Do you remember your fifth or tenth birthday party maybe even the thirteenth? Most of mine or my friends’’ were mostly streamers, balloons, maybe a little makeshift pool if it was summer; a cake baked by mom, a friendly Aunt or from the neighbourhood cake shop. No arguments, we had super fun even then… But try selling that to a kid today…
Gone are the days when birthday parties were simple get-togethers. Unless you were living under a rock, you would have noticed them getting bigger and better year on year.
Now is the age of “THE BIG FAT BIRTHDAY PARTY”
Planning birthday parties has now become a different niche market for event planners. There are planners who exclusively do birthday parties. Looking only at a business perspective, this is quite lucrative if you hit the right audience. After all a big wedding comes once in a while, but birthdays are all around the year.
Parents alone can no longer handle the pressures of throwing the perfect birthday party, it requires professional planning and perfect execution. Parents are delegating this to a professional. And lo, the entry of the event planner
Futher reading – party planning checklist: http://eventjuice.co.uk/the-party-planners-cheat-sheet/
- For a birthday planner, it is important to have a lot of ideas. Having a childlike imagination is a pre-requisite. Children are very imaginative and creative. Thinking on your feet, coming up with ideas that can feel surreal, yet implementable are all required skill set. A misconception is that being good with kids is enough to be a good kids events’ planner. The reality is that this is just a start, there is so much more involved in a kids’ event.
- Birthday themes today are so many and kids are spoilt for choice. Themes can revolve around movies like Cars, Harry Potter etc; Characters like Ben 10, Dora etc; Hobbies like magic, art; Sports like football, cricket; For Summers, a pool party or other themes with water games can be planned. For the pre-teens and teens, the themes generally range from Hannah Montana or any music based theme; Fashion, Paris are also popular themes.
- The theme is generally the starting point. Selecting the décor, party favours, invites, snacks, games, food and the perfect cake, return gifts fitting the theme is the next step. Venues can also be changed based on the theme especially if it is a hobby theme. Kids get bored very soon. Engagement for three – fours is mandatory. Make sure, you have a good database of available performers in every theme
- Have a solid catalogue of ideas, and a pictorial representation of how each theme will play out. Invest in having mock set ups done and take videos and pictures to form a part of the catalogue, so parents can pick one comfortably. It also helps to have more than one option for one theme as kids of a certain age have similar interests yet, want their parties to look and feel different.
- Most important is to have trusted vendors with appropriate back-ups ideally locally sourced who have a short cycle time. Any event planner is only as successful as his or her supply chain.
- These are personal events, and hence do not expect predetermined budgets, fixed schedules. Yet, the expectations are similar. Planning sometimes starts months in advance, so make sure you have the bandwidth to spend time or have enough assistance to supervise all the details.
- A word of mouth is excellent marketing in this niche. A satisfied parent could mean repeat business for at least three or four years. And getting into the good books of a PTA parent could translate into a bunch of good referrals.
However, before you decide on this niche of events, be completely sure. Birthday parties are almost events of pride and social status these days and nothing can be left to chance. Managing children irrespective of whether they are five or fifteen, is no kids play. Add busy and harassed parents and the pressure is immense. But, if you are confident this is the right niche for you, then there are a whole lot of parents out there looking for you…
Written by Chaithali Sharma. For further reading on event planning & management advice check out the eventjuice blog