Times have changed since the Four Tops quartet thrilled audiences with their Motown sounds. But what has remained the same is the emotional connection that music provides. When it was time to recognize the 85th birthday of Duke Fakir, the only living member of the original group, we wanted to bring that sense of joy and soul to the celebration. The only catch – in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had to be a virtual party.

To make the event special for this music legend, we assisted with distribution of the e-invitations and pre-event mailers, streamed a live virtual event with an emcee, and incorporated recorded messages and performances. The best part? The 50 guests were able to join from all over the country. Plus, we recorded the entire event for posterity or re-watching on future birthdays.

Virtual Surprise Party WM Events  Virtual Birthday Celebration WM Events

Invitations and Pre-Event Gifts

We started by developing a pre-event mailer and an enticing invitation, creating a graphic identity for electronic and printed versions, then managed distribution of the digital invitation. Handling RSVPs allowed us to respond to any questions guests had about the format of the event or how to use the technology. This proved especially important because this was a surprise party – the client didn’t need to get a lot of phone calls that might make the guest suspicious!

Prior to the event, the client sent out gift boxes to all attendees. We assisted with identifying the perfect inclusions like custom-labeled splits of champagne, custom-labeled CDs and a printed version of the invitation. This mailer ensured everyone could participate in the champagne toast during the event, creating a sense of togetherness.

Virtual Birthday Celebration WM Events   Virtual Birthday Celebration WM Events  Virtual Birthday Celebration WM Events

Party Production

We’ve worked with high-profile clients before but knowing that the party’s special guest had a long history in entertainment, we needed to ensure the video production would delight even this show biz expert.     

Our client provided us with a variety of collateral, including photographs, recorded messages from well-wishers, and past performances featuring the guest of honor. It’s not every day that we get to include messages from Frankie Valli, Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, and former Supreme Mary Wilson, to name a few, and we certainly got a thrill out of it. We worked these photos and recordings seamlessly into the event schedule and interspersed them with live moments and plenty of music. Everything was consistently branded with the golden color palette.

The emcee DJ Vince Adams kept the celebration on track following our customized Run of Show. In the age of virtual events, it is important to keep a concise run of show with theatrical highs and lows and to definitely not go on too long. The event concluded with a thoughtful toast to Duke and the singing of “Happy Birthday.” With time for socializing afterwards, the full event lasted 1.5 hours, and each moment brought smiles, laughter, and a few happy tears. Happy 85th to Duke and thank you for the music!

Virtual Birthday Celebration WM Events  Virtual Birthday Celebration WM Events

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