School Events

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Why your school dance budget is unrealistic – A business owners perspective

Cheap DJ in CT 
It’s November and schools are well into their first period before the holidays. And now is the time you’re looking for your school dance dj for the dance next week. Next week. You’ve been given the task of rounding up the lowest bidder to give the students something to do on a Friday night in the gym to help raise funds for the athletic department, yearbook committee or prom.

Logic tells you that you need to keep costs low in order to maximize profit. That makes sense in most cases. Unless you’re talking about entertainment. And here’s why. Have you ever gone to a show, a concert, or event where the promoter had skimped out on a few things? Guaranteed you have. And you’ve noticed it right away. You walked away second guessing the decision to purchase that ticket because of the lack of quality in the show that you had hoped to see.

Maybe the PA was too loud or the lighting wasn’t that captivating. OR, maybe the folks on the stage just weren’t up to par that night. Then you recall that time you saw this other show that blew you away. The tickets were more expensive but it was an experience you’ll never forget. Sound familiar? This same scenario can be applied to school dances. Your goal is to make money on the event. You can DOUBLE your money with the right entertainment. And as every savvy business owner knows, you’ve got to spend money to make money.

The youth of today are very tech smart and picky individuals when it comes to entertainment. There’s not a whole lot that impresses them. Which is why if you want to have a successful event, you really need to step things up a couple notches. To have the english teacher bring his band gear from the 70’s and play Uptown Funk or the chicken dance just doesn’t work any more. Music is more accessible today than it ever was and if your DJ doesn’t have the latest music, he won’t have the opportunity to win them over and ensure a series of successful events for your school thus, earning more income for the school.

The sound also has to be on par. If you’ve ever been to a school dance where your ears rung after, chances are the $400 or less DJ you hired didn’t have the proper equipment for the job. He might do small kids parties or have a bar gig. But when you’re in a gym with 300 students, it’s got to be heard and felt. It’s gotta be exciting and mind blowing. Teenagers are in such a rush to get to the club scene in college and you can create that same atmosphere when you book your school dance dj.

Lets talk about lighting for a moment. Again, going back to the giuse of students being hard to impress. If you’ve gone to the bowling alley on a Saturday night for glow bowling, you’ve probably noticed that there aren’t many teen students there. As fun as it is, the atmosphere is very stale. There is nothing to capture their attention other than a few twinkle lights and glowing pins. Bowling alleys are closing up shop in record numbers because they just aren’t getting the draw that they used to. Same can be said for school dances.  If you invest in your DJ and they can deliver a performance and atmosphere that will blow your students away, they are more likely to attend another dance or buy a $100 prom ticket in May.

But beyond the lighting, sound, music, and performance, there’s one other VERY important necessity for school dances. Insurance. When you book with a PROFESSIONAL DJ, he will have insurance to protect both his and your investment. He will have a 2 million dollar commercial liability policy ready and waiting to send to your administration as proof to them that they can not be held liable should damage to the school by the Dj or their equipment occurs. It also covers personal injury as well. Those two reasons are some of the MOST important when it comes to booking your school dance dj. And if you’re looking at a cheap prom dj, chances are, they don’t have insurance. What they might have is a stolen catalog of bootleg music with all of the 4 letter words and obscenities you can choke down.

And last but not least, the contract. Contracts are a necessity for hiring your dj for school dances and proms. We no longer live in a society of hand shakes and atta boys. If your school is going to invest in an event, you want your entertainer to show up. Early, prepared, and ready to go. In the last 5 years alone, Pryme Tyme Entertainment has been called by various schools in CT who have gone the cheap dj route only to have them not show up. This is not only a devastating blow to the event, but to your reputation as well. The school will look at this as you dropped the ball.

So ask yourself this question, do you roll the dice on a $400 bet? Or do you make the investment that is a sure thing? The choice is yours.

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Principal cancelled prom

Principal cancelled prom claiming the cost to parents and students is too much to bare and is a risk due to drug and alcohol abuse

Headmaster Chris Beirne of the Beaulieu School for girls had made the decision this year to eliminate the school’s end of year prom. The cost of prom to parents and pupils was just too much to bare. He had also said that it was ‘no longer reasonable’ for staff to be expected to supervise the school event, ‘in an era of increasing safeguarding risk to students and the staff themselves.’

According the the Jersey Evening Post, Headmaster Bernie was also quoted as saying, “The price of pre- and after-prom parties and the significant focus and distraction this event causes in the academic year, not to mention the growing expense and luxury foisted on parents in the preparation for this event.”

Now for the solution:

Proms are big business. Over 1 billion dollars is spent in the US alone on prom dresses, tux rentals, tanning, flowers, limos, and disposable themed cardboard cutouts. There is so much emphasis on keeping up with the Jones’ to outdo each other with the amount of money spent on these items. But that isn’t the goal of prom. Prom is an opportunity for students to celebrate their school spirit and enjoy a special night just for them with friends and classmates.

The truth is, you don’t need to spent a small fortune to have a good time. But you do need to prioritize your goals. Proms and weddings are miles apart when it comes to planning. For weddings, the majority of the attendees are adults. They want to be wined and dined and enjoy a 4 course meal with all of the trimmings, have an open bar, and dance the night away. But with proms, you’re dealing with teenagers. These are the folks who have 20 minutes for a lunch period and are done with a meal in 10 minutes. They want to dance and let it all hang out for a night. Dinner is for sustenance. Sure it has to be good considering the price per person but, instead of opting for a plated meal, consider a buffet. The students that eat a little bit can take what they want and the students with a healthy appetite can grab a little more if they wish. Everyone is happy because they get to choose what they want.

Centerpieces are pretty, but they make a better door than a window.  And if you’re doing 3 foot hurricane glasses filled with an acre of wildflowers, it’s going to impede on the students’ ability to chat with each other during dinner.

PROM THEMES! This past year, The Great Gatsby was where it was at. The decadence of Hollywood is so popular for proms. It’s the student’s opportunity to spoil themselves and feel like royalty for the night.  But this theme, and many more can be satisfied when it comes to the individual choices in apparel. By saving on disposable decor that will inevitably find it’s way to the landfill 8 hours after it’s set up, you can pass the savings on to the students for other things like limo services, coach buses, and formal wear.

Last but not least, and certainly the most important… Your Entertainment matters the most. Your entertainment is what makes or breaks a prom. Choose the right one and you’ll be a hero to your students and administration. Choose the wrong one and the students will spend the night on their phones or leaving early or at the very worst, succumbing to the clutches of alcohol and substance abuse.

It is completely understandable that the administration in this particular case wants to protect his students from the dangers of substance abuse but by the same token, if you give the students an opportunity to enjoy themselves and put the focus on what is important to THEM instead of what you THINK they want, by giving them an environment that will have them dancing long and hard, singing at the top of their lungs, clapping their hands in the air all night long, they won’t want to turn to drugs & alcohol. They’ll be having too much fun to want to leave.

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Cheap DJs – The no call/no show DJ

DJs tend to get a bad wrap when it comes to professionalism. Many people feel that DJing is no more than a hobby that immature people gravitate to when trying to maintain their youth vicariously through music. For some cheap djs, that may be true. But for true entertainment professionals, this is our livelyhood, our bread and butter, and we eat, drink, sleep, and breathe what we do. Which is why this past Friday, I was the go to DJ for a local school.

For the second time in 2 years, I was just sitting down to dinner with my family when a call came in. It was one of my colleagues who learned that one of our competitors had not called or shown up to perform a ring dance for a local high school. My first thought was, let’s roll and I made my way to the venue. But on the way there, I began to think, “Why does this keep happening? How common is this? and lastly, why didn’t they call me in the first place?” The answer for all 3 is the same. Money.

Many schools as of late have been sending dances and social activities down the drain. The committees are told, “Find the lowest bidder and sell as many tickets as possible.” This is unfortunate because more times than not, the schools end up in a situation like last Friday. They paid a small fee for a novice DJ to entertain the student body and end up with Un-Edited music, under-powered audio equipment, or worse, no DJ at all.

Like anything else, you get what you pay for. Choose the wrong entertainment for your school and you will have low turnout, less tickets sold and the administration will be reluctant to do it again. But if you hire a professional, you will be a hero

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Kaynor Tech 2014 Prom

On Friday April 25th, over 200 students from W.F. Kaynor Technical School made their way to Aria, CT’s newest event destination in Prospect.

With a ‘Great Gatsby’ themed prom, this was the perfect setting. Lavish chandeliers lined the majestic venue complimenting the imported italian marble on every surface. With exquisite cuisine and an atmosphere that would be the envy of a Kardashian, Kaynor’s prom was nothing short of magical.

We lined the ceiling above the dance floor with stars with our Dancing Under the Stars Effect. Once the house lights were turned down, students enjoyed dancing under the midnight sky.

To add some pop, we added our COLORWASH system to the floor and showered the guests in a vibrant and rich environment. Taking things a step further, our computerized Mobile Club intelligent lighting system kept things exciting in 180 degrees around Aria’s great ballroom.

As if the lighting wasn’t enough, we pulled out the stops in our audio department with our MAXX STAXX 10,000 Watt sound system that shook Aria to it’s foundation.

The anticipation from the administration and the staff were that no prom would last all night and guests were expected to leave early. That being said, we were out to debunk that theory. At the Prom’s conclusion at 11:30pm, we still had over 150 students.

We are happy to report that Kaynor’s 2014 prom was a success. Thank you to all who attended and chose us 2 years running for Kaynor’s prom. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

 

 

School Prom Tour 2013

 

School Prom Tour 2013

2013 was a big year for school events and proms for Pryme Tyme Entertainment.

We kicked things off at Mercy High School in Middletown for 350 students in their gym. According to Vice Principal Virginia Sullivan, This was one of the largest attendances they had seen in years for school dances. “Typically the students leave about half way through the night but tonight, you had them dancing all the way to the end. The students that had requested to leave early initially never left.”
A big thank you to Ann Drewry and Mercy High School for choosing us for their dances this past year.

 

Next it was on to La Bella Vista in Waterbury for Westover School’s Prom 2013. This multi-cultural, all girls, private boarding school enjoyed an eclectic mix of music for their prom. Our recently upgraded COLORWASH light show stole the show and added excitement to the dance floor.

Thank you to Tracy Lytle & Class of 2013 for choosing us for your prom!

May 17th, 2013 was our largest school event this year when we entertained over 350 students for East Haven High School‘s 2013 Prom at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. The theme for this prom was go big or go home.

 

With our Mobile Club Package boasting a 10,000 watt sound system and fully automated intelligent light show as well as our Funtastic Photo Booths, the majestic beauty of Kays Pier South was transformed into something reminiscent of a concert.

The music selection for the evening was a mixture of hip hop and todays top 40 favorites seamlessly mixed to create a continuous high energy soundtrack for the evening’s festivities.

Thanks to Julianna Maisanno & Diane Conrad for choosing us for East Haven’s Prom!

 

 

 

 

June 7th and 8th are our next dates for our School Tour 2013. June 7th, we’ll be at the Grand Oak Villa in Watertown for W.F. Kaynor Technical School’s Prom and on June 8th at the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford for our final prom of the season with Daniel Hand High School.

Thank you to all of the schools that chose us to be a part of their proms this year!

For bookings and information on getting PTE for your school, visit us at www.PrymeTymeEntertainment.net or call 203-437-7047.

Be sure to ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook by going to www.facebook.com/DiscJockeysinCT

We’ll see YOU, on the road!

 

 

Mercy High School Dance

September 14th was a grand slam here at Pryme Tyme Entertainment.

Mercy High School (Better known as the emergency prom from this past may), had called on us for their freshman mixer. The same day, St Timothy’s Middle School in West Hartford was looking for entertainment for their 8th grade school dance.

We were running on all 8 cylinders that day and did both schools. This will be the 3rd school event that Pryme Tyme Entertainment has done for Mercy High School as their previous service provider has gone out of business. This marks the end of an era and the start of a new one for Mercy High School. In the past, a very basic service was used until their emergency prom last May. Now that we have showcased our abilities as a quality source for entertainment, more school dances are on the horizon for Pryme Tyme Entertainment and Mercy High school.

ST Timothy’s also looks promising as a returning client as well says, Tara – Principal at ST Timothy’s Middle School.

A big thanks to Mercy and ST Tim’s for choosing Pryme Tyme Entertainment for their school events. We look forward to working with these schools again soon! See you on the road!

Proms, Proms, Proms

Proms, Proms, Proms!

May was a fantastic month for proms here at PTE. We kicked things off with New Fairfield at the beautiful Ethan Allen Hotel in Danbury CT and rocked over 250 students. The whole night was a high energy Hollywood themed atmosphere.
Wanna see a video? Click the link below to check it out.

New Fairfield High School – Prom 2012

Next up we had an EMERGENCY PROM for Mercy High School. We loaded up 10,000 watts worth of sound system and a basic light show and headed to the Aqua Turf. All within an hour. Phew! It could not have gone better. I don’t think I saw so many smiling faces when I arrived and started playing. The energy of these kids was INSANE! They danced and sang all night long till the last song at 11:30. As Frankie Valli said, “Oh what a night” The students and faculty enjoyed themselves so much in fact, they scratched their junior prom dj the following week and asked PTE to entertain the junior class.

Check out the highlights by clicking the link below.
MERCY HIGH SCHOOL – PROM 2012 – Highlights

I assisted with a photo booth for a friend of ours and had a nice relaxing night at the Aqua Turf just a few weeks after Mercy High School’s prom and ran a photo booth. The students at Litchfield High School were some of the best kids I have had the pleasure of working with so far this year. The photo booths were JAMMING from the time the doors opened till 5 mins after the prom ended. **If you would like a photo booth for your next event, call and reserve yours with Pryme Tyme Entertainment!**

The last and final prom for the season was for Oxford High School. We headed to the Aqua Turf one last time and set up “CLUB PRYME TYME” The intelligent light show, fog, and killer sound system using our new MAXX STAXX brought the house down. Our videographer was there to capture it all on camera. CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT! You would have thought we were at a concert. The dancefloor was PACKED all night long! One of my fondest memories of that evening was as people were leaving, a young man asked that I play just one more song for he and his girlfriend to dance to.  I dimmed the lights and just left a single spot in the middle of the floor on them. It was a picture perfect moment. Two hearts coming together right before my eyes. That moment will last a lifetime and I was happy to be a part of it.

A big thank you to New Fairfield High School, Mercy High School, Oxford High School, Robert and Don @ the Aqua Turf for a fabulous Prom Season! You guys are the reason why I love what I do. Keep rockin, and we’ll see you next year…

Pryme Tyme Prom DJ to the RESCUE!

Pryme Tyme Prom DJ to the RESCUE!

I was sitting home on the first Friday night I have had off in quite some time. The house was quiet and my wife had taken my son to Pennsylvania for the weekend. I was sitting in my office contemplating what I might have for dinner when suddenly the phone rang.

It was one of my fellow colleages, Mike.

Me: Hello?
Mike: Hey guy! How ya doing?
Me: Not too bad. What’s up?
Mike: Hey, whatcha doin’ tonight?
Me: Nothin’. Why what’s up?
Mike: Feel like doing a prom?
Me: Ummmmm. Yeah! Sure. Why not. Give me the details.

Mike had told me that there was a school at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville who’s prom DJ was a no call no show for their prom. The students were arriving and sitting down to dinner when he had called. He said, “Ya better get movin. How long till you can get there?” “An hour” I replied.

I loaded my van faster than I ever had before and raced off to the Aqua Turf. Mike and Don (Assistant Manager at the Aqua Turf) helped me load in as quickly as possible and in 15 minutes flat, we had a 10,000 watt sound system and a simple color wash light show for the prom. Here is a video from that night…

I had found out a few weeks later that the prom DJ who was supposed to do the prom had closed his business and didn’t tell anyone. The school could not be more thankful and had invited PTE back the following week for their Junior Prom.

I had gotten a call just a few days after the junior prom from yet ANOTHER school who had paid their DJ in full and they had not heard from the company after countless attempts to contact them. I remember the adviser telling me, “One of our teachers saw your EMERGENCY PROM video on Facebook and said that you were able to save the day. If I can’t get a hold of this guy, can you be ready at a moments notice?” I happily replied, “I am at your service.”

Their DJ did eventually get back to them 24 hours before the prom and the show went on as scheduled. Both schools had chosen the bargain basement prom DJ for their prom and paid them in full. In the first instance, the school lost their money and now had to pay PTE for their Senior and Junior proms. And both schools were not met with the professional courtesy of open communication.

When choosing your entertainment for your next event… Be it a wedding, a prom, a sweet 16, or any other occasion, just remember one thing. You get one shot. Make it count. No one has ever left an event with the memory of chair covers and matching bows for each chair, the dinner rolls, or the chocolate fountain. They will however remember if they danced and enjoyed the evening. Your Prom is a once in a lifetime experience. Don’t you deserve the best?

School Dances: Back to the grind

School Dances: Back to the grind…

I recently saw a post in a mobile DJ forum that seems to be a hot button lately for school dances. The grind issue.
Now speaking from my experiences from when I went to high school, the “dance” trends were a little different. It was all about who could show off their best MC Hammer or Michael Jackson moves or maybe a battle of the headbangers would ensue when Metallica was played. My parents did the twist and the stroll. And their parents did the swing and the foxtrot. But kids today are pushing the envelope and grinding teachers and faculty down to a fine powder.

So what is grinding exactly? To put it metaphorically, it is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire. This type of “dancing” is inappropriate for people of this age group and teachers are counting on us as entertainers to enforce strict “no grinding” policies when it comes to school dances. That being said, where does the responsibility lie? The DJ is there to provide music entertainment for the students and faculty. The chaperones and teachers are there to ensure that the school dance is a safe environment for the students. A true experienced professional who specializes in youth events would never encourage his audience to participate in destructive or lewd behavior.

So, what can we do as DJs to help create a fun environment without grinding? It’s simple.
Every consult that I go to with a school I always say the same thing. “Grinding for kids is like a big red button. The more you tell them not to push that button, the more likely they will.” I’m sure we can all remember when we were teens, we pushed boundaries and tested the waters to see how far we could go. The truth is, most students are there to have a good time. Not all kids participate in grinding. The best thing a school could do is to leave well enough alone and take care of the few “bad seeds” when necessary. The DJ can also support this by playing more upbeat songs with a higher BPM. Engaging the audience with a simple, “PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR. NOW EVERYBODY SCREAM” is a sure fire way to keep the excitement up and the grinding to a minimum.

All of these small steps can be taken to keep the kids happy, the faculty happy, and the DJ happy. So just remember the next time you are planning your next school social event… Don’t stress over grinding. Just plan on having the time of your life…