Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who is Custom Event Design?
We are an entertainment company based in Richmond, VA specializing in the production of Custom Horse Race DVDs. Our company started in 1989 and very quickly developed an excellent reputation for our Horse Racing parties that spread all across the United States. We have a sister company, Group Dynamics Entertainment, Inc. that specializes in Casino events. GDE has done events in twenty-one states for clients, many of which are fortune 100, 250, and 500 companies.
Why should I offer the “Derby 'N' Dance Party” Custom Video Horse Racing to my clients?
This is an exciting, high-energy, interactive, fun-filled form of entertainment for your client's event. It is extremely user friendly (you basically run the event with a push of a button). We provide simple four-step instructions and a flyer showing how easy this event is to produce. Unlike most game shows where contestants play from a limited number of consoles, with this EVERYONE (ALL AGES) PLAYS AT THE SAME TIME. NO CROWD IS TOO LARGE OR TOO SMALL! The “Derby ‘N’ Dance Party” can be an event itself or the Custom Horse Race DVD fits in nicely as an additional casino game! The Custom Video Horse Racing has a very high profit margin as it requires only a few staff to run the event.
Do I need to know anything about horse racing?
Absolutely not! In addition to the excitement and high energy, the simplicity greatly adds to the appeal for you, the presenter, and the attendees. There is no need for you to use horse racing terminology or verbiage. That is on the DVD.
Does it take any out of pocket money to get started?
None! We use a colorful “Twin Spires” display that holds the large screen TV on which the races are shown. Although the display certainly adds “color” and a perception of more value, it is really not needed. Many “Affiliates” like to design and build their own. The only thing you really have to have is a large screen TV and DVD player, or large screen and DVD capable projector.
Once the client books the event with you, you would then place your order for the DVD.
What is the cost of the Custom Horse Race DVD?
The cost is $200 plus shipping if the client names just the “Horse Owners” and$300 plus shipping if the client names the Horses and Horse Owners.
When the client names just the “Horse Owners” we draw from an archive of races and match the “Horse Owners” up with the individual horses. When the client names both the “Horse Owners” and “Horses” the announcer has to stay in the booth longer to call each race. Therefore, the production is more labor intensive which is why there is an additional $100 charge.
What do I do once I book the event?
You ask your client to send you thirty names of people that they know will be at the event that they would like to be “Horse Owners”.
If your client would also like to name the horses, they would also send you thirty “horse names”. Our announcer will then go into our studio and produce a voice-over of the races using the names that your client provided. “Horse Owners” could be, for example: corporate officers, managers, department heads, staff, etc. If the event is for a club the “Horse Owners” could be members of the board, club members, staff, etc. If the event is, for example, a birthday party, reunion, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, the “Horse Owners” could be attendees and your client can really have fun naming the horses. We also produce a custom race program template and we can put a company logo, photograph, etc. on the front of the race program.
What kind of support will I get as an Affiliate?
We provide you with Point of Sale materials such as the promotional video that will have your name, logo, telephone number (contact information) at the end. We also provide you with a color flyer with your contact information on it (in a pdf form for you to either email directly to your clients or have printed for handouts). Through our Facebook page and direct email we will give you a steady stream of marketing ideas that we have used putting on “Horse Race” parties with overwhelming success for over 25 years. We will share methods that we and other Affiliates use to penetrate markets for corporate events, association meetings, fundraisers, birthday parties, Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, reunions and lead generation. We will be passing on new information on equipment as well as tips on actually running the event. We will be encouraging other Affiliates to send us ideas and experiences to post on the Facebook page as well. Most importantly, whenever you have a question, we are only a phone call or quick email away.
How many different ways are there to run the event?
THERE ARE ACTUALLY THREE!
THE FIRST WAY: The easiest way, and the way we do many of ours, is to have the guests go to one of the wagering windows and select one horse in each race. If their horse wins, they simply go back to the window and receive a prize drawing ticket. This is so simple. However, the simplicity in no way detracts from the excitement and high energy of the event! We strongly recommend that you use this system until you have a few events under your belt and really feel comfortable using the DVDs. You will quickly learn that putting on a “Derby 'N' Dance” party is as much fun for you as it is for the attendees!
THE SECOND WAY: We can provide you with play money (Horse Bucks), a dry erase odds board (with your or your company's name on it) and odds calculation sheets. Go to: www.horseracepartykit.com\odds.shtml and you will find a spreadsheet and instructions for calculating odds. The odds are calculated based on a pari-mutuel, meaning that the return each horse pays is determined by the total amount bet on that particular horse. Since this system is a little more sophisticated, guess what: you can charge the client more $$$.
THE THIRD WAY: Chances are you will eventually want to add our electronic betting system. We can provide you with all of the software and terminals for the betting windows. You simply need a relatively large screen TV which is used as the electronic odds board (in addition to the TV or projection system used to play the DVD). As guests place their bets (using Horse Bucks) with the betting window staff, the software will re-calculate the odds every one-tenth of a second--no matter how many betting window terminals are operating. This is for the more elite client and adds a higher degree of authenticity. For this you can even charge more $$$!
What equipment will I need?
It is important to keep in mind that the only things you really need to get started are a large screen TV or screen/projector and DVD player. If you choose to add a colorful backdrop, which holds the large screen TV, attractive wagering windows, odds board, fencing, hay bales, etc., these all add to the festive atmosphere. Most importantly, from the client and attendees' prospective it adds perceived value. We can provide you with these at our cost plus shipping from Richmond, VA. Most Affiliates, however, find that it is more economically feasible AND FUN to design, and in many cases, make their own or have these Items made locally.
Do clients say anything about the races being animated?
In the past five years we have shipped hundreds of these all over the United States and into Canada and we have never had one, not one, adverse comment about the animation. We believe the biggest reason is that guests at events get so caught up in the excitement as a result of their names being on the DVD as the “Horse Owners” and they are so preoccupied screaming and hollering for their horses they don't really give much thought to the fact that it is animation. The animated, whimsical approach is much more conducive to a festive, fun-filled party atmosphere. Today people have too many serious things in their lives to worry about. When they see the colorful animation, psychologically, it denotes fun and entertainment. Of the top ten grossing movies in this country last year, most of them were either fully or partially animated. When you consider revenues generated by the Harry Potter series, the Hobbit series, the fact that Avatar grossed over $2.6 billion and other movies coupled with the popularity of video games (all using animation) it becomes quite clear that people simply don't mind animation. Again, they love hearing their names and seeing their names on the DVD, clutching their race programs and wildly cheering for their favorite horses!