Month: May 2016

Venue Planner vs Mitzvah Planner

What's the difference between the planner at your venue and a Mitzvah planner/coordinator? | Pop Color Events | Adding of Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA.

I’ve heard many parents say “Why do I need to hire a Mitzvah Planner? I have a contact at my venue who will do everything that you do.”


The planner at your venue and a Mitzvah Planner/Coordinator like Pop Color Events have two very different roles. It’s important to understand what the contact at your venue (who might be a salesperson, catering manager or have a similar sort of title) will and will not do for your event. Assume nothing and read your contract to see if these sorts of responsibilities are spelled out there. Otherwise, ask!

Downsides of relying solely on a Venue Planner

Venue planners are often most likely to say that they’ll help with planning at a venue like a hotel or a restaurant where they’ll provide multiple services (catering and food related items like dishes, furniture like chairs and tables, and maybe even lighting or other A/V equipment). Don’t let that fool you! There are many pieces that they will not handle–vendor communication, event timelines, sourcing materials, etc.

Your venue contact could leave the position at any time. Let me repeat, YOUR VENUE CONTACT COULD LEAVE THE JOB AT ANY TIME. You are contracted with the venue, not with that specific person. There is a HIGH turnover in the hospitality industry and it is unlikely that the venue planner that you start with will be the venue planner on the day of your event, especially if you book 2+ years in advance. If that person promises that they’ll help with X, Y or Z, the person who replaces them might not have the skills to help with those items. If it’s not in your contract, assume it’s not gonna happen. In addition, your venue coordinator may not even be the contact from the venue who is contractually required to be there. A banquet captain or some other person from their staff might be the lead the day of your event.

Your venue coordinator could have multiple events in one day, especially if the venue has multiple event spaces. How much attention will they be able to devote to you on your event day, if they have so many other things going on?

Their focus is the services that they will provide, not the other vendors you’ve hired. Your venue may have a list of preferred or suggested vendors that they’ll provide to you. Ask them why are the vendors on this list. Sometimes, vendors pay for the privilege of being on such a list, so be wary!

Importance of hiring an independent Mitzvah Planner

When working with an independent Mitzvah Planner, you are likely contracting with a specific individual who will be with you every step of the way (for a partial or full service planner) or help you wrap up the final details (for a month of planner). They will become familiar with every aspect of your event–every vendor, every detail. Depending on the level of service that you contract for, the planner can help you with everything from finding the perfect invitation to hotel room blocks. S/he has personal relationships with vendors in every category and will recommend the best vendors for your event based on their complete understanding of what you’re looking for.

S/he will oversee your entire event from start to finish, load in to load out. A Mitzvah Planner should only have one event per day (unless their company has multiple planners). I would NEVER book two events in one day because I would not be able to give the level of service necessary to multiple clients.

Have a Venue Planner, but realizing you actually need a Mitzvah Planner? Pop Color Events can help!

It’s Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah!

I believe that there is no one right way to have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah and that your event will special and unique because your family is special and unique. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

I recently talked with a Mitzvah mom who had a terrible experience with a planner. She said she felt bullied and pushed into doing things that she didn’t really want “because that’s the way it’s done.” She said that “our party was lovely, but it wasn’t really the party we wanted.” I was completely appalled. Here’s what I believe:

There’s no one right way to do a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah

I don’t believe there is a formula or a list of things that must happen at your event. Each event is special and unique because…

Each family and child I work with are special and unique

You are individuals with your own taste, needs and likes. I’ve never worked with another family like yours because there isn’t another family exactly like yours. I want your event to reflect your family’s values and your child’s personality, not some cookie-cutter mold.

It’s YOUR Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah, not mine

I want you to have the event of your dreams and I’m there to coach you through the process. I’ll certainly offer suggestions based on my experience along the way (that’s what you’re hiring me for, right?). And I’ll definitely tell you about any potential issues I see, but you can make your own decisions about what is right for your event when you have all of the facts in front of you.

Final Thoughts

The right fit when working with a planner is key to having the event that feels like you. Ask questions. Get a good feel for the planner. And trust your gut. Make sure before you even sign a contract that you get a good feeling from the planner and it’s much more likely that everything will work out perfectly.

Think Pop Color Events could be the planner for you? Contact us and we can chat to find out.

Mitzvah Favors, Prizes or Giveaways

What are Mitzvah favors, prizes and giveaways? Which do you need and what's the difference? | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

I’ve noticed that parents have a bit of confusion between Mitzvah favors, prizes and giveaways and which they should have for their event. I want to make sure we’re all speaking the same language, so here’s what your planner or DJ mean when we use the following terms:

Mitzvah Favors

Tuxedo shirt Mitzvah Favors | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA | Photo by Paired Images
Photo Credit: Paired Images

A Mitzvah favor is something that either all of the kids or everyone gets, regardless of whether or not they’re on the dance floor. Popular items are t-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, drawstring book bags or water bottles. Generally, these items are imprinted with the Mitzvah child’s name and the event date. Depending on the item, sometimes families opt just to give them to the kids, not the adults. However, this is a total personal preference thing. Items can be elaborate, from multiple colors and several items, or simple, small and just one color imprint.

Mitzvah Prizes

Mitzvah prizes are items that can be won on the dance floor. These are items like gift cards, giant candy bars or other items that offer incentives for kids to get competitive. When something fun or of value are on the line, some kids are more likely to get onto the dance floor for fun games.

Mitzvah Giveaways

Mitzvah giveaways are for everyone on the dance floor–adults or kids. These are the silly items that make your pictures lots of fun–hats, sunglasses, glow necklaces, LED wands, etc. Your MC/DJ will make sure that these get distributed at the right time to keep the energy on the dance floor high! Often these are included in DJ packages or they can be added on for a small fee.

Which do I need?

Since all of these items serve a different purpose, I’d recommend having all 3. If cost is an issue, you can always opt for lower priced options. There is definitely something out there in every budget.

Need help figuring out which of these items to have at your party? Pop Color Events can help!

What to do First When Planning Your Mitzvah

You just got your Mitzvah date and are itching to get started, but what do you do first? Make your guest list. Here are tips to get you started. | Pop Color Events | Adding a Pop of Color to Bar & Bat Mitzvahs in DC, MD & VA

You just got your Bar or Bat Mitzvah date and are itching to get started with your planning, but what do you do first? Make your guest list. The number of guests invited (and who ultimately attend) determine EVERYTHING about your event. Where you can host it. How much you’ll spend. How many ____ you’ll need.

But who do you put on the guest list?

I recommend starting by making the biggest invite list possible, even if it includes people who may not be invited in the end or who won’t be able to attend. This is your first pass to brainstorm everyone who should be invited. Sometimes it’s even helpful to have your spouse make a list, your child make a list and you make a list to make sure you’re not forgetting anyone. Here are some groups to think about to get your creative juices flowing: extended family, family friends, work colleagues, college or grad school friends and friends of your child from school, Hebrew School, activities or camp.

Don’t forget to include your family (yes, I mean YOU)! You need to account for your immediate family in space and budgeting. It’s also nice to invite the clergy who is officiating your child’s Mitzvah. They probably won’t come to the reception, but they will appreciate the gesture.

Keep in mind

Eventually, you’ll narrow down this list dramatically, but this is a good starting point. You have time to look at this list critically and think through who you really want to spend this special day with. A lot can (and will) happen in these 2 years. Older guests may pass away, friends may no longer be as close, new friends will be made. While your guest list will fluctuate over the next two years, the number of guests is a good starting point to make sure you have a space that is the right size and can give solid estimates to all of your vendors.

Need help? Contact me for a free consultation and I’ll send you a complimentary Mitzvah guest list tracker.

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