Happy Birthday Elvis! Today would have been Elvis's 78th birthday and people across the country are celebrating. Although I've always liked Elvis and his music (and have even been to Graceland twice), I didn't always understand the appeal of an Elvis impersonator. Then, I hired one.

When GigMasters went to the Wedding MBA conference and trade show in Vegas this year, we thought it would be great to showcase what GigMasters does by bringing along some entertainment- including an Elvis.

GigMasters member Jeff Stanulis came to the conference one day and watching his interaction with the crowd was mind opening to me. Professional women, deep in conversation would walk by ignoring our booth. Jeff would softly say, "Hello darlin''" and they would stop, giggle, and ask to have their picture taken with him.

Men and women alike would go out of their way to talk to Jeff, ask him questions, and of course, get their picture taken with him. Everyone's mood was lightened by him and noo one could resist stopping to look at him, and of course, looking at our trade show booth.

I now understand hiring Elvis impersonators, tall, short, black, white, male, or female, they bring the magic of Elvis. It might surprise you to learn who else hires Elvis, and for what sorts of events. In 2012 almost 1,000 people hired an Elvis impersonator through GigMasters. Here's the breakdown:

Adult birthday party 382
Wedding event 110
Corporate/convention 57
Anniversary party 50
Undisclosed 38
Kid's birthday party 35
Fundraiser 33
Holiday party 31
Private party 28
Community event 24
Nursing home event 19
Retirement party 13
Club event 10

That's right, more people hired Elvis for children's birthday parties than for retirement and nursing home events combined.

On average, Elvis costs $365 to book for an event (obviously the exact amount depends on the length of the event and the Elvis). It seems like a pretty inexpensive way to make sure everyone has a great time!

What are your favorite Elvis or Elvis impersonator stories? Share in the comments.