Sometimes, I am not free to attend birthday parties and events and have to decline taking the booking. People ask me to recommend others. I know a few entertainers, who, like me, put their heart and soul into delivery fantastic children’s entertainment.
There are, however, some who don’t.
So, let’s look at some characteristics of kid’s magician’s or children’s entertainers. Usually they play host to an event and as such they should be punctual, polite, friendly, firm (if necessary) fun, and be easy to develop rapport with your guests in an unobtrusive way. Not only that but they should be accommodating and respectful. I’ve heard many stories where these fundamentals have been waived and kids’ have run riotous, adults, been disappointed, music left playing loudly for 2 hours etc etc. Now I, hope that this is the minority and is like the newspapers – in that only bad news is reported.
On the flip-side to those entertainers who let the ‘good one’s’ down are those who work hard, have genuine talent, spend hundreds of pounds on equipment and books to make them better performers. They have the ability to keep the kids laughing throughout the shows, the games they play are structured, ‘age-specific’ and fun and they nearly always over-deliver in their shows. The number of little add-on’s I offer which I don’t charge for and just include in my show purely because I want to deliver a fantastic show, I’m sure have helped me secure more bookings.
So what other forms of children’s entertainment are there?
Well, you could choose a face-painter (I offer this), a disco (sometimes a bit riotous by itself), a bouncy castle (weather dependent), a balloon modeller and a clown. (sometimes scary for little kids)
Of course, I will be biased about booking a children’s entertainer over any of these listed as they offer the most interaction with the children. Not only that they will offer the most variety and laughter for the children. Laughter is intrinsically linked to fun, to enjoyment and to a good or great party.
The other ideas – the kids’ are essentially left to make their own fun after the ‘main event’ has passed. 5 minutes of bouncing on a balloon. Done. 1 face painted. Done. Mini-disco, on-going but still just a mini-disco. Balloon modelling, one per child. Done. A clown – this is perhaps another good option, but as I mentioned I sometimes find them a little scary – but are probably great for some kids’ who have no reason to be fearful of clowns…..I don’t know any clowns, and have only seen a couple in action. They are not for me, but down not mean they would not be good / great for your party.
How to make the best decision when booking a party entertainer?
This is something that I’m always asked. In the recent economic slump I have seen more and more 5 page yell.com sites spring up with little or no photos. I have found out that some (not all) of these are mums or dads who think “I have children, I must be able to entertain kids, I’ll have a piece of that children’s entertainment action” In fact it was one of these very people who I heard was very disappointing for a mother. There standards and service are low BUT – on the plus side – there price is low.
Now this is sometimes a tricky concept for mums. They want the best deal – and rightly so. I market myself as offering great value for money. I am. I am not the cheapest nor am I the most expensive, but as you can see from my testimonials either on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/kidspartymagician or on my website http://www.williamthewizard.co.uk/comments.html
I have many satisfied parents….. A big claim, but true.
I have a great phrase on my Facebook page.
“If you think a professional is expensive just wait until you hire an amateur”.
You don’t want to have spent £50 on a cake, £50 on a hall, £100 on food and then another £25 on decorations etc for you to scrimp on the entertainment. The food is generally not that memorable. The decorations, are generally not that memorable. What will be memorable is if the kids have spent 2 hours running around the place with no laughing, fighting and causing a disruption. (The result of an under-prepared un-professional children’s entertainer). If it was me, I would scrimp on the other bits a put a bit more into the entertainment kitty….But I suppose I am looking at things slightly biased lol!!