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Why is party entertainment so expensive? (Updated 2020)

Why is face painting so expensive? Why do you have to pay so much to have a princess come to your party? Why can’t you just have a 30min mascot visit?

Because almost all of our clients are party parents on a budget (although most of our income is actually from corporate clients on an even tighter budget) we’ve always put a lot of effort into keeping our prices down and our packages flexible enough for everyone to afford.

But we also understand it can be frustrating when you don’t see a package or price you had hoped for. So in the spirit of transparency in our business and respect for our clients, we published a breakdown of why, exactly, party entertainment can be so pricey.

Why is party entertainment so expensive

Why are face painters and balloon twisters so expensive?

Where we splurge:

  • Paying our artists living wages. You can see that by far our biggest expenses are artists’ wages, but often one of the misconceptions is that all (or almost all) of what you pay goes directly to the artist. Most of our artists are students, recent graduates, or moms–so for them, a weekend job that pays well and respects them is hugely important while they work towards other goals. (Plus, when we save money on things like return clients, who we don’t have to pay to market to, we pass this on to our artists!)
  • An amazing office support system. Another 24% goes into having our office staffed 7 days a week and 100% of the time that we have parties–so unlike any other agencies, you have someone in our office you can call directly during any event (and our artists always have someone to reach out to as well.)
  • Top-quality supplies and costumes. 11% goes into FDA-approved face paint, biodegradable balloons, and sweatshop-free costumes. We know all of our distributors and manufacturers on a first-name basis, and are always working with them for great new products or designs to give our artists amazing tools to work with.

Where we save money:

  • Bulk buying. Very few other companies can place an order for 6 identical mascots at once, buy factory-direct balloon quantities, or keep business lines of credit at the local dry cleaners. Because we are New England’s largest arts entertainment company, we’re able to save money on every party we do (and reinvest that into things like office support or even labor to do things like write this blog post!)
  • Minimizing accounting expenses. In 2020 we switched to start taking all payments exclusively through Intuit since, while we may have to spend a little more in credit card fees and software, it has cut our accounting expenses down from about $5/hr per billing hour to $3/hr per billing hour. That might seem like a small amount, but since we entertain an average of 100 hours a week, it adds up quickly! We then pass those savings on to you, the client. (Even when websites like GigSalad, who we love, have clients pay the processing fees themselves).
  • Happy customers. Return customers keep us able to buy products in larger quantities and lower prices and word-of-mouth means our marketing budget is close to $0. No matter what else, being ethical and providing the best art we can is great business!

How we help customers control their spending:

  1. When you submit a quote, we send you 5+ different package options at a variety of prices. Sometimes so many prices can be overwhelming, but in that case we’re here to help! We know one-size never fits all, so we give you as many starting points as we can.
  2. Special products aimed at speed. With our character meet and greets or speedy faces, large parties can entertain more children per hour–meaning you’re spending less money per guest.
  3. Combination packages. All of our artists are trained in multiple art forms. Because all of our packages have a 90min minimum, this helps small parties get more entertainment per artist instead of having to spend more money on multiple artists.

Have any questions about pricing breakdowns at different budgets? Simply fill out the form on the right to get a bunch of custom quotes to pick a party at the budget that’s best for you.