Why you Shouldn’t Hire a Party Company!

Booking with a party company may seem like a good idea at first. They often have prices that single entertainers like myself can’t compete with. However, as with anything you get what you pay for and so in this article, I’ll explain some of the differences and why that price given might not actually be that great value.

And in the interest of fairness, at the end of this article, I’ll explain why you might want to book with a party company. Jump to that now.

Or continue reading in more detail…


I’m used to it now. Every Thursday and Friday, the phone starts ringing with worried parents calling me asking me if I have any last minute availability for the coming weekend. Sometimes, I’m able to help. Unfortunately, I’m often not.

I always ask who let them down, and more often that not they mention that it was one of the larger party companies. That might seem like a surprise as many companies, advertise themselves as having multiple performers to cover all eventualities.

What I suspect happens in these cases is that the office team takes on as much work as possible, and then tries to find entertainers to fill them. And if they don’t have enough performers they have to then tell some unfortunate parent, that there’s no party for their child.

This seems utterly bizarre to me, as one of the most important aspects of running my business is managing my calendar. I would never take on a booking, unless I had the availability to do it.

Did you know I’ve also had calls from party companies asking me to fill in slots for them?

I can never take those slots because of my next point…


When you book a self employed entertainer, they take home 100% of what you pay them. When you book an entertainer through a party company, they they only take home a fraction of that. They would be lucky to get a quarter of that.

As an example, I recently saw one of these party companies offering “incredible pay of £80 per 2 hour children’s party.” Maybe that seems like great pay (£40 per hour), but when you consider that the performer had to

  • use their own vehicle to get the event,
  • pay their own fuel costs,
  • arrive 30 minutes before,
  • pack down for 30 minutes after,
  • store all of the equipment at home.
  • and as they were “self employed” they got no work benefits like sick pay, pension contributions, etc.

It is actually, incredibly low.

Out of interest, this company was charging a minimum of £250 for a 2 hour party.
Of course, this company has to pay it’s staff and it’s overheads, but I find it disappointing that the performer was getting only 16%.

When someone is paid this little, it’s no wonder that sometimes they cancel the day before, or if they’ve got a better offer, just simply don’t turn up. And that’s another reason that leads to parents calling me desperate to help.

It’s also why many entertainers only work for these companies part time, which brings me to my next point…


When you book with a party company, they outsource the work to someone else. They choose who to send to your party. It could be someone who has been performing for years, or it could be someone brand new to the job. Who would you prefer? Well, the truth is you don’t get a choice.

They will send you whoever is available. I believe one of the most important parts of booking an entertainer is the personality of the performer, but with a party company you give up this choice.

Now, the party companies often explain that they provide full training to all staff, but what is missing is that as not everyone is a natural performer, and so they often teach very basic magic routines that their staff can easily demonstrate (not perform), and give them party games that anyone could run.

Some newer companies even go as far as to hire all their friends and family, and train them up, just to give the illusion of being a bigger company than they are at that point.

The difference with someone like myself, is that I am a magician first. I have spent the past 20 years studying the craft of magic and performance. I know how to bring out the best in people, including how to make the magic feel real for young people. That’s so important for young children who still believe in magic, and equally real for the older skeptical children who try to catch me out.

It’s worth repeating. When you book with Ready Steady Magic, you get me for your event, and that ties with my next point…


Don’t be deceived by party companies that have 1000’s of reviews, or claim to do 10,000 parties per year. It might be true, but as mentioned above, the work is split between multiple performers.

10,000 parties per year, would mean they would have to have about 50 performers on their books.

It’s impossible they are all at the same standard. Some companies even have an option to pay more for a premium performer, therefore admitting in a round about way, that some performers are not up to their highest standards.

By this point, you might have guessed by now, I’m not a fan of party companies, and instead believe there is a better way to get a quality children’s party.

When you book an independent performer, you get deal direct to the person who will be attending your party. When you do that, you can judge whether they are the right fit for your event.

  • Do they (personally) have the experience to run a children’s party?
  • Are they a performer, or do they just host the party with basic games and a few standard magic tricks?
  • Do they provide the personal touch, or are you just one of many?

And to be clear, it doesn’t have to be me! Of course, I would love it if you would book me. I care about every event that I attend, as at the end of the day, it is my personal reputation on the line.

But there are also lots of other great performers. And I even go as far as to recommend these other individuals when I’m not available.


  • You believe that the personality of the performer is important.
  • You want an experienced professional performer with a unique show.
  • You want to support small businesses rather than big companies.
  • You want to deal direct with the person attending your event.


  • You don’t care who attends your child’s party as long as they are available and the price is right.
  • You don’t mind if someone provides basic party games / routines that the children might have seen at other parties.
  • You don’t mind that your performer will be paid only a fraction of what you pay (due to office fees and commission).
  • You don’t mind dealing with office staff, rather than the actual performer.