With a few exceptions these days people throwing parties (weddings, mitzvahs and holiday events) are dealing with the issue of tighter budgets and purse strings virtually tied in a Gordian Knot.
While almost no one is forgoing special events many are dealing with the stress of the costs in a way we have rarely seen. Cost cutting for the sake of meeting the budget is overtaking everything.
The cost cutting across the board for the sake of just having something pushes event makers into the danger of having fully disposable events. In this case where the budget may have been pulled back to spend it on the most economical services, the choice alone often assures the event becomes worth-less.
Events offer some of the most wonderful moments in our lives, but when we compare the to the “real life” expenses like mortgages, and health insurance, education payment, planning can be stressful mentally and emotional draining.
And we cannot fool ourselves: Special Events cost big ducats. So it is understandable that cutting cost would be the #1 strategy to have the event in tougher times.
And for those that don’t care about having a forgettable event this is a fine strategy.
But for those who wish to have a memorable event, something that creates value for themselves, their company, their guests and families, they are faced with another question. I’m planning a special event, I’m going to have to spend, how can I make sure I’m going to get the value in services that will make it all worth my time, effort and money?
That is the best question to ask…Which leads to another very good question:
“What are the most important elements of a special event that makes it GREAT?”
This questions helps us to know how best to allocate the budget.
Most people can understand they must have the fixed tangible items for an event: Venue, food, drinks, service. After that everything seems a bit less important. But it’s not. It’s just less tangible.
If you ask people in the events industry and people outside of the events industry who have thrown parties what is the most important part of the SUCCESS of the event or party, across the board, the answer is the entertainment.
I’m not just saying that because we are an entertainment company and a very good one at that. If everyone is being honest and not in wearing the salesman hat, Planners, Videographers, photographers, event venue catering managers tell us the entertainment is what makes or breaks a party. More specifically the DJ or band. More specifically than that the MC.
I’ve written about this extensively in this blog, but the point here is to address budgets and spending so that people can have great memorable parties on budgets but use their budgets wisely.
The great thing about parties, events or shows is that it sparks, enchants and invigorates our senses and hopefully our spirits. In times of hardship they can help us remember what’s important, rejuvenate and re-inspire us. In good times they offer us wonderful opportunities to celebrate the good and what we have be grateful for.
Great food enchants our taste buds. Great beauty and decorations, and lighting in a venue excite our eyes. Great music captivates our ears and dancing satisfies our physical bodies and need for touch. Food scents and flowers engage our sense of smell. Seeing people, laughing and hugging them connects us to everything and all of our senses.
Now although it is agreed that the entertainment is the most crucial aspect to an event, that does not mean that the other things are meaningless. So how important are the tangible items?
How important is the venue? In the logistics and psychology of throwing parties it’s the 1st or 2nd consideration for obvious reasons. We have to hold the event somewhere. If we get a good venue we can knock off the venue, food and drink, even ambiance all in one shot. So usually this is the biggest expense in a budget, and due to date constraints with ceremonies, and religious rites, usually the first in the logistical order to take care of.
Does the venue have to be AMAZING? What kind of venue is needed for a great event? What kind of space to get is relative to your budget, values, style and your particular situation. I’ve seen great parties thrown in a loft space and back yard parties that was most likely less than a $1000. I have also seen parties at The Plaza, the Waldorf Astoria and the Pierre that I thought were very incredibly nice elegant and fun affairs, but ultimately would not be all that memorable as the greatest party.
So what is it that is the #1 determining factor for an event and how great it will be? It is the freeing and heartfelt participation in fun and joyful action (interaction) and the connection to others that takes us into the stratosphere of an unforgettable moment in time.
In Part II – How to get the Unforgettable into your event?
But the #1 determining factor in the memorable aspect of an event is heartfelt participation and joyful interaction with others in the event.
This is where the host and hostess can have a huge impact, or in a wedding, the bride and groom. At a mitzvah, the mitzvah family. At a corporate event the highest ranking officer. They reveal something of themselves that empowers or gives permission to all in attendance to FEEL and revel in this event.
What makes up these greatest Peak moments at events? They all center on an ACTION during the event itself and how the action is received and what transpires after.
The Entrance of the bride and groom into the room to swelling music and they gracefully proceed in and fake out the crowd by doing a little hip hop jig in tux and gown, or rip off their fake tear away formals revealing hot tango costumes do the dance .. Uncle Harry pulling out his shirt, and throwing his tie around Cousin Bette performing the long forgot Lambada (The Dance of Looove) as guests keel over from laughing and in fact join in.
These are extreme examples of moments that catch us and launch us into the Peak moments. But regular moments performed with unabashed gusto can do the same thing:. 5 men lift the proud father up in a chair while the lighting comes around hitting him at the exact moment they throw him up, he raises his arms and he’s literally out of the chair yelling in triumphant ecstasy. These are revealing active moments that becomes Peak emotional recordings of our spirits soaring. They are very hard to forget, and they release us from self imposed limitations, attracting us to partake in the animation.
For me the services that elevate this animated Peak experiences that become unforgettable memories is what I’m looking for and where I would be investing the most of my budget.
To get these kinds of Peak experiences is priceless as the famous commercial says. And how do you achieve this priceless experience?
Unless the people themselves come in that way, and even if they can, it’s the MC and entertainment that will be facilitating these moments to happen throughout. And there is a skill to it, just like anyone can cook but only great chefs can make all food taste amazing. Not every restaurant has a great chef. But everyone has one. Every party has someone who is hosting the event, but not everyone is capable of bringing the party to Peak experiences for your guests.
The Wizard of parties that mixes it all together is the MC. It’s his specialty to create the space for everyone to experience the best that party has to offer. Like a quarterback in the NFL if he does his job wonderfully everyone on the team and in the stadium is elated. Everyone rises to the ocassion. And then all other elements come to life with a bit more sparkle and heightened splendor. This is the mark of the great craftsman.
So if you as a planner or family find that your budget isn’t exactly where you wish it could be to have all the bells and whistles you imagine would rock people’s worlds. Not a problem start with the main success determinate for your party and work around that. I can assure you that with a great team supporting you, your party will feel like a million bucks.
If you would like any help with questions to find the best entertainment company for your event feel free to contact me, wherever you are in the world and I’ll be happy to help. I hope you have amazing and joyous events each and every day.