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Make Sure Your Video Game Streaming Career Starts Off Right By Selecting The Best Webcam And Lighting

Posted by on 3:22 pm in Blog, Entertainment | Comments Off on Make Sure Your Video Game Streaming Career Starts Off Right By Selecting The Best Webcam And Lighting

If you’re serious about making a go of it as a full time video game streamer, then you need to make sure you have a really good setup. While you can certainly just use a stock webcam that came with your computer, it’s far from optimal. Take a look at any of the popular streamers and you will notice that all of them have a very slick and professional look. That’s not a coincidence. If you want to reach their level, you’ve got to make sure you have the proper setup. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started. Get  A Quality Webcam There are lots of webcams on the market, so to help you pick out one, this is a list of a the key features to make sure they have. HD A super clear image is very important. So, make sure you only look at HD cameras. The absolute worst thing you can do when streaming is to broadcast a sub par image. Luckily, most of the stand alone webcams you will find for sale will be HD. Good In Low Light When you read the reviews of the webcam, make sure to pay attention to how the camera handles low light.  If you plan on streaming in a bedroom at night, you might only want some ambient background lights (fairy lights, blue bulbs, etc…) and the cameras sensor needs to be sensitive enough to pick up your face in the low light. Automatic Light Correction Just as important is the ability of the camera to correct light distortions. You want the camera sensor to be able to handle bright flashes from your monitor, as well as handle a roommate turning on the overhead light. If the camera does not have automatic light correction, then a sudden bright light can cause a very distracting flare. This will cause fans to turn away from the stream. Background Removal While some streamers like to have a small picture-in-picture format where the room, chair, and the streamers upper body are shown, other streamers like to have the option to superimpose themselves over the gamescape. This can be accomplished by actually building a greenscreen chromakey backdrop in your room (including covering your chair in the color), or you can just get a webcam that allows you to map out your room and only place yourself into the gameplay environment. Three Point Lighting Setup You have lots of flexibility with how you set this up. You can even use regular lamps, but the idea is to have three sources of light. The first light is the one that will illuminate your face. It’s called the “key” light. This light should be placed behind your webcam. The second light is called the “fill”, and it too should be behind your webcam, placed on the opposite side of your key light. It should be softer than the key light. You might even want to invest in a large “softbox” which is what photographers will have in their studios. Finally, you need a backlight. Many streamers use colorful backlights to light up the room. They use neon’s, reds, or even a lavalamp. It’s meant to make the backspace not pitch black, but softer than the foreground. Click here for more...

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Planning A Corporate Holiday Event? Consider These Entertainment Options

Posted by on 10:11 am in Blog | Comments Off on Planning A Corporate Holiday Event? Consider These Entertainment Options

Planning things like birthday parties or small occasions are really no big deal because you can cater the entertainment around the guest of honor’s interests. However, planning entertainment for a corporate event can be a little more of a daunting task because you are trying to cater to the interests of several employees all at once. Throw in the fact that your event will be around the holidays, and you may be left scratching your head while trying to sift through the options. Before you just randomly pick something, take a look at these corporate event entertainment ideas that will work perfectly for the holidays.  Hire a small symphony orchestra to play sounds of the season.  Music is a logical choice when it comes to corporate events because most people in the crowd can appreciate song and instrumentals. Through the holidays, you can keep the music a little more holiday oriented by hiring a small symphony orchestra to play holiday songs at the event, or you could hire a small choir to perform chorus music relative to the season. You can even round up requests from your employees and give the requests the artists or director before the scheduled show to keep your employees involved in the musical presentation.  Hire a Santa to come in and pass out small gifts or party favors.  No holiday party is going to be complete without a visit from Santa. Through the holiday season, Santas for hire are fairly easy to find and they will usually make an appearance for a reasonable price. You could have Santa stop by just as the event is getting started or somewhere near the end to pass out small gifts and favors to everyone in attendance. You could even have Santa set up in a visiting area where employees can swing by and let him know what they want for Christmas and get pictures.  Hire a comedian to put on a holiday-themed comedy show.  Any time of year is a good time of year for a laugh, and your employees will definitely enjoy comedy at your corporate event. Look for a comedian who can come up with a holiday themed show relative to your business or even allow a comedian to do a lighthearted roast of the company’s top employees, like the management team, CEO, or the folks in the human resources office. For an added bit of fun, you could have the comedian bring some unsuspecting corporates on stage for the show.  Keep these tips in mind as you hire corporate entertainment for your next...

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Mylar Balloons Vs. Latex Balloons: Their Benefits And Drawbacks To Help You Decide Which Ones To Buy

Posted by on 1:38 pm in Blog | Comments Off on Mylar Balloons Vs. Latex Balloons: Their Benefits And Drawbacks To Help You Decide Which Ones To Buy

Balloon decorations are popular and almost essential to every party. If you have ever walked into a party supply store, you have probably seen entire sections of balloons–deflated mylars and bags of latex balloons. Given the numerous decorative options of both types, how do you choose? Here are the benefits and drawbacks of mylar and latex balloons to help you decide which ones to buy for your next party. Mylar Balloons Mylar balloons are incredibly fun because they are made of a thin foil polymer that can be imprinted with just about any image and molded to just about any shape. If you want balloons in the shapes of your favorite cartoon characters or superheroes, they are probably there on display on the store wall. Mylar balloons are highly reflective, and can help bounce party lighting around the room. They are extremely durable and difficult to pop, unless you use a large and very sharp instrument. They are also allergen-free, which means that nobody at your party is going to break out in hives or go into shock.  Latex Balloons Latex balloons are the old rubbery standby balloons. They inflate quickly and easily, even if you do not have a helium tank and are relying on lung power to inflate them. Because of the latex, they are super-stretchy, almost see-through when fully inflated and can even be used for neat balloon tricks like toy surprises inside or balloons-within-balloons. They bounce well and lend themselves to party games of all kinds (e.g., “keep away” and balloon volleyball). Latex balloons can be imprinted with special greetings or personalized for the recipient or for the person you are celebrating with this big party. The drawbacks to latex balloons is that many people are now allergic to them, including kids, and it does not take much more than a poky bit of grass or a dressmaker’s pin to pop every balloon in the room. Which Ones to Buy Latex balloons are often the cheapest of the two balloon types, even when you ask the party store to inflate them with helium for you. However, their ability to send people running for their anti-itch creams and epi-pens tends to put these balloons on the no-buy list when you have invited guests that may or may not be allergic. Mylar balloons are extremely attractive, cost a little bit more to a lot more (if you buy the jumbo-sized character balloons), but will never make any of your guests sick. For more information, visit BalloonacyOnline.com or a similar...

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Three Tips To Make Sure Your Happy Hour Doesn’t Make You Unhappy

Posted by on 4:00 pm in Blog, Entertainment | Comments Off on Three Tips To Make Sure Your Happy Hour Doesn’t Make You Unhappy

Many restaurateurs and barkeeps have a “happy hour,” a period of typically two or three hours where food and drinks are offered at reduced prices. If it’s been a while since you have reviewed your happy hour offerings and analyzed the resulting revenue, these three tips will help you assess if any changes are in order. Remember The Goal Of Happy Hour If your establishment is filled with customers during happy hour, but then quickly empties out at the end, you may be tempted to view it as a success. But when you consider that you likely didn’t make a profit during this time of reduced prices, it may be premature to call it a triumph. The objective of a happy hour is to drive traffic from the afternoon work crowd into contributing to your full-priced evening sales. Coach Your Staff Your happy hour loss leaders may have gotten customers in the door, but keeping them there requires a highly skilled team. Your staff should view every customer interaction as the opportunity to upsell and educate. Yes, you have happy hour specials, but that isn’t what your employees should be actively promoting. They should be mentioning the mouthwatering chef’s special being served later at dinner service. They should be pushing that new seasonal craft beer. They should be talking about the fabulous dance band setting up. Make sure each team member tells customers the specials as well as their personal favorite menu item and drink. Showcase The Items That Support Your Goals If you want to be the new place to go for BBQ, then your happy hour specials should reflect and support that goal. Happy hour appetizers should be a pulled pork slider, a smoked chicken leg, or a miniature “rack” of two ribs. The idea is to give them just a little taste of what you have to offer so they want to stick around. Leave them hungry for more, and they’ll be ordering off of your full menu in no time. Don’t offer an all-you-can-eat taco bar that will fill people up and doesn’t really support your barbecue format. The same goes for alcohol. If you have a band later in the evening that you want people to stick around for, you don’t want to offer high alcohol content drinks for your happy hour specials as everyone would likely be too inebriated to stay. Have a domestic beer special on entertainment nights instead. Your happy hour specials should work for you, not against you. Break down your daily happy hour sales, customer count, and compare them to your evening sales. Once you have this information, you can analyze the data and decide what, if any, changes need to be made to increase your revenue even...

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Preparing For Your Very First Haunted House Experience

Posted by on 10:54 pm in Blog, Entertainment | Comments Off on Preparing For Your Very First Haunted House Experience

Haunted houses are a favorite form of entertainment for some individuals, but if you have never been to one, you might be terrified about the experience. There are a few things you can do to make your first haunted house experience memorable. You may even become addicted to going to haunted houses too. The following points will prepare you, and keep you looking forward to future experiences. Safety Precautions Some haunted house establishments give visual or oral safety guidelines at the beginning of their tours. Others may require participants or their guardians to read and sign waivers prior to entering the houses. It is important that you carefully read anything you are required to sign. If you are the head of a group, you may want to pull your group to the side and read the waiver out loud to ensure that everyone understands. If safety instructions are presented orally, ensure that you are not talking or whispering, because both are distractions that could cause you or someone else to miss out on pertinent safety information. Proper Shoes Haunted houses may have trick floorboards that collapse unexpectedly to enhance scare tactics. If you are wearing the wrong type of shoes, this could result in you losing your balance and falling. There are other dangers to wearing the wrong type of shoes, such as tripping. Ideally, you should wear flat-bottomed, closed-toe shoes. Laces should be tied or tucked inside of shoes. Avoid shoes with open heels, because someone walking behind you could injure your heel unintentionally. Hair Care Aim to wear a ponytail, bun, braids or another style that does not allow hair to hang loosely. This is because loose hair could get caught in haunted house props. It might also get in your eyes or someone else’s in attendance if there are fans or weather conditions that produce a breeze. Some haunted houses have doors that slam. They are designed to scare tour participants, but imagine your hair getting caught in a door jamb.  Emotional Control Excitement mixed with fear are common emotions that people experience during haunted house tours. You can keep your emotions under control by remembering that the experience is in a controlled environment. Props and actors are present on the scene, and neither is likely to cause you harm. Also, keep in mind that there may be young children present and your reactions to the experience could cause them to become more...

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3 Exciting Ways To Spend Your Vacation

Posted by on 10:54 am in Blog, Entertainment | Comments Off on 3 Exciting Ways To Spend Your Vacation

With the warm weather not far away, many people are already starting to plan their spring or summer vacation. Regardless of whether you are going to the same place you have gone for the past 10 years or you are trying something new this year, you want to find something exciting to do. If you aren’t sure what to check out in the area, consider doing some of the following. Check out an upcoming concert. Regardless of whether you are into classical, rock, jazz or opera, you are sure to find an upcoming concert in the area where you are going to be. Take some time to browse through the calendar for the upcoming concerts and see which one is going to be available when you are there. Once you know what ones are going to be available, you can easily book your concert tickets in advance and secure the seating that you desire. Depending on how much you want to spend, you are sure to find a seat that best accommodates your budget and lifestyle needs. Visit sites like Ravinia to find out if there are any concerts happening in the area when you’re there. Take a bus tour. For those who are going to a new town and aren’t sure where they are going, a bus tour might be right up your alley. The tour often takes an hour or two. It takes you all along the main streets in town and shows you all of the main attractions that the area has to offer. This helps you find out where to go and what might be open all while on this tour. It also gives you a way to relax and enjoy making your way around town without having to try and figure out where you are going. It’s cheap and fun for the whole family to enjoy. Head over to a local carnival. What better way to spend time with the kids than at a local carnival? Everyone can enjoy riding rides, playing games and taking in some of the best tasting foods around. Find out what day they have specials to buy the all-day pass and save even more on your total cost to attend. This is a great way for the kids to expunge some energy and have a blast in the process. While these are only a few suggestions, you are sure to find any number of other attractions and events that you and your entire family can enjoy...

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Ensure You Properly Prepare For Live Entertainment At Your Wedding Reception

Posted by on 3:47 pm in Blog, Entertainment | Comments Off on Ensure You Properly Prepare For Live Entertainment At Your Wedding Reception

When planning a wedding, there are many people who forget to consider the rentals that they will need for the entertainment during their wedding reception. Many couples choose to have dancing take place during their wedding reception to allow the wedding party and the guests to hang out and have fun together. If you plan to have dancing at your wedding, use this guide to ensure you rent everything you need to have the reception be as great as it can be. Consider Renting a Stage If you plan to have a live band at your wedding reception, you should consider renting a stage. The stage will allow the band to play freely without worrying about someone bumping into them while dancing. Also, the stage allows everyone at your reception to be able to see the band while they play. Rental stages are available in many different sizes so choosing the right size stage for the space is important. Consider Renting Lighting Many party rental companies have lighting available that you can rent to shine on the band as they play. The lighting needs to be set up correctly to ensure that the light does not shine in the bands’ eyes the entire time they are performing. The lights will often be secured to poles so they can be adjusted in height and situated on the edges of the stage so no one’s view of the band is obstructed. Consider Renting a Dance Floor Finally, all of your guests need a place to dance during your reception. Measure the area available to you and choose a floor that will fit perfectly in the space. You want to choose a floor that is large enough for many people to dance at one time, but not so large the floor takes over the little space you have available to you. You can also choose a lighted floor if you want to give the space an even more unique look. These three rental options can typically be rented from a single party rental company, like Alex Party Supplies. The company will deliver the items to your venue and some companies may even set them up for you. Be sure that you take the time to listen how to operate the lights and establish a time when the items will be picked up after the wedding finishes. You want to be sure that everyone leaves the dance floor and that the band stops playing before the people come to get the rentals....

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3 Questions To Ask Possible Wedding DJs

Posted by on 3:16 pm in Blog, Entertainment | Comments Off on 3 Questions To Ask Possible Wedding DJs

Getting married is one of the most important days of your life. It’s a day when your life is going to change forever. You are making the commitment to spend the rest of your life with another individual. Because of this, you want everything to be perfect. One of the main facets of most wedding receptions is a DJ. These individuals are responsible for playing the music for your first dance and bringing life to the room. To make sure you get what you want, here are three questions to ask potential DJs. Are there restrictions on music played? Some DJs aren’t willing to play certain music. You need to know what that music is to make sure it doesn’t go against what you are looking for. Let’s say you want nothing but Christian contemporary music played and they won’t play it. You aren’t going to be happy and your wedding reception isn’t going to be what you want. Are you willing to make the announcements? Many DJs aren’t comfortable with making any announcements over the microphone. They would prefer that the site manager or someone else at the reception make the announcements instead. However, there are some who are fine with announcing the dances, bride and groom entrance, and so on. It is important that you know if the individual you hire is willing to do this or if you need to have someone else on stand by to handle the task. Can you play music provided by the bride and groom? Oftentimes, brides and grooms like to create their own playlist from their music collection. This is where you would simply provide everything to the DJ and they would play them at the appropriate times for you. If this is something you want to do, you need to make sure the DJ is comfortable with doing that for you. This helps make the DJs job easier since they don’t have to worry about doing all of the guesswork. In knowing the answers to these questions, you can make an informed decision on who you want to hire and what they can do for you. The last thing you want to do is hire a DJ only to find that they aren’t going to work for your reception needs. Spending the time to talk with the wedding DJ and get a feel for who they are and what they have to offer can go a long way in helping you create the perfect...

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3 Tips For Creating An Effective Art Show

Posted by on 3:27 pm in Blog, Entertainment | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Creating An Effective Art Show

If you paint professionally, you might be thinking about gathering your friends, family, and clients together for an art show. In addition to showcasing your work, an art show might help you to sell your work and build your reputation. Unfortunately, if your event falls flat, it might be bad for business. Here are three tips for creating an effective art show so that you can afford to keep doing what you love: 1: Start Small, End Big Before you plan your art layout, consider saving some of the better pieces for the end of the exhibit. By incorporating smaller works with your larger masterpieces, you can build your theme as people explore your talent. Choose your favorite piece and highlight it on display at the end of the exhibit. That way, when people leave, they will remember what you want them to.   Also, if you display larger pieces at the beginning of the exhibit, people might lose interest. Try to plan your display so that people will keep wanting more. If they can spot that impressive painting from the entryway, they might not feel motivated to peruse your entire show. 2: Collaborate With Other Artists Although you might feel like other artists are your competition, resist the urge to exclude them from your art show. Instead, find artists with a complementary style and ask them to participate. For example, if you specialize in high-end oil painting, look for an artist who specializes in sculpture or etching. By collaborating, you might be able to attract a more diverse clientele, while networking with other professionals. Also, the more artists you invite, the larger your turnout might be. Because people have the chance to see several artists at the same show, you might be able to enjoy more guests—which can help you to build your brand. 3: Choose Your Venue Carefully Last but not least, try to choose your venue carefully. Think about things like the size of the building, the lighting, and the way that traffic would flow through the area. Also, think about viewing distance. If guests are too close to your larger works, they might not be able to step back and enjoy the view.    If you have questions about how to show off your art, consider working with an event coordinator. In addition to decorating the space, a professional might also know how to keep people comfortable and flowing through the exhibit. Visiting other professional galleries, like Silverman Gallery, can also help you get a good idea of how to set up your own art...

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Decorating Your First Space On A Budget: Use Longterm Items

Posted by on 7:34 am in Blog, Entertainment | Comments Off on Decorating Your First Space On A Budget: Use Longterm Items

If you are moving into a new apartment and you want to spend some money to decorate it, make sure you choose the right items for your space. You want to pick pieces that aren’t going to go out of style, or that you won’t get sick of. There are a few key items that will fit in every apartment, no matter if you’re feeling shabby chic or classic contemporary at the time when you decorate: Glass Holders Glass holders are ideal because you can change the items in them easily, to decorate for seasons and holidays, or if your tastes in style change. Flower vases and apothecary jars are easy to fill with fake and real flowers, candles, sand, stones and other decorative items. Glass never goes out of style, and you can easily move the pieces from room to room if needed. You can shop glass outlet stores, glass vase wholesale stores and manufacturers to find great deals. Neutral Furniture Pieces If you love the chevron pattern or you are really into an uncommon color while you decorate your home, you don’t want to make a bad investment. Instead of painting your entire apartment this odd color, or purchasing a furniture set in an outrageous color, get neutral pieces. With a neutral bed frame or couch, you can easily change the comforter, rugs, or pillows that are around the items, and update decor without having to spend a lot of money. If you find a great deal on items but they are odd in design or color, get furniture covers. White Dishes White dishes are going to go with everything in the entire kitchen, and in potential kitchens that you may have in the next few years. You may move into a kitchen that has a lot of color and tiling, and then the next one is more rustic and dated. No matter what type of kitchen or what type of decor you have, white dishes are always going to look classic and great. Live Plants Live plants are cheap, they bring a lot of life into the space, and there are some plants that can help improve the air quality in your apartment. Consider getting a few flowers or standing plants for the space. You should also pair with basic silver silverware. Decorating that first apartment on a budget can be hard, but stick with these tips so you can carry your pieces with you as you move on to other...

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