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Three Ways to Avoid Planning a Boring Corporate Event

Let’s be incredibly candid here: corporate events aren’t usually known for being fun. Whether it’s a catered networking event or a celebration for your company’s most recent big accomplishment, these corporate events often lack a level of entertainment.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Here at Planet DJ Productions, we’ve helped organize countless corporate events throughout the Washington D.C. area and, believe it or not, we know firsthand that it is possible to create an entertaining corporate event that people actually want to attend.

Here are three of our pro tips for planning events that will have your team excited for your next big outing.

Turn to your food for inspiration

There’s no reason whatsoever for you to limit your food choices to traditional appetizers. Everyone loves great food, which is why your choice of food is the best place to start injecting some fun. Here are a few ideas we’ve seen through our own experiences:

* Set up a DIY Food Bar: Pizzas, tacos, s’mores, ice cream sandwiches … each or all of these make for a great do-it-yourself food bar. This is great for picky eaters or folks with dietary restrictions, as they can easily accommodate themselves.

* Deconstructed Food: Deconstructed food is all the rage right now, and helps you put a fancy twist on regular foods. Deconstructed food refers to the idea of breaking apart elements traditionally combined together to make a dish, and serving the items separate in a unique way (such as in small glasses). You can check out some great examples on Pinterest, including this deconstructed pumpkin pie.

* Food Trucks: You could always bring in a reputable food truck or cart from your local community. Not only will it be a hit, but you’re also supporting fellow local business owners.

Go interactive with your corporate event

One of the chief reasons to hold a corporate event is to get people mingling. One surefire way to get your guests involved with one another is to introduce interactive event activities, including:

* Photo Booths: Consider renting a photo booth with props to get your guests making instant memories.

* Blank Canvas: We’ve seen great success with this – set up a large blank canvas. Guests will instinctively start scribbling on the canvas, including signing their name, offering words of wisdom or encouragement, and, perhaps, even show off their artistic skills.

* Trivia/Quiz Contest: When you host one of these contests, it’ll get guests working together on a common goal, all while having fun. Try to mix up your teams to allow coworkers who normally don’t interact to get to know each other outside of the office.

Go big on the entertainment

Do you really want your corporate event to stand out and become memorable? Then your most important step, without question, is to hire a professional corporate event DJ and emcee, who’ll set the mood and keep the party going.

Take your entertainment one step further by considering:

* Scheduling a surprise performance in the middle of your event, when your guests are most likely to start getting restless.

* Bring in special performers, such as Bollywood belly dancers

Whether your corporate event guest list includes 20 or 200 people, there’s always a way to make it stand out – and there are professionals like the team here at Planet DJ Productions who are here to help.

Using Social Media to Make Your Wedding Rock

Most people use social media daily to share their personal stories and important moments with the people in their lives. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are also used to gather information, entertain us and more.

But can social media be used at and for your wedding? Absolutely. As a leader in wedding entertainment in DC and beyond, we’ve seen some of our clients master the art (and science) of social media. Here are a few useful tips to use social media to make your wedding even better.

Using social media with your wedding vendors

You can use social media from the start of your wedding planning to select, and vet, your vendors (including your DJs, catering company and more). Here’s how:

* Research your potential vendors on social media and cut those that don’t fit your criteria.
* Read online and social reviews and stick to those vendors with the highest ratings.
* Reach out directly to your potential vendors – via social media – with any questions or concerns. Then gauge your satisfaction with their input and answers.

Get wedding inspirations through social media

You can use social media to design your wedding ideas and concepts. Pinterest is the platform for gathering inspiration, but each network offers plenty of opportunities for you to read about trends, ideas, designs, colors and themes that might interest you.

Then, you can share these ideas and posts with your vendors and friends to get feedback.

Add a hashtag to your wedding day

Create a wedding hashtag by using your wedding date, your names, nicknames, or wedding theme. Really, anything unique and fun can be used for your wedding hashtag (#MrandMrsDavis, etc.).

Spread the word early about your hashtag by printing it on your invitations and email blasts. Design signs for your reception that will remind guests to use your hashtag. The use of a hashtag across social media will allow you and your guests to tell your wedding day story and follow it in one, singular place.

Rules of the social media world

There are plenty of ways to use social media to enhance your wedding. But, if you plan to use sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, then there are some things you should prepare for:

For starters, when sharing your wedding story online, use only the networks that work best for you and your guests. Ask them which networks they prefer, and stick only to them.

Also, use sensitivity and common sense – post only appropriate photos. Stick to positive, light and fun messages – even if you are documenting the arduous task of wedding planning. Keep your negativity off the social channels.

If you plan to encourage your guests to be active on social media during your wedding, then you might want to offer up a social media station where guests can charge their phones. The social media station can also serve as a centralized area where guests can live stream to share with family and friends who weren’t able to attend.

Lastly, as amazing as social media can be, it’s more important to be present and enjoy your wedding day. Life isn’t lived through a smartphone, so don’t compromise real memories for social media moments.

Looking for more unique ways to modernize your wedding and make it unforgettable? Contact the Planet DJ team today!

Different Types of Dance Floors to Rent for Your Wedding or Special Event

There are so many factors that help create a stunning wedding or celebration. But perhaps one of the most overlooked elements is the dance floor.

Dance floors allow you to add a touch of flair, functionality, and fun to your big day. And while many folks assume renting a dance floor is only for outdoor weddings, you’d be surprised to learn that many of our clients throughout DC, Virginia and Maryland rent floors from us even if their reception is inside.

What types of dance floors can you rent for your wedding or event?

Being able to control and influence every nook and cranny of your wedding is important, which is why so many of our clients love being able to rent their own dance floors.

Here at Planet DJ Productions, we have a wide variety of dance floors for our clients to choose from, including more traditional styles (white and black dance floors) to more immersive floors, such as Starlit and LED dance floors.

Fusion, Starlit and LED dance floors

These type of floors will truly bring your party to life. Our technicians can customize the color scheme of the floor pattern to complement your theme. We can even customize the shapes and sizes of the patterns to help you create an experience unlike any other wedding your guests have ever seen.

Choosing the right size flooring to rent

How do you know how much flooring you’ll need for your wedding or event? Luckily, you don’t have to worry too much about it – our team will provide you a proper estimate. But to give you an idea, in our experience we’ve found that generally no more than half of the people at an event dance at any one time. Each couple requires nine square feet of space. Thus, if you have a party for 200 people, then 100 people (or 50 couples) will typically be the most number of people on the floor at any given time. You should estimate about 3’x3’ panel per couple.

But again, don’t worry about all that. The Planet DJ Production team knows how stressful wedding planning can be, which is why we’ll make it quick and easy for you to:

* Determine if you need to rent a dance floor
* Decide how much flooring you need
* Settle on the perfect style of flooring to suit your needs and budget

Remember, even if your reception is indoors, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the type of impact a rented floor can have on your guests. Looking to make your wedding or event memorable for a lifetime? Contact us today to see what we can do to help.

Using an LED Wall for Your Wedding or Important Celebration

In our role as chief entertainers for weddings, corporate events, and other momentous occasions throughout the Metro DC area, the Planet DJ Productions team comes across all types of new and exciting pieces of technology.

One of the most exciting pieces of AV-tech we’ve seen is the use of LED walls for weddings and other celebratory events.

But what is an LED wall?

An LED wall is a series of interlinked LED screens that combine to create sprawling images capable of wowing your guests, selling the atmosphere you’re trying to cultivate, and adding to the aura of majesty for your party.

And guess what?

Thanks to Planet DJ Productions, LED wall rentals in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia has never been easier. Since we’ve helped make it easy to add an LED wall to your event, we think it’s time you got to know more about these walls.

     Get More Wedding Tips: 6 Ways to Pleasantly Surprise Your Wedding Guests

Reasons why you should have an LED video wall at your wedding or event

For starters, our LED walls are designed to present crisp, high-quality images, regardless of whether they’re used indoors or outdoors. Even direct sunlight won’t impact the visuals displayed on these screens. The advanced coloring capabilities of these screens allow you to display, for example, stunning vistas, beautiful dresses, or just about anything else you want to show off to your guests.

Our LED walls are also user-friendly, and come with numerous input options, making them compatible with DVI, HDMI, VGA, as well as HD-SDI.

LED walls keep your guests informed

Large weddings, outdoor events, and more often have guests who are spread out across the grounds. This can make coordination a bit of a challenge. Since LED video walls are so large and noticeable, they serve as an excellent way to keep everyone informed.

You may want to display a timetable, a countdown, or highlight special announcements in a way that make it easy for your guests to stay in the know.

LED walls – the personal touch

Folks who’ve rented LED walls from us in the past marvel at how much control they have over their screens. Your video display can be customized with anything you want:

     – A slideshow of photos showing off the timeline of your relationship (for weddings and anniversaries)
     – The logos or headshots of corporate sponsors or partners (for corporate events)
     – Home movies/videos (for birthday/milestone celebrations)

Some of our past clients have used their walls to showcase a self-made blooper reel from their first vacation together, or highlighted excerpts of love letters written to one another. The possibilities are endless, and the team here at Planet DJ Productions will help you bring your vision to reality.

Finding LED Video Wall rentals in DC, Virginia and Maryland has never been easier

Our event technicians will work with you every step of the way to fully customize your LED video wall. Our team will also be on staff – throughout your event – to help manage the wall and offer support if and when needed.

Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help your event come to life with an LED video wall.

6 Ways To Pleasantly Surprise Your Wedding Guests

When it comes to wedding ceremonies and receptions, so much of the attention and spotlight is (deservedly) cast upon the happy couple. But, as one of the biggest parties you’ll ever throw in your life, you don’t want to forget about your guests. They, too, deserve to enjoy in the glitz, glamour, and surprises that come with your ultimate wedding bash.

And while traditional wedding receptions are entertaining enough, we here at Planet DJ Productions of Washington D.C. wanted to help you up the ante. Here are six ways you can surprise your wedding guests so that they have a night they’ll truly cherish forever.

1. Think about those feet!

Most weddings we help organize and provide entertainment for are at least somewhat formal. That means women wear high-heels and men slip on stiff (often rented) shoes. That’s okay for the ceremony, but what happens when it’s time to dance?

One way to surprise your guests with something useful is to leave boxes of flip-flops along the perimeter of the dance floor for guests to use as they wish. Trust us, they, and their feet, will thank you!

2. Bring the photo booth!

Weddings and pictures are, by no means, strangers to one another. But photo booths bring your picture game to a whole new level. Add a few silly props into the mix and what you’ll end up with is not only an entertaining party feature – but the pictures to prove it!

3. Waiters who wow

As one of the most sought after wedding entertainment agencies in the mid-Atlantic region, we know how much wedding guests love their entertainers. But do you know what they love even more – surprise entertainment. Why not book professional singers and party motivators, disguised as waiters, who’ll burst into song while serving your meal? The look on your guests’ faces will be well worth it.

4. End the night with a food truck

There’s simply no denying that food trucks are in right now. We’re not saying you should replace your official meal with food trucks (although that is an option) but rather, at the end of the night, when the dancing is done, why not surprise exiting guests with a food truck (or two) parked outside the venue? This way they can grab a late-night snack to fuel up after a night of partying.

5. Book a star – or a somewhat star

Weddings are already expensive, so we don’t expect you to want (or be able) to afford to hire an a-list star. But here’s the good news: extremely talented contestants on shows like the X Factor, American Idol and The Voice are available to perform at weddings, and can be somewhat affordable. Perhaps a good idea is to book these stars to perform one or two songs, but then book a more professional – and affordable – wedding musician for the rest of your evening.

6. Go with DIY treats

Fill a long table with tubs of ice cream, wafers, sundae dishes and toppings, and allow your guests to make their own dessert masterpieces. Your guests – from young nieces to 90-year-old grandparents, will love this opportunity to get creative.

Still not sure how best to wow your wedding guests? Not to worry. We here at Planet DJ Productions have put on countless weddings and other celebrations throughout D.C., Maryland, Virginia and abroad. We can work with you, directly, to help you come up with your own unique, and memorable wedding ideas to keep your guests talking about your party for years to come.

Contact us today to learn more.

Is a Virtual Wedding Planner Right for You?

Even the most energetic and excited bride or groom will eventually accept that planning a wedding is stressful, overwhelming, and, at times, more than they can handle.

Having someone else handle your wedding plans seems like quite the logical expense, but not every couple is on board with spending that money – especially since the wedding alone is quite the budget buster.

But in this age of technology and smartphones, couples now have another option to choose from – the virtual wedding planner.

Companies such as Loverly help you stay organized and put you directly in touch with vendors, as well as allow you to communicate with – and get advice from – leaders and experts in the wedding industry. But why would you want to ditch the traditional wedding planner for one you can use on your smartphone?

Here are five reasons why couples throughout Washington D.C., Virginia and beyond are turning to virtual wedding planners.

 1. Of course it comes down to cost!

Some apps up free, but more times than not you’ll need to purchase the app’s packages or bundle (like the $399 Loverly signature package, which includes vendor recommendations, registry creation, and a personalized budget sheet). Still, even at $399, that is far less expensive than what it would cost to hire an actual wedding planner.

Day-of planners often cost around $1,500, while a full-service planner could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

2. Planning on your schedule

When you use a virtual planner, you don’t have to figure out scheduling conflicts to meet with your planner. Simply check your budget, timeline, RSVP status and more when you want to.

3. Easy organization

When you use an app to plan your wedding, there’s no need for paper trails or endless email threads. Everything is found in one place, including your to-do lists, your vendors’ contact information and more.

4. Virtual planners connect you with likeminded people

Often times it can feel like you’re alone on your quest of planning the perfect wedding. But you’re not. There are thousands of people just like you. Apps like Wedding Wire allow you to connect with other couples to trade ideas, share advice and offer tips from personal experiences.

In other words, you get feedback from multiple people, rather than just one wedding planner.

5. You’ll almost certainly stay within your budget

We’ve known clients who’ve come to us and said that they unexpectedly surpassed their budget with their wedding planner, but didn’t realize it until it was too late.

With wedding planning apps, however, you’ll actually get push notifications and texts alerting you to your spending and letting you know if you’re getting close to your limits.

Embrace technology but, in the end, trust your gut

We here at Planet DJ love how technology has worked its way into the wedding planning space. We’re always supportive of making life easier for couples as they plan this momentous time in their lives.

But we also believe that you should keep things personal and trust your gut. If, for example, your virtual wedding planner app gives you 8 music vendors to choose from, we’d urge you to then take that list and meet with these DJs and entertainers in person.

This is particularly important for your choice of entertainment, as your DJ or musicians won’t just play music – they’re supposed to help entertain the crowd with their personality.

Dig Deeper: 5 Tips on How to Choose the Right Wedding Entertainment for Your Big Day

The only way you can tell if your DJ or musician is the right fit for your wedding is if you meet them face to face.

Want to learn more about how a DJ or musician can completely transform your wedding celebration? Contact us today to learn more.

What Should You Add to Your Wedding Website?

It’s all but a norm for engaged couples these days to have their very own wedding website, and for good reason.

Having your own wedding website makes it easy for you to share vital, up-to-date information with your guests that you’d rather exclude from your fancy invitations.

Not only that, but your wedding website is a great way to engage your guests and get them excited as the day nears.

At first glance, it may seem like your website is easy enough to create; but when you actually sit down to make your site, you may find yourself struggling to determine what details to include, and which ones to leave out.

Here at Planet DJ Productions, we specialize in helping engaged couples do all that they can to plan the perfect wedding, and that includes steering you toward best practices for your website.

As the ultimate resource for your big day, it’s vital that you include certain information that all of your guests will find useful. Here’s what you should include in your wedding website:

1. The location of your wedding

You want to obviously include where the wedding and reception will be held. You want to make it easy for guests to know how long it’ll take them to get from Point A to Point B, so we recommend you include directions and points of interest, as well as an integrated Google Map.

2. Where to stay and what to do in town

If you’re booking a hotel block for your guests, include that relevant information on your site. You should also include details for all the major airports near the hotels, as well as available transportation services/contact information, including Uber, public transportation, car rentals, etc.

Your guests will also appreciate if you include a list of local restaurants, shopping districts, parks and other things they can do while on this trip.

3. Your wedding weekend schedule

If your wedding is a full-weekend event, then make sure to include a rough itinerary of all the major events taking place.

This includes ceremony and reception times, after party events, and even the morning-after brunch.

4. Your preferred contact information

You can almost guarantee that at least a few of your guests will reach out to you with questions, concerns, or ideas. How do you want them to contact you? With your direct cellphone? Your personal email address?

We find that many couples create a new email address (often the combination of their names) to use just for this event. Encourage your guests all to use this one form of contact so that you have an easier time keeping communication organized.

5. Don’t forget some photos!

The web is an extremely visual place; make sure your guests like coming to your site by feeding into their visual hunger. Include some great photos to personalize your site – your engagement photos are a great resource.

Just don’t go overboard. Include just a handful of photos so as not to overwhelm your guests.

6. Your love story

Again, you want to personalize your website, so make sure you include the story of how you and your fiancé met. You can skip this part if everyone in attendance knows you intimately; however, it’s a nice touch, particularly if you or your fiancé are crafty with words.

7. Registry information

Most wedding experts we work with throughout the Greater Washington DC area agree that your website is the only place where you should share your registry information (in other words, leave it off your invitations). Just include the names or logos of the stores where you are registered.

8. Entertainment/vendors

We recommend you also include a list of your wedding DJ/musicians, photographers and vendors. We recommend this for a few reasons:

1) It gives guests the chance to research these vendors, in case they have personal concerns (RE: food or music choices).

2) It gives the guests the ability to reach out to these vendors directly. For example, one of your guests might want to set up a surprise photo-moment at the wedding, and can plan ahead with the photographer.

3) It helps make the vendors more accountable. Now your guests know who’s supplying the

, food, and more.

Your website is designed to make life easier for your guests

Since your guests are the number one reason why you’re creating a website, be sure to focus on their needs. Choose a website template (we recommend a free site) that’s minimalistic and easy to navigate and is mobile friendly.

Don’t forgo functionality for fancy. If your website looks amazing, but is confusing for the average user, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Your website is just one step of the wedding planning process. Have you found the perfect DJ, musician, or live entertainment yet?

Learn more about why more folks in the Virginia/Maryland/DC area choose Planet DJ Productions to help bring the party to their big event. Contact us today!

5 Tips On How to Choose the Right Wedding Entertainment for Your Big Day

There are so many factors that go into planning your dream wedding. From the venue to your choice of food and decorations, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the details.

But one detail you certainly can’t afford to gloss over is your wedding entertainment. You can’t forget that your wedding is, after all, a party. For many folks – yourself included – this will be their biggest party of the year!

When you look at it from that perspective, you quickly realize just how important it is to choose the right wedding DJ or live entertainment.

Wedding Planning 101: What’s Wrong with Hiring a DJ from Craigslist or Thumbtack?

But how do you know you’re choosing the right wedding entertainment for your event? These 5 tips should help.

1. Watch your entertainers perform elsewhere

Modern technology has made it possible for you to watch past performances of wedding DJs and bands from the comfort of your own home, thanks to YouTube.

But nothing compares to seeing these entertainers live in action. If you have the time, and ability, we strongly encourage you to check out your entertainment prospects at one of their events. That way you can assess how well they do with the crowd, and if their entertainment value remains consistent throughout the evening.

2. Don’t flock to the most inexpensive option out there

It doesn’t take long to realize that planning a wedding – no matter how simple or complex – can be costly. It’s only natural to look for ways to trim your budget; but your entertainment should not be one of those elements impacted by cost-cutting.

In the end, you’ll get what you paid for. Pricier musicians and DJs will almost certainly have tremendous experience with weddings, making them far better suited for your event than, say, a local band you found at a coffee shop.

3. Don’t take their word for it. Ask around!

Wedding DJs and entertainers are just like any other business out there: they do well to talk themselves up to their customers and clients.

Don’t just believe everything these folks feed to you. Getting unbiased reviews and feedback from past clients should be a non-negotiable. If a band or DJ isn’t willing to put you in contact with a previous client, that’s your cue to move on to the next option.

4. Make sure they’ll take requests

When it comes to hiring a wedding DJ in the DC area, requests shouldn’t be a problem. But they become a bit more complicated if you hire a live band.

Unlike DJs, bands typically don’t have access to thousands of songs. They have a specific set list they can turn to, meaning your wedding song requests could go unanswered.

As you begin your search, try to come up with a variety of songs you could potentially have played at your wedding. That way, your bands can tell you whether they’re intimately experienced with these genres.

Should you allow music requests from your wedding guests?  Learn more now!

5. Sign a contract. Always.

Having a contract in place is a good idea for each and every single one of your wedding vendors, entertainment included.

Your entertainment contract should include the performer’s fee, arrival/finish times, and any other extras you want to include.

For example, some performers bring their own supplies, but others may wish to use existing speakers or cabling.

You also want to outline cancellation fees, while establishing a fail-safe in case someone in the band falls ill.

People come for your wedding. But they’ll always remember the entertainment.

Not to put any pressure on you, but whom you choose for your wedding entertainment will likely define how fondly your big day is remembered by you and your guests.

We recommend giving yourself at least 9 months to choose the best entertainer that meets your needs, vision and budget. Keep in mind, many of the best throughout the Greater Washington D.C. area book out a year in advance; the more time you give yourself, the greater options you’ll have at your disposal.

Learn more about Planet DJ’s live music and DJ entertainment services by contacting us today.