The NZS.nz New Zealand entertainers article contains information on hiring an entertainer for a children's party, corporate event or function in NZ.

Finding a New Zealand entertainer for your corporate function, personal event or children’s party can be difficult. Make sure the gamble is worth it by following this guide to hiring New Zealand entertainers.

When you hire an entertainer, you want your guests to be entertained, whether they’re tiny tots, close friends or corporate clients, but how do you choose a New Zealand entertainer who’ll hit the right note at your event?

Corporate And Professional Entertainment

For corporate entertaining, the key considerations should centre on the professionalism of the entertainer and the appropriateness of his or her material. A business event, conference or corporate function is not the place for an edgy, controversial entertainer; go for someone with mainstream appeal. You might want to think about:

  • The Theme Of Your Event. Find entertainment which will fit with this theme (eg. A business entrepreneur at a conference on success in small business).
  • The Aim Of The Entertainment. Are you looking for someone purely to entertain, or will the entertainer be responsible for motivating or informing your audience? Have this in mind when selecting your entertainer and find someone with suitable experience.
  • The Budget Available To You. Find the best that your available money can buy, but don’t be disappointed if you miss out on ‘big names’ or celebrities due to lack of funds. Pricy doesn’t always equal quality entertainment; some of the best entertainers are not the most expensive.
  • The Range Of Entertainers In Your Area. Spend time researching your entertainment options. Once you have compiled a shortlist, don’t be afraid to call and talk with the entertainer, to get a taste of their style, strengths and personality. It can also be useful to ask trusted colleagues and friends for recommendations.

Children’s Entertainment

Choosing a New Zealand children’s entertainer for a child’s birthday party or special occasion can be difficult, as it can be hard to gauge the reaction of your audience. An entertainer can be the lifesaver of the party, keeping a gaggle of kids occupied and leaving you to take care of food preparation, party games and other party chores! When choosing an entertainer, look for someone who:

  • Enjoys Being Around Children. A love of children is a must for any successful children’s entertainer. You should get a sense of this from chatting with potential entertainers.
  • Offers Suitable Material. Ensure that all entertainment material is suitable for children. Some material won’t be enjoyable for young children, for example complex magic tricks. Tell your chosen entertainer the ages of the children who will be present, and request detailed information, such as what kind of material will be included, whether any materials need to be supplied by the host, and the duration of the entertainment.
  • Has Impressed Others. Request one or two references from your entertainer to get an idea of his or her strengths, level of ability and ability to interact well with children.
  • Fits Your Budget. It can be worthwhile paying a premium for a clown, magician or balloon artist, but make sure you don’t blow the entire budget on the entertainment. Shop around and compare prices to make sure you’re getting good value and quality.
  • Lets The Children Get Involved. Many children will want to get involved and may become bored or restless if forced to sit and watch a performance. Choose an entertainer who will encourage audience participation for more extroverted kids.

Buyer Beware

Whether your entertainment is clown, comedian or motivational speaker, there are a number of things to be aware of when hiring an entertainer:

  • Ensure They Have Quality Equipment And Some Form Of Backup Equipment If Required. Check all equipment is working in the week before the event.
  • Ask About The Entertainer’s Policy On Attendance. Is there a contingency plan if he or she is ill or unable to attend? Check that this is outlined in your contract with the entertainer.
  • Will The Event Be Tailored To Your Specifications? The best entertainers will be flexible and tailor material to suit your audience.
  • Are There Any Additional Charges? Check that travel expenses, materials and other costs are covered in the fee.
  • Is The Entertainer Articulate? Speak to the person who will be performing and ensure that they are confident, well spoken and the type of person who will inspire and entertain your audience.

Confirm all details well in advance to avoid misunderstandings and re-confirm a week beforehand. Let the entertainer know the date and time of the event, the location, the number of guests and any special requirements you may have. On the day, be sure to meet the entertainer to discuss any changes in the planned performance and ensure they feel at home at your venue. Once the performance is underway, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the entertainment!