After performing for several thousand events from Paris to Hawaii and most stops in between, I created these answers to questions that sometimes get forgotten. I hope you find a tip or two that helps you create a successful event for you and your guests:
1) Have your cameras charged.
2) Send out invitations a minimum of 3 weeks in advance – preferably 5-6 weeks in advance.
3) If you’re hiring a caterer for the event, seek out the recommendations of friends and colleagues. Ask questions similar to the ones under ‘Hiring professional entertainment’.
4) Sometimes, the benefits of having your event in an outside location instead of your home can outweigh the money considerations: no clean-up, professionals on staff to look after your guest’s needs, etc.
5) Hire professional entertainment – preferably recommended by word of mouth or anEntertainment Agency. Ask questions such as:
a) Can they provide proof of at least $1,000,000 liability insurance for their performances?
b) Is this their full-time living?
c) Is it possible to check their references?
d) Are they current members of the world’s top Magic Organizations?
6) If a meal is being served, plan any shows, awards or speeches to begin after dishes have been cleared and desert served. This allows your guests to focus on, and be able to hear your presentations.
7) If you’re having a Silent Auction, make sure you allow plenty of time for your guests to peruse and go back several times to items of interest. At least an hour and a half will give auction bids an opportunity to build. Announcements make a big difference in number of bids.
8) If you’re using strolling or table-side magic, plan on entertaining approximately 50-70 people per hour.
9) If you’re hosting a surprise party, make sure all your guests know that its a surprise. It’s best to provide a phone number that allows vendors and guests to leave messages which won’t be heard by the guest of honor.
10) Remember that by hiring professionals, it allows you to focus on enjoying the event as much as your guests.