Not many people realise as well as being a performer and Director at Slightly Unusual I am also the Marketing Director at Non Stop Kids Entertainment Ltd, one of the largest children’s entertainment companies in the UK. Non Stop Kids Entertainment books thousands of children’s parties each year and although I don’t perform at kids shows any more I probably know more about this industry than most.
Most parents are concerned that their child’s party will be a success. I thought I would outline the five biggest mistakes parents make when planning a child’s party. Whether you book Non Stop Kids Entertainment or not these tips are really worth paying attention to.
Mistake 1 – Sending the invitations out too late – or too early
Sending the invitation at the right time is crucial to a successful party. If you send the invitations out too early parents can accidentally forget. A late invitation can also mean that alternative plans have already been made.
So when is far away enough that they will most likely be available but close enough to be in their thinking, I hear you ask? Typically between 3 and 4 weeks before the date of the party is a good time to send out the invitations. However if your party is during a very busy time, such as the summer holidays or over the christmas period, you may want to consider sending the invitations out a couple of weeks earlier.
Mistake 2 – Not giving your guests the essential information.
There is some essential information that you must let your guests know beforehand, ideally in the invitation. Make sure that you include a postcode for the venue as nearly everyone uses a sat nav these days. Depending on your choice of venue, it can be worth including some simple directions and your mobile phone number just in case.
Let guests know about the food being provided, so no one is turning up having already eaten or worse yet, not able to eat your delicious food due to dietary requirements, resulting in them leaving hungry. Make sure you include a start and finish time, this way your guests can plan their day and you aren’t left with any lingerers!
Mistake 3 – Not including an RSVP.
Make sure you include an RSVP line on the invitation. Ask guests to respond by a specified date (usually a week or two before the event) to a listed phone number or email address. This will help you plan for food, party bags and space etc. As you get the RSVP’s back make a list and also create name stickers, this way you know exactly who to expect on the day.
By the way here is the Non Stop Kids Entertainment Showreel – have a look at what we could do at your child’s party!
Mistake 4 – Hiring an entertainer without checking references.
The best recommendation is from other mums and dads; if there is an entertainer that everyone at the school gates is raving about they are probably the best bet. If not make sure whoever you hire has loads of good video testimonials that way you can be sure the reviews are real. At Non Stop Kids Entertainment we are very proud that in a recent survey 98% of mums said they would recommend us to a friend.
Mistake 5 – Hiring an entertainer without a PAT certificate or Public Liability Insurance.
Make sure to ask entertainers for a PAT certificate which covers the electrical equipment they will be using, ensuring it is in good working order. Most venues will insist on seeing a copy of this before the event anyway. Finally Public Liability Insurance is very important if anything goes wrong at the party. The entertainer you book should have a minimum of £2 Million but more than likely £5 Million. Again a lot of venues will ask for this information beforehand.
I hope these help. If you need more clarification, help or advice please let me know!