How to choose the right entertainer for your birthday parties.

The internet has changed the way how businesses promote themselves. There may be entertainers, who just picked up magic as a hobby, promoting himself on the internet because they want to earn some pocket money.

Even without any experience, they may ‘over-market’ or give fake credentials to get jobs. I have seen fake 5 stars reviews on Facebook (eg. Pages exchange 5-stars reviews with each other  and write fake testimonials) and over-the-top description like ‘Singapore’s Best Magician”.

Screen grab from a beginner magician’s website.

Parents who are not savvy may be in for a shocked and scar their children for life. This may even affect other entertainers’ livelihood, because those parents will likely never ever book a magician again!

It is a fact that having a lousy entertainer is worse than not having one at all. Some parents may think they are saving say a hundred dollars by engaging a cheaper one, but in fact, they are losing that money which they are paying the entertainer because the children don’t enjoy it at all! Imagine the forgettable memories for the children and guests. 

So how do you choose a the right entertainer for your events or parties:

  1. Reputation – Find companies which have been around for many years. As least you know they are not fly-by -night companies. New entertainers who are not good would not survive 2-3 years unless they don’t depend on it on income. I am sure there are good NEW entertainers starting out! The serious newbies will perform for charities, friends and on the streets to receive feedback to improve, before selling themselves for paid jobs. They will also be truthful about their experience and never claim they are the BEST. Other than that, how do you know if they are really reputable? There are some clues which you can find but here are some: 
    • The company’s Facebook is consistently updated with real events. For instance, Mr Bottle’s Kids Party have done themed shopping mall events like Bubble Fiesta at Changi City Point and dinosaurs themed event at Harbourfront and Northpoint, creating a one-of-kind experience for shoppers. These events are open to public so you can verify the authenticity. Malls would NEVER engage a company if they cannot deliver. If any company can handle the whole mall event or a wedding, your birthday parties are like walk in a park for them.
    • They have reputable paid clients like celebrities. Note that photos with celebrities on the street or filming alongside with them don’t count.
    • Check out their history of the company and do a verification online.
    • See any case studies of real paid events if there is.
  2. Mr Bottle at a birthday party in Singapore

    Book a magician with a real face! 

    Entertainers with real face and performer names – I noticed that there is a trend of companies selling phantom performers. This means they are simply re-sellers. Nothing wrong with that as long as they use good performers. In this case, I suggest that you get a performer’s name and profile before confirming.
  3. Get it from curated website listings – Some listings let you do it for free so anyone can list it. Even with paid listing, anyone with money can still list. There are many online magazines who will do it as long as entertainers pay them money; they will create articles like 10 popular magicians in Singapore.There are listings which wouldn’t want to risk their reputable by letting amateur advertise. One example is Singapore Magicians Network, which only allow established performers to list their services for very small fee. Some listings may allow users to rate their services too.
We really enjoyed the Mr Bottle’s magic show in RWS on 27 Dec. It was the first time that I saw my daughter who usually is a very shy person raised her hand to go up to the stage to be the magician’s helper, so it was a very special experience for her and for me. Thanks again for that. – Seunghee

4. Your own experience – You or your child have seen the entertainment before and you enjoyed his performance, then you have a winner! It’s a no-brainer if your child likes him or her. Rapport is very important!

Mr Bottle and magic carpet

Mr Bottle offers a different birthday show because parents want something new for their children.

Some parents may NOT want the same show since their kids have watched it before. But the reverse is true, especially if your children are younger than 8 years old: They WANT to see the same show again! You can also discuss with the magician to change the show a little so the adults can experience something different.

5. Ask for recommendations – It sounds very logical; but very often we actually searched for magic shows on google, instead of getting recommendations from your friends who were happy with their entertainers.

Science Show suitable for older children.

6. Go with your gut – Your gut will seldom tell you to go for the cheapest. Call and talk to the entertainer to get a feel about him or her before booking. For instance, an entertainer with good service will make you feel good about their company.

A good company will recommend something suitable entertainment for the age group of your children. Eg. If you have a party with mostly 1 to 2-year-olds and the company recommends a magician for the children, you should be alarmed! 

There is a seldom one size fit all package.

So there you have it, book the right entertainer to have a stress-free party for you and your children. Make your guests want to thank you for inviting them to your great party; because they deserve it.

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