Your Company Christmas Party Success
Dream Weaver Comedy Hypnotist, Randy Buker
This is the time of year when Event Planners, HR Departments and Employee Committees get together to plan the annual Company Christmas Party.
Knowing what to do can be a real challenge. Depending on your group, a DJ or band will be a nice touch following dinner. But too many times the guests eat and leave the party before the entertainment even starts.
If you book some sort of specialty act like a ventriloquist or a hypnotist, it may or may not be a hit. You run the risk of being the blame for a party no one liked. On the other hand, if you book a quality act where everyone has fun, you may end up the hero.
I'm here to make you a hero.
Let's be honest. Folks simply don't know how to shop for a specialty act. I'm going to use Comedy Hypnotists for obvious reasons but the info I give you here will help you navigate the maze no matter if you hire a magician or one man band or comedian.
1. Ask for References:
I am a full time stage hypnotist who has done hundreds of shows. In all that time, I can count on one hand the number of clients who took me up on my offer of giving them references to check.
I suppose most folks figure that any references given will be from positive shows. I suppose that's true. But, there are ways to use those references. When you call (don't just email) don't only ask what was great, but also ask, "What didn't you like about his show or about him?"That is a question most folks don't expect and it's likely they will be honest with you.
But, please, ask for and check references.
2. Hire a Professional
There are very few hypnotists in the Upper Midwest who are full time. The reason isn't that they don't want to be full time, they just can't generate the amount of business it takes to make a living at this. So, you get folks who drive beet trucks, work at a factory or do some other job to pay their bills.
Not all hobbyists do a bad job. But, there's a reason they aren't full time.
Always ask if this is all they do.Then hire the professional.
3. Watch Their Videos
Any hypnotist who is proud of his show will have a YouTube channel where you can go to see a variety of video clips from a variety of shows. There should be some clips from shows similar to the group you are shopping for.In other words, watch shows similar to yours. Don't watch a show for a high school if you are doing a party for adults.
Watching their videos will teach you a couple of things. It will show you their sense of humor and it will show you how well… or how poorly… they treat their volunteers. If you get any sense that the videos or the hypnotist doesn't match what you want, keep shopping.
4. DEMAND RESPECT
I've seen all manner of disrespect handed out by hypnotists to their volunteers.It is actually shameful.
I've seen hypnotists verbally demean their volunteers in an attempt to embarrass them. I've seen them put volunteers into skits that leave their clothing damaged. I've seen them being made to lick one another or the floor or act like animals mating .I've even seen one hypnotist have young women kiss him!
Those are obviously extremes but sadly it does happen.
More commonly, there are some hypnotists out there who believe dropping people into hypnosis and laying them on the floor is funny or entertaining. It is not.It is disrespectful and mean.Sometimes they stack the volunteers on top of each other while on the floor or ask them to "find a pillow" (which means a part of another person) to rest on.In those cases you get heads and hands of strangers in places on other people where they shouldn't be. And these hypnotists are proud of their style.
I've commonly seen people laid on the floor while wearing suits and dresses. I've seen the hypnotist not care about the modesty of ladies in short dresses.
Watch those videos to make sure they treat their volunteers with respect. And, always state your demands and expectations.
Stage Hypnosis is a business.As such, it needs to be treated as a business.Insurance is a must.
You wouldn't hire a contractor to build you a house that didn't have insurance. You shouldn't hire a hypnotist who doesn't carry insurance.
Stage hypnosis is very safe. There are few claims ever made against hypnotists. But, things happen.Insurance is primarily to protect the hypnotist but if something happens, you are protected too.
Don't take their word for insurance. Insist on seeing a certificate of liability.
6. How do they sell themselves?
Hypnotists should be able to sell themselves on their own merits. If you run across someone who is constantly putting down their competition, you can bet they are feeling insecure about their skills or their show. They may try to tell you that they are superior or that they are a "real" hypnotist while others count on something other than hypnosis to be able to do a show.
If someone talks about their awards or certificates, question them. Certificates mean nothing in the world of hypnosis. Anyone can get certified by attending an eight hour course.Awards of often the same; just a piece of paper with nothing to back it up.
7. Do you like the guy?
That initial contact is like a face to face initial meeting in our daily lives. We get that first impression from people that we like them or that we are cautious.
Call the hypnotist and visit about your show. Share what you expect and hope for and get a feel for what kind of guy he is.
If you don't like him, trust your gut.If you don't, odds are your audience won't either.
8. Adult content?
In the world of corporate events including Christmas Parties, adult content is a no-no. The thing is that humor doesn't have to be blue to be funny.
You can bet that no matter how fun you think your crowd is, it's likely that there's at least one person who can get offended by overtly sexual content.It's just not needed.Tell them to keep it clean.
Please don't shop for price.It's the easiest way to get burned.
When shopping for a hypnotist you will likely get a wide variety of prices. Sometimes you'll get a quote from one person who is half of what another will charge. They will assure you that they are just as good as the more expensive hypnotists. They will likely be wrong. As with anything, you get what you pay for up to a certain point. The cheapest hypnotists are usually either quite new trying to get some experience or they struggle to get work for one reason or another and find the only way to get that work is to underbid other hypnotists.
But, those are just guidelines. All of the other topics I've listed here are more important than price. Let price be your last consideration but be advised that a quality hypnosis show is not cheap. While you may be able to get a comedian or magician for $300. You'll have to shell out at least a $1,000 for a hypnosis show that is any good and often it's up a bit closer to $1,500.
As I said at the start of this article, you can use this information in hiring any specialty act.
There is so much great talent out there to be had but there's also bad talent and bad actors. If you follow these nine steps, you can greatly tip the odds to your favor.
As always, I'm willing and eager to help you. Even if you don't hire me, feel free to contact me with questions you might have.I'll be glad to help.