Holiday Party Entertainment – How to Use Entertainment to Make Your Party a Smashing Success!

If you’re planning a holiday party this year some kind of entertainment may be a great addition as a part of the festivities. Even more than the location, the d├ęcor, and other elements, the right entertainment can set the tone for your event and give your guests a unique, memorable, and truly enjoyable experience that they can carry with them for many a day to come. The right entertainment can add atmosphere and class, humor and fun, or inspiration and encouragement to the tone of your event.

What Kind Of Entertainment?

The most important question is, what needs do you want the entertainment to fill? Will it be the main event of the evening, one of several highlights, or will it simply be background to everything else?

If the entertainment will be the main event of the evening, you may want to have some sort of feature performer such as a variety act of some kind; a magician, a comedian, a juggler, a singer, a show band, etc., and you will probably want the entertainment to last somewhere between thirty minutes to an hour or so.

If the entertainment is simply one part of a longer program or of several featured activities, the same type of performer might still be appropriate, but you may want the length of the performance to be shorter, somewhere between twelve and twenty-five minutes.

And if the entertainment is to be simply background to the party, you may want some sort of ongoing, low key entertainment, such as dance music, strolling close up magic, strolling musicians, or a small orchestra, depending on your budget.

And of course depending on the schedule and time frame, you may decide to use a combination of more than one of the above choices.

Whatever the case, make sure you’re clear about the specific needs you hope to fill with the entertainment, and simply choose accordingly.

Finding the Right Entertainers…

Once you’ve determined the specific needs of your event, it will help you in choosing the right type of entertainment. You want to look for entertainers who can tell you specifically what benefits they can offer for your event, and how those benefits fill your unique needs. If an entertainer is unable to communicate clearly and directly how he or she can fill those needs, they may not have your needs in mind at all. Make sure you’re completely clear about the specifics of what the entertainer will be providing, and that it’s spelled out in a written agreement.

You can find a variety of entertainers in the yellow pages or on the Internet. Don’t assume that the one with the biggest ad will be the best. As with any other service professional, make sure they have experience and good references. Any quality entertainer should be able to provide you with background credits, testimonials, and reference letters from past clients.

And don’t make the mistake of letting price be the only deciding factor. It’s important that the entertainment not only provides a fun filled, lively experience, but also that none of your guests are put off or offended in any way. If your audience is conservative, or a family group, make sure that the entertainer’s material is appropriate. Comedians and other performers who are used to working in adult nightclubs can sometimes have a very different idea of what’s “clean” than what you may have. So make sure you’re clear and specific about your needs.

Some Important Tips

Whoever you end up hiring, you want to be certain you’re getting the best value for the money you spend on entertainment. Here are a few useful tips to help you determine whether an entertainer can come through for you in bringing the best experience to your guests.

Be sure to ask these important questions…

  • “Are you a FULL TIME professional entertainer?” While there are exceptions, in many cases if an entertainer isn’t full time, it may mean he’s either not experienced enough, doesn’t have a good enough show, or is simply not professional and dependable enough to support a full time career.
  • “Can you provide references from past clients?” As I mentioned, any performer worth his salt should be glad to furnish you with letters and testimonials from his happy, satisfied customers. If he can’t, you may want to proceed with caution!
  • “Do you offer a money back guarantee?” If an entertainer doesn’t guarantee his work, there may be a reason he’s not prepared to do so! Even paying a much lower price is still a waste of money if your guests aren’t thrilled, or worse, are somehow offended or put off by the performance. You need to be certain the entertainment can deliver for your event.
  • “Can you tell me CLEARLY AND SPECIFICALLY what benefits you provide for my event?” Many performers are more interested in looking good than in meeting your unique needs. As I mentioned previously, make sure the entertainer is clear about how they can help meet your specific needs.

Use Your Creativity

As with every other aspect of planning your event, don’t be afraid to be creative and to think “outside the box”. Don’t assume that certain types of entertainment are “just for kids”. (That’s one of the biggest misconceptions I encounter regarding magic, here in the Midwestern United States.) Or that they won’t work in certain situations. Quite often the least obvious types of entertainment can be just the unique twist that will bring a touch of freshness and appeal to your event.

The main thing is, don’t automatically rule something out because you think it “wouldn’t work”. Look into a variety of options and ask for input from other creative or knowledgeable individuals. Above all, have fun planning your holiday party entertainment, and you’re sure to make the party fun and memorable for you and all your guests.

Mitch Williams is an international award winning magician and speaker with credits throughout the US, Canada, and four other countries. He is also an authority on peak performance, creativity, and event coordination. He specializes in helping event planners create absolutely unforgettable meetings, parties, and other events with customized entertainment, educational, and self improvement programs that are guaranteed to amaze, amuse, and inspire. For more information, visit his website here: Magic Event Entertainer.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Mitch_Williams/120859

 

Choosing Wedding Entertainment For Your Reception

So you’ve just got engaged! It’s now time for the excitement to begin. You’ve got a wedding to plan! At this point you’ve probably got a lot of questions running through your mind. Where do you begin? What questions should I ask vendors? Where am I going to get the money? Wait, how much money are we talking about? On the contrary to what most couples believe, wedding planning can actually be fun. With proper planning and allocated time to complete it you can create your truly unique and exciting Chicago Wedding reception.

When it comes to the entertainment portion of your reception this should be treated with care as with all your other very important wedding details. The entertainment seems to be one of, if not the most important components to a reception. Sure, the food, decorations, and socialization are very important but without entertainment, these events would take on an entirely different personality.

For affairs that are focuses around the entertainment, or at least ones where it is responsible for a major role in the success or failure of the event, some serious considerations must be taken when hiring the right entertainment.

Will you find the right entertainment by hiring the one that answers the phone first or the one that has the lowest price or would you select one just because they live in your hometown? These are actually several things you should consider before selecting your entertainer:

  1. Is the entertainer experienced in providing services for your event type? This question can’t just be answered in a yes or no question either. You’ll want someone who knows the ropes. How much experience do you want your entertainer to have? Consider getting a list of references from previous clients.
  2. Who will actually be the entertainer at your event? Often times with larger multi-operational companies you won’t actually know who your entertainer is until that night. Is this something you’re willing to accept? Always ask this question when shopping for entertainment and make sure it’s laid out clear and concise in your contract.
  3. What type of equipment do you deserve to have at your event? Imagine not being able to understand announcements or even worse hearing a hiss or buzz during your event. Imagine having part of your beautifully decorated event contain an eyesore of wires and beat up equipment. Another important face is just because an entertainer charges top dollar doesn’t always mean they’ll bring top dollar equipment to your event. Getting a picture of their setup is a must!
  4. What additional services are included other than just playing music? Will you need a master of ceremonies (emcee) at your event, a coordinator, or even someone to interact and participate with your crowd? Is your entertainer willing to step up to the plate and deliver those services? These can be important things to ask before your event. You’d hate to hire an entertainer who can’t entertain.
  5. Is your entertainer and elegant public speaker? Do they speak in complete sentences without stuttering and using um and uh? Public speaking is said to be one of the number one fears in the United States. If someone isn’t good at speaking in person odds are they won’t be able to speak in front of your crowd. This is a very important aspect of the entertainer can be over looked.
  6. Is backup equipment provided and immediately available? As you know all electronics are man-made and with all man-made products they can fail. So it’s important that your entertainer have not only backup equipment but also a backup plan. Ask your entertainer for their backup plan.
  7. What happens if the entertainer is ill or otherwise cannot attend your event? These details should be laid out in a written contract form with EVERY service provider. Always lay these things out prior to your event to prevent any situations later on.
  8. Is your entertainer insured? Every legitimate business has insurance. This may not seem important upfront, but heaven forbid something were to happen at your event. Are you willing to hire an entertainer without it? Ask your entertainer for his proof of property AND liability insurance.
  9. Are there any hidden additional charges or expected necessities from your entertainer? For example, are you required to pay a service charge for stairs at the reception hall? Or are you required to pay for their dinner? Will they need to take smoke breaks? If you’re entertainer doesn’t cover these issues in their sales pitch perhaps you should ask them.
  10. How much input will you be able to give on your music selection? This can also be a very important question when you’re shopping for entertainment. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences when it comes to music. Will your entertainer be able to cater to those tastes or will they stick to their own routine. Also does your entertainer offer online music planning?

With so much riding on the success of your event your entertainment should never be over looked. There should be several factors that come into play rather than just price when shopping for your wedding entertainment. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions as the entertainment will have a direct impact on the entire success of your reception.

Article written by Stevie Dee of Operation Getdown DJs.

Stevie Dee is Owner and General Manager for Operation Getdown DJs. His team provides DJs and lighting for Chicago wedding receptions. Visit the following links for more info check out Chicago DJ Blog [http://www.chicago-dj.net] or Chicago DJs.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Stevie_Dee/167346

 

How to Choose the Best Birthday Entertainment For Your Child’s Birthday Party

One surefire way to hold an unforgettable birthday party for your child is to hire professional birthday entertainment. It’s not easy keeping a group of children happy and entertained on your own. By leaving the party entertainment to professional birthday entertainers, you can focus on the logistics of the party all the while ensuring that the event is successful and enjoyable for the children.

Picking a Birthday Entertainer That is Suitable for the Age Group

A party entertainer that is perfect for 1-3 year olds is not going to be appropriate for a party of 9-12 year olds. Base the decision of what kind of birthday entertainment you hire on the age group of the children attending the party. Children between the ages of 1-3 years old need simple entertainment that is easy to digest. Children in this age group have very short attention spans so they can’t focus on long performances of any sort. The perfect party entertainment for this age group would be someone dressed in a Barney suit or other popular character to give out balloons and dance with the children.

Some people mistakenly choose clowns as birthday entertainment at parties for the 1-3 year old age group, realizing it is a big mistake once the clown scares all of the children in attendance. Many children and even some adults are scared of clowns because of their dramatic make-up and bizarre costumes. It is not a good idea to hire clowns as birthday entertainers for parties catering to very young children unless your goal is to make them cry.

Children from ages 4-8 enjoy very interactive birthday entertainment that involves plenty of movement, jokes, and activities. It is easier to hire birthday entertainers for this age group because the children are open to a variety of different entertainment styles. Magicians, jugglers and puppeteers are all appropriate birthday entertainment for this age group. Children in this age group look in awe and amazement when they see a magician performing interesting tricks. On the other hand, younger children are too little to understand what is happening while older children just want to know the secret behind the trick.

A talented juggler can make for an excellent birthday entertainer for the 4-8 year old age group because he can juggle different, colorful items in varying quantities to put on a visually appealing show. A puppeteer is also a great party entertainer for birthdays catering to this age group because he uses colorful puppets that captivate the children’s attention and tells funny jokes that give them a good laugh. Even the adult party guests can stay entertained with a puppeteer by interacting with the puppets and becoming a part of the skit.

When choosing birthday entertainment for children in the 9-12 year old age group, different rules apply. Children of this age try very hard to be “cool” and think that entertainers like puppeteers, jugglers, and magicians are plain corny. In order to appeal to children of this age group, it’s essential to hire birthday entertainers that are in with the latest trends. DJs that are in tune with pop music that children of this age enjoy are a great choice as birthday entertainment. Choose a DJ who has experience interacting with children and knows how to serve simultaneously as an emcee for the party.

In conclusion, choose a birthday entertainer based on the age of your child and his/her friends to find someone who is appropriate. If you take these points into consideration, you’re bound to find a party entertainer who will make your child’s next birthday party memorable and enjoyable for everyone in attendance.

For more tips on hiring birthday entertainers [http://www.partyhound.com] and choosing the best birthday entertainment [http://www.partyhound.com] for your child’s party, go to Partyhound. In addition to being the owner of Partyhound, Ted Bilodeau has been a party DJ for over 30 years. Let Ted and the Partyhound team help you plan an unforgettable children’s birthday party this year!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ted_Bilodeau/292126

 

Common Questions For Entertainment Centers

If you own a home entertainment center or looking at new entertainment centers to buy, you probably have a few questions. There are a number of different types, sizes, and colors to choose from. If you’re purchasing your very first entertainment center, read through the following questions and answers, and get more familiar with the options you have.

What’s the Average Price Range of Entertainment Centers?
The price for a home entertainment center can range from under $100 to many thousands of dollars. The price will vary greatly based on the size, material, and design of the piece. Entertainment centers can be as simple as a TV stand with shelves to a complete unit that takes up an entire wall. The price will depend on what type of entertainment center you want.

What Materials are Entertainment Centers Made From?
Home entertainment centers are made of all sorts of materials. Often they use different materials to provide adequate function and sleek styling. Common materials include:

# Wood (oak, mahogany, Cedar, etc.)
# Metal
# Glass
# Plastic
# Pressboard

Often these materials are combined to create glass doors on a mahogany shelf unit or plastic wheels on a compact TV stand.

Will Furniture Stores that Sell Home Entertainment Centers Deliver to My Home?
Some do but some don’t. It all depends on the retailers. Entertainment centers can be quite large and require a truck for delivery. This means either you or the retailer needs to have a truck available to transport it from their store to your home. Be sure to ask about home delivery before you buy if you’re going to need some help getting it home.

Do They Sell Preassembled Entertainment Units?
It all depends on the size of the unit. The bigger it is, the more likely it is it won’t come preassembled. Parts of it might come together but the unit as a whole will need to be put together. Smaller units may come preassembled because they are smaller and more compact.

Does a TV Stand Count as a Home Entertainment Center?
The category of “entertainment center” is pretty broad and often includes TV stands and even small wall units. A TV stand that has shelves or drawers is definitely an entertainment center. Think about it; it’s a multifunctional furniture unit that allows for organization and storage of entertainment related items such as TV, movies, DVDs, VCRs, DVD players, etc. So if you’re looking for smaller storage units or shelving, be sure to check the “home entertainment centers” section of your local furniture store or online retailer.

Can I Find Matching Furniture to Go with My Entertainment Center?
In some cases you can. Often times furniture designers will design a complete living room/family room/den furniture set. This can include matching entertainment centers, recliners, couches, and even coffee tables. If you want all your furniture to match, it’s best to find a furniture collect designed to work together.

Do They Sell Home Entertainment Centers Online?
In fact, they do. Many online furniture retailers sell home entertainment centers. In some cases you might be able to find a better price online. However, the one issue with buying an entertainment center online is shipping. If you want a large unit, expect to pay a significant amount to get it shipped to your home.

Can I Make My Own Entertainment Unit?
It is possible to make your own home entertainment unit but it’s only suggested for professional or experienced wood workers or cabinet makers. Depending on the size you want, building your own entertainment center can be quite difficult. You need to plan everything out first, establish measurements, buy the materials, and then put it together. Although it may save you some money in the long run, it could take you months to build it.

Chuck is an interior decorator who has worlds of experience in interior design. Believe it or not, his expertise is in entertainment centers [http://www.entertainmentcenters123.com]. If you’re interested in learning all about the entertainment center [http://www.entertainmentcenters123.com] world, turn to EntertainmentCenters123.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Chuck_Topanga/327766

 

How to Hire Corporate Entertainment

For many people, hiring entertainment for a corporate event can be an overwhelming task. The entertainment you select has to be professional and suited for all audiences. On the other hand, it is easy to get stuck in the corporate rut of doing “the same old thing” year after year.

How important is keeping your existing clients and employees for your organization? Showing appreciation to clients and your staff can boost morale, strengthen business relationships and help your company grow. Having the right entertainment at your event will accomplish that!

So how do you break from the ordinary and book entertainment that is new and engaging for your group? Below are some suggestions to make the hiring process easier for you.

1. Plan Your Event

Plan how would like the evening to go. If you know the exact type of entertainment you are having, then plan the event around that entertainment. Otherwise, plan out time for the different events and make a time-table. If you haven’t decided on the entertainment then be sure to leave some room in your time-table for adjustments. The setup of the room can vary depending on the performer you desire, and the itinerary can change as well.

2. Know Your Budget

Know how much you can spend on entertainment before approaching entertainers to find out about their acts. What you can spend on an entertainer will often dictate the level of entertainment you get. Every event has a budget and you need to stay within it and meet your needs. However, hiring an entertainer based solely on them being the lowest priced can lead to disaster. Put things in a better perspective, you may wish to determine your “per-person” cost budgeted for entertainment or activities. The finest food and beverages will soon be a fading memory to your guests, but high quality entertainment creates an emotional impact and lasting impression. How much fun they had at your event is what creates lasting memories.

3. Be Prepared to Discuss Your Event and Your Budget

Any professional entertainer is going to be asking you questions about your event, such as what type of event you are having, how many guests you expect, if there is a theme to the event, a general timeline of the event, etc. By doing this, they are determining if their act is a good match for your group and function. They may even be able to present ideas to enhance your event that you hadn’t thought of yet! Ask the entertainer if they offer any special packages. Your entertainer may have a package that will make your event extra special. By discussing your budget with them, you are also finding out if they are within your price range. If so you can move on with the process; if not, you are saving everyone time and should call the next entertainer on your list.

4. Request References and Promotional Material

If after your initial contact with the entertainer you feel comfortable with them and you both agree that there is a possibility that they will be a good match for your group, ask them for references and promotional materials. You will find that most entertainers have websites that will contain most of the promotional materials, if not all of it. If an entertainer cannot provide you with references then DO NOT engage this performer.

5. Call References and Review the Promotional Material

After calling references and reviewing the promotional material, you may have more questions for the entertainer. Give them a call and get your concerns addressed and all questions answered.

Make sure that your entertainer is a corporate entertainment specialist that knows the needs and expectations of the corporate environment. A comedian that regularly performs “R” rated shows in comedy clubs or a magician that typically works at child birthday parties would probably not make a suitable choices for a typical corporate conference!

6. Ask About a Guarantee

Want some real peace of mind when trying to plan your corporate event? If an entertainer presents a quality presentation and has enough experience, they should be willing to guarantee their services. As them what they guarantee!

7. Request a Contract

The entertainer should provide you with a contract outlining your agreement along with the date, location of your event as well as any other arrangements agreed upon. Unless you are booking a celebrity performer, the agreement will probably be no more than a couple of pages in length.

The contract should clearly state what you will be required to provide for the event, such as a sound system or lighting requirements, and what the entertainer will be providing. In some cases some of this information will come in the form of a Technical Rider which is sent with the contract. The agreement should also cover deposits (typically 50% of the total fee) travel fees, per diem charges, meals and transportation. All of this should have been discussed in the initial phone call, and there should not be any surprises for you on the agreement. Most entertainers will require the contract signed and returned with the deposit within a certain timeframe of sending it.

8. Communicate

Your entertainer is there to enhance your event. Keeping him or her informed of any changes in your event helps them to bring you the show you would like, especially if they are doing any customized material for you. If they are doing a customized performance for you event it is essential to get the needed information to them as early as possible.

A professional entertainer will also want to make sure they are there early to setup and do sound checks before the scheduled show time.

9. Promote the Event

Get people excited about the event by promoting the great entertainment you have booked for them! Your entertainer should be able to make this easy for you by providing you with articles, press releases, or photos that you can use in your event literature to build anticipation. Some entertainers are willing to provide “teaser” performances in order to get people excited to come to your event!

10. Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy the Show!

By using these simple steps, you should feel confident that the entertainer you have chosen is a professional. You’ve worked hard up until this point, so sit back and enjoy what you’ve put together!

For more tips on hiring corporate entertainment visit Corporate Magician.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Doug_Kevilus/386697