You’ve been there: the “best party ever.” There are games, music, characters, and an entertainer taking pictures and playing with your children. But now, it’s your turn to plan the birthday party for your child and you want the same or better experience. Before you jump to hire the first company you find in your Facebook’s mommy group, it’s important to consider who — and what — you’re dealing with. As the president of a kids’ entertainment company, I can shed some light on the subject.
Are you calling a legit/legal company?
There are tons of people advertising themselves as “entertainment companies for children,” and most of them are not legit companies. You’ll recognize them because they want you to pay in cash, they don’t have a website, or their social media pages are poorly done or non-existent. Check the small print: Real companies should have an LLC or Inc. after their name.
Who works for this company?
You wouldn’t invite a stranger into your home, right? Make sure you ask: Are background checks and drug tests regularly required of employees? Many companies (especially the ones that aren’t legal) send whoever is available to work, and many times they don’t even know the performer. I once heard a mom saying that the person she hired came intoxicated and the kids could smell the alcohol.
Is the company insured?
Did you know that even face painters should carry insurance? Always ask. Why is insurance so important? Let’s say the kids are having a lot of fun and while dancing, someone bumps into a speaker and it falls and injures a child. I’m sure you don’t want to deal with a lawsuit. Insurance means the company is liable, so you’re not.
Is the show age-appropriate for your child and guests?
We’ve all seen those characters twerking on Facebook. Ask what kind of music the entertainer plans to use during the show. You can even ask about the type of games they will be playing.
Have you checked the reviews?
It’s common sense: Before hiring a company, shop around. If you see a company with a high number of likes on Facebook and tons of great reviews, go for it! Read the reviews, privately contact the company, and ask questions. Usually, companies with a low number of likes and no reviews are a red flag.
Yes, parties are hard to plan. But the smile of your child that says, “This was the best party ever!” is worth the effort of asking a few questions and doing your research.