By booking a party entertainer, you can actually sit back and get to enjoy your little ones party while they entertain the kids and you watch the happiness unfold! Seasoned party entertainer Natalie Faulkner shares her tips to help you choose the right entertainer for your next party.
It is important to know what theme you want for your party as a starting point. Then you can narrow down your search for entertainers if you want a magician, balloon twister, face painter a craft facilitator, a particular princess or super hero character etc. Without a theme you won’t really know what you are looking for in the first place.
Knowing what budget you have to spend on entertainment is super important. I recommend calculating the full party budget (food, venue, how many kids, if you will have party favours etc.) to make sure you are on track before making any promises to your little one that Spiderman will be attending. Budget can also determine the duration you have your party entertainer, so this is helpful to know while you are doing your research.
Party Vision & Expectations
We all have these grand visions when it comes to party planning (I know I do). We want it to be perfect! Clearly communicate your party vision and expectations to your party entertainer so you are both on the same page.
If you want a meet and greet party princess to look amazing and provide an experience and get great photos with all the kids, make sure you also don’t secretly want her to do a full magic show and balloon twisting for the price of a meet and greet character.
Children’s entertainers all have very different skills and offerings. Some can sing exceptionally, some can face paint really well, others do magic, balloon twisting or facilitate awesome fun games. Some do it all! But you should always ask. Never assume.
Party Location / dates / times
Consider your party location, date and times before booking your party entertainer. Why you ask?
Well firstly ensure (especially if the venue is an external or hired venue) that your entertainer has permission to attend by the venue. The venue might need a copy of the party entertainer’s public liability insurance certificate to allow them to attend.
Secondly, is the venue ok for an entertainer to still perform if it rains? Imagine all your guests being huddled under the rotunda at the park with no room to even face paint just because it’s raining. Always have a back-up plan for rain, especially if you have hired an entertainer, otherwise it will be a waste of your hard earned dollars!
Party times are important too. Advise guests in advance that there will be a party entertainer to encourage them to arrive on time. You are paying for a particular time frame and you really want the maximum amount of guests there for the entertainment. I recommend having your entertainer arrive 30 minutes after the party start time to allow for any late stragglers and to give the kids time to settle in to the party.
Dates and times can affect your ability to actually hire an entertainer too. If you plan as far in advance as possible it will help you secure the entertainer that you want.
Don’t get caught out with a space that isn’t adequate for the type of entertainment you are hiring. I have seen an amazing sports children’s party facilitator arrive to a party that was in a unit! Not much room there to kick a soccer ball! This was obviously a case of poor communication too.
Does your entertainer need access to power? Or a lift or assistance to bring in their props? Do they need seating for the kids or to be positioned a certain way at the venue?
Do they need shade or adequate lighting? e.g. – face painting at a night time disco party in bad lighting can be HARD!
Terms and Conditions
Most entertainers have terms and conditions with their services. These days it is often required to pay a non-refundable deposit to hold a party spot. Be clear regarding terms and conditions to ensure you don’t get in a pickle if you need to cancel your party or change the date.
Really, the biggest piece of advice I can give is communication is KEY.
Us party entertainers are super approachable. That’s why we are good at our jobs. We are fun and friendly right!
If you have questions just ask. Let us know if you suddenly have 25 extra kids attending so we can sort out a solution well before the event so that it is less stressful for everyone and any additional costs can be communicated.
Be clear on location changes if there is rain. Tell them what you want and expect for your party and they will also be clear on what they offer.
Know what your entertainer is bringing with them and when is a good time to serve party food or the cake. You don’t want food distracting the kids from the amazing magic show you arranged!
Party entertainers are very flexible on the day because kids can be unpredictable, but the more info we can share with each other before the party the better! Then everyone is happy and your party is more likely to be a success!
Natalie Faulkner dresses up as a corporate Marketing Manager by day and wears fairy wings on the weekends. She is the Managing Director of fun for Strawberry Fundaes Kids Parties and has worked at over 3,000 kids parties. Mumma to one little guy and a little lady on the way!
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