Top 12 Tips for planning your next Birthday Party
Welcome to my ‘blog debut’.
I have started with a topic that regularly arises and would love to receive your feedback in the comments field at the bottom of the page.
As a full time professional kids’ entertainer I regularly hear of problems Mums and Dads have experienced when organising their child’s Birthday Party. Most of these challenges can be easily avoided by having a plan in place. So I thought I would share with you my Top 12 Tips for planning your next Birthday Party.
- When To Start Planning?
Ideally I would suggest starting the planning about 8 weeks out. It gives yourself plenty of time to relax along the way and enjoy it. Nobody likes last minute stress and heartache.
- Research The Cost
We all want the best for our kids but before you start thinking about hiring venues, booking entertainment, bouncy castles, catering, providing party bags and inviting everyone you know, make sure you have a rough idea of the cost and if it fits your budget. You can easily get some quotes first and have a feel of the industry average cost of everything.
- Involve The Birthday Boy Or Girl In The Process.
Sow the seed early and start to get an idea of what your son or daughter might like for their party. Don’t necessarily just ask them “what would you like to do for your party”. Offer them a few suggestions to choose from. If the child gets to choose they may ask for a petting zoo in your lounge room! You don’t want a tantrum when you say “No”…haha
- Three Key Things To Check Before You Finalise The Date
- a) Does your child have any ‘best friends’ or do you have any family (Nan and Pop perhaps) whom you definitely want to be there? If so perhaps check their availability first.
- b) If hiring a venue make sure it is available on the requested date. Find out if you need to sign forms, pay a deposit etc to lock it in?
- c) If hiring entertainment is your preferred choice available? Do you need to pay a deposit to lock them in?
Once you have ticked the boxes in Tip #4 you are ready to send your invites out. Some play centres and entertainers provide invites or you may have some fun designing the invites yourself with the birthday child. As long as the invites clearly show the date, time, venue and rsvp details it doesn’t really matter if it has a scribbled design by a 5 year old ?
- Track Your RSVP’s
It sounds obvious but make sure you keep a record of who has responded. If you do not receive a reply do not assume they are not coming (people are busy and forget things). I’d suggest a friendly reminder via text or email. Perhaps you might bump into them at school pick up and can casually mention it?
- Party Bags
Most parents organise something for each child to take home. A trip to the local dollar shop or party shop will give you some ideas. Some entertainers will provide party bag items for you.
- Follow Up With The Venue
If you have hired a venue make sure you double check with them a couple of times before the big day. If it is a community premises they will probably have a system for picking up and dropping off keys etc. Ask them about power and lighting too. The last thing you need is to arrive and can’t find the light switch or the lights simply don’t work! Also ask if there is cleaning equipment or if you need to bring your own? Don’t forget a lighter/matches and a knife for the Birthday Cake!
If at a restaurant or a function centre make sure you find out if you have a private area or room and ask who will be the manager on duty that day. Check with staff for food service timings. Always best to feed the kids first.
- Follow Up With Your Entertainment
If you have hired entertainment make sure you double check with the performer that the date, time and venue are correct in his/her diary. Perhaps check how much space they require, do they need a powerpoint, do they require parking to unload their equipment etc?
- Dietary Requests Or Allergies
Most parents will let you know in advance if their son or daughter have any allergies etc but once you have a list of attendees maybe pop everyone a quick email to double check.
Everyone coming will be bringing a present. If the party is at home perhaps pop the presents in a bedroom or spare room. If the party is at a venue then perhaps under a table or somewhere out of sight. The birthday child will often be tempted to open the presents there and then. Or other kids might start opening them!
- After The Party Follow Up With Your Guests
Most presents will have a card saying who they’re from but not always. If not and you get a chance maybe quickly write on the wrapping yourself before putting it somewhere safe. A few days after the party it is a nice gesture to send individual thank you cards or emails to everyone.
Perhaps you have items to add or feedback to offer? Once again I would love to receive your views in the comments field below.