Friday, July 24, 2015

Invite Your Guests with Social Media!

Top Notch has seen the following scenario all too many times.

The party was planned, Top Notch was booked as the DJ, decorations were hung, and the venue was reserved; yet the day of the party, the guests count that arrives is extremely low. It's an unfortunate situation, especially when the anticipation for the event is huge! Furthermore, when one is planning a party and the “lack of guests” factor is present, the event can often turn into more of a small get together or hang out rather than a fun, successful event. This scenario does happen on occasions, often times involving teenager events such as Sweet 16's quinceaneras, or graduation parties. Below, Top Notch provides 5 creative, and effective ways to invite friends to your next party or event that are worth considering

  1. Social Media Flyer- Notice that I did not say “ post a flyer”. In today's modern times, hard copy invitations are not necessarily needed. What IS NECESSARY, is plenty of advanced time to spread the word to your guests about your party. A social media flyer provides an image that your guests can not only remember and relate to your event, but they can also share the image on their social media sites as well which helps “spread the news” and ultimately, hopefully create a buzz about your event. Creating an event on facebook and inviting your closest friends a few days before the party, WILL NOT ALWAYS WORK. Facebook's event invite should be only one tool used for the party, along with all other social media resources such as twitter, instagram, email, etc. A great resource for creating fun and attractive flyers is It is important to make sure your flyer fits the theme of the party as well. 

  2. Invite your guests with a twist- They know your having a party, clearly your invitation and flyer tells them so. Including something either mysterious or benefitting to your guests can make them curious and prone to RSVP early. Methods of doing this include mentioning a surprise guests appearance, a surprise event during the party or even simply a prize or large favor will may be distributed to a lucky guests that arrives. Tricks such as these are very common to use at holiday parties, (ie. A surprise visit by our CEO or local celebrity, a live performance by a well known co worker or raffle drawing for a 50 inch plaza will be taking place) are all common methods used, however, I see them used very infrequently for other parties or events. They get guests involved, and guests become curious, and therefore want to come to your party to see exactly what the “surprise” that you're promoting is all about. 

  3. Ask a question- Similar to tip #2, this tip is also a fantastic way to get your guests involved in the party planning stages so that they feel they are a part of the event even before they arrive. When inviting your guests, it may be effective to asks your guests certain inquiries such as “What Songs would you like the DJ to play for you while you're here?”, Would you like to see (insert well known guests, popular co worker, or student's name here) do the moon walk or do an Elvis impersonation”, Would you like soda or punch to drink when you arrive” “if you could name one activity or fun thing you would like to do at the event, what it would be?” are all questions that could potentially involve guests, resultantly making them feel a part of the event and compelled to come. 

  4. Create a Website- Does this sound a little far fetched? It's not. Thanks to various resources like Godaddy, Wix and Weebly, websites can be created for less than $10, and take very little time to create. A website not only allows a place on the net for you to share your party announcement, flyer and invitation (which you've created using tip 1), but also allows you to share a link that you can spread all over the net. Furthermore, if you, the planner have taken the time to create a flyer as well as a website for the event, then it gives off the impression to your guests that your event is a BIG DEAL, which they don't want to miss! Similar to the flyer in tip 1, make sure to continue to share your website link all over your social media sites so that friends, family, and followers can see the event you're planning. 

  5. Use the hashtag- Prior to the event, encourage your guests to share their pictures and experience on social media concerning your party. Methods of doing this involve, sharing the link of your website and flyer on their social media sites, using the hashtag (the #) sign on facebook, instagram and twitter, and “tagging” your name on their status updates on facebook. I've even seen some go as far as creating a Youtube video to remind their friends and guests of their party. If your guests are using the hashtag the morning of the event with posts such as “prepping up for “#Kaylassweet16” it's an automatic sign that they'll be present. Furthermore, that hashtag just told all of your friends followers that he or she will be present at your party (which assisted you in spreading the word). Encourage your guests to use the hashtag method heavily the week prior to the event, as this will create a “buzz” on your social media sites that may sway potential guests into coming.

The key in all aspects of social media invitations is being early. Be on the forefront of sharing and promoting all of the materials mentioned above (flyer, website, invitations, etc) and guests will have your party date ingrained in their minds by the time the day of your event arrives. Begin creating and sharing these materials approximately 45-60 days before the event. It's important to keep in mind that everyone is busy in today's society. The earlier your anticipated guests are made aware of your event, the likely your chances are that they will be present and not busy with other plans. Lastly, make it fun! Have fun creating and planning your party. By getting your guests involved in the planning stages of your event, creating a flyer and utilizing the strategies mentioned above, your party or event will be a huge success for you, as well as all of the guests involved, and you will have the social media results (the instagram album, hashtag, etc) to show it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why Doesn't Top Notch Specialize in Weddings?

Recently during a consultation a “groom to be” asked me “How many weddings does Top Notch normally work per year?” The question posed was quite logical, as I understood he basically was attempting to gather the amount of experience Top Notch has involving the wedding industry. Furthermore, the grooms inquiry is a common question that I receive on a frequent basis. My answer in this particular scenario seemed to take this specific couple off guard. “There are roughly 52 weeks and weekends in a year, Top Notch normally works between 20-30 weddings a year” I stated. Granted, some years Top Notch works more, but never less than 20. I went on to explain my reasoning behind my answer to the couple, which is very simple, I enjoy a variety, and desire to DJ an array of diverse events. If I devote all of my time every weekend to weddings, then 2 things happen,

  1. Top Notch obviously has less time to devote to other events such as Proms, Sweet 16's, Birthday Parties, Graduation Parties, Holiday events, etc. Which as a result leads to
  2. A slower growth in Top Notch becoming a well rounded, versatile DJ.

Reason number 2, is reason #1 for me personally. If my time is spent less at other events, resultantly, I become less and less familiar with the music to play at these events. Sweet 16 guests for example, will know and request songs that are on the cutting edge. Often times these teenagers will know songs before they are even released to radio. A good DJ not only is up to date on this current music, but knows what to play and when to keep the party moving smoothly. I know from personal experience, after taking some time away from a certain event, it can often be challenging to recall what song selections work flawlessly in keeping guests on the dance floor. As with any thing in life, if you step away or pause from doing something for too long, you become out of practice. Top Notch strives to be....well...Top Notch. That means versatile, yet entertaining for all events! Ultimately, I've also learned that striving to be a well rounded DJ has benefited me tremendously at weddings, simply because no wedding is ever the same. When shopping for a DJ, experience is important, but so is versatility. There are a multitude of “Wedding DJ's” advertising online. They'll play the cupid shuffle, they'll play your first dance song, and they'll be professional and dress accordingly, but when it's really time to dance and party is your DJ prepared to play more than the basic wedding clich├ęs (YMCA, Shout, Brickhouse, etc)? Make sure they have the music knowledge to keep your guests on the dance floor! Does Top Notch “Specialize” in Weddings? Absolutely! But, are wedding events, our only specialty? NO WAY!

I explained the above dialogue and reasoning (in a more shortened version) to the couple as they sat in front of me to assure them that Top Notch has plenty of experience deejaying weddings. The conclusion; they understood completely. In fact, they made the decision to use Top Notch for their wedding which will be taking place in just a few months. Look for a post regarding their wedding and a mention of this blog in September on the facebook page. In the mean time, thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week guys!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Top Songs for Your July 4th Party Play list!

July 4th is almost here! As you're gearing up for your celebrations, whether that be a cookout, pool party, or beach/lake gathering, you may need some July 4th tunes to play for the day. Top Notch has got you covered! Top Notch has deejayed countless July 4th parties, so many in fact that I've composed 2 list here, depending on the theme, the message and the age of music you're desiring to play for your event. Yes, there is a “generic” list of patriotic, July 4th songs that is available on many sites, including Spotify and more, however, not all songs necessarily apply to the concepts of freedoms nor patriotism that one may hope to hear at a July 4th party, (for example, many July 4th play lists may include “Independence Day” by Martina Mcbride, but did you know that song is actually about domestic abuse, not necessarily about America's great birthday). 
     In contrast, others simply desire to hear fun, contemporary songs that include the words “America”, aka Tom Petty's “American Girl”, Phil Vassar's “American Child”, Miley Cyrus's “Party in the USA”. Therefore, below are 2 list, one for the top 10 most patriotic songs that Top Notch recommends for a July 4th party, as well as a Top 10, fun, contemporary list. Please note, the below songs are usually the most requested, and most popular songs Top Notch is asked to play at past events, not necessarily my personal recommendation of the best July 4th songs to play. Feel free to check out the list below, and even mix song selections from both lists together for your playlist this July 4th

     As always, thanks for reading and whatever you do to celebrate Independence Day, be safe, have fun and make sure to take a moment to reflect on the reasons for this holiday.

Happy Birthday America!!

Top 10 Patriotic Songs recommended by Top Notch-

  1. Lee Greenwood- “God Bless the USA”
  2. Ray Charles- “America, the Beautiful”
  3. Bruce Springsteen- “Born in the USA
  4. Celine Dion- “God Bless America”
  5. Jimi Hendrix- “Star Spangled Banner
  6. Neil Diamond- “Coming to America”
  7. Toby Keith- “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue
  8. Aaron Tippin- “Stars and Stripes and Eagles Fly
  9. Brooks and Dunn- “Only in America”
  10. John Mellencamp- “Pink Houses”

Top 10 Current/Contemporary and Fun songs relevant to Independence Day

  1. Miley Cyrus- “Party in the USA”
  2. Katy Perry- “Firework”
  3. Taio Cruz- “Dynamite”
  4. Kid Rock- “Born Free”
  5. James Brown- “Living in America”
  6. John Mellencamp- “ROCK in the USA”
  7. Lenny Kravitz- “American Woman”
  8. Tom Petty- “American Girl”
  9. Three Doors Down- “Citizen Soldier”
  10. Kim Wilde – “Kids in America” (made popular by The Muffs from the movie Clueless)

Other jams that did not make the Top 10 include
  • Lady Antebellum-” American Honey”
  • John Mellencamp- “This is Our Country”
    -Rick Derringer- “I Am a Real American” (Hulk Hogan theme song)
    -Demi Lovato- “Made in the USA”
    - Grand Funk Railroad- “We're an American Band
    - Billy Ray Cyrus- “Some Gave All”
    -Martina Mcbride- “Independence Day”
    -Phil Vassar- “American Child”
    -Johnny Cash- “Old Ragged Flag”
    -Don McClean- “American Pie” 
    -Creedence Clearwater Revival- "Born on the Bayou"