The baby showers of today have come a long way from the intimate, home-based gatherings of family members and friends they once were. While getting together with those closest to the mother-to-be or the new mother is still the primary reason for having a baby shower, oftentimes, there's much more involved.
Some baby showers actually turn out to be elaborate gatherings with all the extras guests typically only see at wedding receptions. Sometimes, because today's hosts are busier than ever, it just makes more sense to hire professional help than it does to try to take on all the additional tasks involved in planning/hosting a baby shower.
What Type of Talent can be Hired?
Well for today's baby showers, anything goes. Caterers, cake decorators, interior decorators, musicians, magicians, photographers, bartenders, servers, rental agencies, planners, calligraphers, printers, activities coordinators and others can all play a role in putting together a memorable baby shower event.
The trade off for this type of professional talent is that each person who is hired will want to be paid and the rates likely won't be cheap. Since the host is the person who ultimately will be footing the bill for these services, only she can decide whether hiring professional help is a cost-effective alternative to doing everything herself.
How to Plan for Talent
How much the host will spend on each aspect of the baby shower is something that should be determined well in advance, ideally at the time the plans for the shower are being put together. And while hiring professional help means that the host won't have to tend to the tasks herself, she will need to work closely with the talent to ensure she gets exactly what she's paying for.
Tips for Hiring Talent
Yes, it's easy to open the yellow pages phone book and call someone from the appropriate category, but getting referrals from others who have actually used the talent previously is usually a more reliable approach. Word of mouth is a powerful force and people are quick to tell others about their bad experiences as well as their good. Those with solid reputations are usually going to cost more and they're the ones who are going to get booked far in advance, too.
Prepare a list of issues to cover, so each prospective hire knows the same information. Discuss the date, time, location, type and duration of the party and what it is the talent will be responsible for. Once someone has been selected, be sure to put the details of the discussion into a contract which both parties will sign. If a deposit is required, make it and outline the payment schedule in the contract as well.
Once capable talent has been contracted, don't assume they'll show up as agreed. It's always a good idea to reconfirm the details 1 to 2 weeks in advance of the baby shower, and then again, a day or two before. That way, any last minute emergencies or changes can be handled calmly.