Month: April 2016

What’s reasonably priced?

One frequent question in online Mitzvah planning groups is requests for a reasonably priced ___. Every time I see one, I want to rip my hair out! Why? | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

As a member of a number of Mitzvah Planning groups on Facebook (psst. Don’t forget to like us!), one question that comes up all the time is some asking for recommendations for a reasonably priced ___ (fill in the blank vendor). Every time I see that, I want to rip my hair out! Why?

Reasonably priced is an opinion

What’s reasonable to one person is not reasonable to another. Often what the person is really saying is I don’t want to pay a lot for ___, who is cheap?

Quality isn’t mentioned as a factor

If reasonable = inexpensive, you get what you pay for. A vendor who is well below market value may fit any of the following: inexperienced, slow to respond to your needs, unreliable, poor reputation in the industry, lesser quality equipment, no backup plan (ie a photographer who only brings one camera). Or maybe you’re getting lucky with someone who is trying to break into the Mitzvah business. If your determining factor for hiring them is solely the price, how can you be sure of their quality?

In conclusion

There are vendors in many different price points, but what someone else considers reasonably priced shouldn’t be the determining factor in hiring a vendor for your event. If someone’s price seems too good to be true, ask yourself why that might be.

Need help finding quality Mitzvah vendors in your budget? Pop Color Events can help!

 

Don’t hire your best friend’s mitzvah vendors

Don't just hire a Mitzvah vendor just because your friend did. Your party, needs and budget are different and you may not be happy with the end result. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

Many of my clients come from referrals from past clients. I love that because often if one of my clients are wonderful, their friends are wonderful too. Clients frequently want to use a specific Mitzvah vendor (anyone from a photographer to a DJ or photo booth company) because their friend had a great experience. It’s certainly valuable to trust the recommendation of your friends.

But.

Yes, there’s a but. It’s important to note that just because your friend had a great experience doesn’t mean you’ll have the same experience. Mitzvah recommendations are different than the typical recommendation you’d get from a friend to see a movie or try a new restaurant. Don’t just hire a Mitzvah vendor, whether it’s a planner or any other vendor you use for your Mitzvah, just because your friend did. Why is that?

Your party is different

Every party has something that makes it different from the party that your friend planned. It’s a different time of year. It’s a different theme. It’s a different mix of people or a different number of people. The venue is different. The list goes on and because no event is the same.

Your needs are different

There a thousand things that could make what you’re looking for different from what they’re looking for. They had a plated meal, you want buffet stations. They had more adults, you’ll have more kids. You have an Interfaith family who’s never been to a Mitzvah before, their family is from New York and go to Mitzvahs every weekend. All of those little factors add up to their vendors potentially not being the right fit for your event.

Your budget is different

Since people don’t often mention how much they spent on their event, you might not realize that your friend had a budget that was significantly higher than yours and their vendors’ services reflected that. You may not be as happy with the vendors’ lower priced options. I’ve found that the biggest factor in customer dissatisfaction is a mismatch of expectation and that usually comes down to what they can get for what price.

How do I know if I should hire the same Mitzvah vendor as my friend?

Interview the Mitzvah vendor. Talk to them about your needs and your budget. Get a sense of what they will be able to provide you. Tell them what you liked and didn’t like about your friend’s party and see if they can meet your event’s needs. Most Mitzvah vendors can handle a variety of scenarios, but you have to be clear on what you want upfront. The clearer you can be about the type of party you want, the better you’ll be able to match up with the right vendors.

6 Tips for a Great Mitzvah Candy Buffet

Candy buffets are all the range at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. After all, who doesn't love candy? Here are some helpful tips to do the candy buffet right. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

Candy buffets are all the range at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. After all, who doesn’t love candy? But in order to do it right, especially if you’re going to DIY, here are some helpful tips.

#1 Rule of the candy buffet

The most important thing is to regulate when the candy is distributed. The correct timing is to open the display as the party is winding down, but not allow kids (or adults!) to take the candy until they are walking out the door. As in, once you have the candy, your parent has arrived to pick you up and you’re not going back into the party. Candy stampede is real.

Attendant

There needs to be a dedicated adult who (wo)mans the candy buffet at all times to enforce the #1 Rule (above) and keep the area tidy. Once the candy is out, they do not leave! Depending on whether the candy buffet is DIY, done by your caterer or someone who you hired specifically to make it will depend on who that attendant is. As a planner, my staff and I have certainly womanned our share of candy buffets and it is something that I’m happy to do for my clients.

Keep it sanitary

If the candy is unwrapped, have tongs or scoopers for each bowl or container of candy. Depending on who makes the candy buffet will determine who provides the tongs or scoopers. Double check if you’re not sure. Your attendant will make sure that the kids use the scoopers (another great reason to have an attendant!).

Put the candy in something meant for food

Food grade bagstake out boxes or other small containers are all great options. The containers can be branded to your event with custom stickers or stamps. Note that the containers will get filled to the top, so if you want to go through less candy, have smaller containers.

Bar Mitzvah Candy Buffet with M&Ms | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs | Serving DC, MD & VA | Photo by Paired Images

Nuts + allergies

Read the ingredients if you know you have guests with serious allergies. More things than you’d think “may contain traces of nuts.” It’s tough, but there are lots of nut-free options. If you’re not sure, ask a parent of one of the kids with allergies. They will be THRILLED to point you in the right direction.

The look

Some candy buffets are only in the color of the event, whereas some include the Mitzvah child’s favorite types of candy. This is a personal preference thing, as the kids will just be excited to have candy to begin with. There is no need to drive yourself crazy hunting down the perfect shade of blue licorice!

Mail, Email or Online Programs for Mitzvah RSVP

How you decide to collect your guests Mitzvah RSVP is a total personal preference thing these days. Learn about the pros to mail, email and online programs. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

How you decide to collect your guests’ Mitzvah RSVP is a total personal preference thing these days. There are pros to each method, so think it through and do what works best for your family.

Mailed Mitzvah RSVP Card Pros

  • You have something physical that you can keep forever. Some people write little notes along with their RSVPs.
  • It makes checking the mail fun since you know there will be something exciting almost every day.
  • It’s easier for elderly guests who may not be tech-savvy.
  • People who can’t come sometimes send checks with their responses.
  • Having a physical card is a silent nagging to mail it back. Without the reminder on their countertop or bulletin board, people can forget to RSVP or think they did, when they didn’t.
  • The cards can be used to help with seating plans. You can sort them by group (mom’s relatives, dad’s relatives, family friends, grandparents friends, kids etc.) and then use them to place guests in groups for tables.

Email Mitzvah RSVP Pros

  • Saves money since you don’t need to pay for a RSVP enclosure, envelope and stamp.
  • You can set up a custom email address for free.
  • You can set an auto reply to share even more Mitzvah-related details–directions, hotel info, parasha…
  • Allows more of a conversation if people have questions because you can easily just hit reply.
  • If you’re going to enter the RSVP information into a spreadsheet anyway, you might as well already be in front of the computer when you get their response.

Online Registration Mitzvah RSVP Pros

  • Saves money since you don’t need to pay for a RSVP enclosure, envelope and stamp. However, there could be a small fee for the program you choose. You’ll likely still pay less than what it will cost for the extra enclosures and stamps.
  • Create an online form through Google forms, Wufoo or another program to capture other information besides whether or not they will attend–everything from meal selection to song requests.
  • A website like RSVPify allows you to automate the process even further, by having specific permissions for certain guests to attend certain events but not others (so for example, you can tell it which guests are invited to the out of towners brunch and only they will be prompted to RSVP for that event) and making it very clear who is allowed a +1. It allows you to easily send reminder emails to people who have not yet responded. There are free and paid versions.

Not sure where to start with invitations or RSVPs? Pop Color Events can help! Contact me for a free consultation.

© 2015 Pop Color Events