Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Candy Candy Everywhere!

Everyone knows that food and desserts are the best party of a social event, but how can you take it one step further?  My favorite trend right now is the Candy Buffet.  Imagine: a large table chock full of goodies in beautiful jars and cute bags that guests can take home.  It's the perfect interactive display!

Candy buffets are a relatively new concept.  Brides and children's parties have always given away favors, but Candy Buffets allow the guests to pick and choose which goodies they take home.  Got allergies? Hate coconut?  Now everyone can have exactly what they want!

Another great thing about Candy Buffets is that they are completely personalized.  Each candy or sugar item offered up can be color coordinated to match your event.  Petite cakes, chocolates, gummy candy, even name brand candy can be monogrammed or made into a special souvenir. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Halloween Horrors (or Fun)!

Although it is only July, we're continuing our look at future holiday events with Halloween.  Halloween is a day that gets overlooked by most people, for some it signals the start of the holiday season.  October 31st has always been one of my favorite days of the year; pretending to be someone/something else and eating all the sugar your stomach can handle.  For others, it's a literal nightmare, planning and executing the perfect event.

Halloween is one of those days that people think will just plan on it's own.  Invite some people over, put on a funny/scary costume, and sit around eating and drinking all night long. While there is nothing wrong with that, wouldn't it be more fun to create a Halloween to never be forgotten?

During Halloween, most people will show up in costume, but why not hire a face painter or make up artist to create the perfect look.  Instantly become a vampire, werewolf or pirate and scare your friends.

For those who don't celebrate Halloween, harvest festivals are an awesome way to pass the holiday.  Gather up the neighborhood, hire a bounce house, some carnival games, and pony rides to give the kids a special treat.  Parents will enjoy the security of their own neighborhood and relax about sugar overload.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cirque Without Leaving Your Hometown

Ever want to see a cirque show, but don't want to travel all the way to Las Vegas?  Now you can bring the wild world of Cirque into your own home!  Cirque-style shows have been popping up over the past few years, which means you can bring the show into your own back yard or local venue.

Cirque shows never cease to amaze audiences.  The flowing choreography and the aerial acrobatics are a wonder to the eyes.  These shows are appropriate for any age or event size.  They are also not as expensive as you might think.  Groups are always competing for business which guarantees lower prices.  Working with an event planner can also help absolve the fees; planners usually get big discounts not available to the general public.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Get Ready for Inflatable Fun!

Inflatable bounce houses are a staple at every child's birthday party, even some holiday gatherings.  But did you know there is more to inflatables than bounce houses?  Inflatable entertainment has vastly grown over the years and now boasts movie screens, water slides, Velcro walls, even bungee!

One of the most popular new inflatable is the water slide.  Children (and adults too!) will love attaching the hose to the slide and climbing up through an inflatable maze.  Once they reach the top, they slide down the water luge to the bottom.  It's an inexpensive way of keeping the kids cool in the summer time if you don't have a pool nearby.

Another booming idea is the use of the inflatable movie screen.  Projectors send the movie out to 20 foot or bigger screens, allowing the whole neighborhood to watch a movie.  Even better, rent one for your next family reunion and play old home videos!

Ever wonder what it feels like to be a fly on a wall?  Why not rent a Velcro wall and find out?  Users put on a suit made of Velcro, hop on a trampoline, and smack into an inflatable wall with the opposite Velcro.  Guests will stick to the wall in all different positions and remain until they are removed.  They can feel what it's like to be aerial!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Christmas in July?

Yes, Christmas in July.  In the world of event planning, it is never too early to start thinking and planning your next event.  So while Christmas is still 171 some odd days away, you should already be thinking about holiday parties.

Christmas brings to mind many different things for different people.  Some people think snow, family togetherness and singing carols by a fire.  To others, it means shoveling sidewalks, stale fruit cake from your crazy aunt, and Christmas caroling in subzero temperatures.  One sure fire way to beat those "holiday blues" is by throwing an amazing Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa event.  People think that putting a bowl of egg nog on a table and inviting the neighbors is a party, but they are sadly mistaken.

There are literally infinite amounts of things you can do at or for a holiday party (go ahead and count.  I dare you).  Run out?  We'll tell you some of our favorites:
  1. Hire a comedian.
  2. Have a human Christmas Tree hand out gifts.
  3. Hire Dickens style carolers to perform.
  4. Have a mariachi band perform Feliz Navidad to your heart's content.
  5. Have it catered with holiday foods from around the world.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Masquerades and Murder Mysteries

Who says all the fun has to stop at parties when you are an adult?  What's wrong with dressing up like your favorite comic book hero at 45?  Or pretending to be Sherlock Holmes while solving a murder?

We think it's never too late to live out a dream or a fantasy.  One way to do just that is to host a costume party.  It doesn't have to be Halloween to don a fairy costume and a handful of pixie dust.  Costume shops are open year round in all areas, housing a vast selection of masks and costumes.  Why not add a little more fun by holding a costume contest?  A special prize will motivate party guests to wear their best ideas and creations.

If dressing up is not your style, but you still want to play detective, murder mysteries are just the ticket.  Companies will stage a simple or elaborate (depending on the budget) murder and the guests find clues and try to solve it by the end of the night.  Prizes are also up for grabs at this event, and guests will get lost in the world of mystery and innuendo. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Destination Weddings

In tough economic times, brides are looking for more ways to save a few dollars on their wedding expenses.  A new trend among conservative budget brides is destination weddings.  Destination weddings combine the costs of a wedding with the costs for a honeymoon, usually a fair amount cheaper than the average wedding.  Also, what's more romantic than getting married on an exotic beach at sunset?

If wedding guests are an issue, why not only invite a select few?  Most people will pay for their own airfare and accommodations, and it will help weed out the guests who are only going for the free alcohol.  With the money you save, you can afford to pay for a few select individuals who's presence is required (i.e. parents). 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Learn to Dance the Easy Way

Let's face it.  We were not all blessed with the ability to hustle like Tony Manero or be a prima ballerina.  Some of us have to work at it and that's where dance instructors come into play.  There are literally hundreds of different types of dances, but for now, we'll focus on the more common ones.

Hiring a dance instructor is a very smart idea.  Whether you are learning to foxtrot for an upcoming wedding, or trying to find a new idea for that weekly neighborhood party, nothing satisfies like an instructor.  They are skilled in various types of dance, including the ever popular ballroom and swing.  You can join a class or hire someone for private lessons; they will come to you!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Add Some Flair With International Entertainment

If you couldn't tell by reading this blog, we are not fans of the ho-hum, same old same old party routine.  We like to shake things up and create a buzz and a stir among party goers with our creative ideas.  A new trend that we have seen emerging is the use of international talents to liven up an event.  Don't know what we are referring to? Here are a few explanations:

  1. Polynesian Entertainers:  Commonly known as "hula dancers" Polynesian entertainers can brighten and loosen up an event with its cool vibes and spectacular entertainment.  They incorporate hula, drums and fire to create a performance that will delight even the most hard to please guest.  Some companies also offer Hawaiian catering included with their performances, complete will a whole roasted pig!
  2. Belly Dancers:  Belly dancers have been around forever, but are sometimes considered "taboo" in some circles.  This is hardly the case.  Belly dancers are a good idea to have with large parties, generally in bigger ballroom type settings.  Place a few around the room to get the guests up and moving to the beat; it's an instant party when they arrive!
  3. Mariachi Groups:  Arriba!  Mariachi groups have been entertaining guests for centuries, but has only recently made a splash on the private party scene.  They can often be found in any decent Mexican restaurant, but they can bring that flair to your next event.  No time to go to Mexico this summer?  Throw a fiesta, complete with margaritas, taco makers and, of course, Mariachi!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Party Ideas That Will Shock and Amaze

I know I refer to this blog as the cure for the common event, but I like to think that this is true. Nothing can spoil an event or reputation by bad entertainment.  Let's face it, besides the food and entertainment, what else do guests talk about?  The carpeting?

Previous entries have discussed children's birthday parties, corporate events and different types of music, but what if you are REALLY going for something out of the box?

One of my favorite party ideas is concentrating on the paranormal.  I'm not talking about Ouija boards or seances.  There are people who specialize in entertaining the curious side of the human imagination, including hypnotists, palm/personality readers and the more practical, hand writing analysts. 

Hypnotists have been around for centuries, mostly believed to be a legitimate medical practice.  These days, it's mostly used to entertain the masses.  Hypnotists use comedy in their acts, making subjects do humorous things to get the audience interested.  A good hypnotist can have it's audience rolling in the aisles with laughter.

Palm/Personality Readers are somewhat new to the party scene.  Once a staple at carnivals and Renaissance Faires, palm and personality readers are on the up and coming.  Hire one to stroll around while guests eat, dance and participate in auctions.  They provide guests insight into their lives, backgrounds, personalities and futures.

Hand writing analysts are a rarity in the party world, but fun nonetheless.  Analysts can  tell a lot about an individual by looking at their signature, much the same way a palm reader can by looking at your hand.  Be the first one to feature this new act at your event!

Friday, June 17, 2011

How to Throw a Perfect Children's Party

A majority of the time, people only throw parties in three instances: weddings, funerals, and children's birthday parties.  Since we are not in the business of funerals, we choose to focus on children's parties.  A lot has changed since you were a child, gone are the days of next door neighbors dressed as clowns and a home made, lopsided birthday cake your mom baked.  Parents are choosing to spend huge amounts of money on children's entertainment, but the good news is, you can have a fabulous party with a frugal budget.

A few ideas that are trending right now are fun, simple ideas that will really keep the children entertained and the parents in awe.

  • Trackless trains:  If you have a bigger space, such as a park or a large neighborhood, nothing pleases kids more than a ride on a train.  Companies bring the train right to you and offer nonstop rides that are sure to put a smile on anyone's face.  Some are even big enough to seat that adult train enthusiast you have in the family!
  • Puppet Shows:  Tired of the same old clown and dance routine?  Why not hire a puppeteer?  Bring to life a child's favorite story or fairy tale through puppets. Or, have the children create their own puppets out of paper bags and let them show their imaginations!
  • Story Tellers:  Speaking of telling stories, why not hire someone to do it for you?  Performers across the country are specializing in story telling, which teaches children patience (which is sometimes hard with the under five crowd) and a life long appreciation for reading.  Get them hooked early!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What is Zydeco Music?

If you're like me, you might have been wondering what exactly is Zydeco music? It has been rising in popularity over the years and making appearances at functions all across the world.  But what is it?

Zydeco music has deep roots in the south, mainly Louisiana.  It stems from the lower class struggle and uses instruments easily found on the bayou.  Combining the accordion and "washboards", Zydeco music is upbeat and was used to liven the spirits at family dances.  Originally, lyrics were sang in French, but as English became the common language in the south, Zydeco was altered to fit the masses.  The original French can still be found in rural parts of Louisiana and Texas.

So why does this all matter?  Knowing more about the roots of the genre can make it easier to make decisions for event entertainment.  Having a Mardi Gras party?  Zydeco is the perfect compliment to King cake and Cajun food.  So kick off your shoes and start up a quick step because chances are, you'll be partying to Zydeco real soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Off The Beaten Path

The trend these days is to be original, not booking the same old venue for an event.  So why not ditch the boring reception hall and go with something a little more hip?

Venues such as concert halls and local attractions (aquariums, theme parks, etc.) are the prefect place to host the perfect event.  A certain theme park will even host your fairy tale wedding in front of their castle, complete with a horse drawn carriage.

Concert halls are another trendy option for individuals who prefer a more casual, fun event that does not allow for stuffiness and up tightness.  You can dance, make noise and even live out your life long dream of being a rock star by performing karaoke on stage. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Picnic Time!

As summer is rapidly approaching, the thought of entertaining and cookouts fill your mind.  That is, until, you have unexpected family or friends arrive from out of town, demanding that you create fun summer memories.  What to do?  Most people cower at the idea of last minute event planning, but it is a lot more simple than it seems.  Especially when you have someone else do all the work.

Nothing pleases a diverse crowd more than a picnic.  There is something for everyone:  the jock, the nature enthusiast, the foodie, the zen, and most importantly: the kids.  Whether the picnic be for ten people or a hundred, there are fun filled activities that are sure to create a memorable summer.

If you are trying to keep the kids entertained while the parents catch up on old times, hire a clown.  Clowns can be off putting, but the right clown can give you the most bang for your buck.  Some clowns are all encompassing, meaning they can face paint, juggle, make balloon animals, and put on a show.  If the clowns are a little bit too scary for younger kids, then try a nanny service.  They come to you prepared with games and activities to create a fun day for the youngsters and will distract the older ones from being babysat.

While the kids are away, the adults will play.  Why not turn your picnic into a fiesta?  Companies can provide you with your very own margarita machine the will cool your body and mind.  Sit back, relax and imagine you are on a beach in Mexico!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mentalist vs. Magician: They Are Not Created Equal

Every thought about hiring a magician or a mentalist for an event?  Couldn't decide which was better, or do not know the difference between the two?  Don't worry, this is a common concern in the world of entertainment.  While a lot of people think that all mentalists are magicians, they are very wrong.  So what IS the difference?

Mentalists do not use traditional "magic" in their routines (Although some do. David Copperfield and David Blaine are examples) They claim to possess psychic powers, usually telepathy and clairvoyance to gain the audience's attention, however, most mentalists nowadays read body language to create the act.  Hypnosis is the most common form of Mentalism. 

Magic, on the other hand, uses illusions and trickery to make the audience believe that the magician has special abilities.  Popular "tricks" that magicians use are levitation, vanishing, and penetration.  Most people who have ever seen a magic show has seen one or all of these tricks.

Not sure what act to book?  Mentalists are good for the over 21 crowd; most use adult humor in their acts.  Magicians are always a good standby for kid's birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs and various other family oriented events.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Have a Fantastic Father's Day!

Believe it or not, Father's Day is rapidly approaching.  Feels like yesterday was just Mother's Day and now, in a month, we will be honoring our proud papas.  Since it never falls during football season or if you just hate watching baseball, you're probably looking for ways to entertain your Dad without him needing to take a nap in the recliner mid-day.

First, start off with a big lunch.  No father can turn down a big piece of barbecued meat and many companies are delivering just that.  Mountains of fresh tri-tip, chicken and ribs will be sure to please any discriminating palate.  We can't promise, however, that Dad won't sit around with his pants undone for the rest of the day.

Does your dad love NASCAR?  Then why not bring the racing action into your home or backyard.  Slot car racing is the next trend in party activities and allows kids and adults of all ages grab a controller and see who will win the next backyard Indy 500.  Complete with a race director and race certificates, Dad will no doubt spend hours watching his car race around the track.

Have a wanna-be professional poker player for a father? Create a casino in your own home!  Black jack, poker, roulette and craps tables are available for hire, including the dealers. Host a poker tournament or just let Dad roll around in a pile of casino chips.

With these fun ideas, no one will be left disappointed!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Take Team Building to New Heights

Sitting around a stuffy conference room on a Saturday watching people do "trust falls" is not my idea of a fun afternoon.  Ever since the creation of corporate team building events, people have working tirelessly to improve the experience, using their imaginations to produce memorable events.

Need some new ideas that are sure to impress?  No one will be bored with these options:

  1. Bridge building.  Teams work together to create a fully functioning bridge out of cardboard, sturdy enough to hold a golf cart with two individuals.
  2. Chili Cook Off.  New to the world of team building, this activity is great for foodies and novices alike.  Employees team up to create the best chili, judged by a panel of undiscriminating judges.
  3. Bike Building.  This activity not only promotes team work, but also benefits the community as a whole.  Teams get together and assemble working bikes, then donate the goods to local charities, children or adults who can benefit from their use.
  4. CSI Re-enactments.  Employees don't need to be a fan of the show to have a great time!  Teams assemble and examine the evidence to solve "crimes" and find a murdered.  Like a live action game of CLUE!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Company Picnics

Bored with the same old company picnic?  Tired of sweating potato salad and sack races?  Then we have just the thing to turn the "ho-hum" into the "how fun!".

Never settle for the lame boxed lunch.  Catering companies all across Orange and Los Angeles counties have specially prepared menus for such events.  Gone are the days of turkey sandwiches and chips and in are Taco Carts (with a designated cook and all the toppings) and gourmet food trucks (such as Kogi and the Grilled Cheese Truck) which will bring the food to you, where ever you may be.

As talked about in earlier blogs, one event idea that is gaining popularity is hiring MC's to host games not commonly found at company picnics.  Scavenger hunts and Geocaching are quickly replacing water balloon tosses and egg races at many events.  So go ahead: get creative!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Time to Celebrate Mom!

One of my favorite parts of spring is Mother's Day.  It's a time to tell your mom just how much you love and appreciate her, all while making her feel like a Queen.  What better way to do that than creating a gourmet meal for her?

If you are like me, stressed for extra time between work and social life, then you are probably grimacing at the idea of cooking a meal.  Even worse, it has to be good?  If you can't handle the stress and want to keep all your hair, here are a few ideas:

  1. Have it catered.  Small, up and coming catering companies are salivating at the opportunity of getting their name out, which can often mean big discounts.  Can't make French Toast?  They can do it for you, creating a meal she'll never forget.
  2. Buy her favorites at a local bakery. If she is always-on-the go and a big meal isn't her style, surprise her with her favorite muffin or pastry.  She'll appreciate the effort and love that you know her likes and dislikes.
  3. Take Her Out.  Many amazing restaurants and resorts offer special brunches just for Mom's.  The Montage in Laguna Beach has an excellent Mother's Day event each year.  It can be on the pricey side (about $100 a person) but showering your Mom with love and attention will make her feel like the Queen of the World.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Party Ideas: Celebrity Look-Alikes!

Hosting a corporate event, or even having to attend one, can be pretty uneventful.  Why not spice it up the old, boring routine by hiring look-a-likes?  Many big names in Hollywood are hiring these entertainers to preform at their events.  In the video above, you'll find Susan Griffiths, an amazing Marilyn impersonator that is for hire for private affairs!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Easter Events For Kids: No More Egg Hunts!

If you are like me, you spent your childhood Easters going on egg hunts in various relative's backyards, hunting and scowering until you finally came across the technicolor wonder that is a plastic egg.  Your eyes got wide and you ran over to it, fighting off a cousin or two until it was in your hands.  You opened it with anticipation only to find out it contained one Hershey's Kiss, which you despised (well, I do, maybe you don't.)

This generation of kids is much more connected than ever before and a mere Easter egg hunt is not going to capture the attention that it did with our pre-pubescent brains.  Kids are constantly looking for the next bigger, better, more expensive thing.  Fool your kids into thinking you're the coolest parents on the block by ditching the candy-filled contraptions and trying one of these ideas instead:
  • Petting Zoos:  Great for the under seven crowd, it will keep them entertained for hours.  Kids never pass up the opportunity to ride a pony or feed a goat.  Most petting zoos are mobile and are relatively inexpensive to hire.
  • Professional Scavenger Hunts:  Themed hunts are much more 2000's than egg hunts.  Professionals can come dressed as pirates, give the children treasure maps and award them with gold (prizes).  Some even provide GPS hunts for the older crowds (even parents love these!)
  • Face painters/Airbrush Tattoo Artists:  Have a little rebel in your family?  Let them get a cool snake tattoo that will wash off in a week.  It will make him feel more grown up and have something to brag about to his friends, without permanent consequences. For the younger kids, they can become their own Easter bunnies, fairies or princesses in minutes.
  • Live Music:  Who said kids get to have all the fun?  Hire a tribute band dedicated to your favorite group and invite the neighborhood.  Kids love dancing and live music introduces them to a wider range of experiences.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wedding Season has arrived!!!

Ah Spring.  Flowers growing, birds chirping, breezes blowing and.....brides screaming?  It's that time of year again: Wedding Season.  Unless you are Vince Vaughn or Vera Wang, you might get a little itchy at the mention of a wedding.  Let's face it, taffeta in general is enough to give any bride the hives.  But a newly engaged woman is a force to be reckoned with. Stress can be compounded and released in the most interesting ways imaginable from gaining weight and not fitting in your custom ordered dress (which was how I dealt with it) to breaking out in rashes when you see butter cream.  How ever you deal with it is personal, but there are many things you can do to break the cycle of BRIDEZILLA!!!

One of the most important steps in planning a stress-free wedding is to hire a wedding planner.  I know, I know, this may be an added cost to a wedding, but how much is your sanity worth?  A wedding planner can hold your hand every step of the way, or just help you fill in the missing bits and pieces.  Some wedding planners are fairly priced and earn their keep with constant communication and their years of experience in the wedding industry can equal big discounts to price-savvy brides.  Especially when you book everything through one planner.  So hit the gym or take dance lessons to combat stress. Your planner will handle it all for you.