Parties Vivian | 01 Nov 2010 02:39 pm

Hiring Party Entertainment – Do Not Forget This

The right kind of party entertainment can take your event from so-so to fabulous and give your guests something to remember.

Musicians playing the piano or strings elevate the atmosphere and communicate that your event is special.

DJs or a band provide dance music and a master-of-ceremonies function to make important announcements and keep your party on track.

Caricature or silhouette artists give your guests a tangible souvenir, a customized piece of art they can keep forever.

And a fortuneteller will keep your guests talking…

But before you sing the dotted line, be sure to ask the performer what he/she needs for set up. This will keep you on track both in terms of budget and logistics.

Let us take the pianist. A piano is not a portable item and few pianists truck their own. If your facility does not have one, you will probably have to rent one–and that cost can be more than the cost for the musician’s services.

Having entertainment at summer outdoor events is a lovely idea. But is it humane to expect your face painter to sit in the open sun for three hours and bake in the heat? Not to mention that your guests will be uncomfortable, too. Outdoor performers will need to be protected from the Sun’s rays.

This need not be complicated nor expensive. The most delightful place to be on a hot summer’s day is under the branches of a spreading maple. It is quite a bit cooler and both your guests and your performer will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

And, while we are on the topic, what is your Plan B for a sudden shower? Be certain your plans include a waterproof location for your performer such as an indoor spot, a tent, or even an overhang.

Will your performers need to plug into electricity? DJs, photo booth operators, and others whose performance is dependent on an electrical supply will require convenient outlets or extension cords.

And almost anyone performing at night will require electricity for lighting.

Is your head spinning yet?

Relax, it is not as bad as it sounds.

If your party is at an outside venue such as a hotel, banquet hall or restaurant, your venue will supply many of these amenities. Caterers who are already supplying you with tables and chairs can easily supply one extra for the fortuneteller. If your event is a picnic at a location with picnic tables, then these will substitute nicely for free-standing tables and chairs.

Just be sure to communicate with all of the different parties involved. Questions? Just ask us. Performers want to work with you so we can give you our highest quality.

One of my favorite war stories and probably my most extreme example of things that can go wrong concerns an anniversary party hosted some years ago at a small restaurant. The party was held in a private room. This client kept adding… guests, entertainment…

I was hired to draw caricatures only three days before the event. When I arrived, the room was so packed we could only eke out a tiny space for me and my volunteers.

There was not even enough room to put up my portable easel.

The restaurant staff was unhappy to see me when I showed up–no one told them I would be part of the party. With no prior notice, they did not have the flexibility to work out an easier room arrangement.

I hung in and did my best, but frankly, given the cramped environment, the quality of work was impacted.

Moral of the story: Ask your performer(s) what their needs are: in terms of space and equipment. Then you can incorporate the entertainment into both your budget and your planning. And when party day comes, you will have a fabulous event that your guests will remember for a long, long time.

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