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Copyright 2006

Ten Frequently Asked Questions Before Hiring A Children’s Party Entertainer

Over the past few years, hiring entertainers to help celebrate at children’s birthday parties has become increasingly popular. With their bright, colourful costumes, and fun, energetic performance, a children's party entertainer not only amuses your young guests, but also eases the pressure on you during the party.

Booking a children’s party entertainer for the first time however, and ensuring you have chosen the right person for both you and your child, can be a little daunting. To help you select the right entertainer for your needs the answers to ten of the most frequently asked questions before hiring a performer are detailed below.

1. What will the entertainer do at my child’s party?

Each entertainer has their own routine, skills and style; however most will include several basic elements. These elements include face painting or cheek art, balloon twisting, along with a selection of games and prizes. Other activities may include storytelling, magic, pass the parcel and even parachute games.

Specialised entertainers, such as magicians, belly dancers, sports and makeover party hosts, are also available for your child’s party. These entertainers focus their show around their specific talent and will, in most cases, not include activities such as face painting.

2. What characters are available?

There are a wide variety of characters available for children’s birthday parties. The most commonly requested are clowns, fairies, princesses and cowboys/cowgirls. Other characters include superheroes, witches, wizards, mermaids, disco divas, teddy bears, and seasonal characters, such as Santa, elves and Easter bunnies.

If you are having difficulty choosing which character your child would most enjoy, consider their favourite television shows and music for inspiration.

3. Should I hire an entertainer if my child is afraid of clowns?

Many children are afraid of clowns due to their heavy makeup. If your child is afraid of clowns, you could select another character who wears less makeup such as a Cowboy or Pirate for boys, or a Fairy or Mermaid for girls. If you have your heart set on a clown, ask that the entertainer wears less makeup which will make them far less intimidating to your child.

If you are unsure as to whether your child is afraid of clowns consider their reaction to Santa characters. Children who react badly to Santa will often have a similar response to clowns.

4. How long will the entertainer be at my party?

Entertainer’s performances are generally available in three durations- one hour, one and a half hours, or two hours.

There is no set amount of time you should have the entertainer at your party, however the number of guests at your party and the activities you would like included will determine the length of the booking you require. For example, smaller parties of around 15 children may only need an hour to play games, face paint and create a balloon sculpture, while larger parties may need to have their games slightly reduced or booking extended to accommodate additional face painting and balloon twisting.

5. What is the best time to have the entertainer arrive at my child’s party?

We recommend that you book the entertainer to begin their performance half an hour after your party starts. This allows time for all of your guests to arrive before the show starts.

There is no set time for the entertainer to begin their performance, they will be happy to start at the time that is best for you. It is important to remember however, that if you require the entertainer to greet your guests as they arrive, the time they take welcoming the guests may mean that the activities they can complete during their performance will need to be adjusted.

6. Can I ask the entertainer to include certain games or activities?

While the entertainer will generally have a set routine, most will do their best to incorporate any special requests you may have. If additional supplies or prizes are required, such as a piñata, there may be additional fees or you may be asked to supply the extra items needed.

7. Will the entertainer help me to cut the cake or pose for photos with the guests?

Cutting the cake is one of the most important parts of your child’s party, and an entertainer will be happy to help you gather the guests together and sing “Happy Birthday”. They will also be happy to pose for photos with the birthday child and their guests.

If you want the entertainer to pose for photos or help cut the cake during their performance, it is best to give them a guide as to when you would like them to do so, allowing them to adjust their performance accordingly. For example, you may want them to cut the birthday cake and pose for photos midway through the party show. Letting the entertainer know this prior to the beginning of their performance enables them to have all of the children’s faces painted before the pictures are taken.

8. Face Painting – To paint or not to paint?

Face painting, while being great fun, can be a time consuming activity during your party and requires that the entertainer focus on one child at any particular time. Especially in the case of larger parties with more than 25 young guests, face painting can inhibit the flow of the party and restrict the other games and activities that can be played.

If you do want face painting included it may be best to ask the performer to include cheek art, rather than full face designs, or hire a separate face painter.

Alternatively, you could purchase face paints or temporary tattoos and ask a willing volunteer to help you apply them during the party.

It is a good idea to arrange for an activity, such as colouring in pages, for the remaining guests to complete while others faces are being painted.

9. What do I need to have prepared before the entertainer arrives?

The entertainer will bring everything they need for their performance to your party. Generally, this includes items for games, prizes, balloons, face paints and any equipment requirements such as a portable c.d. player. They may require access to a power point to operate any electrical equipment such as a c.d. player, bubble or karaoke machine.

If you have requested certain games or activities for your party, confirm whether the entertainer will be bringing the supplies for these games with them or if you are required to supply them. If your child has a favourite music group or song, ask whether the performer has them available or if you can provide them with your own c.d. for use during the party.

10.  How do I know my booking is confirmed?

It is always a good idea to request a written confirmation of your booking from the entertainer to make certain there is no confusion in regards to the date, time, address or requirements for your party.  Individual entertainers have differing price schedules and may include a travel charge for your area on top of their standard price, or a fee for additional guests over a certain number. Ensure that these charges, if any, are included in your written confirmation along with the details of any deposits required so there are no nasty surprises at your party.

About The Author:

Kate Winch is co-owner of Princess Lulu Events, an event and party business based in Sydney, Australia.

Princess Lulu Events offers a comprehensive range of event services for celebrations in Sydney, including entertainers, amusements, catering and co-ordination for children’s parties.

Their website is also home to the Princess Lulu Online Party Supplies Shop offering a wide range of party products for all occasions, available for delivery Australia-wide.

To find out more about Princess Lulu Events, and to receive your

Free Party Planner and Checklist, visit their website www.princessluluevents.com

Kate Winch is co-owner of Princess Lulu Events, an event and party business based in Sydney, Australia.




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