Category Archives: Birthday parties

Backyard Party Planning 101: From Planning Until Awesome Party End

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backyard partyIt’s a great time to plan a backyard party to celebrate an anniversary, mitzvah, birthday, new neighbor, new puppy, old friends, home owners’ association or really, anything. Any day is a good day for a party with friends, family, neighbors, co-workers…you get the idea. But do you have any idea where to get started with your party planning?

Date. For a backyard party, set the date that works for your immediate family and closest friends. Reserve a tent if needed. If your backyard party requires use of your street, such as a neighborhood block party, contact the authorities to find out what dates you can shut down your street.

Theme. Select a theme, and use it to plan your refreshments, decorations and entertainment, even if you use it in subtle ways.

Food. Food is an integral part of every party (you’ve heard the expression, “come for the food, stay for the party” right?), with many different options. If your party is being held in mid-afternoon, a luncheon, or a late evening affair, make your party an assortment of finger food and appetizers that fit with your theme. Having a party that spans the afternoon? Host a buffet meal, so you can have warm food for all your guests as they come.

Decorations. Choose decorations that fit the occasion and theme. If it’s lighting you wish, check with your deejay about dance party packages with bright lighting that sets the mood of your party.

Entertainment. Want a rockin’ party? Hire a deejay to set the mood. Deejays also have a few more benefits for a party, and can also provide lighting, jump houses, outdoor movie screens and glow sticks for a fun, entertaining night.

Keeping all your details organized is the key to successful party planning. Create a checklist and timeline so you can stay on top of things, or use one of these party planning apps. If you have questions about audio visual, lighting or entertainment, contact your deejay. An experienced deejay has seen a party or two (or three or a hundred) and can make recommendations about what they’ve seen work best. They’ll do their best to help make sure that a great time is held by all—from party planning until the last party guest leaves.

5 Teen Birthday Party Ideas That Make You Look AWESOME

summer partyLooking to throw the next Sweet 16 birthday party that makes you a hero? Want to plan a birthday party that your friends text about all summer? An awesome birthday party requires more than good food, more than a lot of guests, more than free wi-fi. No, an awesome teen birthday party requires a “go big or go home” mentality (and we’re not just talking about the movie screen). An awesome birthday party requires the whole teen birthday party package: food, accessories and entertainment that keeps everyone going through the night.

Drive-in movie. Pick out the movie everyone loves (especially the birthday boy or girl!) and gather everyone around an inflatable 12-foot movie screen (perhaps in cars?). Or raise the coolness factor of your party and put the big screen in front of a pool.

Glow-in-the-dark. Make sure you tell your guests to wear black and white, and purchase lots of glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark jewelry. Use glow-in-the-dark plates and cups, and make your centerpiece a chocolate cake (or cake pops!) with neon frosting splatters everywhere! Make the night unforgettable with a glow-in-the-dark dance party, including lighting that makes their jewelry and glow sticks look awesome.

Gaming. Set up a Mario Kart marathon in your backyard, or plan your birthday party around another one of your favorite games. Make or purchase refreshments around your favorite game, and plan your décor accordingly. Spend a night gaming with extra large screens and a host of friends.

Ball game. Rent a baseball park and host an impromptu birthday game. Finish the night off with a big screen movie with everyone on the bleachers with popcorn and peanuts (or ice cream?).

Barn party. String lights everywhere, and create a real country atmosphere with hay bales and a wagon ride. After your wagon ride, return to your decorated hay loft for a country ho-down with a DJ.

Once you’ve chosen a theme for your awesome birthday party, contact the professionals to coordinate entertainment (your drive-in movie, DJ, etc.). Send out the invitations, purchase all the supplies you need for your party and get ready to enjoy an awesome birthday party that everyone’s talking about for months.

5 Ways to Take Your Summer Party Entertainment to the Next Level

summer partyIn the midst of summer party planning? Trying to take your softball tournament, Fireman’s Picnic, summer festival, teen party to the next level? We know a thing or two about parties, and can make some suggestions (five suggestions to be exact) that take your summer party entertainment from 20 years ago into this decade. Best yet, these summer party entertainment ideas are sure to please any demographic of guests, from the youngest to the most experienced.

summer partyBounce House. There’s not a summer party around that wouldn’t benefit from a bounce house. Read more about the benefits of a bounce house, and the kinds of parties suitable for a bounce house (and then add yours to the list).

Gaming systems. Even an outside summer party can benefit from a gaming system, like a Wii system. The system can be paired with a large screen and a competitive spirit that takes your summer party to the next level and keep it going for hours.

Karaoke Player. The fun of karaoke has not lessened over time, especially with the right songs and equipment. Get your guests jumping with a karaoke machine and lighting that can get a crowd at a water park, teen birthday party, Fireman’s Picnic or any summer party up on stage.

DJ. For a younger crowd, pair a DJ with an interactive teen tent so they can text and enjoy technology as part of the fun. For a more mixed demographic, invite a DJ into the mix so your guests can enjoy dancing and music as part of the summer party.

outdoor movieOutdoor Movies. How’s this for fun? Take your summer party to the next level with a big screen, Blu Ray Digital Sound & Video. If your crowd is in a parking lot, you can also use an FM Transmitter to listen to the movie through car radios.

Need any more ideas? Contact us. We can tell you what we’ve seen work, and what has bombed at other summer parties. We can also make recommendations based on the demographic of your guests, and type of summer party. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to blow your guests away with these five next-level summer party entertainment ideas, lots of promotion and a great lineup of summer fun.

When Luck is Not on Your Side: Signs of a Bad DJ

LightspacePlayYou shouldn’t need the luck of the Irish, or a rabbit’s foot, to find a good DJ, right? Wrong. Truth is there are bad DJ’s playing bad music at birthday parties, school dances, proms, mitzvahs, summer festivals and any other kind of event in Wisconsin and Illinois. Don’t be the unlucky party organizer stuck with a bad DJ. How can you tell the good from the bad DJ? Here are signs you shouldn’t hire that bad DJ:

  • No dancing. If the DJ can’t get the guests dancing at a birthday party, summer festival, wedding or school dance, what makes you think your party will be any different? The right DJ has a good mixture of songs, personality and entertainment that can get a party going, and the guests dancing.
  • No volume control. You don’t need a DJ that shakes your dinner plates at all the wrong times. Part of being a DJ is knowing when to rock it, and when to be the background. Choose a DJ appropriate for your affair—that can be background music at your business dinner, company holiday party or wedding and rock it when the dance floor is open.
  • No good songs. Everyone’s version of “good” songs is different, but it’s up to the DJ to ask about the demographics of your guests and adapt accordingly. A bad DJ approaches a party with a “one size fits all” mentality.
  • No “extras.” What separates a good party from a great party is the atmosphere. Beyond the guests and DJ, what sends a party over the top is lighting, laser light shows, party supplies, and even big screens that are interactive. If your DJ doesn’t offer these “extras” that could elevate your party, the alarms for “Bad DJ!” should go off. Find a DJ that can.
  • No questions. The right DJ for your party is the DJ that asks questions and plans accordingly. If your prospective DJ is not asking questions so he can wear the correct attire, play the right songs and create the best party experience possible, that DJ is not the right DJ for you.

Want to find out if the DJ you’re considering is a bad DJ? Ask for references and dates when you can stop in and check out their play list and party protocol at one of their bookings—at a wedding, prom, school dance, mitzvah or party in your area. Check out their social media sites to see what they’re up to. Ask your friends, neighbors and family for information. Then, put that lucky rabbit’s foot away and call a DJ with experience, an awesome play list and all the extras you want. You shouldn’t need luck to figure out if your DJ is a bad DJ.

5 DJ Myths Made to be Busted

LightspacePlayIf you’re planning a party—-school dance, wedding, prom, birthday party, company party—whatever kind of party, you’ve undoubtedly thought of using a deejay for your party entertainment. Before you dismiss the idea based on stories you’ve heard, let us debunk some of the major DJ myths:

  • DJ’s only BLAST music. One huge benefit of having a DJ for entertainment at your party is volume control. Having soft background music when you need it (and loud dance music when needed) is invaluable for providing a fun event where everyone can mingle.
  • DJ’s don’t take requests. A good DJ allows takes requests at your party, and even in advance by asking guests on the invitation if there is a song they would like to hear.
  • DJ’s only play dance music. Musical chairs? Freeze games? Laser light show? Group video games? A good DJ is versatile, and can keep your guests moving with music and games at any party—birthday parties, weddings, holiday company parties, school dances, proms and post prom parties.
  • DJ’s only provide music. Do you need someone to give instructions for seating guests? Or call out the winner of contests and raffles? Ask your DJ. The DJ can make announcements, direct guests’ attentions to a certain area or assist with event directions.
  • DJ’s take up a huge amount of space in your venue because of all their equipment. When you’ve got a big crowd and you’re tight on space, a DJ takes up less floor space than a band.

When you do choose a DJ for your party, don’t just choose any DJ.  There is a reason that DJ myths are out there. Once you’ve selected the right DJ for your party, book early. Don’t wait to get on the calendar of a good, experienced DJ. Contact a good DJ ASAP. The best DJ’s calendars fill up quickly, and you don’t want to be stuck with a DJ that fits one of these myths.

Selecting the Right DJ for Your Party

DSC00036_350_195We’ve all been at a boring party, complete with the lame DJ. Or worse, the friend of a friend who thinks he or she is a DJ and has brought out their boombox, phone, speakers and CDs. And though they think they are bringing down the house, from the look of the bored faces, they are, well, NOT.

So how can you avoid that scenario at your party? Simple: just choose the right DJ for your party, school dance or company holiday party. And while the answer is simple, choosing a DJ that keeps your guests entertained is more complex than checking the yellow pages—but it’s pretty easy when you use our checklist to select the right DJ:

  1. Reputation. A reputable, quality DJ has more than just speakers. They have a huge selection of songs, equipment suitable for different size dance floors and a reputation for rockin’ dance parties. An experienced DJ also has the business tools to back up their reputation. What does that mean? That means they have an organized calendar and tools to make sure they follow up with you about last minute details. What good is a DJ who can deliver on an awesome party but doesn’t show up?
  2. Price. Yes, your friend says he’ll do your party for “almost nothing.” Remember, you get what you pay for. Does he have the equipment that works for your large space? Does he have the selection of songs necessary to keep your party goers on the dance floor? Cheapest is not always the best.
  3. Date. Set the date of your party or dance well in advance to ensure you can choose the right DJ for your bash. If you are in a last minute bind, call a list of reputable DJ’s to see who has your last minute date open.
  4. Ask your friends, schools or bosses. Schools hire DJ’s for dances. Companies hire DJ’s for holiday parties. Your friends hire DJ’s for weddings, birthdays, neighborhood parties, etc. Ask them what DJ’s they would recommend or not recommend, and why. DJ’s are versatile.  A good school dance DJ can cater to many party crowds, including yours.

Finding the right DJ is only one part of your party planning equation, but it’s one of the most important details—one that could make your school dance, birthday party or company holiday party the best in all of the midwest, or the worst. So, don’t procrastinate, find the right DJ today—and reap the rewards of your rockin’ dance party.

The Right Equation for Party Planning

DSC00036_350_195Planning an engagement party? Mitzvah? Birthday or anniversary party? No matter what kind of celebration you’re planning, the equation for a successful party is comprised of the same parts. How you put all the parts together can be the difference between a rockin’ success and a ho-hum gathering. Get started early. Use our party planning equation as your party planning checklist so you can coordinate the perfect, rockin’ party that everyone enjoys:

Date. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Just set a date. However, setting a date is far more complicated. Choose several possible dates that work, and contact your deejay and venue to see which date is available. Or contact the venue for available dates within the time frame you need. If you want to save money, hold your party on an “off day”—a Friday or Sunday when events are typically not held—when venues offer discounted rates.

Venue & location. Booking a venue is all about your guests and preferences. Choose a venue that fits your style and budget, and has ample space for your guests and a large dance floor with space for your DJ. If you have out-of-town guests, consider venues attached to or near a hotel.

Theme. A party without a theme is an event without direction. Decide on a theme, and use it to plan your refreshments, decorations and entertainment, even if you use it in subtle ways.

Food. Food is an integral part of every party (you’ve heard the expression, “come for the food, stay for the party” right?), with many different options. If your party is being held in mid-afternoon, a luncheon, or a late evening affair, make your party an assortment of finger food and appetizers that fit with your theme. Having a party that spans the afternoon? Host a buffet meal, so you can have warm food for all your guests as they come.

Decorations. Choose decorations that fit the occasion and the theme. Make sure you check with the venue if you want to put up decorations that attach to the wall or ceiling. Many venues have specific guidelines for decorations. If you can’t hang decorations, consider décor like table centerpieces and lighting. If it’s lighting you wish, check with your deejay about dance party packages with bright lighting that sets the mood of your party.

Entertainment. Want a rockin’ party? Hire a deejay to set the mood. Deejays also have a few more benefits for a party, and can also provide lighting, jump houses and glow sticks for a fun, entertaining night.

Keeping all your details organized is the key to successful party planning. Create a checklist and timeline so you can stay on top of things, or use one of these party planning apps. If you are party of a committee or group planning a party, make everyone aware of their assignments and give them a clear deadline. Once you’re done with all the party planning, kick your feet up and enjoy the fruits of your party planning efforts.

Don’t Forget the Jump House!

Make your next event memorable with a jump house!
Make your next event memorable with a jump house!

One of our favorite highlights of any party is a jump house. That’s right, a jump house—those inflatable play houses that kids swarm to like bees to a perfume bottle. These inflatable fun houses are often overlooked by event planners (probably because they’re not 5, then they’d always be remembered!), but can make any event successful and enjoyable—by kids and parents!

Best yet, jump houses are not an investment that you have to delay retirement to afford. So, if you’re planning one of these events, don’t forget to include renting a jump house on your list of party must haves:

  • Birthday parties. Amaze your kid and their guests by surprising them with a jump house. You’ll be their hero.  They’ll talk about it for months!
  • Block parties. Even if they weren’t planning to come, your neighbors will flock to your Block Party if they see a jump house.
  • Anniversary parties. Give the kids at your party something to do while the adults talk.
  • Retirement parties. If you’re hosting a family party at your house, protect your house and flower beds from kid destruction. Distract them with a jump house.
  • Casual wedding parties. Having a pig roast? Give the adults fun games (card games, horse shoes, bean bag toss, etc.) and give the kids a jump house. Make it memorable by giving everyone, young and old, something to do!
  • Community events. Planning a school fair or a Family Fun Day? Nothing says ‘fun’ like a jump house.
  • Church picnics. Want to give your little church members something to do, and draw in families from your community? Rent a jump house.

So don’t be afraid to advertise that there’s a jump house at your next event (think big block letters and bright colors on your poster or web page!). Kids flock to the mere mention of them, as do their parents. And they’ll both thank you, in between smiles and giggles!

 

4 Birthday Party Themes Your Teen Will Text About All Summer

LightspacePlayHave a teen that can’t celebrate his or her birthday with friends because school’s out? Wow your teen and their friends with an unforgettable night they won’t forget. We’ve all seen those boring parties, so use these themes to kick your teen’s party up a notch:

  • Under the Stars. Remember, your kid is a teen, so you can’t cheap out with those cut out paper stars. Think lights…Christmas lights. Drap LOTS of lights over a table, and scatter candles across the table for mood lighting. Be creative with your refreshments and use lots of glitter. Finish the night off with a dance party or outside star-studded movie they’ll never forget.
  • Glow In the Dark. Make sure you tell your guests to wear black and white, and purchase lots of glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark jewelry. Use glow-in-the-dark plates and cups, and make your centerpiece a chocolate cake (or cake pops!) with neon frosting splatters everywhere! Make the night unforgettable with a glow-in-the-dark dance party, including lighting that makes their jewelry and glow sticks look awesome!
  • Retro. Pick a decade. 50’s sock hop? 80’s big hair? Make invitations that tell your guests to dress in poodle skirts or parachute pants. Use grease or lots of hair spray. Bring out your old jewelry or browse through a thrift store for decorations. Get an old soda fountain and serve ice cream for your sock hop, or find some Tab cola, pop rocks and nerds for a neon array of rad refreshments. Arrange the appropriate playlist with your DJ, and dance the night away!
  • Beach Party. Make it a pool party to remember. Plastic flamingos, cake shaped like a surfboard and a couple of palm trees. Use licorice for your pool noodles refreshments. Turn on the music while everyone’s in the pool, or watch an outdoor beach-themed movie.

Where do you start? Make or buy a personalized invitation with one of these themes, and contact your DJ with the date. Plan your refreshments and decorations, and set a playlist or movie that fits your theme. Parents, rent a movie so you can stay out of your teen’s 80’s big hair, and let your teens have fun!