Booking children’s entertainers for your child’s birthday party can be like playing a game of Russian roulette, you often don’t know what you are getting before it is too late. There is nothing sadder than a disappointed child on their birthday and sadly, if you have booked an incompetent entertainer, there is little you can do about it on the day.
The internet is full of people selling services as birthday entertainers and children’s entertainers but how can you tell if they are any good at what they do? Sadly there is no regulation or governing body to complain to if you have a bad experience with a children’s entertainer this means the onus is on you to do your homework before making a commitment to book.
So you surf the web and find an entertainer you feel will suit your needs, you speak to them on the phone and all seems to be in order so you make a booking. On the day you are horrified to find the entertainer who arrives at your party is not the entertainer you thought you booked.
Sadly this is not an uncommon situation; there are certain entertainers who double book or take on more work than they can handle, they then sub contract the birthday show to a colleague or friend leaving you with a stranger at your party who you know nothing about. The solution to this nightmare is to ask the entertainer directly if it is they who will be entertaining at the party, also get the booking confirmed in writing with a written contract and check the entertainers name on the contract matches the entertainer you are booking.
The entertainer simply does not show up or cancels the booking close to the event date.
Sadly there are some people that are in the children’s entertainment business to make a quick buck and if an offer comes in that is better than the agreement with you, they will drop your booking and take the better paying gig. This leaves you without an entertainer or in a position where you need to arrange a children’s entertainer at short notice.
The solution to this is to get a written contract in place at the time of booking, professional children’s entertainers issue a written contract confirming what is on offer, this acts as protection for both you and the entertainer. With a written contract in hand you have recourse through the courts should the entertainer not supply what was promised.
Make sure your entertainer is reputable by asking for references and following up on those references. A professional children’s entertainer should have testimonials on their website, take the time to read them before deciding to book with them.
The entertainer does not deliver the standard of entertainment you expected.
Being a professional children’s entertainer is not easy, if the children don’t like what they see they will not sit like polite adults and see it through, they will voice their displeasure by getting up and running around. Make sure your entertainer is experienced, ask how long they have been in business and again check for testimonials and ask the entertainer for past customers you can phone. Make sure there is a formal contract in place between you and the entertainer that fully outlines what the show entails and check the level of professionalism of the correspondence with the entertainer. Try calling the entertainers office and see if the telephone is answered professionally, if you leave a message check how long it takes for you to be contacted back. A true professional children’s entertainer should run the business side of their business well and this is notable through all correspondence, telephone calls, emails, letters and the very important contract.
Ken Kelly is a specialist children’s entertainer and magician working in Cheshire the UK. Ken has over 30 years of professional experience both as a performer and trainer in the children’s entertainment field and has performed over at 8000 child related events. Ken runs Magic 4 Children http://www.magic4children.co.uk specialising is providing childrens entertainers for events and parties.