THE KIND OF PROFESSIONALS WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN

 

The Joe Cornell Party Team!

There are two kinds of businesses in the world: the ones who are in it to make a buck (to make many bucks) and those who, yes, want to earn their income and live comfortably BUT care about what they do and the people who frequent their business.

We’re the second kind and always have been. Integrity behind a brand, that’s what makes Joe Cornell what it is.  In Southeast Michigan, the name Joe Cornell conjures fond memories of childhood fun, of smiling DJs and fun emcees who made a party exactly what our clients hoped for.  We help families fulfill dreams at the most meaningful times in their lives.

Yes, we work tirelessly and sometimes, more hours than we’d like.  But we do it because we have been driven since we were teenagers working for Joe (the Man) to help people celebrate their happiest times, in the most fun, sincere way possible.

A friend told me recently about a disturbing transaction she had in a local business. The “salesman” was pushing products and urging her to buy, buy, buy when what she wanted was a few minutes of attention and the knowledge that this other person was actually listening to her.

Today, consumers have everything they need.  Shopping trips are often for the “extras” – things they want but don’t require, something to placate the quiet moments.  Plus, there are so many abundant options – we can shop online, we can find the cheapest of anything pretty much, we can enter any number of superstores and find all the products and services that propel our lives forward.

Few people really need anything.  So when they choose to patronize a business, they are doing so from a deep, emotional place, a place that says, your service or product adds value to my life so I will put my pocketbook behind it.  They’re saying thank you for giving more meaning to the moments of my life.  Thank you for being there.

Businesses shouldn’t take this lightly.  When a customer comes knocking at the door, the job isn’t to upsell; it’s to listen, to connect, to look into the customer’s eyes and know that you are making a valuable connection.  It’s imperative to have gratitude for the fact that anyone comes knocking at all and treat each and every sale as if it is the ONLY one.

At Joe Cornell, we spend countless hours with customers just because that’s the way we are.  We know the kind of business people we are – we’ve worked hard to get here and stay here.  It’s a little reminder, always, that businesses are run by people and frequented by people and it’s the person-to-person connection that keeps our economy going – not profits and sales. People.

Plan It….in your PJs!

 

 

 

PLAN IT MAGAZINE TIMES TWO

For advertising information, follow this link:  ADVERTISING INFO

Since we started publishing  Plan It! Magazine  two years ago, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. People are reading. People are calling and booking the advertisers in our pages. People are thanking us for the tips and tricks we offer in every issue. And venues are calling us for more copies since the stack they received is depleted rather quickly.

When you see such an overwhelming response to a new product, you know you’re hitting a need in the community. We started Plan It! as a way to expand our event guidebook at the Joe Cornell Event Planning EXPO and offer more value to our vendors and our patrons.

We found it’s great fun to create a magazine, especially one that promotes Michigan business (the entire endeavor is produced in Michigan!) AND is so well-received.

This year, we are expanding to TWO issues of event-planning advice, tips and ideas. Our second issue, due out in March 2013, will feature more great content, art and ads for families looking for the next big thing or unique idea for their upcoming celebration.

How can you get a copy or participate in Plan It!? There are so many ways. First, email us if you have a story idea or a business you think would be of interest to our readers. We’ll find room for you in our pages.

Secondly, we welcome your feedback! What do you want to read about? What are you looking for in your event-planning endeavors? How can we help? Talk to us. One of the new features we’re likely to have in the next few issues is reader talk-back – insights and ideas from our loyal readers who are doing interesting, innovative things at their parties.

Joe Cornell has always been a business focused on community and relationships. We are friends with our customers, and our customers come to us again and again – first, for their children’s events, then for their children’s weddings, then for their grandchildren and beyond. We build a legacy of celebration and warmth that keeps on giving.

So join us in the conversation and let’s keep the community connecting. After all, that’s what it’s all about.

To view Plan It Magazine, visit the website:  www.PlanItMagazine.com or pick up a copy at one of the following locations:

Village Coney Birmingham
Leo’s Coney Island Birmingham
Little Daddy’s Bloomfield Hills
Leo’s Coney Island Bloomfield Hills
Gino’s Keego Harbor
Honey Tree Restaurant Waterford
Leo’s Coney Island White Lake
Siegel’s Deli West Bloomfield
Leo’s Coney Island West Bloomfield
Siam Spicy Novi
Mr. Greeks Ann Arbor
Panda House Ann Arbor
Gourmet Garden Ann Arbor
Holiday’s Restaurant Ann Arbor
Benny’s Family Dining Ann Arbor
Leo’s Coney Island Ypsilanti
Emerald City Chinese Ann Arbor
Los Amigos Restaurant Ypsilanti
Leo’s Coney Island Ypsilanti
Sinbad Koney Island Ypsilanti
Leo’s Coney Island Saline
Joyful House Saline
Bangkok Sala Cafe Farmington Hills
Siam Spicy II Farmington Hills
Zoe’s House of Pancakes West Bloomfield
Uptown Parthenon West Bloomfield
Sunny’s Cafe West Bloomfield
Heartland Marketplace Farmington Hills
Hercules Restaurant Farmington Hills
Bread Basket Deli Southfield
Little Daddy’s Southfield
Village Coney Birmingham
Leo’s Coney Island Birmingham
Little Daddy’s Bloomfield Hills
Baked Impressions West Bloomfield
Gino’s Keego Harbor
Honey Tree Restaurant Waterford
Leo’s Coney Island White Lake
Studio A Birmingham
Leo’s Coney Island West Bloomfield
Siam Spicy Novi
Mr. Greeks Ann Arbor
Panda House Ann Arbor
Gourmet Garden Ann Arbor
Holiday’s Restaurant Ann Arbor
Benny’s Family Dining Ann Arbor
Leo’s Coney Island Ypsilanti
Emerald City Chinese Ann Arbor
Los Amigos Restaurant Ypsilanti
Leo’s Coney Island Ypsilanti
Sinbad Koney Island Ypsilanti
Leo’s Coney Island Saline
Joyful House Saline
Bangkok Sala Cafe Farmington Hills
Siam Spicy II Farmington Hills
Zoe’s House of Pancakes West Bloomfield
Studio A Commerce
Sunny’s Cafe West Bloomfield
Heartland Marketplace Farmington Hills
Hercules Restaurant Farmington Hills
Bread Basket Deli Southfield
Little Daddy’s Southfield

 

For advertising information, follow this link:  ADVERTISING INFOYou may also find them at your local places of worship, as well.

 

Becca’s Beat – LESSON ONE

June 30, 1984.  I became a Bat Mitzvah at Congregation Beth Abraham Hillel Moses (now called Beth Ahm).  For those of you that are Michigan natives you may remember that the synagogue caught fire just a few months prior to that date.  My bat mitzvah service was held upstairs in a makeshift chapel.  I have pictures of my family outside of the synagogue, some even included pictures of the rubble.

I was to become a bat mitzvah no matter the look or location of the bimah or the Torah I was to read from.  The entire experience was amazing!  I remember how I felt as if it were yesterday….

The pictures of me in a knee length white cotton and lace dress with feathered hair are hysterical.  My mom’s perm.  My brothers teal blue suit.  My dad’s beard.

I was the 3rd Jasgur to celebrate their mitzvah.  The entire weekend was so special.  First was the Friday Night gathering of relatives and out-of-towners at our house.  We ate (of course).  Fried chicken, I think.  My dad’s first cousin, Gail Adler (of blessed memory), lead us in song.  She could belt Somewhere over the Rainbow like no other.  Our Cousin Russel Ginns, played guitar and taught us the lyrics to his own silly uptempo creation entitled “Reincarnation” (“…I once was a seat belt, I once was a shoe…”).  Our entire clan aged 5 to 75 stood and danced to the camp classic “Deep Down in the Jungle Where Nobody Goes….”

I have pictures from the evening.  Recalling the night now is making me so happy!  One last thing took place that night…something that we had done the eve before the party for both of my brothers.  We made Candy Apples from scratch…everyone was involved.  Poking the apples with sticks, dipping the apples in boiling red candy syrup.  Rolling the apples in coconut (we left some plain).  Placing them in clear plastic bags and twisting them shut.  It was a group effort.  A TRUE labor of love, and everyone was involved.

Oh what a night it was!

Saturday morning was the service.  My parents said I was beaming.  I remember loving being up in front of the service, sitting with the clergy.  I can still see the smiles on my parents faces.  All of the Hebrew school and studying, I was able to lead the service and read from the torah.  Amazing, right?

The party was Saturday evening at Congregation B’nai Moshe, in Oak Park.   My parents had used the kosher caterer, Sperber, for all of their events.  This would be no exception.

My theme was Oriental.  Why?  Because, I loved Chinese food, why not!  Every guest came dressed in their rendition of Oriental.  Kimono’s, robes, sumo loin cloths, black, white and red filled the room.  The food was served in Chinese take-out containers.  Hot tea at the tables for all the adults.  A rickshaw was in the room for me and my friends to sit on and take pictures.

My dad and I read the candle lighting ceremony together.  There was a slide show (yep, actual slides) of each of the guests as we called them up to be honored.  We danced (Emcee Robbie Goldstein from Joe Cornell, doing his first big party!).  I was on the dance floor all night, as were all my friends.  We ate popcorn and snow cones and RED CANDY APPLES.  We laughed and smiled until midnight.  Another AMAZING night!

I remember writing thank you notes, and looking at pictures.  So many pictures!  I am grateful for all of the pictures.  They are what keep my memory of the weekend alive.  I look at them all the time.  I have shared them with new friends and old.  My kids have seen them.  They are precious.  An amazing gift!  I smile looking at the pictures of those I shared the weekend with who are no longer with us.  Full of life.  Living in the moment.

Lesson ONE from “Becca’s beat”.  TAKE PICTURES!  Lots of them.  Hire a photographer to take pictures.  Talk to them about what you want them to capture….the raw emotion of your loved ones.  Celebrate good times with those you love as often as you can….and TAKE PICTURES!

Yikes… It’s my turn to plan my own son’s party!

Ben's 9th Birthday Party

 

Have a party to plan?  I do!

Weird after all theses years of being an owner of Joe Cornell (like 24, yikes).  I am in your shoes.

Don’t think I haven’t thought about it.  Where would it be?  Who would I use for what?  How many people would I have?  Giving suggestions to others is so much easier than actually determining your own wants and needs.  In all the times I considered the planning process did I really take into consideration what would be best for my kid?

Which is why I am writing this blog…getting it off my chest.

Slowly I can see my 11 year old becoming more interested in singing along to the tunes on my car’s XM radio!

The last few parties we have been invited to he has complained less about going!

He is signed up for “Joe Cornell” in the fall… (FOR SURE that will get his mind in gear for what is coming!)

We will have the meeting at Temple introducing us to our Mitzvah Tutor.   By then he will be game for a 200 person dance party, right?

I’ll keep you posted!

:-)

Becca Schlussel

Dessert Table Love: Guest Blogger

Top: A nature inspired dessert table - Bottom: Bubbie and me at the Joe Cornell Event Planning Expo

It has been about three and a half months since the Joe Cornell Event Planning Expo and Wedding Marketplace.  But here at Sweet Heather Anne we continue to be inspired by great group of clients and outstanding vendors.  As a business owner it is such a pleasure to work with people you love to give them a product they love.

And right now we are all loving the dessert table.  Why?  Because they are innovative, fun, and all-a-round fabulous; taking the typical event cake and making it the stunning centerpiece of a table chock full of desserts.

A well-designed dessert table will take the design elements of your special event and incorporate them into the colors and style of the table; lending clarity to the overall design of your event.  This is where design meets function, where each stand, each item label, and all adornments are hand-picked and arranged to create a composed tablescape that will wow your guests!

The other thing we love about dessert tables is how they get your guests up and moving around after the meal, easing the transition from dinner to dancing.

When looking for a vendor to do a dessert table for your bar/bat mitzvah, wedding, or other special event be sure to choose someone who will work with the design of your event.  A custom table is a must if you are looking for a cohesive event. Also, be sure to find someone who has experience designing, as well as a portfolio for you to look at examples.

For inspiration we recommend checking out our website, and for inspiration beyond the Michigan community we recommend Amy Atlas.  If you don’t already love the dessert table you will after you look at Amy’s impeccable designs!

Heather Anne Leavitt
owner, Sweet Heather Anne

The recipe for successful parties revealed!

 

“Unbelievable!”

Click Here: Helene Rose tells it like it is!

That was the consensus.  Client, family, friends…even the Joe Cornell Entertainment team, they all sensed the magic.

Phillip Rose became a bar mitzvah at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, this month, and his parents wanted to mark his accomplishments leading up to this special day by gathering their friends and family for a night of dinner, dancing and excitement.

So, what made this party so special?  What was the secret to this party’s success?  Why were guests still raving days after the celebration?

The recipe revealed:

  • Step 1:  HIRE PROFESSIONALS – EVERYWHERE! From photographers and videographers, to planners, banquet managers, decorators and DJs.  Good ingredients may cost a little more, but one bad egg (who doesn’t show up on time, or plays an inappropriate song) can make you sick.
  • Step 2: LEAN ON THE ADVICE OF THE PROFESSIONALS YOU HIRE. As an example, we at Joe Cornell Entertainment have a legacy of over 60 years of experience in the mitzvah and wedding business.  Becca Schlussel and Steve Jasgur, current owners of the business have both served as entertainers, planners, and producers of thousands of events for families in Michigan and around the country.  Their advice is included with ALL Joe Cornell Entertainment packages.  We want our clients to enjoy the PROCESS and the PARTY!
  • Step 3:  DON’T GET OVER SOLD. While working with professionals is important, remember to keep your bottom line in mind.  Nobody wants to have a great party and then suffer buyer’s remorse.  A professional should listen to your vision and help you stay on course.
  • Step 4:  RELAX AND HAVE FUN! Don’t sweat the small stuff – SEE STEP 1.

As Phillip’s parents, Michael and Helene Rose will attest, Joe Cornell helped guide them in choosing just the right elements to take the entertainment portion of their party to the next level.  A Truss Tower lighting system to wash the dance floor in color, a coordinated team of entertainers (emcee, DJ, 2 dancers) to engage the guests and energize the dancing area, and an incredible drummer / percussionist whose live accompaniment to the DJ’s recorded music intoxicates the crowd and underscores the energy!

 

 

 

What did you do this summer?

We are so excited to officially kick off the 2011 – 2012 Joe Cornell Entertainment season this weekend!

The Tri Community Coalition’s Dream Cruise Dance Party on the street in Berkley, marks our yearly kickoff.  For nearly 10 years (has it really been that long?) the great people of the Coalition (Berkley, Huntington Woods, Oak Park) have invited us to entertain the area’s children – furthering their mission to keep kids away from drugs and alcohol.  When you hear the music and feel the excitement – peek over to witness emcee Josh George, DJ Ben Heavenrich, and new entertainer Blake Spencer as they work the crowd!

Speaking of new entertainers, we are ready to unleash our latest, greatest crop of incredible dancers / “party perkers” onto the mitzvah circuit.  Before the kickoff of each new year, Joe Cornell Entertainment hosts auditions to fill its ranks.  Working side by side with our veteran performers, our 5 new dancers will be seeing you soon!  They are…..Nikki, Nia, Ce-Ce, Lawrence, and Robert.

Our 6th Grade Dance Program (The Joe Cornell “Experience”) commences mid September.  While we are past capacity (yep, we even had to open a new class) we could ALWAYS you a few extra boys here and there.  If you know a 6th grade boy who isn’t signed up yet, send them our way….many girls on our wait lists will thank you.  Classes and dates are viewable on our online class schedule at:  http://joecornell.com/danceschedules.html

Which brings us to current 5th graders.  Mark your calendars now, and watch for information soon, about Joe Cornell’s Annual 5th Grade Dance Party. Tuesday, November 22nd at the West Bloomfield JCC from 7:00 – 8:15 PM.  Its free, its fun, and over 200 area children will join together for a night of organized dancing and entertainment.

EVENT PLANNING EXPO

And Finally….what new season could officially “kick off” without the annual tradition of the “Joe Cornell Event Planning Expo”.  Nine years running, the last 3 of which have seen the benefits of sponsorship support from our friends at the Detroit Jewish News (http://thejewishnews.com/).

The Wedding Marketplace

This year, we’ve expanded our show to truly reach the area’s Brides to be.  The Wedding Marketplace will run in tandem with the Expo in the the JCC’s Janice Charach Art Gallery and will feature exhibitors specific to the wedding industry.  We are thrilled to announce that Patch.com (http://www.patch.com/) has chosen to partner with us as a sponsor for this show.  They will be on hand – in person – helping engaged couples post their wedding announcements to their site!

Finally, watch for the 2nd edition of Plan It! Magazine which is in the final design/layout stages for a September release.  Online (http://www.planitmagazine.com/) and in print, the magazine is a free publication that serves as a content rich resource guide for area families planning social events.  New this issue, in connection with The Wedding Marketplace and our new entertainment division Joe Cornell Weddings (http://JoeCornellWeddings.com), we’ll feature a full wedding section with newlywed profiles, bridal party gift ideas, planning tips, and more.

Wow…what did you do all summer?  :-)

Have a great year everyone, we look forward to seeing you soon!

 

instilling pos\aitive

Weddings. Put your trust in us, again.

Weddings. Another rite of passage that Joe Cornell has the priveledge of being an integral part.

From First Communion celebrations and bar mitzvah parties through sweet 16s, proms, and graduation parties… for many Joe Cornell Entertainment has been like family. Now with the formal launch of Joe Cornell Weddings in 2011 (JoeCornellWeddings.com) its comforting for families to know they have a trusted friend to ensure their wedding reception will be incredible.

And while there’s a marked difference between how we entertain and engage the crowds at a youth oriented or teenage event as compared to a wedding, its safe to say that the most important thing we do in all cases is listen to our client’s concerns, hopes and wishes, and create the perfect party.

Of course, the proof is in the pudding….we’ll be happy to put potential clients in touch with recent happy newlyweds! :-)

I Love a BIG weekend!

It’s March 2011, and while winter is still holding on, things are heating up around here. If the weather would just get on board with Joe Cornell, I think a whole lot of metro Detroiters would be thrilled.

March is typically a busy month in our calendar, with May “neck and neck” in terms of sheer activity.

If you pay attention to the news reports, regarding the various “indicators” that our economy is doing better, you may be skeptical. I truly feel, however, that the “family party industry” that Joe Cornell Entertainment is entrenched is a great leading indicator for where the local economy is headed.

At Joe Cornell, we are answering more emails and calls than the same time in 2009 and 2010 – listening to our customer’s stories – and getting a positive sense that while certainly, as a community we are not out of the woods, yet, many families are feeling more secure in their own financial situations.

That’s great news for our customers, great news for Joe Cornell Entertainment, and great news for the local businesses involved in the celebration industry as a whole.

We’ve been cooped up all winter, and been treading gently for the past several years. Like you, we can’t wait to party!

I invite you to visit our Facebook page for great pictures and updates from recent parties, as well as special offers and discounts to apply to YOUR upcoming special event with Joe Cornell Entertainment!

Buyer beware….experience counts.

Imagine you owned a restaurant.  A fine dining establishment that accepted reservations well in advance.

Now imagine that your restaurant had a busy night already scheduled, but a potential customer called and you figured, well, “more is more”, and decided to have one of your less experienced waiters handle a dining party’s experience.

Its a risk, of course.

The customer may be too demanding for this particular waiter’s skill set.  Perhaps the kitchen may get too backed up and this particular waiter may not have the experience – or presence – to keep this customer’s dining experience from being negatively affected.

Now, imagine you ran an entertainment company that provided MC/DJ teams to local bar and bat mitzvah parties.  You received an event inquiry for a night when you knew you may be stretched a bit too thin on personnel, yet you decide to take the booking, anyhow.  You figure “more is more”.

The risks run parallel to the restaurant scenario, but greater.

Is the venue a traditional set up, or a bit unconventional.  Will the entertainer be faced with having to manage more than just dance floor activities, truly “earning his wings” as an Emcee by coordinating all facets of the event – on the fly.  Will the kids in attendance be at the beginning of their party circuit, full of wide eyed excitement, or will they be 8th graders – “been there done that.”

Well…the gamble didn’t pay off at a recent mitzvah party flop.

How do I know?

A customer of ours who was at that party called with concern that the emcee in question was one of ours.  We assured her that while our emcee’s name started with the same first letter, he was performing elsewhere…and Joe Cornell was no where near that place.  :-)

Any entertainer can dance around and be the life of the party.  Its when the going gets tough, and the party is not following the plan…that a seasoned professional gets to show his or her stripes.

Experience counts.

Of course, any company asking the right questions could have seen the trouble signs in advance.  They could have assigned a veteran entertainer and not left things to chance.  And, no, throwing more dancers at this problem wasn’t going to be the “band aid”.

What’s the lesson?

We owe it to our clients to listen.  As entertainment professionals, we also need to ask the right questions.  And, sometimes, for the sake of our reputations, as well as the success of a party, more is not more.

We need to be honest with a potential client, let them know our concerns, and sometimes, suggest that they may be better served elsewhere, this time.  Try as we might like, we can’t do them all.

The entertainment WILL make or break your party, why take chances?  If the business you choose to deal with is not asking the right questions, buyer beware.

Experience counts.