Success

Got My Date… Where Do I Begin?

What an amazing feeling! It’s exhilarating… a combination of excited and nervous. We know why you’re excited. This is a day we’ve been looking forward to for many years! Let’s talk about the nervous part for a second…

The temptation is to run around looking at potential venues for your Mitzvah celebration. And we’ll call NYX to lock in our Emcee, DJ, and photobooth. Then we’ll call some caterers and other vendors. And what if everything costs way more than we expect? That could derail our planning completely!

Hang on a second. Don’t drive yourself crazy!

Here’s a quick guide for the best way to begin:

When you get your date, have a meeting with your spouse and agree on how much you can afford to spend on this party. Once you have your total budget, the next (and most important) step is to allocate that budget to the different expenses you will incur. With over 30 years and nearly 20,000 parties of experience, our certified event planner MC Howie T says, “The most important thing to remember is that your party’s success is tied directly to how you allocate your budget. It’s not what you spend, but where you spend it.”

Howie has given us a typical Mitzvah budget allocation, in order from high to low expense:

  1. Food and Beverage/Catering — Venue
  2. Entertainment/Decor
  3. Photographer
  4. Miscellaneous – Novelties, Invitations, Yarmulkes, Parting Gifts
  5. Attire

There’s a very good chance that you’ll go over budget. That almost always happens, especially when you’re planning the celebration of a lifetime! So expect to plan for slight overages and leave yourself a cushion so those inevitable overruns don’t affect the entire event!

If you would like to discuss how several different factors affect the overall cost of your event — such as guest count, day of the week, time of day, time of year, vendor reputation, etc. — drop us a line at 301.984.0500 or howie@nyxevents.com

The Mitzvah Times are Changin!

Are you changing with them?

Once you receive your date, the common practice has been to book your venue, caterer, then entertainment and photographer. That was the old way…

The first thing to do when you get your date is to set your budget with your spouse. Your budget will determine the financial allocation for each element of your party. Once this is done, the order in which you book the services, in most cases, is irrelevant. You certainley wouldn’t book color- or theme-specific items before you decide on a theme. But when it comes to major components of your party like venue, entertainment, and photography, it’s wide open!

Keeping an open mind is important because you may come across an amazing vendor that can deliver exactly what you want at the right price. The sequence in which you book your vendors is not nearly as important as it was under the old tradition!

A perfect example would be… when you find a great DJ (*wink* *wink*), it might be number three on your list and you might only be working on priority number two. We recommend you shuffle priorities and get your date locked in with that perfect vendor. If you choose not to book at that time in order to stick with your traditional booking order, you risk losing out on your first choice who is the ideal fit! It’s important to remember that you’re not the only family in the area planning their Mitzvah on your date, and there is only one perfect solution for you.

So don’t sweat the order in which you check things off your list. With each locked-in detail and accomplished goal, you reduce your stress level and move closer to having fun, which is what a party is all about!

Follow us on Facebook (@nyxevents) and we’ll let you know when the next planning advice blog goes live! And if you need someone to bounce ideas off, drop us a line (howie@nyxevents.com). We would be honored to help! MC Howie T is your secret weapon… a tremendous resource with over 30 years in the Bar & Bat Mitzvah industry and a certified event planner! Let us help make sure the planning process is fun, too!

Mitzvah: Not Just for Kids Anymore

Excitement is in the air, let the planning begin! “We’re having a Bar/Bat Mitzvah so we’re looking to throw a great party for the kids!” This is the perfect mindset for a kids-only party at your local bowling alley, swim club, or recreation center. But if you’d like to have adult family & friends involved in the festivities, let’s re-think that approach…

Include Your Adults

Your family, and friends have been looking forward to this occasion and hope to share in the celebration. They want to pay their respects on the big day! This is especially true if you’re looking forward to their participation in celebratory activities like Hora, Candlelighting, or dinner with Hamotzi. Once the guest list is finalized, the age breakdown tends to be around half & half or even 3-to-2 adults to kids!

Although your guest ratio may be slightly different, the principle is the same. Let’s plan your entertainment with the kids AND adults in mind and avoid having half (or more) of your guests bored and/or disconnected from the fun. Yes, the adults understand that this event is centered around your child’s rite of passage. And they legitimately enjoy seeing your kids (and theirs!) having a great time. But you will be a far more gracious host if you build in some fun for the adults, too!

“MUST HAVE” DJ Traits

The single best way to go about including your adults in the fun… Pick a DJ with an extensive knowledge of music and the discipline to use it. Discipline — how does that apply to your choice of DJ? We have all heard the horror stories… “Our DJ played hip-hop and techno* all night and our guests left early!”

If your DJ lacks maturity or professionalism, their top priority may be showing off or “looking cool” for the kids. If that is the case, they will be tempted to weight their song selections toward music that may not be enjoyable for the majority of your guests. Don’t allow yourself to be put in that position. Make sure your DJ knows what music will fit well for all your guests. Your DJ must recognize the appropriate time and place to focus on kids’ music in a traditional mitzvah.

The ONE Mitzvah Takeaway from This Article

Interview your DJ and MC in person at their office! Be sure they understand how to incorporate all your requests while still appealing to various ages and musical tastes. We train our DJs rigorously to put forth a happy mix of music for everyone from eight to eighty. Everyone should leave your party having heard their favorite song!

If you would like to talk music for your upcoming event, reach out to us at at info@nyxevents.com

Top Tips for the Perfect Party

A lifelong entertainer and certified event planner with over 25 years experience, NYX Entertainment & Events CEO and Creative Director Howard Teger knows a thing or two about throwing a great celebration! Here are his Top Tips for the Perfect Party.

1 – Timing Is Everything!
Spacing out food, formalities, and dancing is the key to a party that flows naturally for the best guest experience. It is essential to balance these three main elements of your party. Fight the urge to have all of your formalities at the beginning. While these moments are critically important to you, making sure all your guests have fun should be important as well.

2 – Meet and Greet!
You absolutely need to go meet your vendors at their offices! There is invaluable peace of mind in shaking hands with the people you’re counting on for one of the most precious days of your life. Referrals from your friends and reviews from websites like Yelp! are valuable, but they are only part of the equation. Friends and reviewers may not know which parts of your big day are the most important to YOU.

In addition to being able to see the professionalism of the environment in which they work to prepare for your event, you should get a feel for whether a vendor’s personality is compatible with yours. You will be spending a lot of time working on event details with these people. Meeting them at their headquarters will reveal crucial insight on the scale and scope of their operation as well as the level of time and attention they will devote to making your event a resounding success!

3 – For A Good Time, Call… A Professional!
Just as you wouldn’t go to a part-time doctor if you needed surgery, you shouldn’t go to a part-time vendor for your once-in-a-lifetime event. Full-time professionals often have years more practice and experience under their belt, which helps them deal with the inevitable curve balls so smoothly that your guests never even knew there was an issue! And should your part-time vendor strike out, you may have very little legal recourse.

When someone’s livelihood depends on making sure your event is flawless, you will get a much higher standard of performance and customer service. This applies to florists, caterers, photographers, entertainment, party planners, and decorators. We would be happy to point you in the direction of the industry’s finest professionals in all of those areas (and we recommend you go meet them! – see #2).

More info…
So there you have some quick tips that will help for your first interactions with potential vendors. If you have any questions or need help getting started, we’d be glad to help you. Email info@nyxevents.com or drop us a line at 301.984.0500 anytime.

The Best Playlist Ever Made!

One of the most important aspects of any great party is the music. With guests ranging in age from 8 to 80, multiple cultures, religions, and personalities, the best playlist ever made must not leave anyone out.

No one understands this better than the DJs at NYX. When you combine the talent and experience of our seasoned professional DJs with your personal favorite songs, the result is your perfect playlist.

Our state-of-the-art online music portal allows you to engage with your NYX DJ 24/7. In addition to the ability to manage all the details of your event, you’ll be able to browse our library of hundreds of thousands of songs and create the dream musical landscape for your occasion using the following categories:

1. The “Must Play” List
These are the important songs that must be played. They’re the songs that we’ll use for special introductions and any other formalities you may have planned. They’re the songs that aren’t negotiable. Think about the anthems of your generation that you’ll adore hearing throughout the night or maybe songs that take you back to a specific, happy time of your life that you want to share with your guests.

2. The “Do Not Play” List
We like to keep you and your guests happy. We know your NYX DJ will only play the best tracks, but we want YOU to know that, too. Just to be sure we’re on the same page, we offer you the “do-not-play” list.

3. The “Play Only if Requested” List
These aren’t your favorite songs, but you wouldn’t mind hearing them if your guests would like to. Often what makes this list are songs that have choreographed line dances. Your DJ will only visit this list when your guests ask for something, it’s clear that they will have fun dancing to it, and it fits appropriately into the schedule and flow for your event.

4. The “Dedications” List
These are the songs for which you would like your DJ or MC to make an announcement. Is someone at your party celebrating a birthday or anniversary? Perhaps you’d like to have a special dance for someone that has traveled particularly far. Maybe you’d like to rile up your rowdy college friends or sing along to your team’s fight song. Let’s be sure we note it in this section so we don’t miss that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Make It Memorable
Our goal is to deliver a happy mix of music ensuring that every guest leaves your party having heard their favorite song. Our experienced DJs can read the crowd and will intuitively know what to play to keep your dance floor moving. The best playlist ever made is the one you will make with us… The one that will make your #BestDayEver memorable for years to come.

Need Suggestions?
The soundtrack to your event is a huge part of what makes it memorable for your family and friends. Need help getting started? Call us today so that we can begin creating the best playlist ever made.

Team NYX at Tour de Cure

As this year’s Tour de Cure approaches, we’d like to call attention to this great cause. While team NYX on bicycles would be entertaining in and of itself, the American Diabetes Association brought us on-board for their 2013 event to do what we do best:rock the crowd! We wish them continued success with their fundraising goals again this year.

Thanks for letting us be a part of your team in the best way possible, American Diabetes Association! We’re looking forward to our continued partnership, and many more successful events!

What Happens When Entertainment Designers Collaborate with Graphic Designers: Our New Brochure

We’ve been waiting to show you these brochures for what feels like forever! We teamed up with the creative mind of Mareta Creations to create our new, elevated “brochure,” which you can get a sneak peek of below:

The Box
One of our “brochures” takes on the box-invite form. Check it out:

NYX Entertainment & Events DC LA Brochure

NYX Entertainment & Events DC LA Brochure 6

The Invite
Our other “brochure” takes on the classic invitation-look. After all, who wouldn’t want to be invited to the entertainment experience of a lifetime?

NYX Entertainment & Events DC LA Brochure 4

NYX Entertainment & Events DC LA Brochure 5

WeddingWire World 2013 Recap: 3 Things We Learned

As professionals, it’s important to understand that yes, we’re good at what we do. But, it’s also important to understand that there’s always room for improvement. Yesterday, team NYX attended WeddingWire World 2013 at The Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., in efforts to learn more and improve our business.NYX Entertainment & Events WeddingWireWorld

We had the pleasure of sitting in on a few of Alan Berg‘s lectures; the following are three of our favorite tips that Alan shared yesterday about how to improve your company’s website.

Enjoy!

1. Create a blank album
Take your photo album section to the next level with a call-to-action element. Creating a blank photo album with the title “Your Event Here” is a subtle means of getting your potential client to envision their event with your company’s services.

2. Create an “About You” section
Your website is about your company and your client. Show off your expert knowledge while building your credibility by showing that you know your client right from the start in an “About You” page.

3. Have a short contact form
Make it easy for a potential client to contact you. Make your contact form short. Even better: make it so your client can contact you directly at a personal e-account rather than sending them to an “info@” generic account.

Ted Talk Tuesday: Richard St. John

Everyone has his or her own definition of success. For some, success means earning money, buying a big house or maybe a fancy car. Perhaps for others, success is levitating to a higher social standing or winning an award.

For our team at NYX, success is nearly impossible to define as a single item or ideal. Instead, we’ve created our own definition by drawing from approximately eight components, as outlined by Richard St. John’s Ted Talk, “Eight Secrets of Success.”

[ted id=70]

While we haven’t taken the past 7 years to interview approximately 500 people about their personal definitions and secrets of success, we have taken the past 20 to design and produce entertainment for more than 15,000 events. Our alternate route to discovering the secret and definition of success led us to the same enlightenment.

Be Successful Every Day
Every day, the team at NYX Entertainment & Events acknowledges following elements to be sure that the day is, in our opinion, successful:

  • Passion
  • Work
  • Focus
  • Persistence
  • Creativity
  • Professionalism
  • Drive
  • Customer Service

The Perfect Recipe
The eight elements highlighted by Richard St. John, and adapted by NYX, are the best ingredients for a successful business day. We’ve used the recipe for countless days, weeks and years to produce award-winning events and entertainment, most notably:

We’d like to thank Richard St. John for fleshing-out his discoveries in such an eloquent fashion, and we’re proud to say that NYX Entertainment & Events is a passionate, hard-working, focused, persistent, creative, driven and professional team that focuses on customer service and delivering the highest level of entertainment for every client.