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sweet 16

Want to make your teenager’s sweet 16 bash to be as special as she is? We’re here to help you!

Learn how to throw an epic party that she’ll never forget (while keeping your sanity in check!).

Set Your Own Budget

If you’ve ever seen an episode of My Super Sweet 16, then you know just how over-the-top this teenage milestone can be.

Before you even sit down with your teenager, you need to determine a budget that you’re comfortable with. This budget will include everything from invitations to food to activities.

Your daughter is old enough to know your budget, so once you have a figure in mind, share it with her. This will help the both of you narrow down your planning process.

Decide on the Party Size

It goes without saying that the number of guests will largely determine the kind of sweet 16 party your daughter has.

Larger guestlists will require bigger venues, and smaller, intimate gatherings can take place in the home or backyard.

Talk to your teenager to determine what she wants before diving head first into planning!

Does she want to invite everyone in her class? Just her close friends and relatives? Just 1-2 friends to do something really extravagant?

Choose The Activites

What is your teenager into? Does she love the outdoors? Music? Dancing? Sports? It’s important that you sit down and choose the kind of activities (if any) she wants to have at her party.

Maybe she’s into having an awesome backyard pool party with a makeshift DJ (hello, Spotify, fun floaties, and an ice cream truck.

Or, maybe she’s into dressing up for a night on the town and riding in a limousine to a fancy restaurant with a friend.

Or, maybe she’s into having a classic game night with all her friends- complete with old-school music and costumes.

Let your daughter come up with the ideas, and you do the research for price and scheduling. Together, you’ll make a terrific team.

Find the Right Venue

We’ve all heard that infamous phrase, location, location, location. As it turns out, location does matter when it comes to planning the ultimate sweet 16.

Again, this will largely depend on the number of guests and the type of party your daughter is going for.

With that said, popular venue options include:

  • your own home
  • restaurants
  • parks
  • beaches
  • entertainment centers
  • community centers
  • hotels

Don’t be afraid to think outside-the-box and don’t be afraid to shop around for different quotes!

Find Your Contracting Services

If you’re going all-out for the sweet 16, you’re going to need the right professionals to tackle the job.

Music

Many teenagers like some option for dancing at their parties. If you have a big group, you may want to have a DJ to keep the music flowing well throughout the party. Ask around for recommendations and make sure that your daughter can meet with him or her in person- they need to have a strong connection before you sign the contract.

If you want to save money, making your own playlist can definitely do the trick. If you have your own speaker, just hook up your phone or computer with downloaded or streamed music onto it.

Photography

Your daughter won’t be 16 forever (though this may also be a good thing!). With that in mind, you’ll probably want to be able to cherish the special memories of her party for years to come.

Even though many parents put it on themselves to photograph the party, you may miss out on all the fun.

You can consider hiring a professional photographer, as most charge per hour. If you’re looking to save money, see if you can commission a photography student or a trusted family member.

Want to get even more pictures of the special day? Make a sign with a designated birthday hashtag and encourage everyone to upload their own pictures to social media using that tag.

Catering

There is no shortage of options when it comes to food. Talk with your teenager to get a feel for what she’s interested in eating.

You can either use a catering company to provide the meal or you can DIY. If you’re hosting the sweet 16 at a restaurant, you’ll already have food covered.

PS: Don’t forget the dessert! It’s everyone’s favorite part of the meal, anyway!

Create a Timeline

Coordinating a party can take a lot of work, but having a schedule keeps your event on track.

You’ll want to give guests up to half an hour to arrive before starting any major activities (someone will always be running late).

You’ll also want to plan enough time for each activity with enough time for relaxing and socializing. Don’t cram too much in, and talk with your daughter to make sure that she’s on board with the itinerary as well.

Expect about a half hour to an hour to unwind and wrap up. Make sure that you give guests plenty of time to gather their belongings and send their best wishes to the birthday girl. If you have music playing, this is the time to lower the volume, which signifies that it’s time to get going.

Give Out Favors

The party doesn’t have to end just because everyone leaves. Give your guests something symbolic and special to commemorate the unforgettable day.

It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Fun favor ideas include:

  • Monogrammed candy
  • Fidget spinners
  • Water bottles
  • Keychains
  • Baked goods

Even though party favors aren’t a necessity, they can leave a lasting impression on all your guests.

Final Thoughts on Planning the Ultimate Sweet 16

It may be hard to believe that your little girl is already a full-fledged teenager! Give her the time of her life with the party of your dreams!

Want to sweeten the event even more? Contact us today for the best ice cream truck rentals in town!

After all, what 16-year-old says no to ice cream?

grand opening event

Marketing and growing your business today means working in a whole new landscape. Over 90% of consumers find ads more intrusive now than a few years ago.

There’s no longer any room for lackluster marketing plans. You need the smartest tactics to grab the attention of consumers. A grand opening done right can achieve wonders.

Social media, smartphones and other revolutionary advancements changed how consumers react to businesses. But a grand opening event executed with a pro’s touch will be sure to get you the desired attention.

Discover these effective ways to put together an opening event to remember.

Know Your Goals

Like any marketing plan, determine specific goals before doing any other planning work.

Why are you holding a grand opening event?

It could be as simple as getting more people to buy from you. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But money isn’t always the end goal. A grand opening isn’t just effective for profit. You might have a message you want to convey.

Do you want people to know about a product that’s unavailable anywhere else in the area? Do you have a specific message you want people to tie to your brand? Do you want to reach out to the community and get to know people?

Your grand opening only happens once. Be as specific as possible and know your purpose. Make sure the whole team knows what the brand message is all about.

When you’ve determined your message, it’s time for the next steps.

Specify Your Budget

The budget for your grand opening will depend on your own marketing budget. There’s no fixed amount but there is a recommended minimum.

We suggest dedicating 20% of your business’ marketing budget for the first year. A minimum of $6,000 is ideal.

You might be thinking, “20% of my marketing budget for the first year sounds a lot for one event!”

It’s not. And we’ll explain why.

First off, your grand opening event is a one-shot deal. There’s no such thing as a “Second Grand Opening.”

You want your target market to walk away from your event with great stories to tell. Fill their bellies and give them entertainment. The money will be well spent.

Second, you need to spend money to get people to know about your grand opening event.

In the realm of branding and marketing, repetition is key. You need a decent amount to reach target customers more than once.

Most people will discard an ad when seen for the first time. Remember how we began by talking about technology and smartphones? Media, personal messages, and other sources bombard consumers today.

In a nutshell, you’re competing for attention. And there are plenty of hungry sharks competing against you.

People have to see your ad more than once. Put yourself in their shoes.

While you’re scrolling Facebook or driving around, ads greet you from all corners. If you’re like most people, you’ll soon notice the ads that pop up repeatedly.

Work with Other Businesses

For your grand opening event to be successful, you can’t (and shouldn’t!) do everything yourself. This goes for you and your team.

Your whole team can’t do everything well. And that’s fine. We all specialize in different things.

This is where working with other businesses and people come in.

One advantage of working with other people is placing different tasks in the hands of professionals.

For example, if you’re not in the food business, have the food catered. Hire a caterer or food trucks.

Not in the entertainment business? Hire a band, a singer, magician, or whoever fits your target audience and message. Hire professionals that give life to a corporate party.

Your grand opening event deserves the best within your budget. People will expect yummy treats and fun entertainment.

Another advantage of delegating tasks of the event-planning is time.

Hiring other businesses will free up your time, allowing you to focus on what you’re good at. After all, everyone specializes in very different things.

Market Online

Should you market the grand opening event online? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Everyone and their mothers are online nowadays.

The targeting allowed by online marketing is astounding. You’ll be able to reach your target audience and grab their attention this way.

For instance, if you want the attention of dog-lovers in a specific city, Facebook will do all the work. Input your budget and you’re set.

Another great thing about online marketing is you can create creatives on the cheap.

Sites like Canva and apps such as Rhonna Design churn out social media-ready photos on the cheap.

Instagram is another great place to grab people’s attention.

Have stunning photographs ready and promote your grand opening event on the platform. Thanks to phone cameras today, and apps like Snapseed, almost anyone can create beautiful photos.

Use Hashtags

Don’t ignore Twitter. Use the power of hashtags.

Let’s say you’re preparing the grand opening event for a vegetarian cafe. Log into Twitter and see what people are talking about. Use hashtags like “vegetarian” and “plant-based diets”.

Accessing Twitter from a browser will give you hashtag suggestions. Also, you can jump in any conversations on Twitter. It’s an acceptable behavior on this platform.

Once you’ve found accounts of your target audience from using hashtags, comment on their accounts. Tell them about your event. Make sure you got the right hashtags.

If you’ve targeted them right, they’d love to hear about the grand opening. And why not? With the hashtag approach done right, you’re reaching out to people whose interests share a relation to your business.

The hashtag tactic also works for Instagram.

Grand Opening Event Day

Planning a grand opening people will love is more than possible. You can achieve it with ease.

These tips are sure to keep people raving about your business.

And who doesn’t love ice cream? Contact us and we’ll roll in and out. You won’t worry about cleaning up afterward.

Focus on what aspects of event-planning you want. Let us handle the sweet tooth needs of your guests.

8 Tips for Throwing a Hassle-Free Backyard Party

backyard party

When you picture hot fun in the summertime, a big backyard party is bound to be right up there. Family, friends, food, fun, and maybe a few firework sparklers thrown into the mix. It’s a summer staple.

But a lot of people dread throwing a backyard party, simply because of the amount of work it can be. Who wants to host a party where you’re running around working all the time instead of enjoying yourself?

It honestly doesn’t have to be that complicated. Throwing a hassle-free party is entirely possible, and can actually be fun when you know how to plan one properly.

Not convinced? These 8 tips to keep your backyard party hassle-free may just change your mind.

1. Let Your Guests Know What to Expect

Right out of the gate, you can avoid any hassles by filling your guests in on the details of your backyard party. When people know what to expect, it bypasses all misunderstandings and confusion that can throw a wet towel on the fun before it even begins.

In the invitation, be clear about what your guests should wear. What time and where they should show up. Where they should park. What time the food will be served. What to expect during your party. What will happen if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

When your guests show up already in the know, the only thing left to do is have some fun.

2. Ask Friends for Help

Just because it’s your party doesn’t mean you have to do all the work yourself, right? Surely there are a few friends in the crowd who love organizing and setting up for a party. Or maybe a few that owe you for helping them move… now’s a good time to cash in those favors.

Invite a few people over early! Ask for help in setting up tables and chairs, or for their expertise in hanging up lights.

And make sure to make it fun. When you put on music and make a dance party out of it, it will only seem like the party started early instead of just work. Plus there’s always the incentive of taste testing all the food before the rest of the guests arrive.

3. Prepare Food in Advance

Plan your menu out early. Knowing what you need in advance will eliminate any last minute trips to the store.

Or have your guests bring a dish and make it a potluck! That will also ensure everyone has something they love to eat at the party. Picky eater crisis adverted.

Or better yet, hire out some, or all, of the cooking to someone else. We would be happy to cover the sweet treats for you! Nothing says backyard party summer fun like inviting an ice cream truck into the mix.

4. Be Prepared for Any Weather Changes

Mother Nature doesn’t always play nice, especially when she surprises you with a pop-up summer storm. Unless you like throwing last-minute parties, it’s wise to have a back-up plan in case the weather turns south.

Set-up a covered section of the deck or patio to protect against any rain or unforgiving rays from the sun. If the weather is stormier than that, make sure you have an area of your house that is big enough to hold everyone comfortably. Indoor games will also keep everyone entertained and the fun from getting rained out.

5. Comfort Is Key

It’s common sense – if your guests aren’t comfortable, they’re not going to want to stick around for long. So common courtesy dictates to keep them as comfortable as possible.

Make sure you have enough seating for everyone. Set-up fans or misting stations if the weather is particularly hot. Have sunscreen available to avoid sunburns. Play music that isn’t too overwhelming. If it gets chilly after dark, set-up a fire pit (which also comes in handy for s’mores!).

6. Keep Uninvited Guests Away

Nothing can be as annoying, or gross, then attracting a bunch of uninvited guests in the form of bugs. Finding a fly in your drink or swatting away a swarm of mosquitoes isn’t the form of entertainment you had in mind. And sending your guests home with a bunch of mosquito bites isn’t the best idea for party favors.

Set-up decorative citronella candles and torches throughout the entertaining area. You can also have some bug spray on hand for extra protection.

It’s also known that mosquitoes are weak fliers. Setting up fans around the area would also help keep them at bay, and cool off your guests. A win-win!

7. Entertainment for Everyone

No one likes a boring party. It goes along with keeping your guests comfortable – if they’re not entertained, they’re likely not going to stay long.

Have some backyard party games set-up. Entertain the kiddos, or the kids at heart, with a bubble station. Let everyone bring a swimsuit for a pool party or to run through the sprinklers. Play an outdoor movie when the sun goes down.

Don’t let the fun stop when everyone is finished eating. The food should only be the beginning!

8. No One Goes Home Empty-Handed

A backyard party to remember will be one in which your guest will have something to remember it by. That can take the form of party favors and barbecue leftovers.

How fun would it be to have a photo op area, or photo booth, for everyone to take home themed pictures of themselves? Or little gift bags filled with trinkets designed in whatever theme your party is in.

And you don’t need to be stuck with all the leftover food! Have to-go containers for your guests to fill up with all the goodies they want to snack on later. That’s a bonus for them, and less clean-up for you.

Your Next Backyard Party Can Be as Easy Breezy as Summer

Part of the fun when the weather getting warmer is the ability to enjoy it with family and friends. And with some preparation and thought, your next party can be hassle-free and fun for the whole season.

Want to book us for your next party or event? Contact us today!

employee appreciation event

Where would your business be without employees? Nowhere.

But employees aren’t just bodies performing tasks and activities that make your business run. They’re people, and people liked to be thanked for the work they do.

Done well, employee appreciation events produce remarkable results. Some results benefit the employees. Other benefit your bottom line. All can last long after the event is over.

When you calculate the cost of staff turnover, who can argue with the value of showing gratitude?

Read on to discover how to make your next employee appreciation event awesome!

Timing

Should appreciation events be held during work hours or outside of them?

The answer depends on how your company operates and the scope of the event.

Most often, events held during work hours are better received by employees. It feels special, like playing hooky from school, when a portion of the workday is spent at a party.

But watch out for the pitfalls of holding an employee appreciation event during the day. They can cause good intentions to backfire:

  1. Remove productivity or similar requirements for the time the employee is at the event
  2. Make it clear that those requirements have been removed
  3. Pay the employee for their time at the event

If your business uses multiple shifts, be sure to hold an equal event during each shift.

For events held outside of working hours, follow these guidelines:

  • Make attendance voluntary
  • Plan activities and entertainment that’s out of the ordinary or otherwise compelling
  • Keep the location close to the workplace so you know people can get there
  • Allow families or a plus-one to attend to reduce the impact of using personal time to receive the appreciation

Also, consider showing gratitude year round for longer-lasting effects.

Interactivity

A key component of a successful employee appreciation event is interaction. Provide ways for employees to interact with each other beyond ordinary chit-chatting. Games are a great way to achieve this.

Also, create interaction between “the organization” and employees. It can be in the form a high-energy presentation or touch-screens at exhibit booths.

The way tables for eating food are set up also contributes to interactivity. Tables that seat 4-6 are best for facilitating conversations.

If you use large tables, try placing cards with conversation starters in the center to spark interaction among the larger group.

Music

Have you ever been to a party without music? Of course not! What’s a party without music?

At an employee appreciation event with lots of presentations, make sure to have music as people arrive and mingle. Also, between presenters or segments.

Live music is the best for keeping energy high. But using a skilled DJ or well-constructed playlist can also work.

When choosing songs, stick to those that most employees will have heard and can enjoy. Contemporary pop songs are usually a safe choice. But if you have many employees over 40, also include a few golden oldies!

Food

Whether your employee appreciation event is indoors or outside, formal or casual, food is a great way to show appreciation.

After location, food could be the most important aspect of the event.

Sometimes, the entire event is about food. For example, holding an employee appreciation lunch or setting up a bagel and coffee bar every morning for a week.

The secret to a successful employee appreciation event with food is to hire quality caterers. You can start with recommendations but never forgo tasting the food yourself.

Look for suppliers who have experience serving a group as large as yours. Give them a tour of the location before signing a contract to avoid any logistic or food safety and prep issues.

For outdoor events, consider having multiple vendors with individual setups such as BBQ pits and ice cream trucks. Not only does it make it easy for employees to get the food they want, it can enhance the fun factor.

Giveaways

Next to food, giveaways are a popular thing at any employee appreciation event.

Loot bags with small items, some branded and others not, are an easy way to make everyone feel valued. Keep items simple, universal, and good quality. Try to mix practical items like pens, thumb drives, or portable USB chargers with more playful items like stress balls, stuffed toys, or fidget spinners for maximum joy.

Also, use giveaways as prizes for games or other friendly competitions. If you want to hold a raffle, don’t require employees to buy the tickets. Individuals should pay for nothing at an employee appreciation event.

Employee Appreciation Event Photos

Even though everyone has a camera in their pocket all time, hire a skilled photographer to take pictures of the event.

Candid shots are fun. Ask the photographer roam around, snapping pics. Just let employees know when they arrive at the event, they could be in a candid shot.

If there’s a formal presentation segment during the event, get lots of photos in case you want to use them in the annual report or marketing materials.

Setting up a photo booth can help increase interaction and induce contagious laughter. Supply costume pieces such as hats, glasses, and scarves plus props that align with the event theme or what your business does.

If you have games such as Throw-a-Pie-at-the-Boss or the execs are the lunch servers, get pictures. And don’t forget to share them with employees as soon as possible after the event.

Closing Thought

As a leading provider of creamy ice cream treats in Southwestern Ontario, we’ve served hundreds of thousands of people. We’ve been a part of many employee events from corporate parties to company picnics.

Every event is different. But the most successful always put what would make the employees feel good at the top of the priority list. Planners of the successful events create ways for employees to get unique experiences and good memories.

If you’re in the Kitchener or London areas, add a fun and delicious treat to your employee appreciation day with ice cream. Contact us today to find out how!

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