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Helpful Tips

Silly Season, Early Warning!

At Gerard the Clown (Pty) Ltd, we would like to help our clients to plan and book well in advance to avoid that last minute PANIC!

Start planning and booking in July for the Silly Season!
(September – December yearly)

Are they mad, you may ask?

No, we are not mad at all. Some of our clients already started enquiring and some even booked their venues and entertainment already. Why? Because they have learned the hard way in the past.

Therefore, we have decided to share this reminder with all our clients, so they can start planning their year-end functions well in advance. If you do this well in advance, you will have a lot of options to choose from.

Most venues are still available. Most entertainers are still available. Most equipment and rides are still available. Most caterers are still available.

This means that you will have a wide variety to choose from and leave you with enough time to shop around for either the best or the cheapest. The choice is now still yours.

If you leave it to the last minute, you will have to take what is available and that will not be the best and neither will it be the cheapest, because those are the ones that normally get booked up first.

The golden rule: Book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Why is Silly Season starting in September already?
It is still four months away from December!

Allow me to explain.

• September is the start of Spring and lots of companies, shopping malls, schools, etc. host a Spring day festival or carnival. The first weekend of September is normally booked out first.

• October is Halloween month and a big part of the population take part in Halloween celebrations. Yes, this is not a South African thing, but it seems to have blown over here and had become very popular over the last couple of years. October is also the month of October Beer Fests. We work at quite a few October fests.

• November and December are popular for year-end functions and events. Most companies host the family fun days, Christmas Parties, and year-end functions in November with some flowing over into December. November is also very popular due to promotions at shopping malls for their Christmas specials. December is popular for Holiday entertainment at Casinos and Shopping Malls.

These big events get planned well in advance and they are the ones grabbing up all the entertainment over this period. This leaves smaller companies and private individuals, who think that they don't need a lot of time to plan their small-scale event, to start planning a week or so before the event, and this then results into a panic when they suddenly realize that they are struggling to find venues, caterers, entertainers, etc. Suddenly a simple small party or event then turns into a huge headache.

I cannot stress this enough.

Please plan and book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Tips on planning the perfect kids party.

• Start planning well in advance. At least three months before the party.

• Decide on the venue (Home or Party Venue).

• Decide on a budget.

• Decide on a date and time.

• Decide on the number of children you would like to invite and plan your guest list.

• Make sure your Venue is big enough for the number of guests.

• Make sure the Venue is available for the date and time you are planning your party.

• Find out what entertainment and activities the Venue offers.

• Decide on a theme for your party before deciding on what additional entertainment you want.

• Now decide on what additional entertainment you would like to book e.g. Clown, Magician, Carnival games, Carnival rides, Miniature train ride, Animal farm etc.

• Keep the children’s age in mind when booking the entertainer/entertainment. Make sure that the show and/or equipment is age appropriate.

• Make sure your favorite entertainer is available for the date and time you are planning your party.

• Make sure you book a photographer. If not, make sure that you have a family member dedicated to take some action photos at the party, to ensure lasting memories.

• Now that you have all the above information book your Venue and entertainment well in advance by paying the required deposits.

• Once all the above is booked and confirmed, only then send out the invitations with an RSVP date.

• Once your guests R.S.V.P.’d, you can start planning the catering.

• Some Venues will gladly do the catering for you.

• I cannot stress this enough: “The golden rule is to plan and book well in advance and not to leave things to the last minute.

We trust that you will find the above tips very useful.

Tips on hosting a successful show.

If the show is outdoors, there needs to be sun and wind protection.

The entertainer will require adult supervision for the children at all times during the performance. (He / She is an entertainer, not an educator.)

Please do not feed the children before or during the performance. They will be required to help the entertainer during his / her performance and will not be able to do so with sticky hands or whilst holding a juice, party box, plate of food etc.

It would also divide their attention.

The entertainer will always try and be on time, but will inform you in case of a delay. We therefore need you to ensure that the show starts on time or as close as possible to the time stipulated on your contract.

Just like the entertainer would like to be on time for your function, he would also like to be on time for the next.

Jumping castles and any other fun equipment needs to be switched off during the performance. (It can be noisy and cause distraction)

Please do not hand any blowouts, hooters, or any other noisemakers to the kids before or during the performance. (This should be done afterwards)

Always book the entertainer 30 minutes to an hour later than the starting time of your function. That way the entertainer will not have to wait for any late comers.

If there are still any late comers, please try to intercept any presents that might disrupt the show as well as divide the children's attention.

Helpful tips on booking your entertainment.

Why is it VERY IMPORTANT that you give us as much INFO as possible?

The more information you give us about your event, function, or party, the faster it is for us to process your inquiry. It also helps us to quote accurately from the word go.

What do we need to know and why?

1.Tell us what type of event it is.
Q: Why?
A: Telling us, will give us a better understanding about your needs for the event. We can then quote you on the most suitable entertainment and equipment.

2.Tell us the expected number of guest at your event or the expected number of kids at your party.
Q: Why?
A: Telling us will give us an indication of the number of entertainers and equipment required. It is especially helpful when face painting is involved. Knowing the number of faces will help us work out how many face painters you require during the duration of your event. We can also work out and suggest how long will be needed to cater for all the faces to be painted. The number of guests are also important when fun foods are involved. We can only quote if we know what number of units/portions are required. The same goes for balloon sculpting.

3.Tel us the age of the birthday child/adult and the age range of the guests that will be attending the party, especially the ones you want to be entertained.
Q: Why?
A: Knowing this information will help us to book entertainment and equipment that will be age appropriate for your function or party. This is important when we need to suggest rides and entertainers. A kid’s entertainer will not work if they should entertain guests at your corporate event. The same goes for the rides.

4.Tell us the full physical address where the event or party will take place.
Q: Why?
A: If we know the full address or at least the suburb and city, we can work out accurately, what the delivery of the equipment and the travelling of the entertainers will be.

5. Tell us your name and surname or that of the contact person on the day.
Q: Why?
A: It is just nice for our staff and entertainers to know who they must deal with on the day. They will normally report to this person on arrival, look for this person should a problem arise or should they have questions about where to set up etc. They will also report to this person before departing.

6. Please give us your Cell number or that of the contact person on the day.
Q: Why?
A: Most clients will provide us with only an office or a home landline number, forgetting that on the day of the event, they will not be in the office or at home. Some might be at home, but busy with the party activities outside and then they do not always hear the landline ringing. Clients are more likely to have their mobile phones on them during the event. This is also important for our drivers and entertainers, should they get lost and need to get hold of you for directions on the day, and in case of any emergency that might arise.

7. Please provide us with your email address.
Q: Why?
A: This is needed so we can email your quote to you. Some clients will prefer us to send it via WhatsApp, especially if they have originally contacted us on WhatsApp. Either-or is fine with us.

8. Please provide us with the name of the Birthday girl/boy.
Q: Why?
A: It is nice for the entertainers and even our staff, to get to the party and greet the birthday girl/boy by their name. Most entertainers will also use their name regularly during the show to make them feel special.

9. Please tell us how long you want to book the entertainment for. (Duration)
Q: Why?
A: This is not as important for the bigger rides and equipment because they normally get booked out at a six-hour day rate only. This is done because of the setup involved and the time it takes to strike. With the smaller rides and entertainers, we charge per hour so then this information is important to us. But you will find that we normally include the 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6-hour rates on our quote.

10. Please let us know the date of your event and the starting time you would like the entertainment to start and the equipment to be operational. Not the starting time of your event or party.
Q: Why and what is the difference between starting time of the event and staring time of the entertainment/equipment?
A: Firstly, the date and time is important for us to check availability. Secondly, people often make the mistake to book the entertainers to do a show at the same time as the start time of the party and on their invitations. This often results on the guests arriving late and then they miss the entertainment/show. We suggest that entertainers, especially doing shows, only get booked 30 minutes to an hour after the starting time of your party/event. So please be clear about the two different times when making an enquiry.

11. Please tell us what exactly it is that you are interested in.
Q: Why?
A: This will help us save time by just quoting on what you need and not everything that we offer. This way you will receive your quote much faster and you will only get the information that you are looking for. If you are not sure what exactly it is that you want to book, all the above information will hopefully guide us in the right direction to suggest the appropriate entertainment/equipment for your event.

12. Please let us know as much of the above info as possible.
Q: What will happen if I do not submit all the above info?
A: You will still receive your quote, but it might take a lot longer because incomplete inquiries normally result in lots of up and down emailing and waiting for answers. It sometimes results in back and forth phone calls and this all takes time and wastes our client’s valuable time and we at Gerard the Clown (Pty) Ltd. know that time is money.