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Hiring Entertainment for your Party

man playing guitar with peple dancing at party in background

Entertainment is a major facet of a party, whether it’s a toddler’s birthday party or a 200 person wedding.  Large gatherings almost demand professional entertainment.  Smaller gatherings can go either way.  However, if you do not hire entertainment, you’ll probably be providing it personally one way or another, such as organizing games for the kids to keep them occupied.

The first step is to decide what kind of entertainment you’re looking for.  For large, adult gatherings, DJs and bands are commonly employed.  Stand up comedians and improv actors are also sometimes perform. For children, you’re probably looking at magicians, clowns and people dressed up as characters children will recognize.

Kids and a clown at a partyStart looking early.  Good performers can book up months in advance.  You’d hate to have to settle with mediocrity because you waited too long.

Ask for suggestions.  These people live off referrals from previous clients.  So rather than picking them randomly off the internet, see if you can find someone who has employed the type of person you’re looking for and get their feedback.

Meet the entertainer in person if at all possible.  You should be signing a contract with them, and it’s better to get that out of the way ahead of time.  If they show up the day of the party and offer a contract you’re unwilling to sign, you’re suddenly out your entertainment for the day.

When you meet with the entertainer, things to discuss should include:

  • The price, including what all the price includes.  Get a good sense of what the performer will be providing.  This is particularly important for children’s parties, as kids quickly grow bored and will want to move on to new things.
  • How long will the performance be
  • Cancellation fees and deadlines
  • Your own preferences for what is performed.  Perhaps you want a DJ or band to stick to certain types of music, or perhaps you promised your kid there would be balloon animals.  Don’t presume anything.  Discuss it with the entertainer.
  • Whether they have liability insurance
  • Whether they belong to any industry organizations such as a guild of magicians.  Such membership helps indicate their level of commitment to their profession.

Sound board for DJ at weddingYou’ll also need to discuss the space needed by the entertainer:

  • How much space will he need?
  • When does he need access to the space for set up?
  • Does he need electrical outlets or other features for the space?
  • Does the space need to be a certain height?
  • How does he want the audience arranged around his space?

While it does take a little time and effort to make arrangements for a great entertainer, the results will be worth it.  Come party time, you can sit back and enjoy the show just as much as everyone else.

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