How to maximize your Gala Potential

Post-Holiday wintertime in Chicago is the perfect time to hold your Gala Fundraiser.  You might think the weather is a negative factor, but as long as the facility you choose is accessible by major roads, there is only going to be a very slight chance that the weather could effect attendance.  On the contrary, most people are anxious to dress up, get out of the house & have some fun between January & May.

We just finished a tremendously successful event last week.  We have done it several years in a row & it’s always been good, but this year was the very best & our Client was ecstatic.  What was the difference?  They listened to our common advice for party planning:  1.  Keep the party area as contained as possible.  You may be in a venue with lots of distraction such as a museum, but make sure food & beverage is in the same room as the dancing.  2.  Make sure your dance floor is small & directly in front of your music.  People are uncomfortable with a large dance floor.  3.  Hold the largest, most desirable gifts, raffle or prizes to the very end.  This brings everyone together & builds excitement.  4.  As soon as your raffle/awards are over, make sure you’ve coordinated with the entertainment & hit it immediately!  Grab your guests & compel them to stay & party!  They will go home & mark their calendars for next year’s event.

This advise goes across the board for party planning.  Maximize your potential for making a night your guests will never forget.

Making A Wish come true.

We are getting ready to perform once again for Make A Wish, the organization that selects critically ill children & grants their wish.  We have been entertaining over the years, with such Guest Stars as Jay Leno, Martin Short, Dana Carvey & David Spade, to name a few.  Each year, the organization features a personal story of one of their Recipients & the way their lives, along with their families, were impacted by this wonderful Foundation.  One child wanted to visit the set of “The Office”.  The star of this series, Steve Carell & his wife, took personal care of the special guest & went on to donate to Make A Wish.  Not a dry eye in the house.

Another young boy wanted to skate with The Blackhawks Hockey Team.  Not only were he & his brothers lavishly welcomed & hosted, but Jonathan Toews, the Captain of the team, recorded a special video for him, to be played at the Gala.  It was tremendous.

We are kind of the icing on the cake at the end of the evening, with our rich variety of great dance music & traditionally, this is a Party Crowd.  The Band looks forward to it each year.  It’s important to remember, as we watch the news & contemplate all the bad things that are taking place, domestically & abroad, that there are people who dedicate themselves to doing purely good works & providing joy for afflicted children.

Dan & Jay2015 Fuji Camera 049

Why It Is Important For The Live Band To Cater To The Wedding Guests

Why It Is Important For The Live Band To Cater To The Wedding Guests

Live band wedding entertainment is out of this world amazing.

A great band is one that emanates happiness and fun while making sure the bride and groom are getting exactly what they paid for and wanted.

The goal of a live wedding band is to bring the party, light the spark and get everyone in the mood for dancing and having a fabulous night to never forget.

A live band has the ever important job of pleasing the newly married couple and keeping up their end of the agreement to provide the fun.

As such, any requirements, expectations, or wishes need to be met. After all, this is a celebration of a beautiful union between two loving people.

However, a live band also has the responsibility to engage with the crowd, so that they too have the best night ever.

The worst experience for the bride and groom is to see their wedding guests sitting and not enjoying themselves.

Weddings are supposed to be fun and energetic with everyone dancing and celebrating together.

A live band should always keep a watchful eye on the crowd and measure if they are having a good time or not. This also helps the live band to know that they are getting the most out of the performance.

If your live band notices that the crowd is less than enthusiastic about the music, the band members should be able to switch gears and accommodate the musical likings of all in attendance.

This is how you know you’ve picked the right live band.

If you want a live band at your wedding that will cater to you and your spouse as well as the guests, contact the Dan Hayes Orchestra at 708-839-8450 today.

Professional Live Bands Highly Prioritize Customer Service

Professional Live Bands Highly Prioritize Customer Service

Live bands are a wonderful choice for your wedding entertainment. The live sound from actual musical instruments and singers, the upbeat personalities of band members and overall show-stopping fun can’t be beaten.

Your live wedding band should be one that intends on catering to you and your needs.

Although there will be the customary stipulations such as with price, set up, and space, a professional live band should have customer satisfaction as a priority.

Feel free to be open with your potential band by asking questions, looking for references, and hearing a sample song either in person or on a cd/DVD. A professional band will not have any issue providing you with any of the above.

Focusing on the customer service aspect, here is what you can do to get all that you want from a live band at your wedding. Again, a professional live wedding band will have your needs as their top priority.

Ask to meet all of the band members ahead of time. It’s always good to put a face with a name and a simple meet and greet before the wedding will do.

Listen to some samples. Live bands love what they do, which is to entertain and play some fantastic tunes that cover all genres of music.

Accept your pre-made song choice list. A quality live band will accept your requests and work with you within means. Your wedding day is the most important day of your life and your band will see to it that it’s a musical success.

Check-in with you prior to the wedding to ensure you’re all set.

Will serve as your MC too. Announcements will need to be made throughout the evening about the cake cutting, dessert table and coffee stations, and introducing special dances. Your live band should agree to handles these.

On the day of the wedding, your live band will have all questions and requests covered so that you and your new spouse can have fun without worry.

Dan Hayes Orchestra is a professional live wedding band that is ready to provide you and your wedding guests the time of your lives, with upbeat and outstanding live musical entertainment.

Customer service is our top priority. If you live in the Chicago area, please contact us today.

The Importance Of Customer Service And Musicians

The Importance Of Customer Service And Musicians

In nearly any industry, customer service is the single aspect of operations that can make the difference between a good business and a great business – or even decide whether you’re a success or a failure.

With musicians, it’s just the same. Just as unpopular musicians rise and fall, artists and performers who take the audience’s consideration into the mind and provide an appealing and engaging performance tend to do well for many years.

At Dan Hayes Music, we understand that and know that every occasion that we’re booked for requires individualized attention and planning from day one. We work closely with each client to ensure that our repertoire meets the needs of your wedding or special event, and we work to accommodate special song requests whenever possible.

Our wide range of musicians allows us to tailor the ensemble for your event, including everything from string instruments and high brass to the unmistakable drone of bagpipes or the melodic notes of vocal performers.

For 30 years, we have built ourselves and our reputation on providing unbeatable, customized and remarkable service to every client and occasion.

Our customers have noticed, which has led to our listing as the top-ranked wedding band within the Chicago city limits as ranked by our Yelp reviewers. We’re proud to have made to many couples’ special day all the more memorable, and will work to accommodate any needs you have for your wedding.

We can plan custom musical arrangements and instrumentation for each part of your wedding ceremony, cocktail reception and dinner, work with special location requests or ensemble changes, and even include prerecorded backup music to help provide a more robust sound with a smaller ensemble.

Whatever your idea of the perfect performance sounds like, we can make it happen. Our musicians play with a light touch that never overpowers, and we offer an incredibly wide-ranging repertoire covering all the greatest music from the last six decades on through to hits from today.

Whether for your wedding, serving as the musical accompaniment for a fundraiser or providing great tunes for your corporate celebration or convention, let us show you and your guests the difference between a good band and a great musical experience!

For more information or to schedule an appointment to discuss your event’s needs at our Wicker Park office, contact us today.

Why do people want to come to your Fundraiser?

If you’ve been a part of organizing a Fundraiser, there are a few things that become apparent:  1.  It’s tremendously rewarding  2.  It’s a lot of hard work  3.  You need to create an event that people can’t resist attending.  These days, the competition for charitable donors has never been more fierce.  To involve yourself in the fundraising process, you have to passionately believe in the organization you’re raising money for & you have to communicate that imperative to donors.

Generally speaking, people are generous if they can be.  But, if you tap into that group of people who are in a position to give generously, they are on lots of charitable lists.  That means they get invited to a lot of fundraising events.   So, logically, they have to want to choose your event.  That is where Entertainment can play a significant role.

Last weekend we played a beautiful Hospital Ball.  We’ve been performing at this event for many years.  I lost count of the number of people that approached me & said “When we see your name on the invitation, we mark our calendar.  We know we’re going to have a fabulous night!”  The dollars spent in investing in great music are returned in attendance & those people attending are likely to donate.  They’re also likely to tell others about the party or bring others with them the following year.  It’s a pretty simple equation.

Why do people come to your Fundraiser?  It’s an annual event they just don’t want to miss.

What to do, see & listen to, during the Holidays!

No matter where you live in the United States, there is a holiday to celebrate in the next few weeks.  This is a time when friends, family & colleagues take a moment to gather & enjoy whatever relationship they share.  Most of the time, this includes a party of some kind.  The background of that event is the great unifier:  music.  By mid-December, you may be getting a bit tired of hearing Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas” or contemplate stuffing something into those sleigh bells to stop them ringing, but it’s the music that, so often, is responsible for putting us in the mood.

The holidays also include many wonderful live performance choices, especially if you live in a vital metropolitan area like Chicago.  You have so many choices, that it can be hard to decide what to enjoy!  The Nutcracker, holiday shows by Chicago Ac Capella, the Chicago Symphony Welcome Yule, many & various productions of The Christmas Carol; the list is extensive & tremendous.

We encourage you to turn off the television, leave the confines of your living room, brave the elements & treat yourself to a few nights of real, live entertainment.

And, of course, we wish you the Happiest of Holidays & a new year filled with love, peace and best of all, live music.

Summer Event Temptations

Who doesn’t love a summer party?  The gardens are in bloom, the temperatures balmy, everything is green & your clothes are light weight.  I certainly don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but if you’re thinking this is the perfect time to have your event, let me alert you to a few of the pitfalls that can sabotage a summer party:  First, is the heat.  There are never any guarantees on the weather, but if it’s over ninety degrees & your facility has no air conditioning, you’re going to have uncomfortable & unhappy guests.  I know this seems obvious, but you have NO idea how many times a dewey-eyed bride will say “But, I’ve always dreamed of having my wedding in a barn!”   Those dreams can lead to heat stroke & ruined suits.  It’s not very romantic but there it is.  On a related note, if you’re outside in a garden, forest preserve, lake or country club, you have to consider the bugs.  They like a party as much as the next person.  But the next person may be your Aunt Edna & she’s allergic to bee stings!   A third booby trap of the beautiful setting, is it can separate your guests.  Put a bar outside & half the people will go there, never to come in again.  If you want cohesive, enthusiastic partying & dancing, you need the whole crowd joining in, so you want to keep them together. If you plan ahead, considering some of these challenges which may relate to your choice of venue, then you can avoid these pitfalls & have the perfect party.  & without a doubt, everyone loves a summer party.

Explaining the Science of Music

“Pop” Music.

The “Pop” is short for popular.  & that is further defined by your age group & sheer numbers.  So, what makes a song “popular”?  This is where the science comes in.

Music is a visceral part of the human condition.  From the moment a Neanderthal picked up a bone & began beating it rhythmically on a log, music became a form of communication that transcends all others.   When mass communication became possible via the radio, the people in charge of programing began to supply music & performing artists to a huge audience.  The folks at home, sitting in front of their radios, listened to those lucky enough to get on the radio & it made those performers rich & famous.  Stars were born.

Like the smell of cookies instantly transports you to childhood, music is inexorably linked with emotional aspects in our lives.  For a long time, the war years defined the music of the moment.  World War II, the Korean War & the War in Vietnam all had their own musical messages of comradeship, fear, loss, support or anger.  It stirred up memories & experiences of turbulent times.

Most everyone develops their musical taste growing up.   Usually, youngsters begin going to dances at school when they become adolescents.  Talk about turbulent times!  Love, hate, fitting in, being different, no one understanding you:  these are all the elements of songs that speak to young people.  “He/She knows me!  They know how I feel!”  is a common reason you follow a particular song writer.

You grow older & start dating.  The songs become more important as the backdrop to social interactions.  You meet the right person, you fall in love, you get married, all to the songs being played in the clubs, at the parties you go to, the concerts you attend, on the radio or television.  You start a family.  For most people, your musical taste has been formed.  Other more pressing things consume your time & energy.  But hearing “the old songs” transports you back to a time when you danced, laughed, loved or cried.  To when you were young.

This is what music is all about.  It joins us together, regardless of geography, culture, religion or race.  It can incite, anger, inspire, sadden but at it’s best, bring joy.  Music endures as the canvas of our past, present & future to be shared by all.  Even the cold logic of Science has to love that.

Working with the great Jay Leno!

Dan & JayWe are looking forward to performing again for Make-A-Wish Foundation on May 16th & this year, with Jay Leno!  He is truly a delight, both on stage & off.  He is definitely one of my favorite Celebrities with which to work.  The biggest problem we had with him, was his propensity to leap out of the ground transportation we provided & go into crowds of people!  The first time we had him booked, we engaged our usually security, even though Jay didn’t require it (very unusual).  We generally use off-duty Chicago Policemen for this job, in this case, Matt.  He & a Driver picked Jay up at the airport & they were on their way to the hotel, when Jay asked about stopping at a good Italian Beef stand.  Matt happened to be an expert on this subject.  He instructed the driver & when they arrived, expected to go in & get the sandwiches, while the “Star” stayed in the limo behind tinted windows.  Jay was hosting the Tonight Show at the time & probably one of the most recognizable people in America.  To Matt’s shock, the “Star” leapt out of the limo & went into the crowded street & caused a sensation!  He laughed & joked with people, posing for pictures, shaking hands.  Matt went on to act as “security” for Jay many times after that, always prepared for something spontaneous & hilarious.  Our clients always loved him & so did we!  It’s not surprising that such a generous celebrity would donate his time for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.