Parties are a wonderful, shared experience. People have, for centuries, been gathering together to celebrate births, weddings, graduations, and life. When we think of a party, most of us have a few parties that come up in our minds. Our memories naturally recall things that are emotionally significant to us, and momentous occasions can be a part of our memory collage for a lifetime.
I remember my seventh birthday party. My mom made mint chocolate chip ice cream and my friends from school came over and played in my back yard. Most importantly, my best friend, Judy, celebrated her birthday with me. It was wonderful, and forty years later, it is stamped on my mind like a tattoo. The cakes were made with dolls and looked like princesses. Do I remember who made the cakes? No, but my mom does. She also remembers all of the things she had to arrange and pull together for my big day. She planned everything.
Today’s parties might seem a little different than the parties of my childhood, but the basic elements are the same. People. Food. Entertainment.
Choosing people to invite can be easy depending on the occasion and the food you serve will surround the party theme or the people attending. But what will you do for entertainment? This is probably the most time-consuming element of any party, but we have a few tips to help you narrow down the possibilities! In this post, we will focus primarily on events at which hired entertainment would be appropriate. (Games and activities can be peppered most events, as well!)
What is the age range of your guests and who will be the focus? If your party is for your 90-year –old aunt, perhaps a band that plays the music of her era would bring her joy and encourage dancing. However, if you have an audience of four-year-olds with parents in attendance, you will want an entertainer that can make them giggle! Choosing entertainment that resonates with attendees will guarantee that they have fun and enjoy the money you spent on talent!
How many guests will you have?
Make sure you have the space for your guests, but also be sure to plan space for the entertainer you choose to hire. You want to make sure that if you have a magician, puppeteer, science show, animal show, etc. that the performer has room to entertain and that your audience can see the performer! (Will they all fit in your living room?) Most party entertainers are used to working in a living room or another area of the house and are skilled at making sure that audience members can see what they are doing.
If you hire a face painter or balloon artist, you will want to ask how many people can be painted or receive a balloon in an hour. It is pretty common for a performer to do a show and then spend thirty minutes after the show twisting balloons or face painting. Most professionals have multiple skills!
What is your budget?
Be sure to evaluate your budget for the party. For example, if you want a DJ, how much of your party budget are you willing to spend? Do you want a DJ that just plays music or a DJ that entertains the crowd with games and contests? Dances like the Wobble or Electric Slide? There is a big difference between a DJ that stands and plays music and an entertainer that interacts with the crowd!
Once you have decided what you want, make sure you are hiring EXPERIENCED performers. Most performers in this day and age are mindful of using safe materials, have been trained over a period of several years and are insured. You want to make sure that the person that comes to your party is the kind of entertainer who has a passion for what they do, a genuine love for people and a level of EXCELLENCE that will create memories.
Neurologically, sharing an experience is one of the most effective bonding expressions in human understanding. Sharing a laugh, a good film, a meal, a feeling of surprise when a performer does something amazing…all of these things are moments you can share forever in your hearts and minds. Be sure to hire the talent that can bring those memories to LIFE!
Tabitha Woods is a face artist and henna artist located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She has a degree in theatre and has been in the entertainment business for 33 years.