When planning your child’s birthday, you’ll quickly discover that there are a billion entertainment options available. Let me get something out of the way up front. They are NOT all created equal!
Many folks seem to be under the delusion that entertaining children is simple and requires little or no skill. They’re wrong. Entertaining children is a very specialized talent that takes years to develop. Like anything, it’s hard work. You need someone who truly cares about children and has taken the time to develop their craft.
Unfortunately, there’s no way of qualifying a children’s entertainer. Just about anyone looking for a fast dollar has hung out their shingle. The last thing you want is to bring on someone who’s looking for “easy money”.
Here’s a few ways to tell whether a potential performer is a real pro or not. This goes for all kinds of children’s entertainers, including clowns, magicians, and balloon twisters.
Do they Respond to Your Inquiries Promptly?
If the entertainer is a true professional, you’ll hear back from them in 24 hours or less. If they respond via email, check for major grammar or spelling errors. True professionals spell check every email before sending it.
How Many Shows did they do Last Year?
Responsible business owners know their numbers. This is an answer they should be able to give you off the top of their head. If they won’t give you a straight answer they may be trying to conceal the fact that they’re new to the market. There’s nothing wrong with hiring an enthusiastic newbie, but they should be up front about their experience.
What does Their Website Look Like?
Modern business owners realize that their website is the “face” of their business. Any professional is going to want to put their best foot forward. If their website looks like it was designed in 1996, consider looking elsewhere.
Ask for Details About the Performance
If you’re hiring a balloon twister, ask what kinds of sculptures they make. If you’re hiring a magician, ask what kinds of acts they perform and what their audience participation is like. Get the idea? The point here is that any professional entertainer is going to be intimately familiar with the product they’re selling you. If they stumble on this point, move on.
When in Doubt, Ask for References
Be sure to qualify those references. Relatives and close friends don’t count. You want to hear from bona fide customers who were satisfied with the entertainment that was provided.
Hiring a good children’s entertainer can be a very rewarding and worthwhile experience. The extra time and effort you spend checking up on their credentials will ensure that your money isn’t wasted and your child’s party is a success.
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