Source: www.pinterest.com, www.etsy.com/shop/MKNEON, www.aliexpress.com, www.cheersevents.com, www.idjnow.com, pulseeventsstl.com
Written by our sister company, Pulse Events STL
1. How far in advance should we book entertainment?
First and foremost make sure they have your date available!
Most couples start booking 9-12 months before their wedding. Obviously your venue should be the first on your list, but quality DJs tend to book up, so give yourself enough time to research.
2. How many weddings have you done?
You'll want someone with quite a bit experience. While working with a friend of a friend might seem more cost effective, it could end up costing you more in the long run. It's probably not a great idea to use Uncle Joe and his Ipod playlist for your special day.
Going with a larger entertainment company could really save you some stress. We've heard horror stories of friends-of-friends DJ's canceling within days of a wedding and the bride and groom must frantically search for a replacement.
3. Do you offer other services such as lighting design & decor, videography, or photo booth?
The average wedding couple deals with 12 vendors. What if one company could be your Event Planner and handle everything from your Venue, DJ, Band, Caterer, Decor & Design, Photographer, Videographer, Photo Booth, Florists, Dessert Options, Bar Services, etc? Those are the type of organizations you'll want to work with for a stress-free wedding day. If you aren't already on the knot it's a great resource for planning.
4. Have you done parties at my ceremony/reception location before? If not, will you check out the power and best location to set up beforehand?
Your vendors should always plan a site visit with you. While most venues have ample power, making sure your floor plan is thoughtfully planned out will ensure vendors have the access to power they need. Don't leave anything to chance on your wedding day.
5. How do you motivate a shy crowd to get on the dance floor?
There's nothing that motivates a shy crowd to get on the dance floor more than the bride and groom themselves getting on the dance floor. If the guests are there to celebrate you, they will feed off your energy. If you have high energy entertainment, great music, and a bride and groom on the dance floor, your wedding will be an energy packed, fun experience for kids and adults alike.
Consider having an MC at your event in addition to your DJ. This allows your DJ the ability to focus on music and read your crowd while your MC makes announcements, engages and interacts with your guests. When interviewing MC's always ask about their dancing ability. A fun crowd always loves an emcee that can spin on their head!
6. Do you have liability insurance?
Accidents happen. Make sure you cover your a$$.
7. How extensive is your music library? Are you able to offer the genre we're looking for?
Music changes very rapidly. Your entertainment company should meet with you months prior to your wedding and then again before your wedding to make sure your music taste, timeline, and structure of your event hasn't changed.
8. How do you handle song requests?
An option is to submit a poll to your guests on songs they'd like to hear on the dance floor prior to your wedding. The last thing you want is for your DJ to get distracted with guests constantly going up to the booth.
9. What sets you apart from your competition?
Make sure the company you go with makes your event feel special and not just another number. Ask how their company differs from others.
10. If we choose to have a "surprise choreographed wedding dance" are you able to assist us with music ideas and/or dance routine?
Entertainment companies may have dancers that help choreograph a fun dance for those brides and grooms wanting to show off some skills!
Work with a company that is able to help you plan your wedding from beginning to perfect ending.
11. What are your payment options?
Work with an organization that is conducive to your budget, whether that be a payment plan or quarterly installments. Find out when deposits are due and don't forget to budget in tips for certain vendors.
My name is Jordi Stack, and I’m the newest member of the Utopia Entertainment team. A few months ago I was the Main Event Tri-Director for MizzouThon's dance marathon and I’m now the Director of Business Development for Utopia Entertainment, the company that changed our dance marathon.... forever.
In the four years I was a part of MizzouThon Children's Miracle Network Dance Marathon, we were able to raise over $1,000,000 for the University of Missouri-Columbia Women and Children's Hospital.
If you organize nonprofit fundraisers or corporate events, I'd like to discuss some of the challenges you're facing.
If you are unfamiliar with Dance Marathon:
Here is a video Utopia put together. CLICK HERE
I haven't yet found the words to communicate the emotion of serving in such a massive capacity. Nor have I found a mission that's more gratifying than writing six / seven figure checks to help children.
Do I have a secret sauce? No.
Do I have some crazy algorithmic formula to help boost your attendance and fundraising efforts? No.
What our team has: Passionate, inspiring, young professionals who have experience in running some of the largest events in the country. Our wish is to share our passion, dedication, and charismatic brand experience with you.
Hiring the Utopia team was a game changer for MizzouThon. They came in to do a job but they left leaving a legacy. They connected to our miracle kids and families in a way NO one else had before. Most importantly, Utopia had a genuine passion for the kids that matched all of ours.
If you're planning "enter the name of your crazy rad, most hip, fun event ever" we can help you.
I know how to plan an event of any scale and I know what it takes to engage people at any fundraising event. It's time to change the dynamic of how you fundraise. It's time to change the trajectory of your mission; to create a ripple effect that will magnify your mission and be felt by thousands.
For you, creating a larger impact might entail raising awareness, larger participation/ retention at your events, more fundraising dollars going towards your mission, or a combination of the aforementioned. I want to help you crush your goals and have the best time you can while doing it. FUNdraising should be energizing and fun!
Myself, along with the rest of the Utopia team can help in several ways:
New ideas on how to fundraise, gain sponsorships and increase impact
Higher retention and engagement during your events
Someone who understands what it’s like to be on your side
A family run entertainment/production company that genuinely cares about your vision
Year long support from our event planning team
I’ve had the chance to speak with several nonprofits already and the ability to increase fundraising and maximize retention/participation seems to be a common theme. I challenge you to step up to the plate. What is the WORST thing that can happen by you scheduling a phone call? Now, what is the BEST thing that can happen?
A year ago, I was you; trying to brainstorm ways to make our event bigger and better than ever. Utopia was the answer. They were the reason we achieved our goals. I want to make this process as seamless for you as it was for me.
Schedule a 15 minute call and we can discuss how Utopia can be more than just a production company for you.
Let's change fundraising as we know it. Together.
636 532 2777
1) Define what you want to accomplish- all great holiday parties have an outcome in mind whether it's raising money for a local organization, boosting company morale amongst different departments, or meeting/creating an organizational goal. In order to get a bigger buy in and encourage larger organizational participation, create a fun theme that encourages philanthropy and teamwork.
2) Determine your budget-- Plan on your budget breaking down similar to this:
30% on program and entertainment
30% on food and beverage
15% on venue
15% on rentals
10% on planning / logistics
3) Hire amazing entertainment -whether you plan on hiring a DJ, a band, live performers etc, make sure your entertainment has enough energy to keep your audience engaged. Your entertainment should include an emcee; someone who can oversee the entire event, facilitate announcements, manage the timeline, but most importantly, be a personality that keeps your guests entertained and engaged throughout the course of the evening.... (hint* --no, this should not be Sally from your marketing department)
4) Plan other activities-- Having a themed party is always a hit. This encourages immediate audience participation. Try a 'So You Think You Can Dance' theme, or 'Your Company Name Has Talent'.... Have different departments compete against one another and the winning department gets a casual day, a free vacation day, or a gift card. Photo Booth and Slow Motion Video Booth are two of the most popular items at holiday parties. After the bubbly starts settling in, the snap counts will sky rocket (side note-- make sure you hire a photo booth company that does not charge extra for additional prints, allows for social media sharing, and stores your pictures in the cloud for later viewing---You will thank us later!)
5) Think Outside The Box-- Challenge your events-- Are the events you're creating aligned with the interests of a millennial generation and are you keeping pace with their interests? Baby Boomers are retired. Generation Next has evolved into millennials. And now, millennials will occupy 75% of the workforce within the next 10 years. Will millennials feel a part of your culture? Are you aligned with the millennial interest? Are you creating events that are in sync, fresh, and capture attention?
Are you creating an experience? Or are you just creating an event where your colleagues had one more glass of wine than they did last time....?
Are you connecting?
Create something fresh and appealing that your organization has yet to do.
Trying to raise money for your organization or a philanthropic cause?
We promise you don't need another trivia night. You don't need another 5k. You don't need another silent auction.
What you should be looking at is a program that engages, entertains and is fresh, new and innovate .... This will keep your organization enthused about how you've spent the time creating something uniquely memorable !
You'll thank us later for this one-*1 bartender per 75 people / 1 server per 50 people *
This is Chase!
Our main event planner