Thursday, July 4, 2013

Location, Location, Location... (Part 2)

By Jeff Hayes

Well, there goes grandma...

I hope that you had a chance to read my other blog (Location, Location, Location... (Part 1) in regards to the location of the DJ/MC table, if not, just make sure to place the DJ by the dance floor (and not in the corner) and you will be just fine.

With that, there is a 2nd location that we need to speak about... and, that is the location of the bride during the reception. While I understand that you are pulled in every direction imaginable, there is one thing that you must keep in mind, and that's your location.

Where you are standing can send a negative signal or
give guests a chance to leave quickly.

The exact spot that you hang out can and will affect the flow and success of the reception. Let's face it, the older attendees are definitely going to be the ones that cut out first. I have studied this for years and I have finally concluded (after the loss of much needed sleep) that they are not staying for 4 hours and there is nothing that any of us can do about it.

However, these three locations are a MUST NOT DO for any bride that wants a great reception. Here are three locations that you want to avoid on your wedding day...

1) Standing still on the dance floor 
2) Standing near the door
3) Standing outside of the room for a prolonged period of time

If you stand and hug your guests at any of these three locations, it will send a definite message that the end could be near.

The dance floor should be an place of excitement and energy and not boredom. If you stop dancing to hug people it says that you are not into the music and it may cause others to stop dancing as well. I have said many times, it takes two people to start a party but only one to stop it. Does this mean you have to dance all night, no... of course not, just don't park the "thanks for coming" wagon on the dance floor.

Standing by the door and out in the hall simply provides an opportunity for exit when the guests come over to speak to you or the groom. It's important to stay visible in the room and not disappear for long periods of time. This should go without saying, but we see it happen may times especially when the photographer wants MORE pictures up on the roof or out by the 19th hole (but that's another subject all by itself.)

Stay visible and look excited, it's easy to get worn out with all the excitement of the long day. This should be your finest hour, so cherish it and make it work.

**Make sure to read Location, Location, Location... (Part 1)**

Written by Jeff Hayes (Owner of The Party Machine) and he can be reached at

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Location, Location, Location... (Part 1)

By Jeff Hayes

We have heard it before many times, especially if you are in business, it's Location, Location, Location. Where you are located can be one of the MOST important decisions that you will ever make when you are trying to connect your business with the public.

Well, the same applies with your decision of where you will set up your DJ/MC for business with your guests at your reception.

Over the years, one of our biggest challenges is when a bride (or whomever she is listening to) decides to locate the 'ole DJ table far away from the dance floor. We have been right up on the edge of the dance floor (which is a great spot) to waaaaaaay over in the corner where we barely even have enough light to read our notes and every place in between.

I would like to take a moment to publicly share an inside secret; a DJ and MC MUST and I repeat MUST be able to connect with your crowd in order to get them involved. I understand that some brides want to sit right beside the dance floor for the less than an hour they will sit there during dinner. But, let's face it, that all important LOCATION for the betterment of the party should be reserved for the entertainment

The location of the dance floor is paramount to the success of a great party and the DJ/MC should be located as close as they can be to the dance floor. 

There is an experience in the making when The Party Machine plans your event. Make sure to put some great thought in the design and layout of your reception room. Be sure to make the right decision so at the end of the day, when it's all said and done, you've made a decision that is best for the outcome of the event.

**Make sure to check out Location, Location, Location... (Part 2)**

Written by Jeff Hayes (Owner of The Party Machine) and he can be reached at

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A real dance floor stopper...

By Jeff Hayes

Yep kids... they can be a real dance floor stopper...

Now you may be saying, c'mon Jeff, you don't like kids? That answer is short sweet and to the point; YES, I love kids. In fact, Cindy and I have five total and all boys at that. And, I do think the kids running circles on the dance floor during dinner is cute for about 15 seconds then ok, where are the parents? LOL

Fact is that most party goers will refrain from even attempting to hit the dance floor while out of control kids are using it as a jungle gym. So, here are some websites that have some great ideas that you can do for the kids at your reception that will make it kid friendly for all...

The TLC Network                                       

The Knot

Kid Friendly

Bridal Musings


Martha Stewart

I hope that you found something that was an interest to you.

Happy planning!

Written by Jeff Hayes (Owner of The Party Machine) and he can be reached at

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Good DJ is not a Jukebox!

The RIGHT song at the RIGHT time!
Ok heads up, I am feeling that this blog might be a long one. This is one of those topics that I am very passionate about because of the potential hazard if not applied. Since starting The Party Machine in 1993 we now have entertained at more than 5,000 events and over the years we have learned a lot. Some ideas we continue to use today and others, well, let’s just say no one will ever see those again. One of the biggest lessons and talents I think that we have mastered is what really makes a dance floor hop. There is a definite science to creating a successful dance floor flow but I think the single most important ingredient (as you may have guessed) is the MUSIC selections!

No doubt music is key, that’s why our song database is staggering, in fact, HUGE is a better word. At last count just over 80,000 titles with almost that many more on Karaoke. We have a wide variety of music such as Oldies, Beach/Shag, Swing, 70s/Disco, 80s, 90s, 2000s, 2010s, Dance, Country, Hip-Hop, Top 40, R&B and every line dance under the sun. I think it is safe to say that we probably have more music than all the Upstate radio stations combined.

As I have worked with clients over the years, I personally believe that the absolute worst mistake that you can make is turning your DJ into a jukebox. But sadly, it happens every weekend at probably hundreds of parties across the country.

For me, I find it baffling that a client would choose their entertainment based on the belief that they can do the best job for them, but then not trust their ability to bring the right mixture of music to the dance floor. I mean why would you not allow the DJ staff that you have hired to entertain you and your guests with their experience to do their job?

At The Party Machine, our goal is to mix in as many of your favorites as possible along with requests that make sense from your family and guests. This of course is your event, but what if your favorites prove not to be the favorites of your guests? At the end of the day isn’t it everybody all having a great time that proves to make your event a success? In the past, I have witnessed clients sabotage their own event by limiting our decisions on music selections and hindering us from being able to read their crowd and deliver the proper balance of music.

I do believe that your entertainment company should do their homework and make sure they understand your taste in music. They should allow you to have major input in what’s on the agenda and most importantly what’s NOT on the agenda. I always say that I am more concerned with what you don’t want that what you do want. It is important for the success of the event that you NOT ask your DJ to use your music list as a mandatory playlist, but instead use it as a guide.

My philosophy on DJing is very simple; it boils down to one word… timing! It’s basically an art of the right song at the right time. Over the years I have entertained at parties that ended up absolutely 100% perfect. But, I could not come back that very next week at the same time with the same crowd and entertain them with the exact music playlist as we used the week before. It would be virtually impossible to do that and make the event a success. If that would work, I could make a playlist, load up an iPod and send my kids to Dj the event while I sit by the pool and sip unsweet tea. And we all know that is not gonna happen. Many circumstances at an event cause changes from one moment to the next.

No DJ regardless of how long they have been in the profession can control a dance floor with a pre-planned list. If you disagree with my music principles and wish to make a mandatory playlist for your DJ to follow, then remember, by taking the music flow out of their control, you also have taken your party out of their control. Isn’t that sorta like hiring a mechanic to work on your car and standing there telling him how to fix it? If you ever do that, please let me know how it works out for you. J

Remember, a Good DJ is not a Jukebox!

Written by Jeff Hayes (Owner of The Party Machine) and he can be reached at

Monday, January 10, 2011

The time of your Wedding Ceremony can make a HUGE impact on your Reception.

By Jeff Hayes

Did you know that the time of your Wedding Ceremony can have a direction impact on the success of your Wedding Reception? This answer may surprise you.

As your guests are planning their events on your wedding day, they will either plan something after your reception or they won't. If your ceremony time is too early in the day it will allow them to plan another event or function after yours. If so, then you may find that many of them may not stay as long as you have hoped.

Ask yourself these questions; 1) If I were attending a wedding at 3:00 pm, would it be the last event that I planned that day? or 2) If I were attending a wedding at 5:00 pm, would it be the last event that I planned that day? See the difference?

If you want them to stay late in the evening then keep this in mind while you are setting your ceremony time.

Written by Jeff Hayes (Owner of The Party Machine) and he can be reached at

Sunday, January 9, 2011

If you want to $pend thousand$ of dollar$ on your Wedding Reception just to kill it, well, right here is where you can start.

By Jeff Hayes

I am amazed at the number of brides that allow their guests to be dumped to the parking lot for a fake leave.

The idea is to interrupt the reception, move all the guests outside, fake a leave and then move all the guests back inside to continue the reception. You may actually be saying why would you do this?

Basically it's to allow the video or photo guy to bail out early, well guess what? So do your guests. We have seen upwards of 40-60% of the guests not come back in after a fake leave. In fact, I have seen a few parties die in the hands of a fake leave.

Here is a free piece of advice so you don't have to worry about this happening... ready... hire someone that will agree up front to stay till the end of your reception. C'mon, this is your special day right? They can hurry home to watch tv some other time.

Written by Jeff Hayes (Owner of The Party Machine) and he can be reached at