The ghoulish mishaps of not fully being truthful to the client can come back to haunt you in ways you never expected. In my youth, I would accept almost any entertainment job offered. The adage that “the client is always right” was what I thought I should be doing to gain more business. The focus should have been on “educating the client” to help their vision come true. Happy clients return and will recommend you repeatedly.
Halloween is the time for fun, and when your customers are waiting in a line for an hour, plus that is not fun. The daunting task is more of a nightmare for all involved. So what led many other entertainers and me down this misguided path? We did not correctly evaluate the event and envisioned what the event was really going to be like. The focus is on working and making this month’s mortgage payment.
Yet, we forget that the client is not an expert on entertainment or dealing with long lines of people. Often, they are civil servants trying to put on an event and do not really question how much resources they need to get the job done efficiently?
Over the years, I have learned that there are just some events that entertainers cannot handle themselves. In addition, as such, I have learned to educate the producer of the event that one person for 400 kids in two hours will not work. Simple math, one kid a minute would be 120 kids in two hours, working at an unrealistic pace.
In the past, I’ve taken the 1-on-many events and quickly regretting it because experience has taught me that somebody will complain, the wear and tear on my body will be tremendous, and it’s not going to be fun – it’s work!
So my advice is to educate the client and let them know that you may need two or three balloon entertainers at this event. Do not be afraid to educate a client on what they really need to make an event successful. I can promise you the staff, security, giveaways, and many other things will be in multiples, so tell the client truthfully what they truly need to have a great Halloween Party. The trick is to do it right from the beginning; the treat will be when they ask, “So do you have another person to help you?”
2 thoughts on “Ghostly Mishaps When Booking Halloween Gigs”
Great post, couldn’t agree more! It’s so important to not be so desperate for work that you sacrifice quality. Being an entertainer is not about the money, it’s about entertaining and hour long lines aren’t very entertaining to anyone!
I find that the shorter the line, the more compliments I get. I can make the same balloons, but something about waiting 45 minutes (or longer) in line takes away some of their excitement.
Finding out what the client wants and how many guests they expect is important for any event during the year. Personally, I haven’t made it to the 60 balloons per hour. Maybe I could do it if I only gave out swords, but not if I let the kids pick their balloons. I will usually tell the organizer that I can make 25 balloons per hour, but I know the real number can be closer to 30-35 balloons. For any event with more than 100 guests, I will recommend getting 2 or more balloon twisters.
When it simply isn’t possible to have additional balloon twisters at the event (either none are available or the budget won’t allow) there are ways to shorten the line without resorting to just handing out swords. If the kids need tickets to go on rides or play games, suggest that they will also need tickets to get balloons. This will force the kid to pick between getting a balloon or spending time in the moon bounce.