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  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 $5000.”
 
 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 1st.”
IPod Weddings     see video
 
 
 Ipod Weddings by Ed Mullen
 http://www.mobilebeat.com/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.


 
Technical Difficulties
 
 
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 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 wedding reception?
 
 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?


Musical Magic-or Mayhem?
 
 
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 attending?
 
 “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?


 Time 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!


Money Well Spent
 
 
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.


Get Real
 
 
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 once-in-a-lifetime reception.
 
 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 good”.
 
 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 level high.
  
 • 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 that.
  
 • 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 website
http://www.thefinerdetails.ca
 Fore! 3 unique ways to bring your next golf tournament or golf game to new heights
 
 
 1. Quantum Business Golf
  
Business golf is undoubtedly the best activity for relationship building. However, done poorly it can have disastrous effects on relationships and potential business. Students of Quantum Business Golf will learn everything that they need to know in order to build more profitable relationships on the golf course and get way more enjoyment from the game at the same time.
 
 Visit
http://www.quantumbusinessgolf.com for more details.
 
 2. Promotional Items- EmbroidMe
  
"When the tournament is done and everyone is at the 19th hole reliving the fun day and getting their KP and Longest Drive prizes, make sure the quality of the event shows in the quality of your event schwag. Printed tees to Pro V1s, EmbroidMe is the choice of top level event planners. You worked hard for a fun and successful day, and EmbroidMe works hard to help you Get Noticed!"
 
 Visit
http://www.howtogetnoticed.ca for more details
 
 3.Hire 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.
 
 Visit http://www.thefinerdetails.ca for more details.
  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 say?
 
 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:
 
 • Sophistication:
Bring an air of distinction to your next corporate party with a live Jazz pianist for even just the first portion of your event.
 
 • Tunes: 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?
 
 • Fun: 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!
 
 • Spice: 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.

 
 
No-limits: 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
 604-649-6919
The Secrets to Hiring the Right DJ Service

January 2010

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.

Make contact:
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.

The consultation:
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 charges.

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.


Pricing:
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 ask:

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 occur.

• 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 standards.

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 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 paper...well...it's priceless!

The 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.

 
Make contact:
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 Consultation:
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.

Pricing:
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 mind.

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.

That 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 their number.
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 song mash-ups.

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 deserve more.

Hot Wax Entertainment..."Invite us to your next party!"

 Oye Vey, just say cheese!


 

 


Bar & 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 lifetime.


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 'hello'.

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 paper...well...it's priceless!
After your next office Christmas party, people will talk.
 
What 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 Christmas party.
 
 
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 $200.
 
 
* A 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 inquiry form?
 
 
* 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 busy weekend.

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 each photo.

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 targeted audience.

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!
danceHow 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
 
 You 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
 
 Even 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 father-daughter dances.
 
 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.
 
 Musical Note: 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
http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-music-ideas/articles/wedding-dance-floor-tips.aspx?page=5#ixzz1bSXfwRDF
   Candy Bars at special occasions


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.
 Our 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!

 Picking 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 the evening.

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 next.
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 recommended.

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: http://www.hot-wax.com/receptionsongs.html
Ozzie Kipnes

  Why should your DJ have liability insurance at your event? - By Ozzie Kipnes (the DJ’s girl)
June 19 2013

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 happen.

5 reasons why it’s important for the DJ Service to have coverage:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. If the DJ equipment causes damages to your venue or residence, the liability insurance can help in paying for the repairs and any legal claims

  Lighting it up on the dance floor - By Ozzie Kipnes (the DJ’s girl)  June 20 2013

 We 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 esthetic vision?

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 the dark.

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 theme.

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 minimal cost.
. 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.

 There 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

1.

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!

2.

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 songs.

3.

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.

4.

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 don’t.

5.

We use 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 their equipment.

6.

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.

7.

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.

8.

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.

9.

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 Drifters
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)
June 27 2013

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.

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 your vision.

 Important questions to ask when Hiring a Wedding DJ Service:
  • 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 reception?
  • How much do you charge for overtime?
  • What type of equipment do you use, is it commercial grade?
  • 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 speeches?
  • Do you arrange and execute the timeline at the event?
  • 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 of?
  • 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 up?

  Making a Grand Entrance! - By Ozzie Kipnes (the DJ’s girl)  June 28 2013

What are the BEST songs to walk into at the Reception?
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 last names?
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