Friday, January 29, 2016

Baby Shower Fun!!

Yes, you read the above title of today's post correct, it does in fact say “Baby Shower” as the focus for today's Top Notch post. In fact, Top Notch had the opportunity to help plan and work Rachana's Baby Shower this past weekend and it was a blast! We spent weeks prior to the event discussing games, props needed, and music for the baby shower. And it went over very well! Furthermore, Top Notch prepared a multitude of activities and games that the guests seemed to enjoy. NOTE: To my fellow mobile DJ readers, the “DJ” material for today's post stops here. This post has little to do with deejaying, and everything to do with entertainment and event planning, however, for those who may be planning or intending to plan a baby shower anytime in 2016, read further for a number of the many games Top Notch played which the guests fully enjoyed.

  1. Sweet Sweet Baby Planning- In this game, individuals were selected to answer any questions regarding the baby planning process. What the guests didn't know, was that each question and answer related to a specific American Candy. The individual that answered with the correct candy name actually won that piece of candy as a prize! Some example questions and answers, Top Notch specifically used for the game were the following
    Q: What candy may describe a baby's umbilical cord?
    A: Twizzlers
    Q: What Candy describes how much free time the mother will have once the baby is born?
    A: Zero (Zero Candy Bar)
    Q: Before the baby is at the appropriate age to eat solid foods, what may you describe his or her diet?
    A: Milky Way
  2. Baby Music Trivia- This game is quite common at Baby Showers and very similar to music trivia. A selection of Pop or famous songs are chosen that have the word “Baby” in the title such as “Hit Me Baby One More Time”, Oooh, Baby I Love Your Way” or even “Baby, Baby” (by Amy Grant or Justin Bieber). Guests must determine the name and artists of the song from the snippet that is played. The first person to answer both artists and song title correctly win.
  3. Shoe Game- Top Notch is notorious for playing this game at weddings for brides and grooms. Coincidentally, the same concept and game can be played at baby showers as well. The future Father and Mother are sat in chairs with their backs to each other and are asked a series of questions regarding their expectations, thoughts and hopes for when the baby arrives. The Father and Mother cannot see their mate's answer, but when the answers do not match, between the couple, it make's this game quite entertaining for all spectators involved.
  4. Blinded Diaper- This game did require some preparation as diapers as well as filled balloons ar required for the game to be played. You can actually do one or 2 rounds of this game, one for men and the other for women. In Saturday's case, we provided all of the men with a diaper and a balloon as well as a specific time. The first man who successfully wrapped his balloon with the fitting diaper was the male winner. We then had the females play the same game, however, the females were required to be blindfolded! Of course, we could have began the game by blind folding the guys as well, but we decided that many girls gain experience via babysitting in their youth, mean while guys on the other hand may have no clue how to appropriately put on a diaper. The game was definitely a success!
  5. Balloon Belly Comparison- This activity was probably the most simplest game we played, yet the males and girls participated and had a great time. Balloons were blown and placed underneath participants shirts (to resemble a pregnant belly). Then the mother to be had her waist measured. The game participants balloon belly's were measured and compared to the mother to be's actual pregnant belly. The game participant that had the closest waist measurement to the mother to be's stomach won!

Mentioned above are only some of the may games we played during this baby shower! Perhaps Top Notch will write a “Baby Shower Part 2” with further games and activities listed.For additional games and activities that were played feel free to shoot Top Notch an email at 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tiempo! Tiempo! Tiempo!!

The concept of Time plays a critical factor in the DJ industry. From counting the beats per second while transitioning between mixes of songs, to ensuring the flow of a wedding ceremony is accurate and punctual. No matter the event, DJ's must be cognizant of time, especially considering the fact that most events are only scheduled for a specific period of time. We as DJ's have that window of hours, to welcome guests, entertain guests and conclude an event with the hopes that all guests leave with a wonderful memory of the event. Time is also important prior to the event, for ALL vendors. Through the event planning process, vendors including the DJ should be aware and allot time for travel, parking, set up, etc. This notion may be seem obvious to many, however, it is to this day surprising to me, how many professional musicians and entertainers disappoint their customers simply by running late for events. On that note, event planners, coordinators, and directors can assist in avoiding the “tardiness” dilemma by notifying vendors of any complications and challenges that they may face when arriving or setting up at a specific venue. 

      Today's topic came to mind, after witnessing and experiencing the beginning of a wedding reception that was nothing short of frantic for all parties involved. The wedding took place between Christmas and New Years in a ball room in down town Raleigh. The venue allotted exactly an hour and half for all vendors to enter and set up before the start of the event. Being that this specific location was in down town Raleigh, I arrived 2 hours early, as I knew parking was an “unspoken” challenge that I may face (which I did). What I, nor any other vendors including the caterer, and photographer realized was that the entrance to the building required a specific key EVERYTIME you entered. The door could not be propped open, and no specific gatekeeper, or key man was assigned this evening. Therefore, each trip of equipment for all parties involved required waiting. Additionally, the ballroom was located on the second floor of the facility, and the elevator was conveniently not in service. Consequently, after “waiting” repeatedly per trip to enter the venue, and the challenges of lifting, pulling and pushing equipment over 2 flights of stairs, all vendors for this event had less than our anticipated time to set up for the event. As the wedding reception progressed and ultimately concluded, all guests including the bride and groom were satisfied and had a wonderful time (minus the broken heat and AC in the facility, but that's a whole other story), however, I personally could not help but think that the panic, rush and even frustration that we all felt during the initial stages of this particular day may have been avoided if we warned of the factors that could potentially delay our TIME for entering and set up. The takeaway/learning experience for me personally and perhaps for other vendors and DJ's is this. If by chance, you are not familiar with the venue that you may be scheduled to work for an event, researching, calling, and even asking questions concerning set up prior to travel can be very beneficial! Furthermore, a note to event coordinators and planners: If you're facility presents issues for vendors that you are quite aware of, it is critical to notify not only your customer that may be renting the venue for the party or event, but also all vendors involved for the day. TIME can make or break an event! Perhaps more so than the entertainment, decorations, food, or other factors involved. It is imperative as a DJ and event planner to be aware of the length of TIME it may take you to prepare for any event, whether that be unpacking equipment, setting up lights, placing dishware and cooking food, etc and research and asks questions prior to any event at a venue that you are unfamiliar with. Vent over! Lesson Learned!

Thanks for reading guys!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Year of the Monkey & My Google Calendar

     Happy New Year! This is the first blog post of 2016 and according to the Chinese new year, 2016 is the year of the monkey. As the new year ball dropped, transitioning us all from 2015 to the new year, I realized that I personally had dropped the ball as well! My Google Calendar! 2015 was an extremely busy year for Top Notch, so busy in fact that the website, google calendar and other social media sources simply fell through the cracks. What was I thinking? It is no secret that that online presence is a critical factor for any business, and who better to have on your web presence side than almighty Google? Yet, due to time constraints, this duty was simply neglected from the Spring of 2015 through the closing months of the year. As a result of this oversight, Top Notch was forced to handle inquiries from customers old and new concerning availability, reservations and bookings simply because no results were posted on the Google Calendar nor website. To all Top Notch customers in 2015, I apologize! Fortunately, with a new year brings new resolutions, right? Hence, one of the key 2016 resolutions for Top Notch involve keeping both the website and Google Calendar up to date and current throughout the year. Top Notch is looking forward to all that 2016 will bring including more event planning tips, activity guidance and explanations, and of course,  music advice on this blog. As always. thank you all for reading and thank you for your support in all 2015. Look for the new blog post regarding "Time" next week!