By Brynne Magaziner
How To Put Your Teen’s Personal Stamp On His Or Her Celebration
Matt loves football, but his family felt like they couldn’t go to yet another football-themed Bar Mitzvah party. So they dug deeper. Working with their planner, Melisa Imberman, President and Owner of The Event of A Lifetime, they thought through how to show Matt’s love of football in a personal, unique way. Since Matt’s family members are huge New York Giants fans and have been season-ticket holders for years they decided to create the ultimate New York Giants tailgating party complete with custom jerseys with logos merging Matt’s name and initials with the Giants’ logo and Metlife Stadium logo. The celebration featured concession stand-type food and tailgating games like cornhole. From start to finish Matt’s guests truly felt like they were attending a tailgating party and Giants game. Guests left saying “What a great party! That was so Matt!” What was it that made this event feel so much like this Bar Mitzvah boy? Branding.
Photo courtesy of The Event of a Lifetime
WHAT IS BRANDING?
Branding is creating a completely immersive event experience for your guests. It sets the tone for the type of celebration your guests should expect and starts the moment your guests receive a save the date or invitation until they step into their car once the event ends. Good branding for your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah happens when everything looks and feels like it fits together and it represents both the guest of honor and his or her family.
Branding is important. According to Melisa Imberman, “When kids and families are going to Bar or Bat Mitzvahs every weekend, they all start to blend together. An event that is branded well reflects the Bar or Bat Mitzvah child and is so much more memorable. I like to have different elements that reflect the brand happening throughout the night, so it keeps guests on their toes. The element of surprise is just so fun.”
HOW DO I GET STARTED CREATING A BRAND FOR MY CHILD’S BAR OR BAT MITZVAH?
Branding is something that should be done relatively early, so it can touch on all of the visual aspects of your event. Amy Rubel, owner and president of Rubel Event Management, LLC, advises to start working on a theme about 9 to 12 months before your celebration, “Kids change so much at this age, so what they say at 11 may not be the same as 13.”
This is a great place to involve your child, as he or she is sure to have opinions!
First, with your child, brainstorm words that reflect both him or her and the type of event you want to have. When thinking through the type of event, you’re looking for descriptive words like: modern, colorful, sporty, fun, traditional, elegant, sophisticated, casual, or bold. Think about the things your child is known for, his or her personality and style. Once you have a list, narrow it down to the top three words. From there, think through if there are themes, motifs or colors you’d like to focus on.
Or consider using your Mitzvah Project as a theme, advises Amy Rubel. “I have a client now whose son does not have a real theme, but he has a huge passion for books so we are literally incorporating books into the decor starting at the Shabbat dinner and working our way through the Saturday night party. The table names are his favorite book titles.”
It’s important to note that you can even brand your event without a theme; you’ll simply need to have more emphasis on color and style. Remember, the goal is for people to walk away saying that really represented what that child is all about.
HOW TO CREATE A LOGO FOR YOUR CHILD’S BAR OR BAT MITZVAH
Your next step is to create a logo or tagline. This is a design that ties together the event theme (if there is one), colors and the child’s name and/or the celebration date. “A logo must be simple, memorable, versatile, and appropriate,” advises Stephanie Steinberg of Party Logo Design. She adds, “a logo must be memorable and eye catching so that it generates that ‘wow factor’ that guests love. It makes for an event that everyone will be talking about long after the party is over.”
Logo by Party Logo Design
Lauren Hoffman, owner and designer at Lauren’s Logos, says designing a logo, “is really a collaborative effort between the parent and child. We brainstorm about what rhymes with the child’s name, what his or her hobbies are, and his or her favorite colors.” It’s important to discuss any party components that you’ve done up to that point such as invitations, then let your designer use their creativity to come up with something incredible for you. You may even want to use your child’s initials as a guide for the word. For example, Ben Nelson Eber could have a tagline Best, Night, Ever. Once you have your vision for the party’s brand and logo in hand, you can get started using them in all aspects of your event.
Stephanie Steinberg shares some practical advice too: “A logo must be versatile so that it can be used in a variety of ways. It should look great if you blow it up for a wall or floor decal or if it is tiny for a personalized stamp or return address label. It should also show up well on t-shirts and other giveaways.” You will want it to be in a high resolution format, so that it will show well when it’s blown up to a large size. Ask your designer to give you multiple formats (e.g. jpeg, png, tif, gif, pdf etc). You will need many formats depending on how you will use it. Different venues will ask for various formats, for the video montage, cake, t-shirts etc.
Some families choose to incorporate the logo in the invitation, but others choose to make the big reveal at the party itself. Since your invitation is setting the tone for the celebration (and will be on fridges or bulletin boards for months!), you’ll want it to reflect your Bar or Bat Mitzvah’s brand in some way. You could go subtle–just using the colors and fonts that you’ll display at your event, or bold–including the event’s logo, theme or tagline. You could choose to include the logo or something that represents the logo on a custom stamp or sticker sealing the envelope. This is your family’s choice depending on how formal you’d like your invitations to be. Keep in mind that your child can have a change of heart about their logo, so be careful how early you make the reveal.
Now that you’ve hinted at your event’s brand in your invitation, the decor is your opportunity to create the branded event experience for your guests. How will your brand be reflected in the larger, high impact areas–bars and cocktail space, dance floor and DJ booth, lounge area and guest tables? Decide which items will give you the most bang for your buck–this can include decals for bars or the dance floor, lighting like gobos (logos or designs projected on walls or the dance floor), the style of furniture and linens, the floor plan of the space, centerpieces, and games or novelties offered. For instance, in Matt’s Giants tailgating party, the kids’ lounge area had couches and tailgating chairs in the event’s colors, custom pillows with the event’s logos, area rugs that looked like grass and logo’d pop-up tents. All of those components created the feel of tailgating for Matt’s friends.
EAT IT UP!
Think about how you can incorporate your brand into your food and beverages. Add signage for the food stations to reinforce the theme or serve food that makes sense for the theme. For example, at Matt’s tailgating Bar Mitzvah all guests were treated to cocktail-hour concession stations with hot dogs, soft pretzels and popcorn. You can also use color to continue the branding by serving signature drinks in the event’s color scheme or having a color coordinated candy buffet. Consider using the logo or tagline on your cake—either with icing or a custom chocolate disc. Put a toothpick with logo’d flag in cupcakes or passed hors d’oeuvres.
DON’T FORGET THE DETAILS
Once those larger areas are taken care of, think through ways to include your logo in smaller details like cocktail napkins, menu cards, escort cards, stickers, sign-in boards or books. Are there screens where you can project the logo? Can it be included in a montage or candle lighting ceremony? Consider everything that your guests will see or touch during the event and if there is an opportunity for it to reflect your brand or include your logo.
Custom logo’d pillow. Photo by Salzman & Ashley Studios
FAVORS & GIVEAWAYS
Favors and giveaways are an easy way to tie in a logo or theme. Some brands easily lend themselves to items like towels, water bottles or certain types of clothing. A logo or tagline can be printed on almost anything you can image from socks to stadium chairs. Branded dance floor giveaways like sunglasses or t-shirts keep all of your guests on brand while they’re on the dance floor. They look great in photos too! Finally exit snacks can be a nice surprise—think about putting your logo on water bottles or printing logo’d stickers for snack bags or boxes to give out at the end of the night.
Favors by A Promos USA/The ImageMaker
Throughout your planning, remember this is your opportunity to put your child’s personal stamp on the party to make it their own. Your branded Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration will be memorable and stand out from the crowd!
Brynne Magaziner is the owner and Chief Magic Maker of Pop Color Events, a boutique event planning firm specializing in Bar Mitzvah & Bat Mitzvah event planning in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. Visit www.popcolorevents.com for more information.
This story is from our 2016 Mitzvah Market Magazine. If you would like to request a free copy, click here.