Choosing a children's entertainer for your kid's birthday bash is akin to playing a game of Russian roulette; you rarely know what you're getting until it's too late. If you have booked an incompetent entertainer, there is sadly little you can do about it on the day, making a disappointed child on their birthday one of the saddest things imaginable.
With so many people offering their services as birthday and children's entertainers on the internet, how can you be sure they're any good at what they do? If you have a bad experience with a children's entertainer, sadly there is no regulation or governing body to complain to, so the responsibility of doing your homework before making a commitment to book falls on you.
If you surf the web and find an entertainer who you think will meet your needs, you can talk to them on the phone and once everything appears to be in order, you can go ahead and make the booking. You are horrified to discover on the day of your party that the entertainer who arrived is not the one you had booked.
Sadly, it is not uncommon for certain entertainers to double-book or take on more work than they can handle, resulting in them subcontracting the birthday show to a colleague or friend, leaving you with a stranger at your party whom you know nothing about. To avoid this nightmare, ask the entertainer directly if they are the one performing at the party, have the booking confirmed in writing with a contract, and make sure the entertainer's name on the contract matches the one you are booking.
The entertainer tends to either not show up or cancel the booking near the event date.
If an offer comes in that is more profitable than their agreement with you, some people in the children's entertainment business may sadly take the better paying gig, instead of honoring their commitment to you. If you find yourself in a position where you need to arrange a children's entertainer at short notice, you will be left without an entertainer.
A written contract should be obtained at the time of booking to provide protection for both you and the professional children's entertainer; this contract should detail what is being offered. Should the entertainer not supply what was promised, you have recourse through the courts with a written contract in hand.
Ensure the credibility of your entertainer by requesting references and verifying them. It is advisable to read the testimonials on the website of a professional children's entertainer before deciding to book with them.
You did not receive the standard of entertainment you expected from the entertainer.
It is not easy to be a professional children's entertainer, as children often express their dissatisfaction by not remaining seated and politely watching, instead getting up and running around. Before hiring an entertainer, make sure to ask about their experience level and how long they have been in business; additionally, request testimonials and contact information for prior customers. Ensure that a formal contract is established between yourself and the entertainer, which details the show thoroughly, and assess the professionalism of the entertainer's correspondence. If you want to test how professional the entertainers office is, try calling and seeing if someone answers the phone. If not, leave a message and see how long it takes for you to receive a call back. A true professional children's entertainer should manage the business side of their operations competently and this should be reflected in all forms of communication, including correspondence, telephone calls, emails, letters, and the essential contract.