5 Lessons I Learned From Booking My Child’s Party at the Last Minute!

last minute party
When my son was turning 4 years old, I left it to the last minute to book in his birthday celebrations!
My youngest is a September baby, so it is hard to plan a party when everyone is on holiday in August.
By the time he goes back to school it is too short notice for anyone to come!
When he was turning 4 years old, I had his birthday planned in my head for so long, on our family adventures and journeys I come up with so many different ideas to make it special for him, but by leaving it to the last minute, I end up with nothing!

As an entertainer I am always advising my customers the best options to make the most of their party planning.
Why should you listen to me when I can’t even plan my own child’s party?
I don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I do!

So here are five lessons I have learned as a parent and as a children’s entertainer that hopefully you can apply to your own child’s party plan.


1 – DON’T LEAVE IT TO THE LAST MINUTE
I advise to have an idea of what you want to do for your children whether it is a theme park day out, a huge party or a small gathering at home.
 Whatever it is, have at least three months to organise and book things in.
 Because I have left it so late, even our idea of going to a theme park is proving difficult to book because of date clashes and work schedules!
2 – BOOK YOUR VENUE IN FIRST – and everything else will fall into place.  
Most entertainers advise booking them in before your venue but I disagree!  
To make the most of your entertainer, a good venue is vital and because halls are not just used for birthday parties, they tend to have limited dates and times available.  Again, as I have left it too late to book a party venue for my son, the stress of knowing that I would have to ring round every possible venue I know of does not fill me with joy!  
The last thing you need is to be stressed out over what should be a joyous occasion!

Even if you want to do a party at home, this is not always the best option, our home is very small and although it crosses my mind to have an entertainer or inflatables, once these are in place there is not much room for guests and food!

 

3 – A GOOD ENTERTAINER IS USUALLY FULLY BOOKED 4 WEEKS BEFORE YOUR CHOSEN DATE

I know that I give a 6 week notice when taking an enquiry due to getting booked up fast and I don’t want you to miss out!

Good and expensive entertainers do get booked up really quickly, with the power of recommendations.  

Don’t just settle for anything.  If I was to book an entertainer for my boys with only two weeks to go now (regardless of whether I am in the industry or not) I know that I would be stressing out after receiving countless ‘I’m sorry I am booked for that date’ responses!


When giving youself plenty of time to plan, you can guarantee that those entertainers that are recommended to you, will have specific time slots available for you to book into.  This is why some of them recommend booking them before the venue so you can work around their time slots but I am flexible with my own party times so it does depend on who you are booking and what way around you have done it.

 

4 – GIVE YOUR GUESTS TIME TO REPLYIn this social media age, it is very easy to spread the word and invite your guests.  

However, with such a busy world we live in, not everyone is reliable and not everyone has time to reply.

 Then they say they can come but it turns out on the day, it clashes with something they forgot about or they just….forgot!  

By not leaving it to the last minute, your guests will more than likely be available and this gives them time to save the date.  If they are parents from the school, then by seeing them every day leading up to the party, you can gently nudge them for a reply.

 By setting up a Facebook event page, you can constantly update guests of your preparations and what they have to look forward to on the day and I find although people don’t always comment, you will stick in their minds and they will remember to come!

5 – CHOOSE AGE APPROPRIATE ENTERTAINMENT AND INVITE THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTI really wanted my son to have a big party, like the ones I entertain at as I get so inspired and I know how much he loves a magic show!  

However, although he will be turning 4, he doesn’t have enough children to invite to something as big as I have in my mind and most of them are 2 or 3 year olds, I always recommend a minimum of 10 children at one of my shows in order to create the best atmosphere.  

Recently, I have attended a lot of parties that only have 3 or 4 children arrive, which is not only disheartening for me, but even more upsetting for the birthday child.  When you make a booking with me, I usually recommend inviting the whole school class or year in order to still have the majority turn up.  

As I write this, we are still deciding what to do for Matthew’s birthday!

 A party crossed my mind but giving the reasons above there is no way I have time and patience to stress out about getting it the way I want it!  Secretly, I think I would be doing it for myself rather than him!

 We are leaning towards Chessington theme park as at least we know it will be open and he does love a ride or two!  I hope to take my advice for my eldest son, Jacob’s 11th birthday in December, but with it being 5 days after Christmas, again I need to start planning a party now so that I don’t fall into the trap of not having anything booked!

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Jade Foster-Jerrett

Children’s entertainer, and professional face painter 

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