New TapSnap franchisee Jennifer Weintraub knows the Bar and Bat Mitzvah market. As an Emcee, she has provided entertainment and planning for over 400 of these events, in Detroit where she used to live and in Charlotte, North Carolina where she currently resides.
“A Mitzvah is a coming of age milestone for Jewish teens, and one of the most special nights in a family’s life,” says Jennifer, whose company is called J&Z Entertainment. “People often spend between $25,000 and $100,000 on a Mitzvah. And when it comes to the party, clients wants the newest, hottest item. They have to have it. And this year, that’s TapSnap.”
A once in a lifetime event
Jennifer, who is Jewish herself, believes there’s a huge market for TapSnap at Mitzvah parties.
She has only been a TapSnap franchisee for three weeks and she’s already convinced three of her clients to book TapSnap for their Mitzvahs in 2015. That’s not a typo. It is common for parents to plan their child’s Mitzvah up to two years in advance.
She has also referred a handful of Mitzvah bookings that came from her previous employer in Detroit, Joe Cornell Entertainment, to Detroit-based TapSnap franchisee Raymond Lousia.
A Mitzvah may be a 13-year old’s coming of age party, but it’s a serious business, and one not to be taken lightly.
The good news is TapSnap is a natural fit for these parties. Jennifer says, “Thirteen-year olds love this machine. I had a Mitzvah client here last night to try it out. She was here for five minutes and said, ‘I have to have this. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.’”
Most Mitzvahs have a DJ but need some other kind of entertainment to keep the young people occupied aside from the dance floor.
Jennifer recommends putting TapSnap in the same room as the dance floor at an event, instead of the hallway, so it doesn’t distract kids from the party. She also suggests TapSnap attendants act as moderators, giving each child or group two minutes at the machine. At her J&Z Entertainment events, she also integrates TapSnap with the dancing, by giving tickets for additional time with TapSnap as prizes for dance contests.
Breaking into Mitzvahs
You don’t need to be Jewish to serve the Mitzvah market, Jennifer says. All you need is a little chutzpah. Here are some ways to approach the market.
1) Introduce TapSnap to the young Jewish community and their parents
Call the local temples, Hebrew schools or Jewish Community Center and offer to donate your TapSnap for a party. This could include Purim carnivals, Chanukah parties or youth group events. Just get TapSnap in the door so the kids and their parents can see it.
“One event is all you need to do and then you’ll have 20. Because the Jewish community is so well-connected word spreads quickly,” Jennifer says.
2) Put an ad in your local Jewish newspaper
There’s a Jewish population in almost every city, and many of them have a regional paper. Advertising in this market will help you introduce TapSnap to potential clients.
3) Call local temples and ask who they use for party planners
Use Google to do the same. Contact them and ask for a meeting to present TapSnap. Be confident. “This is the perfect market for TapSnap,” says Jennifer. “The machine sells itself.”
4) You have to make it an experience
Being Jewish herself, Jennifer knows the significance of the Mitzvah and the party and has come to understand the high level of service expected of everyone involved.
“You’re not selling a picture, you’re selling a moment in time. An experience,” she says. “You have to be patient. You have to be responsive. And you have to connect with the kids.”
What to expect at a Mitzvah
A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is perhaps the most important milestone in Judaism, marking the child’s transition to adulthood. “The Mitzvah party has taken on a life of its own,” says Jennifer. “Celebrations strive to be unique and can sometimes be very lavish.”
Each city has their own customs. Generally the parties take place Saturday or Sunday in the afternoon or evening.
The season usually lasts from the end of August to the beginning of July, when many Jewish youth go to camp.
A typical Saturday night party starts after sundown with a cocktail hour, which is a great time for TapSnap to entertain the young people while parents socialize. Shortly after cocktail hour, there is a 30 to 45-minute period while a candle-lighting ceremony takes place along with ceremonial prayers, during which TapSnap should not be in use. Then there is dinner, which is often a buffet for the kids.
Following dinner, the party really gets going, with dancing and other activities, which now includes TapSnap.
Many families have, in recent years, opted for kids-only parties. These parties, often at an indoor sports and recreation facility, are also great opportunities for TapSnap.