I Bet You Think Your Event is About You

December 31st, 2010

I have spent the last three years as a Resident Advisor (RA) at my university. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this once-in-a-lifetime position, I am charged with the responsibility of creating a maintaining a healthy community within the residence halls. That ranges from enforcing university policies to, my favorite, planning spectacular events and informative programs. Lucky me, for the last three years, I have fulfilled this role for the university’s apartment communities, inhabited by upper classmen and both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. This has made event planning, well… interesting. Either residents are too busy or just not interested in university planned events. I am then faced with the challenge that many people face when planning events, how to make your event interesting for your audience.

Whether you are planning and sweet 16 party or a fundraising event, it is important to keep your audience in mind. Hosts often make the mistake of planning an event based on their own tastes and preferences. The purpose of such events is to engage your guests and to make sure they have the time of their lives. In other words, this event is not about you. Do your homework. What do your guests enjoy doing? What things catch their attention? When are they available? I have always found it best to plan events around my resident’s hobbies and activities. Post or pre game parties to encourage support and resume builders where upper classmen can prepare for a job or internship, network and have some dinner.

So, as your prepare for your next event, take the time to consider the interests of your guests. Your event will certainly be a success and your only worry will be how to top it next time!

This post is from by Laurice Shelven of Murder Mystery Maniacs, Inc. She is our intern and responsible for all things “social”.

Sweet 16 Murder Mystery Parties

December 30th, 2010

We can thank MTV Sweet 16 for making the what was once a small to-do with friends and family to now extravagent parties. Everyone has done princess themes, casino night, hip hop, slumber party, dance parties, and we are now getting inquiries for people to produce high end murder mystery sweet 16 parties. The most popular format for our sweet 16 murder mystery parties are our hosted print/ship murder mystery parties that can accommodate up to 50-75 guests. We offer hosted events nationwide. Contact a specialist today!

This post is from the founder of Murder Mystery Maniacs, Inc David Wachtendonk. With a laptop, an inkjet printer, and some ambition he set out to create what is today one of the largest murder mystery companies in the USA.

Celebrity New Year’s Eve Parties!

December 29th, 2010
kourtney kardashian

kourtney kardashian

Real celebrities don’t host their own parties (unless you are ryan seacrest). The smart ones get paid to party.  If you live in Florida here are some parties you wish you could get on the guest list for…

Kourtney Kardashian: The one that’s not Kim and isn’t married to Lamar Odom hosts the rooftop “Ciroc The New Year” party at the Gansevoort (2377 Collins Ave, Miami Beach). Tickets: $100-$1,000. Info: 305-964-8106, gansevoortmiamibeach.com.

Jamie Foxx: The South Beach party legend does the honors with DJ Kaskade at Liv nightclub in the Fontainebleau (4441 Collins Ave.). Tickets: $400-$14,000 (table for 12). Info: 305-674-4680, livnightclub.com.

Drake: The platinum-selling hip-hop newcomer rings in the new year at Wet at the W South Beach (2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). The after-party moves indoors to Wall. Tickets: $400 - $3,000. Info: 305-938-3000, wsouthbeach.com/wet.

Nicki Minaj: The reigning queen of hip-hop drama (right) brings her “All Pink Everything” New Years Eve party to Mansion (1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), with open bar from 9 p.m. to midnight. Tickets: $125 (women only) to $5,000 (DJ booth table for 10). Info: 305-803-3111, mansionmiami.com.

Ludacris: The hip-hop provocateur serves up some of his hit sounds (maybe “My Chick Bad” with Nicki Minaj) and plenty of his signature cognac, Conjure, at Sobe Live (1203 Washington, Miami Beach). Doors open at 11 p.m., with open Conure bar until midnight. Tickets: $30-$60. Info: 305-964-8106, sobelive305.com.

Sasha Grey and Spam Allstars: The actress and former porn star (left) and the band named for simulated meat join forces at the Catalina Hotel (1732 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) . The Allstars perform on the terrace from 8 to midnight, with Grey DJing Maxine’s Lounge after the countdown. Tickets: $95. Info: 305-674-1160, catalinahotel.com.

Chloe Sevigny: The actress is joined by Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow along with brother Paul Sevigny & the Misshapes at Mondrian South Beach (1100 West Ave., Miami Beach). Open bar from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and fireworks show over Biscayne Bay. Tickets: $300. Info: 305-514-4955, mondrian-miami.com.

Lil Jon: The crown prince of the pimp cup is master of ceremonies (and your DJ) for the Playboy New Year’s Eve at Cameo (1445 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Tickets: $50 (girls only)-$5,000 (DJ booth table). Info: 786-235-5800, cameomiami.com.

This post is from the founder of Murder Mystery Maniacs, Inc David Wachtendonk. With a laptop, an inkjet printer, and some ambition he set out to create what is today one of the largest murder mystery companies in the USA.

The Office Murder Mystery Party

December 29th, 2010

michael scott

michael scott

This post is from the founder of Murder Mystery Maniacs, Inc David Wachtendonk. With a laptop, an inkjet printer, and some ambition he set out to create what is today one of the largest murder mystery companies in the USA.

Who knew murder mystery parties were going to be so popular! Michael Scott (the genius that he is) thought that the office needed a distraction and thought that a murder mystery party provide the perfect mix of fun and excitement to distract the employees from thinking about the big “merger”.

If you are looking for help in re-creating this event call 1-877-213-2423 or visit our website

Bridget’s Murder Mystery Birthday Party

December 29th, 2010

Girls Next Door

Girls Next Door

This post is from the founder of Murder Mystery Maniacs, Inc David Wachtendonk. With a laptop, an inkjet printer, and some ambition he set out to create what is today one of the largest murder mystery companies in the USA.

Whodunit? That’s the big question at Bridget’s murder mystery themed birthday party. Everyone is dressed in swanky 1920s attire–and Bridget is the belle of the ball in a glamorous red evening gown. Hef and the girls break into teams and embark on a scavenger hunt for clues that reveal the murderer! The crime is solved with much fanfare, marking the end of a killer birthday.

We have never felt more validated as industry when the “Girls Next Door” hosted a 1920’s Murder Mystery Party for Bridget’s birthday. They opted for a performance based mystery and used the playboy mansion (the ultimate venue) for their crime scene. If you are looking for help in re-creating this event call 1-877-213-2423 or visit our website.

New Year’s Eve - How we celebrate.

December 29th, 2010

This post is from the founder of Murder Mystery Maniacs, Inc David Wachtendonk. David purchased www.host-a-murder.com in 2003 right out college. With a laptop, an inkjet printer, and some ambition set out to create what is today one of the largest mystery companies in the USA.

New Year’s Eve is one of our favorite holidays. We have celebrated just about every way imaginable, and i think my favorite might be how we plan to celebrate this year…a nice dinner all from the comforts of our home. No babysitters required, dinner reservations, uncomfortable pants, or over priced drinks. We are huge fans of the party…be it a murder mystery party, foodie party, wine party, game night, or poker night.  Like many others I like it as it is a time to reflect on the past year and more importantly look forward to what the future has in store for us. We have a tradition of asking these questions on our birthday and new year’s eve - “What is your favorite memory of 2010″ and “What are you most looking forward to in 2011″.

I will leave you with this…Goals are like bowling pins…if you never set them up you can’t knock them down.








Groupon - Should you do it?

July 6th, 2010
Our company was recently blessed with a groupon. It is a daily deal website that allowed us to launch a new division of our company - a murder mystery dinner theater. The deal was phenomenal success selling 3315 tickets to the show. When we were researching our deal i can't say i saw a lot of testimonials, research on the actual concept, or a formal redemption system…but the opportunity to work with groupon - a huge start up based in chicago was just too tempting.  So here is my two cents:

Our Testimonial
1. Groupon is great if your company has systems in place to accommodate your new customers.
2. Be sure the deal works for you financially.
3. Make good friends with your sales rep..he/she will be key in your success.

Our Research
There are not hard facts out about groupon yet. Specifically how many people actually redeem groupons, how quickly do they redeem, what are the actual demographics, what is the spend rate (money spent on top of the groupon). Our hopes is that bigboxevents can quantify these numbers for business owners.

Our Redemption System
We actually developed a customizable redemption system for businesses working with groupon or living social - called BigBoxEvents which can act as a tool for you to track who has redeemed your groupons - and provides tools to create marketing campaigns for them in the future.

In Summary - Groupon worked for us. If you have any questions don't hesitate to find me for questions

Posted via email from david wachtendonk

Murder in Malibu

July 6th, 2010

The maniacs love a good mystery…and more importantly a relevant, modern, entertaining, and classy affair. That is why we created the event The Murder in Malibu. It is a mystery event where the victim is the late night talk show host Jay Leno. You can find out more information by going to http://www.host-a-murder.com/dinner and scrolling down to where it says “Murder in Malibu

Host A Murder…We’re a grow’in

July 6th, 2010
The crew at the Murder Mystery Maniacs company is ever so pleased to announce we have expanded into public murder mystery shows in Chicago. We are now offering a murder mystery dinner theater at Cuna on Belmont. You can find more information on the events here http://www.host-a-murder.com/chicagomysteryshow.html

The official show dates will be published on Sunday after we know the total Groupons sold. You can see dates at https://bigboxevents.com/events/murdermystery . The show times are from 7-9PM. We will be adding dates based on the success of the Groupon to accommodate our new customers

Q. How many groupons can we use?

A. You can use as many groupons as you want.

Q.  Why does it list one price on your website - and another on groupon?

A. The price listed on our "pricing" page of our website is for additional services we offer. Along with doing the murder mystery dinner theater - we also offer corporate events, personal parties, and fundraisers.

Q.  Are your events ok for teenagers?

A. Of course!

Pricing/Ticket Information

  • Show Location: Cuna on Belmont | 1113 W Belmont Ave. # Chicago, Illinois 60657-3312
  • Menu/Food: Gourmet flatbreads layered with yummy toppings such as applewood-smoked bacon, apples and blue cheese, and goat cheese on arugula. Or try the pasta primavera, prepared with delicious vegetables and available with or without chicken.
  • Show Dates: You can see preliminary show dates here
  • Show Times: 7-9pm
  • Pricing: $60 Per Person (Today Only Groupon Special - $30 Per Person)
  • Got Questions? Click Here

Posted via email from david wachtendonk

Countdown to Halloween

July 6th, 2010
Did you know there are only: 116 days, 2792 hours, 167529 minutes until Halloween? Are you going to attend another lame halloween party or host the party of the year? Visit www.host-a-murder.com for more information.

Posted via email from david wachtendonk