TV Guest Interviews – What to Expect

Appearing as a guest on television is an important part of your marketing strategy for becoming a well-known expert in your field.

To have a successful TV interview, where you’re able to focus on your message and be completely undistracted, it helps to understand the actions being performed by the crew when they’re setting up for your interview, and their terminology which may be completely foreign to you!

Here are a few terms you should be familiar with and actions you can expect:

1. Slate. The printed information about a TV guest displayed or scrolled at the bottom of the screen during an interview is referred to as the “slate.” When a guest arrives on the television set, a member of the TV crew may ask the guest to slowly say (and perhaps spell) his name, title, book title, or product or company name. It is important to be very clear during this process, so that the information when displayed to the viewers is correct.

2. Balance. It is a smart idea for the guest to carry a plain white index card in his pocket. An index card, held up to the camera, is used by the cameraman to get the right balance, or adjustment, of the camera color to make sure the person’s skin doesn’t appear green on the TV screen. Usually the cameraman will have his own card, but it doesn’t hurt for the guest to be prepared, just in case.

3. Level. Before the interview, the sound people will ask the guest to speak into the microphone so they can set the correct sound level. The guest should speak clearly and in a normal conversation tone and volume. This is referred to as getting the person’s “level.” The person should talk in the same “level” when the cameras are rolling – in the same tone and volume – and the voice will sound balanced with the interviewer and any other speakers.

4. Standup. If someone is being interviewed at a conference or during a breaking news story, it may be done as a “standup” instead of the usual seated interview. The reporter or interviewer will stand with the guest in a corner or a certain spot and conduct the interview.

5. B-roll. This is the term given to the video footage that is shown on the screen while a voiceover tells the actual story or explains what the audience is seeing. An example would be aerial footage of a congested freeway being shown while a TV guest shares statistics from his book about smog and global warming.

TV is a powerful medium. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share your message with a wide audience in a manner that shines a spotlight on you as the “expert” celebrity!

Most of all, when the lights go on, make sure you enjoy the moment as it will come through in the interview and enhance your appearance as a guest!

For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI, a national public relations firm. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. Some of the more prominent names on her client roster are Teamster’s President, Jimmy Hoffa Jr.; Sergeant’s Pet Care Products; Former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane and the famous Motown Group, the Temptations.

She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity.

The Advantages of Chartering a Fully Crewed Yacht

The crew plays an important role in turning your otherwise good sailing vacation into an extraordinary, special and memorable one. A fully crewed charter yacht means that if you are uncertain about your ability to navigate the yacht on your own or you don’t possess a nautical certificate, you don’t have to worry, because the captain is there to help you out for whole time.

Depending upon the size of the yacht you are planning to charter for your next sailing vacation and your specific needs while aboard, the number of crew members can vary with you. Most charter yachts offer a captain and a chef, who can also serve as host or first officer. For larger boats there may be a third person on the crew to assist the captain. Small to medium sized boats are capable of carrying 2 to 6 persons. A couple of yachts are capable of accommodating as many as 8 guests but not more than that.

Each crew member is well trained and knowledgeable and fully trained about the tasks they are required to perform aboard.

The Captain

The entire responsibility of taking you to your destination rests on the shoulders of the captain and other staff of the crewed charter yacht. The charterer can tell the routes he wants to visit during his trip, and the captain will certainly do everything in his power to take you there, provided it does not risk other crew members, the ship or the guests.

The captain is well aware and experienced of the most favourable weather conditions to travel in and has all the information you require regarding your destination. An all inclusive package usually requires the captain to assume all operating responsibilities of the yachts as well as its maintenance.

Although the captain on a crewed charter yacht does all the work of taking you to the destination, if you want to take the helm in your hands the captain will remain with you to guide you all the way through.

The Chef

A great charter experience is incomplete without the presence of a great chef aboard who will fulfill your requests for your meals and in between snacks. The chef can also serve as the host and can sometimes be responsible for doing the cleaning of the deck and the cabins and will do everything to make your sailing vacation as pleasant as possible.

Crewed Yacht Charter Vacations

Welcome to the most spectacular playground in the world. Did you know that over 70% of the Earth’s surface is Ocean? A luxury yacht charter is a vacation with a difference. It can be summarized with just one word – Luxury. Experience elegance, style and an exceptional taste of freedom cruising any of the exotic locations onboard a chartered luxury yacht.

There are other alternatives such as cruise ships and resorts. Although each of these are wonderful vacations, they cannot compare to the flexibility of your own personal luxury yacht charter. Luxury crewed yacht charters will cost you no more than an exclusive hotel or even a cruise. In contrast to a cruise or hotel, you will have ultimate freedom and total control over your vacation. Where would you like to go? You can set your own itinerary with the guidance of your captain and luxury yacht crew. Maybe you would like to stop by and visit a pretty little island along your path, if so, just let your yacht crew know and they will adjust course to suit you.

You and your guests can relax and enjoy the vistas unfolding, whilst an attentive and professional charter yacht crew dotes on you. There’s no need for cooking or cleaning, as your personal chef prepares exquisite cuisine cooked to perfection. Your yacht crew will in most cases be multilingual, and can therefore be of assistance at any of the ports of call.

Select a destination to start your luxury yacht charter. With such a vast area of water covering this globe, the choices are endless. Fancy a Mediterranean yacht charter, a Caribbean crewed yacht charter or visit the likes of Croatia, Spain, Greece or Turkey. South of France yacht charter, yacht charter Cote D’Azur and Caribbean yacht charter are popular vacation destinations. The exotic Caribbean includes the Bahamas Islands, British Virgin Islands, Leeward Islands and Windward Islands. Visualize a pacific flavor to your vacation; visit the Marquesas Islands, Tuamoto Islands and Society Islands in the South Pacific. These are only a few of the possible luxury yacht charter destinations.

For those romanticizing of a sailing vacation, catamarans could be an option with vessels accommodating for up to 10 guests. Possibly you might enjoy luxury sailing yacht charters which can also accommodate up to 10 guests. A luxury motor yacht charter could be the answer if you don’t wish to be at the whim of the wind.

Luxury Yachts, luxury mega yachts, and luxury yacht charter can be between 30-85 meters and can very greatly in style. A larger vessel has the size and stability to offer lavishly appointed saloons that are tastefully decorated. Private cabins are large and have individual ensuites. Spacious decks are designed for either sunbathing or various outdoor activities. Most luxury yachts are equipped to enhance your enjoyment of the water that surrounds you. Take pleasure in skipping across the waves on a Jetski or skimming along in a kayak. Delve below the surface to explore with dive sets and snorkeling equipment provided. A speed boat tender is available for you and your guests to enjoy water skiing or just to go ashore to the beach for a picnic or a night out in port.

Possibilities for your private crewed yacht charter vacation are endless. Pick a destination and the style of luxury vessel, and then just enjoy the experience.

Identification Wristbands For Events: The What, How, Where And Why Of ID Bands

We live in a day and age where people are spending more and more time outdoors than ever before. Whether it is a grand EDM festival or a local art showcase, the turn up is usually quite impressive and this has turned the events planning industry into something very lucrative. One of the most important and possibly most sensitive aspects of a successful event is security and access control. Over the years, the industry has seen everything from basic ticket stubs and name tag passes to finger print recognition and ID wristbands as a way to control access. However, the ID bands have proven to be the simplest yet most effective modes of control. So, how do you make the most of these identification wristbands for your event or party? Below is all you need to know.

Types Of ID Wrist Bands

Wristbands that can be used at events as modes of identification are available in many different forms. The main ways to classify them is in terms of material used, fastening mechanisms and identification mechanisms. Below are the categories and examples of types of wristbands that you have to choose from in each.

1. Material used

Tyvek

If you are looking for something that is simple yet strong and durable then Tyvek is the way to go. This wristband material is basically synthetic high density polyethene. It is great for one time use and its water proof nature makes it perfect if there is a chance that the wearer will sweat a lot or get into contact with water.

Vinyl

This is by far the most common material used to make wristbands. The fact that it is super light yet super strong is what makes it so popular. However, print on the surface tends to wear out quickly and the passes can only be used for one event. This is a good thing because it helps prevent cases of pass reuse but is a bad thing because it means that if you are getting the passes for your crew you will have to get new ones regularly.

Plastic

Plastic wristbands are a great combination of durability and cost effectiveness. Plastic is one of the most easy to acquire materials out there. It is for this reason that production is so cheap. Plastic wristbands are therefore a great idea if you are planning on issuing them as gate passes to many people as with concerts and major festivals. Plastic also happens to be one of the most resilient materials in the market. This makes the wristbands durable and can therefore be given to staff and crew as full-time pieces for repetitive use.

Holographic material

Holographic material wristbands are without a doubt the most intriguing. The unique design features various shapes and patterns that give the surface a funky 3D feel with a nice bit of metallic sparkle to it despite being non-metallic. Their unique appearance makes them a favorite among souvenir collectors and will make your event’s attendants very happy.

2. Fastening mechanism

Barrel lock

This is most commonly seen with ID bands made out of cloth. It is secure and chances of the band coming loose and falling off are very low. It also allows easy adjustability allowing comfortable fit on different wrist sizes.

Lobster clasp fastening

This is also more commonly used with fiber material wristbands than any other material. It is as secure as barrel locks and a lot easier to use. However, it is not possible to adjust the size with this lock.

Toggle fastening

With toggle fastening, one side of the strap has a T shape and the other has an open slot through which the T-shaped end enters. This is common with Vinyl and Tyvek material wrist bands.

Plastic rivet buttons

This is without a doubt the easiest to use and the most secure. It works with vinyl, Tyvek and fiber wristbands. The ease of use also makes it perfect for events with kids.

Full circle design with no fastening

Finally, there are those wristbands that are complete and therefore need no fastening mechanisms. This is seen mainly with the silicon material bands. The problem with them is the fact that you cannot adjust to fit different wrist sizes.

3. Identification mechanism

Event information in print

This is the simplest form of wrist band identification. With these bands, information about the event is printed on the surface for easy verification. It usually involves the event name, venue and date. This is to avoid reuse.

RFID chips

RFID refers to Radio Frequency Identification and the chip contains information that can be used to verify access. This is a great band type to use with people like regular event staff and crew as well as repetitive guests. The wrist bands in this case can also be used to grant access to restricted areas such as backstage and equipment stores.

Bar codes and QR codes

These are verified by code readers and can be used either on a one-time basis or with repetitive event attendees.

Where Can You Use Wristbands Effectively?

Using wrist bands as identification can prove to be very effective in access control if applied correctly. Below are some of their applications and events where their use is most beneficial.

Where?

Wrist bands are applied in different events as a way to grant access and verify permission to be in attendance. Below are some of the most common events where wrist bands can be very effective.

· Concert and festivals

· Clubs and bars

· Weddings

· Pool parties and beach parties

· Art showcases and galleries

For what

· Distinguishing between guests, crew and others in attendance

Wristband identification can and will help you control access to restricted areas during your event. This helps to maintain order and promote security. That way, you won’t have a guest wandering backstage at your concert or ending up in the kitchen of your restaurant.

· Meal tickets

If you are providing meals or refreshments at your event, wristbands will come in handy in identifying your crowd. This helps avoid misunderstandings and confusion. They are a lot more secure than tickets and are less likely to get lost or stolen.

· Non-event applications

Other than their usefulness as access control methods for events, ID wristbands have many other applications including their use as bus passes and for cashless payment using RFID chips.

Pros And Cons Of Wristband Identification

If you decide to go with ID bands as your access control method, you have a lot of good and bad to look forward to. Below are some of the pros you can expect and a couple of disadvantages that you can work with and are therefore not deal breakers.

· Pros

1. They are reliable- One of the most important characteristics of any security and access control method is reliability. Wristband IDs are the most reliable in terms of being difficult to duplicate. This way, you don’t have to worry about things like fake tickets and stamps making their rounds among your target crowd and flopping your investment in the event.

2. They are customizable- With wrist bands, the only limit in terms of design is your imagination. This allows you to personalize each piece to reflect the event’s theme or the company’s core principles. You can have something as simple as a colored band with the event name, place and venue. Or you can settle for something more flashy and eye-catching with loads of color and patterns to make it something that even the people attending the event will be proud to wear.

3. They act as indirect advertisement

More often than not, people who attend events where wristbands are the form of identification usually wear the bands long after the event concludes. This means that everywhere they go they act as indirect ambassadors for your cause getting people interested in future events like it. This also works when the wristbands are issued in advance.

4. They are collectables

If your event is awesome, people will want souvenirs and wristbands are as good as it gets. Your crowd gets something that helps them not only get into the event but also to remember the great time they had had.

5. They are secure

If you invest in high quality wristbands for your event, chances that they will get lost or stolen from the guests or the crew are pretty much slim to none. This is what makes them so much better than traditional pass methods like ticket stubs and name lists.

6. They are not messy

Finally, unlike body stamps, wristbands are not messy at all. So your guests don’t have to worry about losing their identification because of sweating or getting wet at your pool party or other similar events.

· Demerits you can work with

1. They can easy get lost if poor quality material is used

High quality wristband design is not simply about the material and aesthetics but also about the fastening mechanism and the wrist fit. If yours have a weak fastening mechanism and aren’t adjustable, chances that your guests or crew might end up lose theirs increase significantly.

2. They are expensive to make

The cost of production usually varies depending on the design and degree of customization you want. More often than not, it is significantly more expensive than other access control methods like name lists, tickets and body stamps. However, it is safe to say that it is a worthy investment as all the pros are proof that you will be getting great value for your money.

Tips On How To Make The Most Out Of Wristband Identification For Your Event

It goes without saying that wristband identification for most events is a great idea. Below are a few tips on how to maximize their use for a successful event.

· Customize

For your event wristbands to stand out, you will need to add a personal touch. One way to do this is by customizing and including something that the wearer can relate to the event or the company behind it. The most cost effective and efficient way to customize is by including the logo on the band. This way, you make the most of the limited space to not only have a mode of identifying the wearer but also identifying yourself.

· Be diverse

Another way to make the wristbands stand out is by embracing diversity. Instead of going with one color or pattern, try out many different designs even if it is for the same event. The only thing that should remain constant is the identifying information. Other than that, take it as an opportunity to embrace and practice diversity.

· Invest in high quality materials and fastening

Whether the wristbands are to be used once or repetitively, the quality of material and mechanism of fastening are two very important factors to consider. These ensure that the band is not only secure but also durable for people who want to keep theirs as souvenirs.

· Multi-use wristbands for regular attendants

You can save yourself a lot of money by having reusable wristbands for regular staff and crew. In this case, investing in ID bands that use bar codes or RFID recognition is a great idea. That way, you will not have to worry about getting new bands with every event.

· Issue some of the bands in advance or give souvenirs

This helps you take advantage of the exposure as a form of indirect advertisement to create more hype for the event and others to come.

Smart Buyer’s Guide to Residential Cruise Ships

Residential ships are a way to share expenses instead of owning your own private yacht. The concept seems reasonable, but there is some price gouging going on in the business.

The ship that started the current spate of luxury residential homes aboard cruise ships was “The World,” operated and managed by ResidenSea. All the residences onboard “The World” are already sold-out, but occasionally an owner puts one up for sale. If you have to ask the price, you probably cannot afford it.

Residential Cruise Line, LTD. Is offering 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 624 sq.ft. apartments on “The Magellan” for a mere $2,160,000. A 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath, 4334 sq.ft. unit will set you back $15,460,000 to buy and an annual maintenance fee of $542,000.

Not to be outdone, The Four Seasons Ocean Residences has units running from $3.75 million to $39 million, and sizes range from 797 square feet for a 1-bedroom unit to 7,860 square feet for a 4-bedroom unit.

The “Orphalese” plans to launch in 2008. They are offering 200 permanent residences ranging from the 1,000-square-feet, 2-bedroom Pegasus Estate to the 3,700-square-feet, 5-bedroom Penthouse, which are available for full ownership. The 2-bedrooms start at $1.8 million with $30,000 in annual fees, while penthouses start at $10 million with $78,000 in annual fees.

Voyage Partners has a ship under construction but has not announced pricing yet. When they do, the prices will probably fall in the range of the others in this short list of new residential cruise ships.
Another ship of this caliber is in the planning stages, it is to be named “Everest” and will be 656′ in length if or when it is built. It is to intended have 17 apartments and an owners private penthouse suite on the top deck.

“The Orphalese” is the best bargain of the bunch, and I think it is the highest quality ship too. “The Orphalese” is being built at the Aker Shipyards in Finland by the same builders who have recently built the biggest and best mega cruise ships in the world, including the largest of all cruise ships “The Freedom of the Seas” operated by Royal Caribbean. Also the management of “The Orphalese” seems to be practical. There will also be 265 guest suites available on the ship for cruise passengers who do not own residences.

Using the best of the bunch “The Orphalese” as a benchmark, let’s see how it stacks up against real world prices.

New cruise ships can be built for around $200 million. The most expensive new mega cruise ships cost about $500 million to build.

All the current prices of residences onboard cruise ships are exorbitant. Rich people apparently enjoy squandering their money. It must be a status thing to waste more money than the Joneses. For those who prefer to not waste money trying to outspend the Joneses, there is a better way.

Occasionally a cruise line may have a new ship under construction and run into financial difficulties. They may be forced to abandon the construction project, and an unfinished ship may sit idle in a shipyard. There are such ships available now. One in particular is as follows:

725′ 725ft./221m UNFINISHED 12 DECK PASSENGER VESSEL

Year: 1990

Current Price: US$ 15,000,000

Located in Mediterranean

Hull Material: Steel

Engine/Fuel Type: Twin Diesel

725ft./221m Unfinished 12 deck Passenger Vessel

Steel hull & superstructure built in Poland in 1990, length extended by 50m/164ft. in 1995 in Greece for the original owner who went bankrupt.. New owner not interested in completing the 13,000 ton (lightship) cruise vessel and it is now at the stage where in can be completed by our competent ship builders in record time as per Buyer’s specific requirements. Ideal also as a floating condominium project or ro-pax. The price “as is, where is” with engines, generators and other equipment on-board (see list below) is US$15 Million, or can be completed turn-key in 20 months for US$130,000,000. Lying in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The above listed “turn-key” price of $130 million is based on finishing the ship at the Elefsina Shipyard in Greece. That would not be a wise thing to do with this ship. Greek shipyards get very few new construction projects these days, and for good reason. The trade unionists in Greece are doing a very good job of improving pay, benefits, and working conditions of shipyard workers in Greece. Unfortunately they also slow down the work, and drive up the costs.

The asking price for this ship is less than the price for one large apartment on “The Magellan.” The asking price and selling price are two different prices. This ship could probably be bought for about 11 million dollars. It would be foolish to finish this ship in a Greek union shipyard. It can be economically towed over to the nearby shipyards in Tuzla, Turkey. The ship can be finished there quicker, and for about half the price and with better craftsmanship. This ship could be bought and finished to a high standard equal to “The Orphalese” for a total cost of much less than 100 million dollars (maybe even as low as 60 million). It can be finished to order, with each residential unit customized to suit its owner(s). The finished product would be a brand new completely modern ship with luxury homes onboard which would be at least as good or better than any on the market.

That still seems like a big chunk of change. But this is a big ship and it would easily accommodate 200 luxury residential units and an additional 200 or so conventional cruise cabins like “The Orphalese.” The average cost of the residential units would be less than $500,000. That would mean that the smaller residential units would cost much less than the average price. Also, with an additional two hundred (plus) conventional cruise cabins, the cabin owners could recoup much of the operating costs, and thus virtually eliminate the “maintenance fees” for themselves. The expense to owners can be less than 10% of the going rates if the buyers did not need to pay some slick promoters and salesmen, but just bought the ship directly themselves sharing the actual costs by dividing the ship ownership among the buyers. Why would anyone want to pay ten times as much money to buy, and much higher maintenance fees for a similar shipboard residential unit? The only reason I can think of is to impress others with how much money they can afford to throw away.

Used cruise ships are an even bigger bargain. Look at the specs for the following unfinished conversion ship for sale:

UNFINISHED YACHT FOR SALE

OWNERS PRICE USD1 MILLION

COMPLETE SPECIFICATIONS, GA AND EQUIPMENT LIST AVAILABLE

GREEK FLAG

BUILT ROMANIA / 1988

LAST IN DRY DOCK 1997

DIMENSIONS 116.40 X 14.20 X 5.20 METERS DRAFT

GRT/NRT 3430/2000

23 KNOTS INTENDED

HELIPORT INTENDED

ACCOMMODATIONS INTENDED FOR 81 GUESTS

CREW FACILITIES INTENDED FOR 93 MEMBERS

Again the asking price is subject to negotiation. Used ships can be refurbished to look practically new, and can be brought up to international safety standards (SOLAS). There are shipyards around the world that can do good quality work at even lower cost than the shipyards in Tuzla, Turkey. If a ship is currently lying in Greece (as many are), then Tuzla is the best place to tow it for major shipyard work. The “SE” shipyards in the Black Sea port of Nikolaev, Ukraine offers the best value for the money in that part of the world. The bottom line is that smart shoppers can get good deals, even on lavish purchases such as a luxury residential home aboard a cruise ship. I maintain a list of those who have expressed an interest. The list is confidential and will not be shared for any marketing purposes. The purpose of maintaining the list is to facilitate joint ownership directly between buyers without any middlemen or promoters involved.

How To Reduce Your Cruise Travel Insurance Risk – 7 Essential Travel Health Steps

Cruise travelers are tempted to buy cheap or even worse – opt out completely – on their Cruise Travel Insurance. This temptation is understandable. By saving here, you’ll be able to spend more elsewhere – on something much more enjoyable – like zip lining!

After all, cruise traveling is one of the safest forms of public transport available. Actually claiming on your travel insurance is remote, right?

Right!

Tell that to the travelers in Japan when the Tsunami broke, in March 2011. Or when the volcano erupted again in Iceland – May 2011. When will we humans learn that we really don’t control risk – and that we should be prepared for it?

Whether you’re young or old, healthy or ill – before you board that big, beautiful ship – have the best travel insurance in place. Here are 7 universal steps to reduce your travel insurance risk:

1. Book your cruise wisely. This can be done online, directly through the cruise line or through a travel agent. I suggest the latter. This is the first step to avoid massive travel headaches.

2. Read the fine print on your cruise agreement as well as your travel insurance policy. If you don’t know where to look – ask! And if you don’t understand what a certain phrase means – ask! (Your travel agent is the best person to ask.)

3. Prepare for the safety requirements at airports and seaports. Have all your documents – including visas and passports – in place.

4. Assess the impact of seasons before you book. Hurricane season… Flu season… Noro virus season. On a cruise ship, you can’t hide and will be exposed to any one of them. Decide whether you’re going to risk it, or sit it out until the next “safe” season. Luckily, these days, online resources are available to track and plan accordingly. (Involuntary confinement to your cabin to prevent the spread of disease is typically not popularized in cruise travel magazines. Have a look at the fine print in your cruise agreement though – it’s all in there… somewhere.)

5. Understand what is classed as acceptable behavior on board. Avoiding the mandatory safety briefing before departure, for example, will be classified as unacceptable. Picking fights with guests, crew and security personnel, is just as unacceptable at sea, as it is online. (At sea, though, these incidents are investigated by the FBI – not your local friendly sheriff)

6. Chronic medications are one of those things easily forgotten in the excitement of going on holiday. Packing it in your hold luggage – and losing it through no fault of your own – is another common calamity. Whatever you do, arrive with your chronic meds on board. Keeping it in your hand luggage is the way to go. Cruise ship infirmaries have a limited range of medications, and you’ll be billed for the visit and the replacements. Ouch!

7. Alcohol and cruise ship holidays go together. Remember though, inebriation leads to seasickness. It also leads to unplanned spending and antisocial behavior. As they say, use it…don’t use it – it’s really all up to you.

How To Create Your Wedding Guest List

Creating your guest list is a vital step in planning your wedding and not something that you want to skip or put off. Deciding who will be invited is fun and should not be made complicated. But some couples still find themselves frustrated with who to invite and who not to invite. They are encumbered by the fear of disappointing those who don’t make the list, and sometimes, in order to escape this anxiety, brides tend to invite everyone they know and end up spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars extra. So, why don’t you set aside a night with your fiancé, and jot down the names of those people that you want to include in your list?

You don’t have to invite people who you seldom see, or far relatives you haven’t seen for a decade! You might feel like you need to invite them and that you are obligated to keep them on your list. DON’T! This is your day! You have the choice who to invite and who not to. You might not see and talk to them again after all of the hooha is over!

Decide the number of people that will be invited. The smaller the number, the more intimate the party is. Jot down the first names that come to mind – close family members and best friends. Then prepare another sheet of paper and write the names of the people whom you would love to invite, but whose names can be removed from the list if needed.

Then, go over the list and show it to your parents for feedback. If they are planning to pay towards the cost of the ceremony, let them have a few suggestions with who to invite and who not to. But don’t let them go overboard. If they insist on inviting a few people who are not on your current list, you may need to negotiate this with your parents.

The next step is to count all your guests. You probably have invited too many. This time, trim your guest list and delete the guests that you think are not essential.

Now, you probably have a proper guest list and it is ready to be handed to the caterers when needed. But there are still a few things to consider when finally settling on the number of people on your list.

Here are three pointers to bear in mind in trimming your guest list.

Decide if you want to invite guests from afar. There are some people like your distant relatives and old pals who have already moved away, and then you suddenly remember them. Decide carefully whether you would want them at your wedding. Have you spoken to them in the past few months? Have they invited you to any of their celebrations? If you really feel like inviting someone like your childhood best friend, that’s fine, but accept your guest’s decision if they do not want to travel.

You can make a no-children policy. This might offend some parents and you might not be able to invite your little nieces and nephews, but this can also help trim your guest list and avoid crying babies as you exchange vows with your intended. You can schedule the time of your wedding in the evening which is generally understood as a kid-free time.

When considering inviting people you work with, decide carefully. If you work in a small office, it is best to follow the all or none policy. You might disappoint some co-workers if they see others being invited and they are not. On the other hand, if you are working in a large firm, you can safely invite your happy hour crew and your direct supervisors.

Create your guest list as early as you can. The secret to a successful wedding ceremony is time. This is the first step in preparing for a wedding, so make sure this is done properly.

Janine Rose Lumanag lives in the Philippines. She is a college graduate, and is passionate about researching and writing articles about a wide range of topics which are close to her heart. Her research into wedding planning will be a great help to all those about to be newly-weds.

What About Bob? AKA, How to Deal With Overzealous Guests With Cameras at Weddings

What about Bob? AKA, How to Deal With Overzealous Guests With Cameras (GWC’s) At Weddings

One of the most common sources of frustration for wedding photographers everywhere is guests whose single-minded pursuit of their own photos can impede the execution of one’s duties. In my opinion, one of the best steps that you can take is prevention. I include a discussion of GWC’s as part of my consultation and planning with every client. I encourage them to consider and identify potential GWC problems before the wedding even occurs, and openly address the issue if a problem can be anticipated. However, that doesn’t always work, and so contingency plans should be established.

Obviously, the simplest method for dealing with these sorts of people is to work around them. However, some GWC’s are so aggressive that they will significantly detract from your ability to provide coverage unless the situation is addressed. I’m going to step outside of the world of photography, and draw upon my experience in guerrilla warfare in making suggestions on how to deal with troublesome guest-photographers. Some of the most important principles at work here:

1. Know your enemy
2. Understand their motivations
3. Win the hearts and minds (WHAM) where possible
4. Attack the enemy’s support structure and destroy their auxiliary network

It is vital first to recognize that these GWC’s are not a homogenous group. The first step in handling a GWC situation is to identify what manner of GWC you’re dealing with. GWC’s can be divided into the following groups:

The enthusiast
Typically, this guest simply loves taking pictures. They may only have a 1.2 megapixel point-and-shoot, or even a camera phone, but they have a massive enthusiasm for photography. Some may have advanced kits, but precious few will have any skill or training. This sort of guest will frequently be so focused on their pursuit of the shot that they frequently either wander in front of you, or wander into your background. They may also disrupt your operations with the use of their flash, especially if you are using any kind of optical triggers.

The motivation of this manner of GWC is pursuing their love of photography, and trying to get great shots for the family. This is crucial, because you can use both of these motivations to your advantage. This type of GWC does NOT initially view you (the photographer) as an adversary. Generally speaking, these types of guests cause problems out of ignorance and enthusiasm rather than malice! However, many photographers approach the relationship as adversarial from the get-go, which closes down many effective approaches to dealing with the situation.

Enthusiasts are a prime opportunity for “winning the hearts and minds.” My favorite approach is to proactively seek out these people when I identify them, and attempt to build rapport by offering photography tips, and even in some cases a quick chance to try out a piece of gear. For instance, I’ll frequently allow an enthusiast with a Digital Rebel to try out my spare 430ex and teach them to bounce flash while the guests are eating (and thus nothing important is happening). Most importantly, this makes this enthusiast REALLY like you, which in turn makes them WANT to help you by staying out of your way. This also encourages them to be aware of where you are (so they can learn by watching you work!), which actually decreases the likelihood that they will walk into your shots in pursuit of their own. A WHAM approach has the additional benefit of the fact that many of these enthusiasts are also consumers of photography, and may lead to follow-on work or referrals.

If the “winning the hearts and minds” approach fails, direct confrontation with enthusiasts may be counter-productive. I have found that it is generally better to go after their support structure in these cases. More details on this in the next two sections.

The portfolio-builder
Typically (but not always), the portfolio-builder is a friend or non-immediate relation who has recently started or dreams of starting their own photography business. This type of GWC has VERY different motivations from the Enthusiast. Frequently, this type of guest isn’t concerned with the pure joy of photography, nor do they really care about providing great shots to the couple as a service. This sort of GWC selfishly considers their friend/family’s important day primarily as an opportunity to enrich his/her website.

This sort of guest not only interferes with your shots by blocking you, excessive flash use, or appearing in your background… they will frequently follow you around the event and attempt to mimic your “setup” shots, even going so far as to shoot over your shoulder.

Despite this sort of guest’s selfish motivations, it is still possible to attempt a WHAM approach. Once you identify a portfolio builder, proactively engage them with an apparent openness to networking. “Oh you’re starting a photography business? We should hook up! Maybe I can send you some business for dates that I have booked!” Once this GWC starts to look at your favor as being a possible boon to their business, they will actively court it and seek to ingratiate themselves. At this point, you have the excellent opportunity to compliment them on what a great job they are doing at staying out of your shots, and how you appreciate that they AREN’T trying to rip you off. Obviously, this may be the opposite of the truth. Tell a quick anecdote about another GWC of the past who wasn’t so well behaved. This will put the seed in their mind of how they DON’T want to act without causing them to be defensive. They will hopefully consider your potential value in networking to be worth staying in your good graces by adjusting their behavior.

If the WHAM approach fails, then direct confrontation may be extremely difficult here. This guest probably realizes deep down that they are behaving selfishly, and can quickly become defensive if they feel they are under attack. Rather, consider that these guests typically have a spouse, significant other, or family member in attendance who is probably already rolling their eyes at this misbehavior. Attack this GWC’s support base, who is permissively allowing this behavior to occur. Work through the wedding party, planner, or all-else-failing the bride and groom to put a halt to this person’s interference. An angry spouse has MUCH more authority over this GWC than you do. You may simply be viewed as a prima-donna vendor if you directly confront the offender, but they will have a very hard time ignoring the bride and groom’s wishes.

In any situation where you are forced to suggest behavior modification, whether through an intermediary or directly, it is a subtle but important point that you should NEVER couch the situation in terms of “so-and-so is getting in MY way.” The minute you make this person’s behavior about YOU, you limit the auxiliary’s willingness to help. On a wedding day, no one typically cares much about a vendor’s life being made more difficult. Rather, you should ALWAYS be scrupulous to couch your comments in terms of “this person is impeding my ability to give the bride and groom the best photos possible.” It may seem subtle, but this simple shift in phrasing has now shifted the problem from my-life-being-more-difficult to this-person-is-hurting-the-couple’s-photos.

The Pro
Most of us pros studiously avoid bringing our gear to weddings that we attend as guests. We shoot plenty of weddings to have our fill of “the joy of wedding photography,” and we typically have more than enough portfolio material. Thus, if you have a guest who is a real pro bringing a camera to a wedding, there are only two likely causes:

1. The pro’s family/friends have pressured them into taking a few shots.
2. The pro, for whatever reason, doubts your competence and wants to serve as a backstop in case your photos are terrible.

Fortunately, a real pro is really unlikely to be in your way very much. Pro photographers have better situational awareness, and are used to working around other shooters. Most would consider it a point of pride that they never impede another shooter. This is one of the few cases where directly addressing any impedance to the GWC is often the most effective course of action. If they are getting in your way, professional courtesy will often cause them to respond immediately to a tap on the shoulder, or a polite professional comment.

Again, this sort of GWC is the least likely to cause problems anyway, but your best defense in this situation is to demonstrate confidence and competence in your own work. If you’re doing all the right things, and obviously doing a good job, then the pro is far more likely to scale down any effort that they might be making, because, lets face it, they probably aren’t thrilled to have a camera at this wedding in the first place. If this GWC is still causing problems after the above approach has been attempted, then working through the auxiliary is still the way to go, especially since there is a good chance that auxiliary pressure is why this person is shooting to begin with.

I’ll close by saying that no matter how deftly you attempt to handle a GWC situation, there are some that are just one-man-wrecking-crews that seem to intentionally attempt to destroy every one of your shots. They will ignore you, their family, the B&G, and even the Lord above himself in pursuit of their nefarious aims. However, these represent a tiny minority of GWC’s, and the vast majority are easily dealt with through the means described above.

How to Trim Your Wedding Guest List – Determine Who Makes the Cut

Paring the guest list down to size can be as formidable as predicting the weather for an outdoor spring ceremony. To determine who makes the cut, ask yourself these “To Invite or Not Invite” qualifying questions. If you answer mostly yes’s, extend the invite. If nay’s have the majority, save the postage – and the meal cost.

1) Guests from Afar:

Some people (siblings, close friends) will make your “A-list” regardless of where they live, but others (second cousins, old sorority pals) fall into a gray area when they reside far from your wedding locale. These long distance guests may be unable to travel to your nuptials, so is an invite merely a gift request in disguise? Decide on a case by case basis.

Have you seen or spoken to them within the last six months?
Have you exchanged invites to other milestone events (their wedding, graduations, hallmark birthdays)?
Are they close with other invited guests?

Rule of Thumb – If your special day would not feel complete without your college roommate who now resides in New Zealand, go ahead and send an invitation. Let your guests decide for themselves whether or not they want to travel.

2) Pint-Sized Partiers

Not inviting children can make for tough planning for some of your guests, but the opposite can make for some interesting moments you hadn’t included in your wedding day dreams – like crying babies during the vows.

Are you planning a relaxed daytime event?
Does your budget and venue size make inviting all children a possibility?
Can your caterer provide kid-friendly menu choices at a reduced cost?

Rule of Thumb – Have a blanket no-children policy or make a sweeping cut based on age (no one under 13), as picking and choosing may offend some parents. If you anticipate complaints, schedule a black tie evening affair, which is generally understood to be a kid-free zone.

3) “And Guest”

If space or budget won’t allow the extra guests, some single pals may have to come solo.

Is this person in a committed relationship (living together or engaged)?
Will s/he be the token bachelor or bachelorette?
Must s/he travel and plan overnight accommodations?

Rule of Thumb – Sure it’s nice to let your unmarried friends bring a date, but unless that date is a long term love (living together or engaged), you don’t have to include “and Guest” on the wedding invitations. Just be sure to handle seating arrangements with care – your single friend probably won’t appreciate a table of couples sharing stories about how they fell in love.

4) Office Space

Deciding which coworkers to include depends on the size of your office and the nature of your relationships.

Do you regularly socialize outside of work?
Is your office or department close-knit and small (fewer than 5 people)?
Is your work relationship with a few direct supervisors or assistants particularly close?

Rule of Thumb – If you work in a small office, best to follow the all or none policy. In a larger office – you can safely invite your happy hour crew or direct supervisors and assistants without incurring the wrath of the uninvited.

Get even more wedding guest advice, including how to plan the guest list and guest welcome baskets.

How to Get Work on a Cruise Ship as a Guest Entertainer Part IV

Dress Code

One of the advantages of being a guest entertainer is that we have passenger status
while on the ship, allowing us in to public areas where other crew members are not
allowed. We get to mix and mingle with passengers and over the years you will keep
meeting the repeat passengers and you can develop some very nice relationships.
On ships they usually have dress codes such as semi-formal and formal nights. You
are still employed by the cruise line, and like being employed in any job you are an
ambassador for the company, therefore you are expected to adhere to the dress
code for the evening and also dress in a smart and appropriate manner during
daytime hours.
Formal nights most men will wear tuxedos and the ladies are dressed in evening
gowns, on other nights I always wear a dress shirt and smart pants.

Gratuities

You are expected to pay gratuities to your cabin steward at passenger rates at the
end of the cruise. On some ships where we are in staff areas then the gratuities are
sleightly less because they only come in once a day and you won’t get the full
service as if you would if you were in a passenger area.
If you eat in the dining room then you must tip your waiter and busboy. As a rule if I
chose to eat in the dining room I always tip after my meal, but that isn’t very often
as I usually eat in the Buffet or Bistro.
On the ships now they often have an automatic charge of $10 per person per day
gratuity added to your bill, however you do not have to pay this unless you chose to.
This is what the passengers pay and it covers all gratuities including the dining
room. As I said, I never eat in the dining room and so only my cabin steward gets a
gratuity. If we chose to eat in another restaurant on the ship, rather than the buffet,
then of course we leave a tip. They usually recommend $3.50 per day for the cabin
steward in passenger areas.

Dining

You are allowed to dine in the passenger dining room and a buffets. Priority to
passengers must always be observed.

Usually the maitre d’ will have a special table put aside for guest entertainers,
although on many ships they have placed us with passengers. There are usually two
main sittings, one at 6pm and the other at 8.15pm. On the modern ships now they
promote open dining so you no longer have to have a seating assignment. Also with
the larger ships there is much more choice of dining from 24 hour Lido, Pizzeria,
Italian Restaurants, Chinese Restaurants and a Steak House. Of course each ship
differs with various restaurants. On the larger ships there will be a cover charge in
some restaurants such as the steak house charges $15.00 for the meal, the Italian
restaurant charges $25.00 per meal. All crew and passengers pay the same amount
to go to these specialality restaurants.

On vessels with alternate dining facilities, a cover charge will be made to all staff,
guest entertainers, and officers which are usually no more than $2.00. When you
join ask if there is such a list with the various charges, or ask another guest
entertainer who can tell you.

Dining in the officers’ mess is by invitation only.

Gambling

Ships are now like traveling resorts with all types of activities, one of the most
popular is the casino. You will need to check out what the rules are pertaining to
gambling on the ship you are to be working, but I know that the rules for the
company I work for state that guest entertainers and their guests and NOT
permitted to gamble onboard. This includes the casino, bingo, horse racing, and any
other gambling activities.
Note: Update, as of re-reading this article Guest Entertainers are NOW allowed to
gamble in the casino for the cruise line I work for.

Laundry and Dry Cleaning

Again, this varies from company to company, something you will need to check.
Ships are equipped with passenger laundrys where you can do your own washing.
However be warned … they can be dangerous. Many comedians joke about going to
the laundry room and seeing fights and arguments as passengers try to get hold of
a washing machine or dryer. Depending on the ship you might be allowed to use the
officers or crew laundry room which will not be so bad, but always check to make
sure it is okay. If you wish you send your laundry out for cleaning, then Guest
Entertainers are charge at the crew rate for their laundry and dry cleaning, again
check the regulations for the cruise line you are to be working for.

Medical

In most cases the company does not provide medical coverage and I strongly
recommend for you to arrange your own medical and health insurance plan. In my
contract it states that in the event of illness or injury during the term of the
contract, guest entertainers agree to look exclusively to their medical and health
insurers for payment of medical benefits and not to, in any way, hold the company
liable for such payments.
Visits to the ships doctor can be very expensive which is why medical insurance is
important, especially when traveling overseas.
If on the crew list then more often that not a visit to the doctor will not cost
anything, and if they want you to get an injection such as Yellow Fever of the Flu
Injection then they will not charge. It all depends on the doctor and ships policy.

To see Paul Romhany on stage is to witness a magical transformation. While his skills and artistry as an illusionist are unsurpassed, Paul takes his performance to another dimension when he applies makeup as the audience watches, suddenly leaving behind Paul Romhany and becoming Charlie Chaplin. It is a mesmerizing spectacle as “The Little Tramp”, Chaplin’s most famous character, emerges to complete the illusion.