Monthly Archives

December 2012

Community Service

By | Blog, DIY | No Comments

In the spirit of this holiday season, we wanted to focus our DIY this week less about entertainment and more about giving back. At EBE, we our proud to contribute as much as we can to various local charities. Community service is a big, important and serious commitment.

This is especially so for those who live in smaller or tight-knit communities. Communities who work together in small ways to make their surroundings a better place tend to become a thriving, growing community where everyone is happy and satisfied and everyone benefits from what the community does to serve each other.

Community service is more than just serving one another in deed or word, but it’s about establishing the spirit of a place, one where the people involved all know that they’re striving to reach a common goal.

Community programs are one such area where everyone in the community reaps big benefits and share a common goal. Children based programs and elderly programs are common, but there are a host of other types of programs that communities have that are highly beneficial. Finding out what each community needs or likes is a matter of doing a little research and interviewing.

To start a community program where the residents will benefit, start by talking to the people of that community to see what they like and what they’d like to see done in their area. If the area has a lot of children, it would be a great idea to start a sports based program that would cater to children of all ages and all types of sports interests. If the children like soccer, invite a professional soccer player to come in and talk to the children about their goals. Perhaps start a free soccer camp with volunteers so that the kids can become exposed to the game of soccer and learn more about it hands-on.

Here are some steps you should take to get the process started:

Media Contact

Contact the local media outlets to apprise them of a story about your community program. Give the newspaper or radio station as much information as possible, including any future plans or other events that the program committee is planning.

Programs

Determine what kind of programs the committee will explore and decide to take on as a project. For instance, if the community program is going to focus on kids and kid-specific programs, determine if those programs are going to be education-based, sports-based, age specific, etc. By making these types of decisions firsthand, you can better determine in what direction your program is going to be headed and what goals they will set out to accomplish as time goes along.

Officers, Administration And Volunteers

As with any other newly formed community program, it’s important to go ahead and elect officers for the new committee, no matter how big or small the community program may be. This is going to be very important for any future goals, especially if there are going to be federal and local funds requests made to support the program. Positions that will need to be filled will include a secretary for notes and administration duties, a treasurer to handle an account for all financial transactions, including loan requests and donations, a president to take care of all community program and managing duties and a vice-president to assist the president and perform some of those same duties. Although these positions are all optional, it’s important to establish some sort of administrative hierarchy so that the community program runs efficiently all times.

Also, don’t forget to solicit the help of volunteers from the community to help with the program. As many people as there are that can get involved with the community program, the better it will be for all involved.

Check with the local government in your area and see if you can secure any assistance with starting a community program for the children in your area. There may be grants or subsidized programs that may exist for the community of which you may not be aware. The local city hall office will be able to tell you more about any available programs or direct you in the right place for you to get more information. Many programs are provided for and supported various federal programs, so it’s also a good idea to check and find out if there are any resources for your local area and local community.

Betsy & Andrew’s Wedding

By | Reviews, Ben Ostroff Reviews | No Comments

Hi Ben,

Thank you so much for the fantastic job you and your crew did on Saturday! You made the event so much fun!!!! Everyone really enjoyed themselves thank you again for an amazing time!!! from the pianist during the cocktail hour to the photo favors to the music from you and Jon, everything was perfect. Thanks again!

Best Wishes,
Betsy

Liana's Bat Mitzvah

Liana’s Bat Mitzvah

By | Reviews, Paul Grant Reviews | No Comments

Jonathan,

Thanks to you and the rest of the staff for creating such a wonderful party. It was a fabulous night!! The sequence, flow, energy- all perfect. I wouldn’t have changed a thing (other than wishing I had the foresight to make a food plate to stash so I could have sampled more!). I was so impressed by how the cocktail room was altered to create such a nice space- the lighting and the music were perfect, as well; so much nicer than I imagined. I’ve gotten rave reviews from both friends and family. Paul and the dancers were great- to get all generations dancing is no small feat!

So again, many, many thanks. We had a wonderful time; Liana was so beautifully celebrated!

Kate

What if my DJ gets sick or it snows? Is there a backup plan?

By | Blog, Ask The Experts | No Comments
[dropcaps style=”fancy”]Q:[/dropcaps]We’re looking forward to our wedding in a few weeks! I just had a moment of panic, though. What happens if it snows that day and you are not able to make it? Or if you get sick? Is there any kind of backup plan for emergencies? Please reassure me! Please get back to me when you can and have a happy holiday!

Warmest regards,

Angie

[dropcaps style=”fancy”]A:[/dropcaps]Hi Angie! Please let me assure you that you have absolutely nothing to worry about. One of the great things about coming to a company like EBE is that we are not a one-man show, so we always have staff available to fill-in in an emergency. That said, we not only realize that this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for you, we embrace it.

My personal philosophy is that the only excuse to ever miss a gig is if you are either in jail or are in the morgue. And I certainly hope to be in neither place anytime soon! That’s no joke, though. It seems lately that virtually every storm we have had has been on a Saturday. Remember two years ago when we had three storms, each of which produced at least twenty inches of snow? Two out of those three storms were on Saturday. Hurricane Irene? Saturday. That heavy snowstorm just before Halloween last year? Saturday! Although some clients chose to postpone their events (their choice), we did not miss a single show.

In fact, in many of the above cases we actually (if the venue allowed for it) arrived a day early for setup. This way if the roads were bad and delayed the arrival of the talent, all of the equipment would already be setup and ready to go upon arrival. We have even gone so far in a few cases to put our staff up in a nearby hotel, to minimize that necessary amount of driving on the day of the storm.

Our same attitude applies towards sickness. We realize that this is a job where there is no such thing as “calling in sick.” I have performed at easily over 2000 events in my career, and I have never missed one of them (for sickness or any other reason). As I said, we have staff that we can call in if necessary on emergency standby, but that would only occur in the absolute rarest of circumstances and only under the most critical of emergencies.

Speaking of backup, although you did not ask about this, I wanted to let you know that we are backed up in the case of equipment failure as well. I not only have two laptops that I bring to every event, I also have two hard drives racked into my system. I even have entire second system and some other loose equipment (such as an extra DJ mixer and fourth hard drive). I even have a DJ speaker which has an internal battery and iPod dock, so in the event of power failure, the music will never stop. Hopefully it would never come to that and it may be overkill to bring all of that to every event, but I believe that one can never have too much backup.

I hope this helped! I’m looking forward to celebrating with you in a few weeks!

Best,

Ben

DIY - Wedding Invitations

Wedding Invitations

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Some people are moving away from the bulky wedding invitation that includes multiple reply envelopes, embossed wedding cards, and save the date magnets. While it is fun to get a mini-package in the mail and open it up to find a list of wedding weekend activities while glitter or tiny shiny palm tress fall out on to the floor, it’s really expensive! A movement towards simpler, more affordable invitations is happening, and it really cuts down the cost of your wedding. Yes, it is the first announcement of you and yours to the world, but it’s not going to be what people remember, unless it’s a really poorly done invitation. Paperless Post is a very popular online tool for sending out wedding announcements, and it’s so easy to keep track of all of the responses since it is all calculated online for you! No more cards slipping in after the RSVP date.

Paperless Post has all of the timeless, classic themes for your online wedding invitation. It truly delivers a beautiful design complete with a virtual envelope that opens up with a reply card, announcements, and all that you get in a regular snail-mail invitation. When you create an online invitation, whether or not it is through Paperless Post, you have endless choices right in front of you and the leisure, pressure-free approach to just browse. Online databases are absolutely endless and you can find the exact style and design you want. The paper can have a textured look, rough edges, shiny trim, and silk bows, whatever you want. With the high-resolution screens on computers now, you can really get a realistic effect. With the added animation of the invitation floating out of the envelope and unfolding, it’s a fun email to receive.

Not only is it convenient for you, it is convenient for your recipient. People operate much more efficiently with online communication. Instead of mailing back the invitation, it is just a simple click. You also see it whenever you open your email so it won’t fall to the bottom of the mail pile. It’s also nice not to have 6 pieces of an invitation getting spread out all over the place. Those little Save the Date cards always seem to go missing unless it’s a magnet.

People argue that getting a tangible invitation in the mail is a special, old-fashioned means of communication that should not be lost to the conveniences of online communication. This is a completely valid argument and I agree that getting something in the mail is special. What isn’t important is having ribbons woven into every piece of the invitation, having scented cards, or having thick, heavy cardstock invitations. Keep it simple. A simple sticker for the calendar, or a magnet for the fridge, is a great way for your friends to keep your wedding in mind during their hectic schedule. Also, people like to look at you and your husband, but not sitting back-to-back sipping wine on the beach and gazing out at the sunset. Keep it real, and keep it simple. Your invitation should represent you, but it doesn’t have to look like an invitation to a royal ball.

When creating your invitations, like all else, think of the time and money you want to invest. If invitations are something you just want to get done on the cheap, go the online route. If you want beautiful invitations that people might want to save, decide just how formal and traditional you are going to go. Invitations can be anything you want them to be, and don’t be afraid to do what you want with it. Fun colors are taking over white and cream, and a simple font is taking over cursive. Do what looks like you and your partner.

Sometimes combining the Save the Date and the invitation, and sending out the wedding schedule all in one envelope, leaves more attention for bigger things… like seating your feuding relatives or deciding whether to hire an EBE band or an EBE DJ/MC Combination for the reception. Maybe a string quartet for the ceremony? But I digress. Wedding invitations can cause headaches and when compared to seating guests, music choices, and lodging requirements and requests, it should be the first and easiest step to introducing Mr. and Mrs. Right to everyone. Sign it, seal it, and deliver it… so you can enjoy the rest of the adventure. Once it’s in the mail, you won’t see it, or think about it again. Your job is to send, and wait, and enjoy what is about to come.

Find out more about Paperless Post at their website: www.paperlesspost.com

We want a DJ but our parents want a band, what should we do?

By | Blog, Ask The Experts | No Comments
[dropcaps style=”fancy”]Q:[/dropcaps]We are thinking about the entertainment that we would like for our wedding reception and my fiance and I have sort of reached an impasse with our parents. They are all insisting on a band, but Phil and I prefer a DJ. Granted that they are paying for everything, but this is Phil’s and my wedding! We just really prefer that the music sound the way that we are used to hearing it. What do you suggest?

Thanks!
Meghan

[dropcaps style=”fancy”]A:[/dropcaps]Hi Meghan! The good news is that here at EBE, we have both amazing bands and talented DJs, so no matter what you decide you are in great hands. As far as which direction to go, as someone who has been a DJ/MC for 28 years, I may be a little biased. However, even I am the first to admit that is a definite level of energy and excitement that comes with a band that is difficult (though not impossible with a great DJ) to duplicate. There are certainly pros and cons for both sides of the coin (for example, with a DJ you a virtually limitless with the library of songs that can be played, while with a band you are limited to what they know or can learn in time for the wedding), but rather than go into all of them, I would rather point out some other factors that you should take into consideration before making your decision. I do want to point out, however, that with today’s technology EBE’s bands are truly able to keep that “original” sound into their performances. Come to one of our band showcases, because in this case hearing is truly believing.

1) Budget

You said that your parents are paying for the everything, but have you established an entertainment budget? You may find that your budget will not allow for a premier band. Without question you will be better off with a great DJ than you would be with a lousy band (not that you will find any lousy bands here), which would approximately the same price.

2) Size/Space

Think about your venue. Will there be enough space for a 14-piece band? Will there be enough space for a 7-piece band? For most venues this is not an issue, but occasionally we encounter places that are too small for a band to fit.

3) Compromise

There are a couple of different directions that you may also want to consider, where you can have a band and a DJ. We have performed at several weddings where a DJ is bolted onto a band and can perform one or two dance sets. Or perhaps a band for the reception and a DJ for the after party? Better yet, how about both at the same time? We have three bands (EBE Amsterdam, Imagine & Love) that feature a DJ as one of the band’s pieces. The DJ’s smooth beats blend in with the band’s music, making for a very unique instrument. Another option is to add a live instrument or two with your DJ. In this case, the DJ is playing the original music, to which the instruments play along. If it were up to me, I would have a drummer with me on every party at which I perform. It is the first thing I recommend as it gives an energy boost that is indescribable. A saxophone, guitar or percussionist work amazingly well too.

I guess my point is to please not stress over this! I am sure that we can find the perfect entertainment for you, Phil and your parents. No matter what you decide we thank you for thinking of us and we would be honored to be a part of your special night. ALL of us at EBE are looking forward to celebrating with you.

Best regards,

Ben

How to Find a Venue for your Corporate Event

Finding the Perfect Venue for Your Corporate Event

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Putting together a corporate event is not a small feat. You can be throwing an intimate get together with corporate partners where the goal is to let loose with the boys, or the purpose of the event may be networking on a large scale where it’s all business.

When you live in a large city, it’s easy to throw a corporate event that fits just what it is you are trying to accomplish. From Go Kart racing to schmoozing outside on the patio at an upscale hotel, there are plenty of venues to set the mood for your corporate event.

Starting small, a popular corporate get together is to do a fun activity together, like bowling or Go Kart Racing. The goal here is to let off steam, meet some other people outside of your department, and have a good time. This is really good for company morale, because those that play together work together better. It is proven that once office mates, and people from the same office park, get to know one another, more conversation happens. When more conversation happens, ideas grow. That is good for the company. People, no matter what age, love to act like children every once in a while. When you feel like a child, you loosen up and talk to people you normally wouldn’t. This is, however, a great idea for the young, hard workers at desk jobs in big companies.

If the event calls for fun, but on a larger scale, there are many options. There is always the club route. There are even clubs that offer superior audio-visual capabilities for companies that want to share project videos, show pictures from past events, or promote their own agendas all while sipping on drinks and dancing. If a club is too loud and the corporate event calls for a bit more of a sophisticated vibe, rooftop lounges are very popular. It is easy to rent out a rooftop lounge on the top of a hotel and it allows for the same club feel without the loud music reverberating off the walls. It also provides a calming view and cocktails, so you get a mood that fosters mingling with others. Here at the Warehouse at EBE, we can provide the best of both worlds. Our Warehouse is designed for you to feel as though you are renting your own private night club, while our roof deck offers stunning views of the Delaware River and the Ben Franklin Bridge.

For the large corporate event there are lots that can be rented out. These lots are the perfect canvas for setting your own corporate theme. Usually these lots are around 4000 square feet and can accommodate a lot of people. It offers great options for lighting, catering, and photo opportunities. This can be a great place to hire a band, a magic show, or some form of entertainment since there is so much room to work with. These venues tend to be used by people who want to transform it. You get a warehouse feel but with insulation, heat, and good lighting. High ceilings and wide open floor space welcome a happy group of people to a large party. It has that artist vibe but with out all of the art.

However, when a cultural element is needed, there are always art galleries, museums, and even a cultural center. Depending on the guests, you can tailor that even more to a specific place, like an auto museum. All three of our local sports venues offer great event space, so they are certainly worthy of checking out too. People love to be in places where they can look around and discuss what they see. It is a great icebreaker and for the more mellow, formal crowd, a nice evening out.

For the fancy events, there are several manor homes that are now being rented out for private events. There are places on a beach that can be rented out, so you can sip your martini and watch the sunset. Another option is to book your function in one of the downtown spaces with event space on the thirtieth floor or above. When your guests are watching the lights twinkle in the surrounding buildings, they will appreciate the unique opportunity to view the city from such a unique vantage point.

One last location to consider is the great outdoors. Sometimes an outdoor event can be a wonderful respite from the confining walls of corporate life. It can be a formal, catered event with tables and a band, bocce ball, and croquette. Or, it can be a family friendly event where big blow up jumping houses and clowns with balloons are there to entertain while you mingle with adults. No matter what your corporate events, there are venues to fulfill that idea you have of the perfect party.

At the Warehouse at EBE, we have hosted many corporate functions that gave definition to the term “business before pleasure!” Imagine a setting where you have the space to first hold your corporate meetings/information sessions, then break for lunch and conclude with the EBE Game Show. This is an unbelievable team-building activity where you can reinforce everything you had just taught your employees, but in an incredibly fun environment. The keyword again is team-building, because the camaraderie that will exist cannot be beat!

Sean Mensah Review - Lucy's Bat Mitzvah

Lucy’s Bat Mitzvah

By | Reviews, Stephanie Fitzpatrick Reviews, Sean Mensah Reviews | No Comments

Steve–

I wanted to e-mail you to let you know that Stephanie did an unbelievable, fantastic, terrific, fabulous job on Saturday night. I don’t have Sean’s e-mail to copy him as well, but he was, as well, wonderful, fun, energetic and beyond terrific as well! The musical accompaniments were excellent–the music was really absolutely perfect!! I really hope that I have another chance to work with Stephanie and Sean again in the future, because they were an amazing team and both were absolute pleasures to work with! Lucy had an unbelievable time, which is really the most important thing–but it would not have happened had it not been for Sean and Stephanie–so thank you and thank you to both of them, I truly appreciated all of their efforts (and the dancers were amazing as well, I just don’t know their names!!–sorry about that!).

Samantha

Tara Buchanan Review - Council Rock H.S. South Dance

Council Rock H.S. South’s Dance

By | Reviews, Tara Buchanan Reviews | No Comments

Tara,

I wanted to personally thank you and the entire EBE team for everything leading up to and on Saturday night. Danielle in the photo section was very professional, introduced herself immediately, and showed us exactly what, where and how she would be working the photos. Of course they turned out to be a hit, and the kids LOVED the DJ, music, and the real time TV screens. Thank you for your help with Joe and the last minute MP3 playlist of the candy music, it worked out perfect. You guys did an absolutely amazing job, we are looking forward to working with you and EBE for a very long time.

Thank you again for everything Tara. Have a great day.

LeighAnn Burke
Council Rock H.S. SOUTH