How Selecting the Right Entertainment and Games Makes a Special Event Memorable

Selecting the appropriate games, rides, outdoor activities or indoor fun is equally as important as selecting the right party food and music. The more fun your guests have, the more they will talk about their positive experience with others and the more likely they are to participate again in the future. When thinking about your event, a determination of number of attendees, age groups and family status (i.e. Will this be a child friendly event or adults only event. Will there be singles as well as married couples) will help to decide what types of entertainment activities are needed for your event. Knowing the number of people planning to attend is extremely important as you don’t want to be caught off guard by not including enough entertainment to please your crowd. If people have to endure extremely long lines on a hot day, their positive experience can quickly turn negative. A full service planner will have the knowledge in helping you to determine what is enough or not enough entertainment for your event. Crafts and keepsakes as well as inflatable fun carnival rides, fun food machines, midway games, costume characters, clowns and carnival games are appropriate for guests 18 and under. Because the styles and types of inflatables differ greatly from moonwalks, tot towns, mini slides and wind tunnels to giant slides, bungee runs, obstacle courses, slip and slides and climbing mountains, age assessment is important.

Many times adult aged guests enjoy video games, sports games, water fun, casino equipment and racing games as well as inflatables, magicians and famous impersonators. When considering event entertainment it may be a wise decision to conduct a survey and give participants the opportunity to help select the items featured at your special event. That way you are sure to provide a fun filled event for every person in attendance. A determination will need to be made about the tone of the activities as well. For instance, if your event is going to be held in a hotel, restaurant or country club, you may want to offer activities such as story telling, a magic show, balloon twisting, photo booths, green screen technology, caricaturists, handwriting analysis or other constructive activities rather than more energized options requiring running, loud voices or constant movement.

Alternately, if you are able to utilize wide open outdoor space, you may want to include a climbing mountain, giant slide, bumper cars, trackless train or other high energy activities. If your event entails a specific theme, the entertainment equipment you choose can enhance your theme. For instance, a Hawaiian themed event can include cooler racers, human beach balls, dunk tank, water slide, or surf rider. If you are interested in keeping the same color scheme throughout the event you will want to choose items, decorations or props that display your preferred colors. Ways to do this is by providing Mylar balloons, center pieces for tables or an inflatable arch. If your business caters to a certain sector of the population such as the airline industry, a great piece to include would be an airplane wind tunnel or fly guys. Perhaps you are aware that several of your guests are sports fans, this would be a good opportunity to include sports equipment, baseball toss, quarterback attack, soccer kick, grand slam batting, golf distance caddy or other sports related activities. Whatever the case may be, there are several hundred options for making your event unique to your guests needs and preferences. There is no need to have a “canned” experience at your event. No two picnics or parties should be alike because not all goals and objectives are the same.

If you are hosting an outdoor event, and your event venue does not provide tents, tables or chairs, or other forms of shelter, you will want to make sure that your rental company or event staff provides them. If a full picnic meal is being served, it is important to have enough tables and chairs, and table coverings for all of your participants. The only exception to this rule is if the food will be served over a long period of time in a casual buffet style. In that case, you can limit the amount of tables and chairs as your guests may be off enjoying other event activities. Tents are important for an outdoor event in case of in climate weather. There is nothing worse than having your guests caught in a rainstorm with not shelter to run too! A tent is also vital if you are to have a live band, specialty performer or Disc Jockey at the event. Even a small 10×10 tent will help to protect the disc jockeys equipment or the live bands instruments from sun exposure. If your event is indoors, you will want to know how many tables and chairs are available and plan accordingly. You may event want to consider providing additional event rental items such as a stage, portable toilets, event decorations/props, sound system, megaphone, raffle drum, freezer, carnival fronts, etc. Directing the flow of traffic at an event is also directly affected by the placement of tents, tables, chairs and rental items so be aware to the layout of the site you are utilizing as well as the items you are placing there. A quality rental company or event planning service will supply enough knowledgeable staff to make sure that all areas of set up, execution and take down are tended too.

Once all four of these areas of fun are prepared you are ready to host an exciting and fun filled event for your guests!

Hosting a Charity Event With a "Casino Theme" in Michigan

In Michigan, there are several ways for nonprofit / charitable organizations to host a “Casino Night / Las Vegas Party”, a fundraising event with a “casino theme”. They can do a State licensed, “Millionaire’s Party”, work with a local Charity Poker Room or produce their own Casino themed fundraiser / gala event

1. Host your own event

If your group is a registered charity (i.e.; 501(c) 3 or with a similar charitable designation), then you can apply to the State to obtain a license to host a Millionaire’s Party (this license will allows you to host a Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament as well), similar to what you might see being done at summer festivals and events held at many churches throughout the State. These events are like walking into a “real casino”, where your guests purchased their chips, play the various games and then at the end either “cash out” their chips for money, redeem them for prizes, etc.

There is a registration fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) per day for this license and you can get a license good for up to four consecutive days. Your group you can obtain up to four (4) of these licenses per calendar year. To obtain this license, there is extensive paperwork that needs to be completed and then more post-event paperwork to be submitted to the State as well. You should start your licensing application process as early as possible, since the State is currently telling people, that you should allow at least six (6) to eight (8) weeks for the processing of their application. And since you’re required to have your license number on all flyers and other promotional materials, you’re not supposed to advertise your event until you have your license. Also, you will need to follow all of the State’s rules and regulations pertaining to the operation of this event.

The key to this being a successful fundraising event, is that you need to have your group’s members and supporters, show up, participate in the games, and lose money at the games. The more money they lose, the more money your group will make.

You can visit the State’s website (see website address in Section 2 below) for more information on how to run your event, to obtain your licensing application and a list of licensed equipment suppliers.

2. Work with a local, Charity Poker Room

Due to the current popularity of playing Texas Hold ‘Em Poker on television, within the last couple of years many Charity Poker Rooms, have opened throughout the State. Many of these Rooms have become so popular, and have such a large following, that they’re now open seven nights a week.

If such a Charity Poker Rooms exists in your area, you might want to check them out. If your group qualifies for a State license, you might want to consider working with them rather than hosting your own event. You’ll still need to follow all of these State’s rules and regulations pertaining to the operation of your event, but the Room will be able to assist you through this process.

The key reason to work with these Charity Poker Rooms is that you really don’t have to worry about your group’s members and supporters showing up for this type of an event, for it to be successful.

Now here comes a paradigm shift… your members and supporters don’t really have to show up at this fundraiser for it to be successful! If the Charity Poker Rooms is a well established charity poker room, they will have a group of loyal poker players that will show up and play, no matter who the charity is. Groups working with these established Charity Poker Rooms can typically expect to earn between $1,000 to $4,000 per four (4) day run, which isn’t too bad of a return for your $200 investment for your license.

Again you can visit the State’s website ( http://www.michigan.gov/cg/0,4547,7-111-35016—,00.html) for more information on how to run your event and to obtain your license application.

3. Host a Casino Night / Las Vegas themed party / gala event

Similar to having a traditional “dinner / dance, fundraiser”, instead of having dancing as the featured entertainment for your fundraiser / gala, you would have “just for fun” gaming.

Your guests would pay an admission price to attend your event / gala, and for this, they would receive some sort of refreshments, one (1) door price ticket, a predetermined amount of chips or “funny money” and the chance to participate in the “just of fun” gaming entertainment.

Then at the end of the event, your guests would convert all of their “winnings” into additional door prize tickets, and you would have drawings for various door prizes (and hopefully all of these prizes would have been donated to your group).

The key to remember here is that since the chips have no monetary value, and you cannot “buy” additional chips, this is not “real gambling” (remember it is only “just for fun” gaming), and therefore a State license is not required.

Also with this type of event you want to keep the focus on having fun, and not on who has won the most. Remember that with everyone’s admission to your event, they received one (1) door price ticket, so a person could come to your event, not participate in any of the gaming, but could still walk away with a door prize at the end.

And like any traditional fundraiser that your organization might conduct, you’re able to determine the amount of profit that this event will generate, since you already know all of your fixed costs (i.e.; refreshments / food, gaming equipment rentals, profit required per person, etc.), you just set your admission price appropriately. Also you will be able capitalize on several additional fundraising opportunities at your event, such as selling of gaming table sponsorships, selling of specialty drinks at the event, etc.