The Juggling Hoffmans

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Archive for the tag “entertainment”

I just booked a performer. Now what?

How to Prepare for an Entertainer or Guest Speaker

You’ve done your research and selected an entertainer to perform at your event or venue. Now what? Whether you’re planning an event in a theater, library, conference room, classroom, or living room, asking a few questions will set expectations and eliminate stress for both you and the performer(s).

Terms of payment

Discuss where to direct the invoice and/or contract and payment method. Indicate whether you or your organization has policies regarding the payment of vendors. If a deposit is required, ask about the terms.

Contact info

Exchange contact info for the weeks prior and day of event. If there is another contact person on the day of the event, relay the contact information for that person, as well.


If you are advertising the event, ask the performer for a bio, photo, logo, and/or a description of the presentation. If you are trying to promote the event publicly, see if the entertainer can send out announcements through email, on their website, or through their social media sites. Provide detailed information for the release to avoid inaccurate information being advertised.

Order of events

If your guest is doing more than one thing (e.g. a show and book signing, face painting, etc.) discuss the order of events. Discuss whether you are needed to direct the audience from one activity to another.

Arrival time

Ask the performer when they intend to arrive and how much set up time is required. Determine if the will require any help/equipment for load in or set up. Where applicable, ask if they prefer the audience wait until show time to be seated or if early arrivals are ok. Direct the performer to any changing area or practice space as requested or practical.

Equipment requirement

Determine if the performer needs sound or lighting equipment and who is providing it. In addition, a performer may need tables, chairs, or extension cords.

Space requirement

If space is an issue, discuss who will delineate the space or determine preferred staging area. If there are other performers or activities before or after, make sure the performer is aware of any time constraints. If they are performing at the same time as other activities, consider the noise level of each and allow ample foot traffic space between areas.

Audience configuration

Consider how the audience will be seated (if there is a choice) and if the performer has a preference of theater style, in a U shape, or on the floor or ground.

Parking/loading in

When possible, save a parking space close to the venue for the performer. If they need a pass or if there are specific areas to park, get that information to the performer ahead of time. As a nice gesture, let them know of any construction or traffic detours in the area.

Who/where to report

Especially if it’s in a larger venue, let your performer know where and to whom they should report. A cell phone is a great option for busy events.


Determine who will introduce the performer. If the performer would like you to do the introduction and it is more the just the name, have it written for you to read.

Loading Out

Ask how long it will take for packing up and getting out. If there is a set closing time or time you need/want to leave, inform the performer in advance.

Contingency plans

If there is a chance the event could get cancelled, inform the performer prior to booking the event and decide upon cancellation plans. Discuss the time at which the decision will be made and any plans to reschedule.

I hope that’s been helpful! Is there something else that you wish you had discussed prior to an event that would have made it better? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list!


Budget Friendly Places

The previous entry was on fun places outside of the home that are good party venues. However, these places can get a bit pricey so this post is going to focus on more budget-friendly party locations. Just because a party is on a budget does not mean that it cannot be a fun and memorable one, quite the contrary actually! With fun activities and inexpensive decoration you can throw a great party just about anywhere! Here are some great party venue ideas for the budget savvy party planner in you!

1. Local Parks

Local parks are a great party place, weather permitting of course, because in most cases, it’s a free venue! Many parks usually come with picnic and/or playground areas to set up near as well as grilling stations. This is perfect for a lovely outdoor themed party or even just a fun BBQ. Be sure to check with your local park first before throwing your party there because some parks do require you to obtain a permit (sometimes for a nominal fee). Also, most parks to have regulations about what you can and cannot bring onto the premises so do be sure to look into the specific guidelines for your local park before your party date. Another great thing about parks is the big open space you have for guests to play in. This is great for setting up physical activities such as sports games or even a game of horse-shoe throwing. Parks generally have a carry-in-carry-out policy regarding trash so be prepared to cleanup carefully after your party.

2. Community Centers

Community centers are another great budget-friendly party venue because there are typically many to choose from in your local areas. Community centers often have great banquet rooms that can be rented for a low cost. You can make a community center party extra special by assembling a team of friends or family members to decorate the place and make it extra colorful and lively. Some community centers even have recreational rooms with things such as pool tables, ping-pong tables, Foosball tables, and more. These are great locations to bring in a party entertainer such as a juggler, balloon twister, magician or another entertainer of your choice. Most commonly you are responsible for the set-up and clean up for your party so make sure you review the guidelines of the community center of your choice. Most importantly though, have fun!

3. A Friend or Relative’s House

Do you have a close friend or relative with a really awesome house? Maybe a house with a pool, a great backyard or basement, or even one of those home movie-theaters? If so, consider asking them to be the host of your next birthday party! Of course you will be responsible for set up and clean up for the party but surely if the host is having a party in his or her home, they will want to at least participate in decorating! I suggest to bring a small gift as a token of appreciation for your party host for generously allowing the party to take place in his or her home. Having a party at a friend or relative’s house is great because you won’t have to pay a venue charge and you don’t have to worry about a suitable place in your own home to fit a bunch of energetic kids!

4. Community Pool

What child doesn’t love a pool party? Perfect for the warm summer months, hosting your child’s celebration at a community pool is a fun time for everyone. Parent’s get to relax by the pool knowing there is a lifeguard on duty to help supervise your kids while the party guests get to splash around and play pool games with friends. Most local areas have a variety of community pools including your local YMCA  branch. Some community pools to require membership in order to host your party there so make sure to check into that. One thing that most children have in common is that they love to go swimming so a pool party is great especially because it generally involves minimal decorating and stress!

5. Your Own Home

What could be more budget-friendly than hosting your child’s party at your own home? This is of course dependent on your home and if you can fit the desired amount of party guests. If your home is suitable for a party though it’s a great location because you don’t have to travel, pay a venue charge or follow any policies or restrictions other than your own. You have the freedom to decorate how you want to, clean up at your own pace, and invite however many people you can fit! This is a perfect place to hire a children’s entertainer to make the party extra exciting. With hosting a party at your own home you have the liberty of deciding exactly what you want and how much you want to spend, making this the most budget-friendly place of them all!

Party Location Ideas

Hey everyone! I’m sure many of you with kids (or even multiples) know that throwing a birthday party can be stressful, especially if you are having it at your house. You have to make sure the house is clean and decorated, make sure there is enough space for everyone and make sure there is enough entertainment to keep the party guests having fun. This week’s post is going to explore alternative party locations for those times you just don’t want too many kids running around your home.

1. Local Zoo


This is obviously subsequent to your location and how close you are to a zoo. If you are within a reasonable driving distance to a zoo this is an excellent location for party hosting. Often there are special rooms that can be reserved for parties or picnic areas where things like cake and presents can take place. Often with parties at the zoo you can arrange for a zoologist to come talk to your guests and maybe even meet a few of the animals face-to-face. This is a great location for birthday parties because with so many animals to see it is sure to keep kids entertained for hours!

2. Ice Rink or Roller Rink


Ice and roller rinks are another great option for party hosting location because they offer hours of physical activity and fun. Most commonly these locations also have special party rooms that can be reserved and often overlook the ice. This is great because parents who wish to stay with their children but do not wish to skate can keep watch from the room. Skating is a fun form of exercise and just might make parents a bit less weary about their kids eating so much birthday cake! Many skating rinks also offer party packages that includes room reservation, use of the rink, skate rentals and even pizza and drinks!

3. Pottery Painting Shop


Pottery painting shops are great for a party with a more relaxed atmosphere. These shops are popping up all over the place so there is sure to be one in your area. Many of these shops also offer birthday packages and for a flat rate you get a special party room reserved, and guests get to choose from a selection of unpainted pottery that they then get to create! How these shops work is that the guests pick out a piece of pottery and get set up with a variety of paint brushes and colorful paints and they create their very own masterpiece! Their painted work then dries and gets put in the kiln to harden and set the paint and the guests can usually pick up their pieces 1-2 days later. These parties are great because the guests get to unleash their creativity and come home with a keepsake to remember the party by.

4. Aquarium


Parties at aquariums can be a bit more tricky because they are often not as many in driving distance. However if there is an aquarium in reasonable distance to you, they make great locations for parties because there is so much to explore. Aquariums are often quite large and full of exotic underwater creatures to see. A party here will surely mesmerize guests with the beautiful animals they will get to see. Some aquariums (such as the Baltimore National Aquarium) offer special shows like dolphin or whale shows and if you call in advance sometimes your birthday child can get the opportunity to touch one of these wondrous creatures. Talk about best birthday gift ever, right?

5. Children’s Museum


Lastly, children’s museums are great contenders for birthday party locations because they are geared specifically towards children’s enjoyment. Places like The Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, PA and the Delaware Children’s Museum in Wilmington, DE are two examples. These museums are full of fun activities for guests to explore with lots of different rooms and themes and things to play with. There is almost no way for a party guest to get bored here! These places also typically have special party rooms that can be reserved and sometimes a museum worker will bring in a special craft especially just for the party! Children’s museums are fun places for guests to explore and learn together, making them excellent and memorable party locations.

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Take some time and look around and find out why The Juggling Hoffmans are sought after for fun and interactive juggling shows for all kinds of events and parties.  Then contact us so we can help you have the best event, ever!

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