Thursday, June 25, 2015

5 Activities to Make Your Pool Party Rock!!

It's time for your Pool Party!! You've got your basis covered including music (hopefully you've hired Top Notch DJ Service or a recommended DJ vendor), you've got your refreshments ready, and perhaps there are even balloons and decorations that have been placed around the venue. This is destined to be a great time for your guests, after all, food, music, and swimming and good conversation is a blast in it's own right? And what about the kids? Did you consider any activities or games to keep them occupied and for them to play? This is 2015, they expect something more than just Marco and Polo. If you're answer to the above is “No” or “we'll, I'm sure they'll be fine”, let Top Notch recommend a few “HIT” games that is provided our pool parties that are ALWAYS a hit. Top Notch strives to go beyond the basic pool games, such as “biggest splash”, water relay”, “penny diving” or “boogie board races”. See below for Top Notch's favorite pool side games.

  1. Water Balloons- Water Balloon toss is always a blast. At times, for the younger children, Top Notch may even play an advanced game of “Hot Potato” with a water balloon, which consists of participants passing the water balloon in a circle rapidly and when the music stops, the person holding the water balloon is out. Top Notch also plays a water balloon relay outside of the pool area when there is space and time allows as well.
  2. Dance Games- Of course, Top Notch provides plenty of Dancing and musical games at all pool events including Freeze Dance (guests must stop dancing when the music halts, anyone who continues to move is out), Musical Chairs, Simon Says, Dancing Contest, and Huggy Bear (guests dance and when the music stops the DJ mentions a number, contestants must get in groups of that number and those not in groups within the time limit are out)
  3. Hula Hoops- Hula Hoops go with a Pool Party, like Ham goes in Mac n Cheese, it just works! Guests always enjoy showing off their Hula Hoop skills at Pool Party events, and a Hula Hoop contest (to determine which guests can Hula Hoop the longest) is always an easy game to “break the ice” at a party. Along with Hula Hoop contests, Top Notch uses the Hula Hoops as props for a game called “Thread the Needle”(see picture below) and also utilizes the Hula Hoops for Scavenger Hunt games as well.

  4. Scavenger Hunt- Top Notch puts a twist on this old game, by placing a limit of ONLY 5 participants per game. I've found this makes the activity challenging for those involved. Furthermore, the quantity of each item hidden decreases after each round of the scavenger hunt making only 2 contestants available in search of the final item in the last round, and resulting in a final winner.
  5. Sidewalk Chalk- Top Notch utilizes sidewalk chalk in a contest at nearly every event. I've found Sidewalk Chalk is not only a great, inexpensive item that provides for a great contest with guests at Pool Parties, but also, its an item that can often be left behind for fellow pool guests to play with after the games and even party is over. Top Notch has been known to hold drawing contests requesting participants to either draw personal pictures of me deejaying, and even my “dancing accompanied friend, Riley”. The resulting pictures are entertaining for most adults as well.

The majority of the above mentioned activities can also be played at Cook outs, Neighborhood Block Parties or any additional style of social gatherings or get togethers that is taking place outdoors. Top Notch usually does have a number of additional activities including stickers or tattoo giveaways, Limbo contests, etc. All Top Notch pool parties include props for each game as well as prizes. For additional activities or games, feel free to send an email to Enjoy the Summer guys!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Afraid Something Could Go Wrong? Here's some peace of mind....

Worried something could go wrong at your event? Yeah, it could. Chances are, you know your guests better than any of your vendors, and you know their tendencies and actions in certain environments. Are they wild when around alcohol? Could your party get out of hand? Are you for some reason, a little hesitant in trusting one of your vendors? Did you know for any of the above mentioned risks, Travelers Insurance (and other carriers) offer Event and Wedding Insurance? It's usually cheap, easy to purchase and can protect you from the money you could lose from a cancellation or postponement of your event due to unforeseen circumstances. Depending on the importance of the event (such as a wedding), the cost of the event and the many factors involved (vendors, weather, venue, etc) an insurance policy may be a very wise item to purchase to help bring peace of mind, as well as protect your budget throughout the event planning process. A wedding policy for example, may reimburse you if you lose your non refundable deposits due to circumstances beyond your control. Say your wedding is postponed due to a commercial transportation failure aka Mother of the Bride is not present at the event, an unexpected death occurs in the family of either the bride or groom and there can even be coverage for catastrophic weather (aka if your ceremony and or reception is taking place on the beach or outside) as well as coverage for the honeymoon. In most cases that Top Notch has seen in the past, Wedding Liability or Event Liability insurance is highly suggested, especially if your event is taking place at an expensive or nice venue. Inevitably, in the near decade that Top Notch has been deejaying, it's fair to say that I have witnessed a multitude of unexpected, nonsensical, and absurd scenarios some which could have been avoided, others that were simply uncontrollable. If you know you're event is taking place at a highly valued, respected and/or expensive venue (let's say a museum) and you know Uncle Eddy might drink too much and could potentially bump into one of many exhibits of dinosaur fossils on display, than you undoubtedly should take out an event or wedding policy so to cover those potential risks. Each event is different, consequently budgets for events vary as well. Although It's always up to the customer in every case to determine if insurance is necessary for their event, Top Notch can certainly attest that it's at least a vital consideration for all, especially for any event with budgets over the $5,000 mark. For more information on event and wedding insurance you can check out or contact or contact Top Notch for further information

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Those pretty colored lights? What are they?


                                         (picture taken from a Top Notch event in April 2015)

“What can you tell me about your set up?” It's a common question, that I, as well as other DJ's are always used to answering, and it's one we're usually prepared to answer. In fact, 50-60% of the time this question is followed by “we'll what can you tell me about you're lights?” I know where the customer is going once a question in this format is received. They want to know not only about the party lights that Top Notch uses but also if the DJ service can offer “those cool lights that shine from the floor”, “you know the one's that you put all around the room”, or “their like spotlights but different colors and shine on the walls”. The term for these effect lights is known as “uplighting” or “wash lighting” and it's quite evident that they are growing more and more popular in the wedding scene. Although it is hard to tell if these items are simply a “trend” for today's weddings, they are repeatedly in high demand for not just weddings, but various events including banquets, proms, sweet 16's etc. The lights are usually placed on the floor and are projected on the wall to enhance the look of the venue and bring a certain touch of color or flare to the room. The colors of these lights can range from basic red, blue, yellow and green, to various colors such as teal, magenta, pink and more. Personally, I think uplighting is one of the best tools an event planner, DJ, or venue owner can use to decorate, and illuminate a venue. The glow of a few uplight's can truly beautify the mood and atmosphere of a venue. Although many venues now offer uplighting as part of their decorating service prior to an event. Top Notch does have the capability or providing this service to our clients as well. “Can you provide those colored lights that face up towards the ceiling?”, No matter, how the question is posed, the answer is “YES”. Top Notch can handle that.

NOTE: For those considering uplighting or lighting and effects rentals. Top Notch highly recommends The owner is extremely professional, knowledgeable, and can irradiate a room pretty quickly as well. Bottom line: These guys are impressive!