The PERFECT Valentine’s Day Gift for Her

Magician makes magic for Valentine's DayGift ideas for Valentine’s Day

Guys, guys, guys… Flowers? Chocolates? Really? Okay, sure. Why not? But in addition to the usual, why not take it to the next level?

If you want to really reach a woman’s heart let her know that you understand (and are paying attention) to what she loves. Don’t try to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to getting her a present. Don’t risk it! Instead, take what you KNOW she likes and repackage it.

Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking…

 

  1. Put her favorite songs on a new iPod that is for her bedside or for working out or for whatever she does for her “me time”.
  2. Take her favorite photos and place them beautifully in a nice album. Take her to a special and picturesque place where you can give it to her AND take some new photos of the both of you to add to the last page of the album.
  3. Surprise her by telling her you’re taking her out on a date then surprise her with her favorite restaurant’s food delivered (or picked up for home) and have dinner in front of her favorite movie (DVD) on TV for an “at home” date night.
  4. Find her favorite pair of shoes that are worn out and have them refinished at a shoe repair shop. Present them to her along with a night out for her to break them in all over again.
  5. Set up an appointment at the counter of her favorite cosmetics at Nieman Marcus (or similar) for a makeover and the purchase of all new makeup. Bring wine and cheese in a small cooler when you take her. Make it special (and be prepared for the sticker shock of what good makeup really costs!)
  6. Her favorite restaurant and meal? Learn how to make it and surprise her by cooking it at home. Even a bad attempt will be appreciated. Make your dining area look like the restaurant. Type up a menu. Dress like a waiter. Make it fun!
  7. Fly in her best friend that she hasn’t seen in a long time for a visit with her. Nothing is more appreciated than you arranging time for her with a missed friend. Give THEM a night out (without you) at a hotel so then can “girl talk” and catch up.
  8. Many women love a good massage. If you really want to treat her have the masseuse come to your home. Secretly set up a room at home to look like a spa room. There is nothing greater than getting a massage and not having to get in a car to drive home.

These are just some suggestions. Think about the things she loves the most. The places she likes. Then, repackage them in an unexpected way.

Give gifts that are from the heart and not the wallet. These are the gift’s that will capture her heart and that she’ll tell her friends about for years…

About the Author: David Hira is both an entertainer and a keynote motivational speaker. David connects people’s heads to their hearts and has them care about any job or task that is before them. Learn more about David at www.DavidHira.com

How to put on a company party.

How to put on a company party:

Oh, great. You’ve been put in charge of putting on your company’s Christmas holiday party and finding the perfect entertainment. Now what?

Relax! It’s actually pretty easy to get it all together. There are some basic details that will need tending to right away, so let’s get going!

The first thing to know is that the internet is only partially your friend. Some of the best caterers, decorators and entertainers in your area aren’t professional marketers and may not be on the “first page” of Google. Many of those who are marketing-savvy may not be the best fit for your group and their needs. Don’t worry. I’ll share the secret to finding just the right partners and vendors in just a moment!

What should you consider when putting your event together?

  • Will this be for adults only are are families included?
  • Will this be formal, semi formal or casual?
  • Where will the event be held? Your office, a restaurant or special event venue or at a hotel ballroom?
  • Is there a social hour, is this a mixer, will there be food (buffet or seated)?
  • Are you having speeches, awards or other presentations? When?
  • Do you want people to go away laughing, smiling and saying “WOW!” or simply saying, “what a nice night?”
  • Do you want some live music during the beginning of the event? During the meal? As a featured attraction after the lunch or dinner?
  • Do you want people to dance or do you want them to enjoy a fun and entertaining show?
  • Is it important that no one in your group be offended with any suggestive humor, political jokes, religious or ethnic references?

It is my experience that every event should be viewed as a “story”. There should be a beginning, a middle and an end.

The Beginning
People should arrive and have things happening from the start! Music, mingling entertainment such as a terrific sleight-of-hand magician and/or a silhouette artist making keepsakes. This is the time where people get acquainted with spouses and guests. You need an “icebreaker” to help people introduce one another and keep things festive. Having name badges pre-made when the arrive helps everyone from feeling awkward. This should be done OUTSIDE of the dinner area in a separate room if possible.

The Middle
This is when people move to their tables for your meal whether a buffet or seated dinner or lunch. Having place cards so that people know where to sit takes care of uncertainty and keeps from having one lone couple stuck at a table all by themselves. The dinner should always open with a welcome from the host, a prayer if appropriate, and then the meal itself. Have light dinner music (no words, instrumental only) playing lightly during the meal. At the end of the meal and during the dessert is the BEST TIME to give out your awards and give a SHORT speech if necessary.

The End
Now is the time to WOW your group with a terrific show. My opinion? Make people laugh, get them engaged, have a real “production” that gets people involved and clapping like never before. Think variety acts like a great comedy magic show, a comedy hypnotist or a high-level ventriloquist. Think “cruise ship entertainment”. Variety entertainers can customize their show with your company name or motto and include people in their acts to make it even more personal. Make sure that you insist that it be “clean and politically correct” to keep you out of trouble. At the end of the show, simply thank everyone for coming and bid them a good night. If you can have a small parting gift for everyone as they leave, so much the better. Even a small box of chocolates nicely wrapped is that “something extra” that makes people say “awe…”

So where can you find what you need to pull off such an event? I said that the Internet is only “partially our friend”. I suggest that you find a reputable event planner or talent agency in your town. Both can help you not only find great entertainers and other vendors but they can help find the perfect MATCH for your group and event. They have the experience and know what will work and what won’t. Tell them what the “look and feel” is that you are going for, but listen to what they have to say. They do this day in and day out. Trust them!

Then, create your “to do list” broken down by week. Finding your entertainment and venue is a BIG priority. They are the first to get booked by others. Get this done first, then everything else.

Most of all, learn to delegate to others. If you don’t have the staff don’t worry. A great event planner can either assist you and your team or do everything for you. Don’t forget, you’ll want to enjoy your party too!

About the author: David Hira is a nationwide entertainer, magician and motivational speaker. He has worked over 400 events a year for small and large companies and has worked with dozens of event planners and talent agencies. For more information on David Hira, go to www.DavidHira.com or email David at david@DavidHira.com

Valentine Magic – Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Magician makes magic for Valentine's Day

I recently was a guest at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was hired to be the closing motivational keynote speaker for U.S. Foodservice and spoke to their top sales people. That evening, I entertained as the “world’s greatest magician” with expert sleight of hand for their social hour.

I noticed the chocolate covered strawberries from The Broadmoor’s kitchen right away. With a bit of coaxing, their awesome chef happily shared their secret to making these gems at home. I thought that I’d share this recipe with you for Valentine’s Day. Yes, you could buy these already made, but show your loved one how much you care by making them yourself.

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES
DARK & WHITE CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES 

Chef Remy Fünfrock, Executive Pastry Chef at The Broadmoor
Makes 10 Strawberries

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 oz. High Quality Dark Chocolate – 70% Cocoa
  • 4 oz. High Quality White Chocolate
  • 10 Ripe Strawberries
  • 1 Candy Thermometer
  • 1 Baking Sheet Lined with Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil
  • 1 Pastry Bag Fitted with a Small Round Tip

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler.  Stir consistently making sure                                                                             the temperature of of the chocolate doesn’t exceed 88° F.
  2. Melt the white chocolate the same way as the dark chocolate except that                                                                                 the temperature should be 84° F.
  3. Dip a strawberry in the dark chocolate and place it on the lined baking sheet.                                                                     Repeat for all of the strawberries.
  4. Fill the pastry bag with the white chocolate.  Drizzle white chocolate over                                                                                 the strawberries  making thin lines.
  5. Refrigerate with until set.
  6. Serve with a Liquid Love cocktail…

TIPS FROM CHEF REMY

  • Use good dark chocolate for this- Ghiradelli or Nestle work great.
  • When melting the chocolate, go back and forth over the double boiler to avoid                                                             overheating the chocolate.
  • Never add water to thin out chocolate.  If it is too thick, it probably isn’t a good                                                                 quality chocolate.
  • If you choose to use milk chocolate instead of dark, work with it the same way as                                                                   the white chocolate.

So there you have it. Give it a whirl. Don’t just tell people you love them… SHOW them you love them. This should do the trick!

Superbowl Corporate Hospitality Suite Party Entertainer Magician

Bill Lively knows what it takes to make events great!

The Superbowl is coming to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas! Tireless host Committee President and CEO Bill Lively, is working hard to make sure that lots of corporate hospitality parties and events are planned. Corporate sponsors will entertain corporate customers and clients at parties large and small. With the super storm hitting and ice hitting the streets, don’t let your party be a dud!

Have an icebreaker (literally) that works to make people feel welcomed and gets them to know others quickly. As a Dallas Fort Worth based entertainer and magician my goal is to help introduce people to one another and get them mixing and mingling with laughs and fun while using your company name over and over again. Am I the world’s greatest magician? I’m not sure about that but I do know that I can help you entertain your guests better than anyone. Call for availability and rates.

David Hira

www.davidhira.com
Phone: 469-688-3954

The Improv

While some people are worried about the effects of the B.P. oil spill, the effectiveness of President Obama and the outcome of the world cup others are enjoying and living life to their fullest. People always want to laugh, be entertained and be taken away from reality for a mental break. Whether it is going to see Toy Story 3, seeing the Broadway hit “Wicked” or going to see a comedy show at The Improv, people need to laugh and leave their worries behind.

I am privileged to do just that for people. My comedy magic shows (based out of Dallas Fort Worth Texas) has been seen around the world. For a trade show traffic stopper in Las Vegas, an awards banquet in Portland, Oregon, and for festival entertainment with my Make Believe Circus.

And, as a motivational speaker, my job is to remind people that they have the ability to do anything. We become what we dwell on. I’d like to inspire people to dwell upon the best things in life. As a result, life will be the best!

If your company, non-profit organization or church is looking for something fun, exciting, interesting and amazing… please give them my information! David Hira – comedy magic, illusion, keynote speaker and motivational speaker. I’ll do my very best! Many thanks…

Clean Entertainment for Corporate Audiences

After a recent show I called my client to say thank you and to get feedback. “They all love you and your show… we’re glad we didn’t go with a comedian.” Ah, I hear this all to often. What is the reason behind this common thread?

Safety.

Corporate events and customer appreciation events are all about having fun and adding a little excitement. The last thing anyone wants is there to be that “oh no…” moment when a performer says the wrong (stupid) thing in front of the crowd that the corporation is trying to “win over”. Suggestive or sexual humor or innuendos are never appropriate. Keeping it clean, fun, upbeat and positive is my motto. Political humor, religious humor, ethnic references or references to the economy is neither funny nor appropriate at a corporate gathering.

The client continued, “We once had a comedian and had to tell them to please leave out any dirty stuff or political references as our crowd does not take kindly to those types of remarks. The comedian PROMISED to leave that material out but he didn’t.” Oh my. How do you solve that?

I promise my clients two simple things. There is NEVER any suggestive, political, religious or ethnic humor in anything I do…not on stage nor off stage. You will NEVER have to ask me to leave that type of material out of my act because it was NEVER in my act to begin with. Secondly, I offer a full 100% money-back guarantee. If you audience is not completely delighted with my performance you pay no performance fee.

It is more important than ever to treat your staff, your customers and your potential customers with complete respect. Respecting their personal viewpoints means never making fun of things that they may hold dear. Being sure that your speakers and your entertainers are committed to this is essential. Check references before you hire your entertainer or speaker. Be sure they have a guarantee. Insist on seeing recent video of their performances. Get everything in writing.

Know of someone who is planning a corporate retreat, company event, trade show or convention? David Hira is the perfect entertainment or keynote motivational speaker for corporate, non-profit or church events. Find out more at http://www.davidhira.com or by calling 469-688-3954. David travels from Dallas – Fort Worth and is available nation-wide and internationally.

Five Tips for a Great Trade Show Booth

Trade show season is upon us – make sure you are ready to make the most of  your experience and time at your show with these five tips to make your booth the best ever!

1. Remember, it is a trade SHOW.

Have a script, costumes (company shirts), and props (promotional items). Be sure to rehearse your staff before you go to the trade show. Set up a mock trade show booth at your office or your company’s cafeteria. Have a script of what people are to say and practice how you will greet customers and prospects.  Enthusiastically practice handing out materials and giveaways and practice gathering info on those who come by.

2. Have a set of RULES.

When you are in the booth you are ON STAGE. Bring smiles, leave company gossip and drama at the door. Be well groomed: clothes must be pressed. Breaks take place outside of the booth: no eating in the booth and no sitting in the booth. No bad language or off-color jokes. Make sure your employees only use positive language and statements for the duration of the show. Be good neighbors to the other exhibitors- depending on the show, some may also be your customers or suppliers. Every 3 hours: Change your shoes, brush your teeth and apply deodorant.

3. Love your attendees’ KIDS.

Be sure to have giveaways that are fun for participants to bring home to their kids. This is a SURE WAY to win the hearts of those who come to the trade show who have traveled away from home to attend the show. They will remember you because you helped them be heros at home. A great specialty advertising company can help you choose the perfect items.

4. Market your booth BEFORE ARRIVING.

Send invitations two weeks before the event to customers and potential customers telling them that you’ll be at the trade show. Give them an incentive to come to your booth such as a “ticket” for a free gift. Entice them with teasers such as, “Want to see which gizmo will save the most electricity in 2010? We’ll have it in our booth!”

5. Get a CARNIVAL BARKER.

Trade shows have limited floor time for you to attract people to your booth and deliver your compelling sales message. Hire a professional who is skilled in STOPPING TRAFFIC in the aisles who can entertain people while informing them of your product and services and PEAK their interest to learn more about you. It’s a game of numbers: the more people who know what problems you solve for them with your product or service, the more business you will get!

I am an entertainer, keynote speaker and an expert at getting people to STOP at trade show booths just like yours. For more information… http://davidhira.com/trade_shows.html

How to Throw a FANTASTIC Christmas Party on a Budget

Planning an office Christmas party can be difficult- especially for small businesses that have very limited budgets. My years of planning and throwing holiday parties for my employees have taught me a few tricks I would like to share to help you throw a GREAT party. Use my tips to throw a fantastic party that will show your employees how much you appreciate them while staying within your budget!

A great source to tap for help when organizing your party is your vendors. Many of your vendors may be looking for a way to thank you for your business over the past year, and  contributing to your employee Christmas party is a wonderful way to thank not just you, but also all of your employees who help make your company great! Ask if your vendors can sponsor part of your party: this can be as simple as providing part or all of the food, providing entertainment for the party, or providing the venue and decorations.

Another great way to get vendors to help make your Christmas party a hit is to see if they can provide anything for door prizes or employee gift bags. Most of your vendors are likely to have promotional products that they would love to get into the hands of the people who seek them out to do business! This is a win/win situation in which you get more give-a-ways for your employees, and your vendors get their promotional materials to the right audience. Several may be willing to also donate a “big ticket” item for a door prize, and in return, just asked to be recognized for their donation!

If you do have vendors who are willing to contribute to your holiday party, remember to ask if they have representatives who could attend your holiday party. This shows your appreciation for their generosity and gives them a chance to mingle with the people they do business with.

Local restaurants are another great source when looking for help with your office Christmas party. Try approaching restaurants that are near your office where your employees regularly dine and asking if they might be able to help out by catering your party or by offering you a discount if you have your party at their establishment. Local restaurants may also be willing to donate gift certificates to use as door prizes for your employees as well. Remember, your company’s employees are their restaurant’s customers- and they want them to keep coming back!

The main thing to keep in mind when looking for help sponsoring your party, is to look for companies that will benefit themselves by helping you out, or that you regularly bring business to. Does your company have connections to any local hotels? Do you have a service that you could work out an exchange with an entertainment company or with a decorator? Look for the connections your business has, and how you can help each other out!

Small business can also look to each other for help when planning a Christmas party on a budget. If your office is part of a building full of office suites, consider joining together with your office’s neighbors and having a group party. This is a great way to get to know the other people in your building, and splitting fixed costs lets you save money on your Christmas party!

If you have any other hints or helpful ideas, please post them as a comment below on my blog- I would love to hear what great ideas my friends have!

In next month’s newsletter and blog, I will share with you my wonderful way to reward employees throughout the year, increase your company’s goodwill in your community, and prepare for next year’s Christmas party, plus one more benefit I will reveal when I post. Stay tuned!

Merry Christmas to all!

Holiday Guest Tip!

Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!

The holidays are always a hectic time- people travel across the country to be with their families and loved ones… and those families and loved ones open up their homes and guest rooms! When we have guests at our house, they often forget to bring the amenities that hotels usually provide. Here is a little trick I use to make sure my house guests have everything they need!

When I travel, I stay in hotels, but bring my own shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc. However, I still take the tiny shampoo and conditioner bottles from the hotel bathrooms home with me. I put all of the little bottles in a glass bowl in my guest bathroom so that when people stay with us, they still have all of their toiletry needs taken care of! Not only does this provide my guests with what they need to shower, it also gives them a glimpse into all of the places my travels take me!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Helpful Holiday Hints

Welcome to my blog! I am using my first post to give out some of my expert advice on creating the perfect atmosphere for your event this holiday season! Read on and enjoy!

Every perfect holiday event starts with the right  atmosphere. Atmosphere is made up of four key elements: decor, music, lighting, and entertainment.

The right decor is essential for any occasion! Does your space look bright and fun? Or does it reflect elegance and luxury? As your guests arrive, the decor for your event will set the tone and the ambiance for the night. The size of your decorations should also be appropriate for the size of your event’s venue. Small pieces in a giant room will get lost, and large “statement” pieces in a small room will overpower the venue. You don’t have to hire a professional to help you decorate for your event, but they can be extremely helpful, and help save you a lot of time and trouble!

The second ingredient vital to creating the perfect atmosphere is music. A professional sound system playing music specially selected for your event creates the perfect auditory ambiance. If you don’t have high quality sound system, there is a trick to getting the best sound out of your boom box! Place the boom box in the corner of the room, about two to three feet away from the walls, and face it TOWARDS the corner. The walls will act as a sounding board so that the music fills the room evenly!

The music selection for an event is key to setting the mood also. During the holidays, music selection can be a little easier: there are many compilation albums of holiday music that make programming the music a snap! Whether you have a DJ for your event, or are  providing your own sound, make sure that the volume is at an appropriate level so that your guests can still hear each other talk while they are mingling!

The third element to creating your holiday party atmosphere is the lighting. Lighting can be a little tricky, especially at night, and may be one area where you may want to splurge a little and hire some professional help. If you do design your own lighting scheme, be sure to have some dramatic lighting mixed in with ambiance lighting. Tea lights placed underneath furniture is an inexpensive way to softly brighten a room and give it a warm holiday glow- just make sure that your lights are not creating a fire hazard. Candles create soft lighting also, and can be part of both ambiance lighting and decor. When using candles, you also should be cautious about the dangers of fire. Always safety first!

The final element used to create your perfect party atmosphere is entertainment. Once your guests arrive, you can’t expect them to entertain themselves, especially if you have a group of people who are not already acquainted. The best way to keep your guests entertained, is to provide two different kinds of entertainment: one they can step back and enjoy, and another that is interactive. Caricature artists or silhouette artists are a fun way to entertain your guests while they are there, and to provide them with a keepsake to remember the occasion by! Your guests can have their own caricatures drawn, or watch while others are being rendered.

You should also provide some kind of interactive entertainment at your event. Interactive entertainment helps your guests get involved in the festivities. The best kind of interactive entertainment involves your guests not only in the party, but also with each other! Your guest list may involve people who do not know each other very well, and having entertainment that serves as an icebreaker is a great way to make each person feel welcome! Close up “mingling magic” is a great way to bring people together into small groups, introduce them to each other, and most importantly, give them something to talk about!

Getting the perfect combination of the right decor, music, lighting, and entertainment is key to creating the perfect atmosphere for your holiday celebration! For more helpful hints, recommendations for quality professionals to guide you, or just friendly consultation on how to host the holiday celebration that will wow your guests, contact me, David Hira, at david@davidhira.com. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!