cheering, or clapping, or toe tapping! You MC or DJ
will let your guests know that you are about to enter
the room as the newly married couple accompanied by your
wedding party, then the song will be played as your que
to enter the room. They have the option of introducing
each member of the wedding party one by one or group
them all together.
We’ve had some couples select a song that best
represents each bridesmaid/groomsman but
you don’t need to get too technical. We recommend that
you keep it simple.
Important details the DJ or your MC needs to know:
How big is the wedding party?
Do you want them introduced by their names? First and
What song or songs would you like played? If there are
several songs, you may consider just a short snippet
from each song.
Should you save the First Dance for later? Or straight
into it from your Grand Entrance?
That’s totally up to you. Why not keep the moment going
and go straight to your first dance? Your guests will be
captivated as they watch you slow dance gracefully on
the dance floor.
Popular Grand Entrance Songs:
- Another One Bites the Dust-Queen
- Back in Black-AC/DC
- Celebration-Kool & the Gang
- September-Earth Wind & Fire
- Eye of the Tiger-Survivor
- Get this party Started-Pink
- Hockey Night in Canada theme
- I feel Good-James Brown
- Mission Impossible-U2
- Theme from Rocky-Bill Conti
- Everlasting Love-Natalie Cole
- Sexy Back-Justin Timberlake
- Party Rock Anthem-LMFAO
- Give Me Everything-Pitbull
- Crazy Train-Ozzy Osbourne
- Hey Soul Sister-Train