Monday, September 30, 2013


The cost of candy varies so do your research. 
Shop around and look at the all the options.  
When a party is ending and the candy buffet is set out
a Godiva truffle would be lost in the mix 
with the rock candy and marshmallows. 
You will find fun, beautiful candy that costs less then a luxury brand name!

Bulk candy online is just a click away. For 100+ person parties, 
get at least a 5 lb. bag to fill a medium jar 
(the majority of the dishes in these photos are medium size). 
Use the less expensive candies in the larger jars. For obvious reasons!

For glassware check out your local shops; Christmas Tree shop to Michael's to Marshal's. 
Scoops, best price on Amazon. 

The most important tips to take with you for Candy Buffets ... 

You can use beautiful candy that does not break the bank but does have the WOW factor. 
We enjoy our food first with our eyes... isn't that what they say on Iron Chef?  

When getting your glassware -- Larger events call for FUNCTION OVER FORM!! 

Envision 100 teens rushing to a candy buffet at the end of your party which is safer 
the tall elegant Apothecary jar or the wide mouth shorter dish? No question, the wider, shorter dish!

Not to mention, most candy buffet tables will be tiered. 
If you add the height of the Apothecary jar to the height of the second tier of a display table and you have form over function. Looks great, but not smart for function. The chance of glass breaking is not a chance worth taking. So you think... well I will just put the tall jars on the front / bottom tier of the display... now think about getting the scoop to the bottom of the jar. 
Picture the kids reaching over the tall jar to get to the candy on the back tier. 
Now erase the thought and be smart... make it beautiful and safe with ease!

A good event planner will understand how each venue handles these buffets. The rules will vary from place to place. Many properties will want items brought to them days before the event... 
delivered ready to be set on the display. Which does mean preparing the jars days
 in advance wrapped tightly with clear wrap  and foil. 
Don't worry, when wrapped properly the items will stay fresh. 

For smaller parties or parties with limited amount of children have at it... 
put on your best Martha Stewart hat and grab the Apothecary dishes. 
And, yes, there is a place for the Godiva ... 
candy buffets at Sweet 16s, Mitzvahs etc are not those places. 

Forget the NUT FREE signs... just got nut free for everyone's safety

While you are out looking around for items in your color scheme look at items not for what they are being marketed as but for what you can use them for at your event. 
The rock candy holders in these photos are just $3.99 candle holders.
In truth I have found the best 'candy jars' in a dollar store... 
One person's dollar store bathroom garbage bin 
is another event planners pop of color on a candy buffet!

Of course the bins were non breakable too!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


The art of writing a thank you note is not lost.

The other day, following up on a Sweet 16 event, I was handed a beautifully constructed thank you note from the birthday girl. A perfectly delicate pink fold over card with an almost slate gray type. Short and simple a thank you...

In truth; hand written, emailed, via text -- it does not matter --  this gesture of acknowledgement goes a long way.

For tangible ... passed hand to hand thank you note stationary... work with your invitation contact, go on or just take a look through Marshals, TJs and Homegoods. There are endless thank-you-note-stationary options for you, your family and your children. There is a style for every person and at a price for every price range.

In my 20's I had the most fabulous Cartier Stationary. I used each card wisely. I remember when I bought it... Ralph Destino was the Chairman and CEO at Cartier and my dear friend Gretchen from the Philharmonic was working for him and I was given a wonderful "friends and family discount".

Cartier circa the 1990's

As you can see from the photo above I still have a piece.

Here, years later, while writing about thank you notes this stationary came to mind. I thought, maybe I still have one or two pieces. Clearly I do!

Which means, this paper moved through two apartments in Manhattan and then to my second home in New Jersey. Funny the random things that move with us.

Now, older and wiser, my personal, non-professional notes are below. They are fun and bright... and well.. my style!

I did purchase them at another well known shop that has a capital 'C' in it's name... similar to Cartier. 

The Christmas Tree Shop! 

There is no less appreciation through my $2.99 for ten cards stationary then there was with my Cartier stationary. 

In the end... it is all about the words. The appreciation. The thank you.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Smart, threaded through your event, decor is the way to go. 

Bathrooms don't need to be bland - but they can be simple and smart. 

Use professionals, but use them wisely!

Socks being handed out by your DJ? Give them in a smart, in theme box. Keep the theme up front and fresh... Then use the box at home for years to come!
Make your guests smile when they find the unexpected.... 

Take simple items like this box... hand stencil your theme ...
add your logo and you have perfection.

Look for items in the most random of places like a ski tote ear plug holder from a $1 bin at Staples. Consider photocopied menu cards.

Use restraint... 
Add value to your event... 
Your guests will comment on such smart fun ideas
 and you will not have to over spend like days gone by!

Events in the Central NJ area
Just the help you need...

So it begins with the past... here is where I have been... which brings me to where I am...

Deborah Naudé
Just the help you need…

I began my Event career at the USO of Metropolitan New York where I worked on large scale events for the Service men and women. Each year I managed Fleet Week aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Yes, throughout my years at the USO I worked the piers and boarded many Naval ships welcoming the Fleet to Manhattan.

From the USO I moved onto The New York Philharmonic where I honed my skills with more niche events. At “the Phil” I ran Corporate Fundraising Events, the Opening Night Gala and Young New Yorkers for the Philharmonic events. Here I worked with top Social and Corporate Leaders in the New York area.

In this role I learned how to expect much from my vendors. Many forget that the Phil is a not for profit so spending top dollar is not acceptable but yet the look and feel for the audience must be just that, top notch.  I have continued this thread through my career and continue with this knowledge today. From concept to reconciliation following the event I did it.

From the Phil I moved on to Time Warner Inc. thanks to the Chairman and CEO at that time who was also a Board Member at the Phil. At Time Warner I worked with the Board of Directors, Board of Directors Dinners and Executive Forums, the Annual Shareholders meeting and all Subsidiary CEO Events. This brought me national exposure where prior to this I worked in New York City.

From Time Warner Inc. I stayed within the company but took a position with Global exposure at Fortune Magazine. Here I ran events at the CEO, CIO, COO, CFO level. Working with Heads of State, a variety of Government leaders and corporate leaders to bring the pages of Fortune Magazine to life. Creating brand extension while providing a venue for Global Leaders to create greater synergies.

My greatest experience at this time was producing the Fortune Global Forum special side meeting with the top 50 Global CEO’s in Beijing China. This meeting was with President Jiang Zeming and Premier Zhu Rongji and a highlight in my career.

I then created my own event firm called Event Representation & Production. I considered this company a “virtual company” of sorts. Which, like today, I bring in experts to the event who report into me who I organize and manage as needed. I always used and use tried and true… since I believe “I am only as good as my last event”.
I also represented other companies who would use me on the ground while holding their business card.

I found myself on plane more then not or out of the country for weeks at a time.

I stopped producing events (that I was paid for) when I had my children. Though since I love events… I found myself volunteering to take on fundraising events or plan someone’s honeymoon. Not to mention what I put into both my daughter’s events!

Now, with both my children in school I am back! Though with a twist!!

I started Just the help you need… when I became aware of many the people around me stressing over their own family and / or company  events and I thought...  I can help!

I now use my experience with a manageable amount of clients AND charge a reasonable amount that would be a win from the client and a win for me for doing what I love.

I know what people charge!
I know what I used to charge!

Now my goal is to continue with what I know best and do what I did for my high end social and corporate clients but for less.

I always save my clients more money then they spend on my fee.

Funny enough when I guided my staff through events since 1992 I would always tell them, “Never forget we are the help”. Twenty years later, here I am, the help, at

Just the help you need…