Thursday, December 27, 2012

Madison Green Golf Club Royal Palm Beach Florida Weddings parties

                              Madison Green Golf club in Royal Palm Beach is in the heart of the western communities in palm beach Florida. It features a drive up area where you can drop off your guests and easy access to the hall. The facility has an open area great for ceremonies way off on the golf course. It's a little bit of a walk but golf carts can transport guests if needed.

                                They do have a staff of caterers in house and have an event coordinator. I've personally done about 25 events there. The room features a T shape design. It is very long and thin but can accommodate about 100 people comfortably. The dance floor is setup right in the center of the room as you walk in from the main doors, through the hallway to the reception. Madison Green has an outdoor patio that is good for cocktail hours. It overlooks the golf course and a lake as well. Us mobile DJs aren't necessarily fond of the room layout as there is not a lot of space for equipment but we always make it work. Sometimes the DJs setup on the opposite end of the dance floor in the center of the room and sometimes setup DJ equipment on the far side of the room and face towards the tables. It can be more difficult if you want an engaging entertainer. 

                                  The staff is very nice and always ready to please the guests and guest of honor. From my experience they were very professional and the timing of activities seemed right on. There are a couple of spaces at the beginning of the room where the caterers setup the cakes and snack foods. They mostly do a buffet style dinner as nowadays this seems to be the way to go. I wouldn't recommend setting up the DJ in the far side of the room as it seems to far away to interact with the guests. Also if you're having a ceremony outdoors the facility doesn't have a power source any closer than the buildings, so you would need a battery operated portable system for anything farther away.The view of the reception area is probably the highlight of this venue. 

                                  Overall I would give Madison Green Golf Club Royal Palm Beach FL a 6.8 out of 10 because of a few things. The room is very nice and can work for many size events but as far as power sources anywhere else you would have to stay at the building. The shape of the room can be a little difficult for a larger performance and can be a little tight if you're having lots of photographers and videographers. If you're having a medium size event this is a good place to checkout and it's close to West Palm Beach, Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens. 

If you would like me to write about any other facilities or have questions and/or comments I am more than happy to answer them if you post on this article.

- Billman

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Willoughby Golf Club Stuart Florida Wedding & Party Event facility

I hope that everybody's having a nice December. Billman Disc Jockeys has been pretty busy between weddings, staff holiday parties and even a few birthdays. I can now write about another facility we had played at this past weekend. 

                       Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart Florida is a very upscale venue, hosting many wedding receptions and private parties. They have a full size bar in one room and their main ballroom in the other room. It is quite an elaborate ballroom and has plenty of space for a comfortable 130+ guest count. The dance floor they had at the event we did was pretty good size. You can fit about 60-75 people on the dance floor. I like to fill you in on the specs for these event facilities that way you can determine the best place for the number of guests you plan to invite. For those of you who have a video slideshow they have a built in projector and screen right in the ballroom. That is very convenient. 

As the DJ of this event the only thing I wasn't crazy about was how far away I was from the dance floor. Normally as the DJ and master of ceremonies it's always good to be near the area where everyone will be. It helps to read the crowd for dancing and interact as needed. Keep that in mind when setting up your layout at any facility. My DJ booth was setup somewhat close but still a little ways back away from from the guests. I zoomed in on this photo above. 
                      The staff was very friendly and nice to work with. They were good in accommodating the guests as they walked in and throughout the reception. The overall setup was a buffet style dinner in the room next door and all the tables were numbered. They had their staff come around to each table and invite them up to the buffet. Sometimes depending upon the situation where you are its okay to have the DJ announce table numbers. But keep in mind that announcing tables numbers at a more extravagant setting isn't always appealing to the guests ears. It's best to have one of the staff at the facility come around to each table. This is just from my experience. 

                    Willoughby Golf Club also has an overhang area and drive way to help guests enter the facility with a covering. It's great for those bad weather conditions. What is also convenient is the loading dock and ramp they have for the entertainment. Easy access to the back door of the reception and we don't have to disturb the guests as they are leaving or entering. 
                     Overall I don't run into hardly any issues at the places I've been to. I would say the only thing that you may want to cover at any places you go to are the overall timeline with your coordinator. I am always very flexible and I never have a problem bumping the time or doing an activity such as the cake cutting at a later time. But some of these other DJs feel as they are the coordinator of every event they go too and want an exact moment by moment play of the event. I'd recommend going over the timeline with the wedding coordinator and DJ to make sure that they both have a similar plan and time frame. Willoughby staff and myself had a few minor changes throughout the reception and I always go with it. Other DJs may feel differently about how they are performing. So make sure you pick somebody nice, understanding and easy to work with. 
                    I would give Willoughby Golf Club a 9 out of 10. That's a very good rating and it has all the key elements that you would need for music entertainment and for the guests / guest of honor. Oh yes and the bathrooms are very nice, upscale and clean for those of you changing wardrobes. 

If you wish to know anymore or have comments or questions feel free to add them and I'd be happy to answer. I will also write about other places too. 

- Billman

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jupiter Civic Center Jupiter Florida Wedding and Party Venue Facility

          The Jupiter Civic Center in Jupiter Florida is definitely the tropical "on the beach," setting for those brides and grooms or party goers looking for a relaxing place to have an event. I've had the pleasure of working at this facility several hundred times over the years. Guests will appreciate the overall layout of the venue. 

                   As you first arrive at the Jupiter Civic Center it's a building right up on a hill overlooking the ocean view at the well known Carlin Park in Jupiter Florida. "It's right near the Jupiter Beach Resort." The civic center has a board walk and ramp area leading right up to the building. It's a smaller banquet hall that comfortably fits about 60 people. It has a full deck area that goes around the sides of the building. This facility does not have air conditioning but has numerous windows that open to allow the ocean breeze in. The building is mainly all wood with a vaulted ceiling in the center. The far back end of the room has a full size bar area where the caterers usually setup the buffet and drinks. 

                     To give you a good idea of how the room is normally setup for events, the dance floor area is in the very center of the room and the tables are lined around the dance floor area. The DJ and/or Music entertainment is setup against the front wall facing the crowd and tables. The building of Jupiter Civic Center is an older looking facility but once everything is decorated and the tables, DJ & bar is setup it's a really cool looking place to be.

                      For those of you looking to have a beach ceremony this is definitely a good option among others I've mentioned in previous articles. From the board walk and patio area you walk right down onto the beach. I have actually setup the equipment for the music right on the deck area facing out over the beach. It is a little ways down to the actual water from where I have setup the music and speaker but it does the job. Normally the ceremony will take place on the beach, guests come back up for a cocktail to the deck area and hang out on the patio / deck area and inside for drinks. The photos for this area on the beach are excellent. So those of you looking for great pictures for your event of the bridal party and family this is the place for that.

(Beach shot at the bottom of the stairs for your ceremony)
                      To sum it up with the negatives and positives I'd give the Jupiter Civic Center an 8 out of 10. The positives are, you can set it up however you want and bring in your own people to decorate and it is right on the beach. The negatives are, no air conditioning but windows can be open, and the facility is older looking and not for extremely elegant affairs.

For more information or questions and comments about this article feel free to add them below. I am happy to write responses and discuss about other facilities and this one.

- Billman  

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Hilton Hotel Singer Island Florida Wedding and Party Venue

             The Hilton Hotel in Singer Island Florida is a great venue for both weddings and parties. We've performed hundreds of events over the years at this facility. If you're looking for a venue right on the beach and I mean "right on the beach," this is definitely a place you want to check out. There's lot's of parking available for your guests and they have an overhang drive area, so that guests and the guest of honor can stay dry in case of weather conditions and easy access to the main door. Your limo or transportation has easy access to pull right up for the party or event. 
                 As you walk in the main doors you get a feel for the inside of the main lobby. The ground floor includes the check in area, a restaurant and a beach view patio with bar. Whenever we do an event here the guests enjoy a few cocktails at the bar before and after the party or wedding reception. Sometimes they have live music available in the evening as well. 

               Their main reception area is a very large open room which can be open for those nice breezy, sunny days. Then if we have any bad weather they can close it up with their covering. Our company has done events in the morning, afternoon and evening. From what my customers tell me the breakfast is very good so a brunch wedding reception can be popular from 10am-2pm or 11am-3pm. Just an idea for you. Guests don't always dance as much in the mornings there. There is usually more dancing at evening events as people are more awake and ready to party.

                   The DJ can setup on the north end of the covered party area or on the west side. The dance floor has been both in the very center of the room or to the far north end of the patio reception area. Once you go and take a look you will see that it has enough room to have over 100 people comfortably. Most of my customers have booked their ceremony music and reception with us their at The Hilton Singer Island. You can have music or even a Steel Pan player there too. Electrical outlets are available pretty much throughout the main patio room. I always run a power cord right down at the end of the small boardwalk area and setup right where the ceremony chairs and arch will be. You can also have birthday parties, sweet 16s and several kinds of functions here.

                I'd say to sum it up you can easily have your ceremony on the beach, cocktail hour and reception on the main patio reception and after party could be on the patio bar at the south end of the hotel. The staff are always nice to work with and us DJs have easy access to a back door entrance to bring the equipment in. I'd give the Singer Island Hilton Hotel in south Florida a 9 out of 10.

If you would like me to write about any other places leave me comments. If you've had an event here or would like to feel free to post your questions, comments and responses. I will answer questions about this or any other places. 

- Billman

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sugarcane Island Bistro Wedding and Party Venue Jupiter Florida

            Sugarcane Island Bistro in Jupiter Florida is a venue I've had the pleasure of working at numerous times over the years. It's a more tropical setting that has the outside tiki bar and beachy feel to it. 
                 There 3 different areas at this facility that you can have a special event in. First there's the outdoor patio area with bar and open are for dancing, karaoke, possibly a small band, it's up to you. The patio of of Sugarcane Island Bistro connects to their indoor lounge and restaurant. They have an area where tables are normally setup for dinner, then the staff clears the main floor and it can turn into the dance area. As the mobile DJ and entertainment I normally come in through the main entrance of the restaurant and setup my equipment on the higher area of the restaurant and face the dance floor. You can be announced in from the patio doors and start the party.
                 The facility itself is very laid back and easily accessible. I have seen guests have dinner on both the patio and inside the restaurant with a buffet style dinner. For those looking for a tropical loungy type atmosphere the ground floor either patio or lounge restaurant is the way to go. 

                 Last but not least the third area is the 2nd floor of Sugarcane Island Bistro. It's mainly for weddings but I'm sure you could have a sweet 16 or other type of party. The one catch that us DJs are not find of is the fact that it only has stairs to the second floor. There is no elevator. So whether you have alot of items to bring upstairs or possibly some guests in their 70s, 80s, 90s it may be a little more difficult. The room on the second floor can comfortable fit about 60-70 people and there are restrooms upstairs with 2 patio areas. The second floor also may be a little difficult to announce an entire bridal party or a large group of names only because the stairs are right next to the door to walk into. If you have a larger guest count you may want to try the first floor.
                 To sum it up, overall the staff is friendly and easy to work with. The building is also easily accessible. It's a block south of Indiantown Road on US highway 1 on the east side of the road. I will give Sugarcane Island Bistro Jupiter FL an 8.5 out of 10, which is a very good rating taking everything into consideration. Plus there's lots of parking on the side of the building too. Happy venue hunting. 

If you want me to write about a wedding or party venue somewhere in the south Florida area feel free to post your responses. I have worked at thousands of venues and always take everything into consideration when setting up, working with guests & staff, and the access to the facilities.

- Billman

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Professional DJ vs the little guys background info on disc jockeys

          As a mobile disc jockey I get numerous questions about my experience, the kind of format that us DJs go by, how to book an event, venue recommendations, legalities, types of setups we use, and the most popular one of all......Why should I hire you?
              I will be totally honest with you, I am not a salesman nor am I that great at selling. But what I normally offer my potential customers is a wonderful & friendly personality, peace of mind that everything will go smoothly and that I will make sure that they have as much input about their event as they choose. 
               Here is the number one tip I can share about the DJ industry that most people may or may not know about. Professional DJs who have much experience in the entertainment & music industry actually know what they're talking. What I mean by this is if you hire a friend or a DJ who just started a few months ago or maybe a year or 2 ago they are still developing their format. They don't know what songs work with what types of activities. New DJs aren't experts on the mic and introducing the guests of honor unless they have a gift of great talent instantly. I'm not trying to put down any entertainers, but having years of experience under your belt allows you to produce a great set of music for the crowd you're playing to. I will tell you that I've had DJs work for me that only have a year or 2 of experience and they would go from genre to genre just trying things. There would be 1 or 2 people out on the dance floor most of the night. You have to choose songs that appeal to the majority of the crowd.
 The best way to know that they can handle your event is just ask a few questions about them. Start with the basics. You can tell if they have no idea or they have good answers.
- What facilities have they worked at 
- What types of events have they performed at 
- How do they format their music during your event. 

Here's a couple of top priority questions to ask:
1) Do they have liability insurance? Most of the part time weekend warriors are not insured in-case something happens to a facility or a guest.
2) Ask to see their website and photos/videos/references or thank you notes / song lists.
If you're hiring DJ Partyman, go to his website. If you see only one homepage with a picture and a description with a phone number, chances are he may not be the one you're looking for. If you go to a website that has more information about how perfect and spectacular they are than you care to read, they might be the DJ that's going to take over and make a concert of your event. 
My advice on how to know who is right for you is..... someone who's middle of the road and has enough knowledge where you feel comfortable with them. They must be open to your ideas and incorporate their tips as well as yours together. If you're giving 90% of the input and the DJ hardly does any than you may have a problem on your hands. Make sure you go over with them the kinds of music you would like heard along with what they're mixing in for the guests. Are they friendly? Do they make you feel excited about your event? Make sure their not over the top and extremely pushy. There are dozens of DJs telling you moment to moment what needs to happen, they're way or the highway.  They feel as if they're the mobile wedding and party DJ Gods. If that's the kind of DJ you would like that's totally fine that's just my opinion and many of my customers opinions. From some of the customers I speak with they tell me they aren't interested in DJs go for;
"Let's make a deal, I'm the best there is, you need to book me or else, $2000 and your event will be the best, credit card and contract immediately please, sorry but that's not how I run a reception." There are others too!
            Always choose a DJ who is willing to work with your other vendors, your coordinator and facility and especially you! There was a DJ locally in my area who had a set time and ended an event at 9pm. The bride and groom started about 15 minutes late and they ended up needing about 15-20 minutes just to cover the rest of their activities. The DJ stopped the music and announced it was the end of the night right at 9pm with no flexibility. The bride and groom were angry and shocked that the DJ wouldn't make that extra few minutes for them. There were terrible reviews written and the DJ didn't look like a very professional person. This also happened to me on several occasions and I made the extra few minutes to get everything in and ended up getting wonderful reviews, another booking and a tip. It's a matter of your entertainer making it happen for your special occasion. There was also an incident where a catering director wanted to switch something around and the DJ said "NO!" He wouldn't do it and his agenda was staying. A major argument broke out at the facility and I'm sure that didn't go over well. 
            I apologize on the length of this post as it is quite long. My point of filling you in is making sure you get the best person for the event. I genuinely care about the way events turn out and really feel bad when I hear of a story where the event professionals made an event sour.  
            To sum everything up for you once again here it is. Looking for a DJ or even an event professional for your special occasion? Look for someone who is friendly, courteous and is willing to incorporate your thoughts and ideas as well as their professional expertise together. Don't go for someone who is extremely pushy or overbearing, especially someone who is going to take over your event and do dance moves in the center of your dance floor! Unless you want it to be about the DJ instead of the guest of honor and/or guests. Make sure they have the qualifications such as insurance, back up equipment, full library of music and even a website or paperwork that has the information you need. Especially a professional contract with all details highlighted. Professional event planners and services take their job very seriously and will make sure they have the right stuff to make your event happen.

If you have questions or things you would like to share or want me to write about something feel free to post here. Happy event planning!

- Billman

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Double Tree Hotel Palm Beach Gardens FL

     There are times throughout the year we get a chance to do special events at the Double Tree Hotel in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. They have 2 different rooms that are very classy and elegant places to have a party, wedding reception, sweet 16 even a class reunion. Double Tree PBG has very easy access for your guests. It's right on the northeast corner of PGA Blvd and Military Trail. They have an overhang drop off area where you can pull your limo up or guests can drive up and enter the main doors. To the left down the hall is their restaurant lounge. I recently did a wedding in their for a young couple and we started with easier listening music and towards the middle of the evening we went into the more top 40 club music such as Flo Rida, Usher, Taio Cruz, David Guetta and more. I setup towards the back and there's a small area where you can setup a buffet dinner for the reception. I would say from the setup of the room you can fit about 80 people max comfortably. The dance area was more towards the windows overlooking the parking lot. If you're having a laid back loungy type of wedding where it's not as traditional the restaurant is just fine. 
       Double Tree Palm Beach Gardens also has their full size ballroom which is excellent for party sizes of 100 to 150 guests. I have done every type of event in this room. Bar & Bat Mitzvahs, Wedding Receptions, Sweet 16s and School Dances. Usually the way Double Tree sets up the food is the DJ is either in the center of the back or front walls with tables around the dance floor. The dance floor is directly in front of the DJ. I've also seen a photo booth on the back wall either on the east or west side. "Here's a side note to anyone having a photo booth for their party or wedding." Always try to have the photo booth in the same room or close by to the party. You will have a nice mixture of guests on the dance floor and going to your photo booth. Anyways, the bridal party or guest of honor can walk in through the main doors to the party room either the center doors or the left or right door. Always have the DJ close to the dance floor for better interaction and a successful party. 
      Back to the buffet setup.....The Double Tree staff usually sets up the buffet out in the main hallway of the ballroom. The guests can be called by table by the DJ or by staff coming around to each table. The staff of the Double Tree are friendly and always greet me when I come in the door. Especially the managers are nice and personable. For weddings I have setup a ceremony speaker in the room right next to the ballroom. Then I setup my main system for the reception. You can even have a cocktail hour in the hallway or the patio outside. Double Tree sets up a bar outside on the patio which is very convenient. Overall whether you're having a wedding, party or corporate event Double Tree Hotel is very convenient for both your guests and entertainment. It's easy for us to get in and out plus your guests will enjoy the easy access to the patio, pool, reception hall and more. You can have your entire event there from start to finish.
       Sorry if this article gets a little long. There's another section of the Double Tree you might enjoy if your having a party or even a wedding. This part of the venue is outside in a tent but I have done ceremonies, receptions and parties out there. It fits about 100 people comfortably and can be fully enclosed in-case of weather conditions. Feel free to check it out while you're there and you can look into both the restaurant or ballroom and possibly the tent area. Either way the Double Tree gives easy access for people like me mobile DJ entertainers and guests to! 

If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them and I will follow up with responses.

- Billman - Billman Disc Jockeys

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bar Louie's Venue West Palm Beach Florida Clematis Street

What's up everybody! I have another post to share from this weekend for you. I performed at Clematis Street downtown West Palm Beach. This was for a holiday staff party and overall was very cool. Bar Louie's is a lounge / bar / restaurant on the southeast corner of clematis just before the end of the road. Right by the water fountains on the right side you will see the sign. It's a 2 story bar and restaurant downstairs and lounge on the 2nd floor. I was already prepared for the craziness of parking my vehicle downtown. Especially being a mobile DJ you have to have lot's of extra time unloading and setting up. But it worked out nicely, I pulled up outside and  took everything up the service elevator. They have a corner in the middle of the room upstairs where the DJs and entertainers are and then right in front can be the dance floor. 

They have a lounge area off to the left side and on the right side are high tops and tables. I would say it comfortably it can hold about 60-75 people; eating, dancing, mingling. Restrooms are up there as well. It has a laid back, business like, social atmosphere for a wide variety of ages. The staff was very friendly and helpful! That's always a plus because I have been to venues where I was unsure where to go and nobody seemed to know what was going on. But Bar Louie's staff showed me where to be and helped me find my way. Keep in mind that it's not a quiet venue as it is downtown Clematis Palm Beach. I would say that you can have a staff party for ages in 20s to 50s and 60s and it definitely has the club party atmosphere but not over the top.

                  Questions or comments feel free to leave them for me! Great for holiday parties, birthdays, get togethers and medium size functions.

Billman - Billman DJs 

The Addison Boca Raton Florida Weddings or Parties

            As a mobile DJ entertainer we've had the pleasure of working at numerous venues. A great place we recently worked at is The Addison in Boca Raton Florida. I will give you a nice summary of the facility and what you can expect when you have your event there. 
            It's a nice facility for parties, weddings, even corporate affairs. It's right on the corner of Camino Gardens Blvd and Dixie Highway on the southeast side of Boca. As you turn into the parking lot of the Addison on the left side is numerous parking spots for your guests. So you will always be assured that there's a place to park. They also have valet parking too and parking around the . The building covers all the way around a courtyard with a large banyan tree in the center. Many people set it up so that between the banyan trees the ceremony arch is in the middle and the rows of chairs are on either side. The DJ or music person in charge of the ceremony music can easily setup behind the scenes and have lots of room for the guests to walk and sit down. The facility has 2 separate areas for events. A large part of the building has 2 stories where functions can be held in the dining hall and upstairs. They also have a full size bar. 
           Our DJ booth was setup in the building across the courtyard in a smaller room. But if you're having guests between 40 and 60 people this room seems like the best place to be and the restrooms are right around the corner. They also have a full size banquet hall on the second floor. The smaller first floor room at the Addison is nice and new and has windows to overlook the courtyard which is excellent for photos and ceremonies. The water fountain in the background also makes for great photography. 
            I felt that one nice benefit for younger newlywed couples is that many of the staff were young in their 20s and 30s and were fun, great personality and easy to work with. They also worked the bar and helped coordinate everything real well. One last thing that was nice is the sound in the room was good quality as the room had some acoustic padding on the wall. Overall from small to medium affairs and even large ones up to 150 people it's a very elegant place that is relaxing and fun. If you have any questions or comments for me, feel free to leave them and I will respond. 

DJ Billman Disc Jockeys