Child’s Play: The Serious Business of Children’s Parties
“You know who I am? In the field of local-live-home entertainment, I’m a god!” – said actor Mike Starr, playing Pooter-the-Clown in the movie Uncle Buck
In 1989 when the movie Uncle Buck was released, children’s parties usually consisted of a few games of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and musical chairs. Only the very lucky had parties that included some form of local-live-home entertainment; hence, the over-blown sense of self-importance of Pooter-the-Clown. Parents and children alike were content to host a few of their child’s friends in the basement or backyard. Hot dogs, chips, pop and home-made cake rounded out the average children’s party. However, for today’s children and their parents, celebrating birthdays, holidays, and life’s milestones has progressed exponentially. Planning and executing children’s parties has become a serious business for Event Planners.
What Has Changed
In the 30 years since the release of Uncle Buck, life has changed for both single and dual-parent families.
- Careers require long hours away from home, and parents can sometimes experience a desire to “make-up” for this perceived inattention.
- Additionally, parents are often older and more financially stable when they begin having children. They enjoy celebrating their offspring’s milestones and have the ability to pay for it.
- Time is in short supply for many families; children’s activities and parents’ work schedules, leave small windows of opportunity for party planning and execution.
- People want to avoid being responsible for the chaos, noise and mess of hosting a party themselves, in their own home. Enlisting the help of an Event Planner to plan, execute and clean up a party, is considered to be money well-spent.
- Social media has produced a means of comparison not available in 1989; previously, children and their parents were only able to compare parties that they actually attended. There is a constant desire to raise the bar in regards to children’s parties, and to keep up with what friends are doing. Parents take parties seriously; if they don’t, they fear they will lose their social status.
Benefits for Parents
Hiring an Event Planner to organize a child’s party has many benefits.
- Planning parties can be very stressful for parents. There is pressure to provide a unique, fun and interactive party that competes with or exceeds other friends’ events. Enlisting the help of an Event Planner can alleviate the anxiety, while providing an innovative party that is customized just for them.
- Event Planners are well-equipped to deal with the unique problems presented when entertaining children, as well as their parents. Planners are able to make any children’s party a smooth and seamless production.
- Unlike parents, Event Planners have a wealth of knowledge readily available regarding themes and trends. Additionally, Planners have established relationships with vendors and trained entertainers, vital ingredients in children’s parties.
- Compared to the cost of parents sourcing the individual essentials of a party, hiring an Event Planner is very affordable. Planners have access to industry discounts as well, which parents do not.
- As experts in coordination, Event Planners are able to take care of every detail in regard to planning and executing children’s parties. These include:
- Vendor selection and vendor contracts
- Food and beverages, both for children and adults
- Set-up and clean-up/day-of logistics
Traits of a Successful Children’s Party Planner
Successfully planning children’s parties requires a Planner to possess a variety of traits.
- Event Planners need to be creative. Children’s parties need to be not only unique and interactive, but just as good, if not better, than those of their friends’. The party business is always evolving with new ideas, and as a Planner, you need to evolve with it.
- Curiosity is critical. Children’s party trends change quickly, and Planners need to be up-to-speed on what is currently in vogue.
- Planners need to have fantastic organizational skills and be meticulous with details.
- Event Planners need to be flexible and spontaneous. Anything can happen when working with children, and Planners need to be prepared for the unexpected.
- Understandably, professionals who plan children’s parties, need to enjoy interacting with kids.
Developing a Niche
Most successful Event Planners plan and execute a wide variety of party or event types. Although not highly recommended, sometimes Event Planners may want to narrow their focus and develop a niche. Devoting your business to one type of event, such as children’s parties, has definite pros and cons.
- Specializing in 1 or 2 types of events can make your job easier. By narrowing your focus, you are able to quickly become an expert in your field.
- Devoting your business to 1 type of event can make it easier for clients to find you. If you are known as the Event Planner for children’s parties in your area, people will find you easily. If, however you are just one of many general Event Planners, you may not stand out as much. “Without a niche market, it makes it hard for the market consumer to find you”.
- Specializing in 1 type of event enables you to work effectively. Familiarity with venders and venues will save you valuable time; you are able to utilize a compiled list of ready-made resources.
- When starting out as a Planner, specializing in 1 type of event can help you to become established. Once you are well-known in your specific niche, you have the success and credibility behind you to branch out.
- The biggest con to specializing in 1 type of event, is you lose out on many other business opportunities.
- Additionally, not every market has enough demand for an Event Planner with a defined, specific niche.
- A narrowed focus can amplify the competitiveness of any industry, and planning children’s parties is no different.
Planning parties, even for children, is no child’s play; it requires the professional skills of a knowledgeable Event Planner. Graduating from Ultimate Academy®, equips Ultimate Event and Wedding Planners™ with the knowledge and training to plan, manage and run any event, from children’s parties to weddings and corporate events.
Pooter-the-Clown may have ruled children’s parties in 1989, but 30 years later, Certified Ultimate Event and Wedding Planners™ are the reigning kings and queens.