Planning your Party Aloha Event – Things to Think About in Advance
Having Been Entertainers at Thousands of Parties… Let Us Help You Avoid Seven Common Headaches on the Big Day
#1 On the day of the event, make sure you’ve reserved the closest parking space possible for performers! Travel time can be impactful.
Quite likely, your entertainer will be arriving after your guests have parked on the street and settled in at your house. In a neighborhood, this can be a real problem!
Along with this, make sure directions are explicit. When it comes to GPS, it may not navigate the best way to find your house. Quite likely, you may be getting last minute texts from your guests, but don’t overlook your entertainer, too. Make sure to mention cross streets, the address (duh!), color of your house, a nearby landmark… and where to park!
#2 Where is the entertainer performing? Plan this out in advance.
Outdoors: A petting zoo requires shade…but so do humans performing outside. And the guests. Is this taking place on the lawn, a patio, a deck? Do you expect the entertainer to be stationery or move among the guests?
Will they require electricity for an amp? A small table and chairs? A small trash can? Access to a bathroom and water? A refreshment?
Are there noise restrictions? And you’ve checked out the venue requirements if you’re not doing a house party, right?
Indoors: Think about where your guests will be congregating – are they hanging around the kitchen and doorways picking up food and drink and talking? Will they overwhelm the entertainer? Will they be leaving trash around the entertainer’s area? Do you expect everyone to stop for a performance, or have the entertainer perform while other things going on, including conversations and loud music?
Don’t forget a handy bathroom, water access, a separate place to change into a costume if necessary (not the bedroom where the coats and purses are piled up). Discuss your mutual expectations in advance!!!
#3 When are you scheduling the performer – partway into the event? How long will the entertainment last, and where does it fit in? Allow for set-up time. A petting zoo that’s ready to go when the first guests arrive is one thing…but having a magician trying to start at the beginning of an event as people drift in – and chatting and greeting each other – is quite another. Don’t do that!
#4 How long will the entertainment last? A big party where you think everyone will want a fancy face-painting? Book two hours. A balloon twister for a toddler party? An hour will do. Santa dropping by during a company lunch at your corporate headquarters – depends on how many gifts he’s got to distribute.
Know your total party budget and where the professional entertainment fits it.
#5 Secure your date – O by golly, for sure you’ve scheduled your date and held it with a reservation fee, right? Don’t let a contract lie around, assuming your date is fixed. In Hawaii, performers are limited by the island they live on and the demand.
Some dates and characters are predictably requested far in advance. If a particular date and character is a “must have,” book it ASAP. It seems like everybody wants to book Christmas and spring events on the same weekends. If you can be flexible, you’ll have a better chance of getting who you want if you didn’t book a popular entertainer in advance.
#5 Choose the type of entertainment and format that’s right for your audience! Is the entertainer for the parents or the kids…or both? Be clear on this in advance, and let the performer know. At a kids’ party or corner, adult supervision is required. The entertainment is there to entertain, not wrangle the audience. They aren’t the babysitter.
Family events should be happy and relaxed — although kids can get “wound up.” Do you have family members mixing together who shouldn’t be? Don’t put the entertainer in the middle of family tensions.
#6 Got a backup plan? Everybody wants your event to succeed. Is the entertainer central to your event? What’s covered in your contract, just in case? Sometimes the unexpected happens, like the volcano blowing up. It’s not always “traffic” that’s the problem in Hawaii, but it can be a snarl on two-lane roads, as you know.
#7 Tipping – please do! Remember, these are self-employed folks who love being in the “happiness business.” They should be compensated accordingly for the joy they bring to you and yours, helping to make permanent happy memories!