Hiring a kid’s entertainer is a unique and magical experience for children. Unfortunately, booking one isn’t always easy. Especially the first time! How can you make sure the entertainment is suitable for the audience and that you get good value for the price you pay?
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Who’s the audience?
There are two broad audiences: kids and families. Each group requires a different form of entertainment. Evaluate which option is the best for your party.
If you’re booking a kid’s show or activity, the parents are welcome to watch, but the focus will be on the kids! The ideal age for these shows is often between 3 and 8 years old, depending on the type of show or activity but if the age range isn’t indicated on the entertainer’s website, make sure you double-check that it is suitable for the age concerned. For example, you might hire a princess entertainer for your child’s 5th birthday party.
A family show is designed to entertain everyone in the family. If the children are older than around 8 or if they are a mixed age group, a family show is often a better option. For example, you might want to hire a magician to do a family show at a communion party.
What is the format of entertainment?
Depending on the entertainment you book, the format will be different! We’ve listed here the most common show formats:
The entertainer performs a 30 to 60-minute show. Think of mini-festival shows with audience participation throughout. Most clowns, magicians, circus acts, and puppet shows use this format.
Mix and mingle shows or activities
As the name suggests, with this format the entertainers mingle with the audience. For a kid’s show, the entertainer might bring all the guests together for activities. On the other hand, for a family show, the entertainers may move between groups, making sure everyone enjoys the fun.
In some cases, entertainers will have their own stands. These stands might be just a table on the side or a separate room. For example, a face painter will usually have a stand where kids can line up to have their faces painted.
Does the venue fit the entertainer?
If you have a small house, you can always book a function room for the party. As a rule of thumb, look for the venue first and then the entertainment. This allows you to consider, how well the performer fits in with the venue.
Each entertainer will require a different amount of space. For example, if you are booking an entertainer for hands-on activities, this will require more space than a balloon modeler.
How loud is the performance area? For example, will there be other activities on or will the performer be the only entertainment? If you are having the show at home this isn’t too much of a concern.
Secondly, how loud will the show be? For kids and family shows, this usually isn’t too much of a concern, however, certain venues restrict the volume output. Check to see if the entertainer will use an amplifier.
Are there any distractions in the children’s field of view? For example, this could be a television, a mirror, or even loud music. This is mostly relevant for the stand-up show format. Check and see if you can eliminate these distractions.
Quality of the entertainment
Verifying the quality of an entertainer is always tricky. Watching them perform, is obviously the best indicator. If this isn’t possible, try to find videos of them performing online.
You should also check for reviews. On PartyWizz.com, you can find reviews on the performer’s profile page. If you are hiring an entertainer outside of PartyWizz and reviews aren’t available, try getting feedback from other bookers.
What’s included in the fee?
Take the time to understand what is included in the entertainer’s fee. Entertainers will generally have different packages, which will include different features.
A few basic questions to ask:
How long will the entertainer be there?
What is the show format?
How long will the show last?
Do they charge per kid or for the show?
It’s also important to also understand what ISN’T included in the fee! Some performers offer additional services, which you might not be aware of. For example, some magicians might also make balloons.
A few further questions to ask:
Are there any additional charges?
Are traveling costs included?
Do you have any special requests?
If this information isn’t available on the website, you will need to get in contact with the entertainer directly.
Once you’ve made up your mind, check for the entertainer’s availability. Start early! An entertainer’s calendar fills up fast, especially during the holiday seasons. If the entertainer isn’t available, ask if he or she knows a similar entertainer they could recommend.
On PartyWizz, each entertainer’s availability is programmed into the system so when browsing for a specific date, the platform will automatically bring up the available entertainers.
If the booking service you’re using doesn’t show availability, get in contact with the entertainer directly. Most websites will have a phone number, and email address, or a contact form.
Have a contract or agreement
Once you have made your booking, professional entertainers should provide you with a contract or agreement. This contract, or written agreement, is important as it contains all the details. It will also spell out what happens in unforeseen events.
On PartyWizz.com a general agreement is set between the performer and the organizer upon booking the party by accepting the terms and conditions.
Get in contact before the show
Once you’ve booked an entertainer, get in contact before the day of the event. This is helpful for making final arrangements and checking details. Plan how the entertainer fits in with the rest of the party. An email or a text message will do, but a quick phone call is often the best method!
A few questions to ask:
When will they arrive? Typically, 15-30 minutes beforehand allows time to set up.
How much space will they need?
Will the entertainer need anything specific? For example, do they need a parent to volunteer at one point?
How will the entertainment fit in with the meal if served?
Have a back-up
Having a back-up but not needing to use it is always the best outcome. Unfortunately, unforeseen events do happen. The performer’s car might break down, your child might be sick or a snowstorm might prevent the guests from arriving…
Check if the booking service you used or the entertainer you contacted directly provides a backup plan. For example, will they provide another entertainer if the entertainer you booked can’t make it? If you have to cancel the party, can you get a partial or full refund? Or can you move the party to another day?
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