Event Planning Tips

Event Planning tips give you the hints and instructions that will make your party or event make you look good.

Fun Source Party Rentals Birthday Layaway Plan

Make your event the largest ever, and take up to a year to pay for it.

It may sound crazy but a layaway plan for a birthday party, wedding, family reunion, grand opening or charity event is a great way to be organized and plan to make your event a success. At funsourceinc.com, we hear it all the time, “I would love to have the 32′ Roaring River Waterslide, but I just don’t have the money for it”, or “we are on a set budget for our wedding”. Planning ahead for your event just got easier with Fun Source’s new “Birthday Party Layaway Plan”. This is how it works: say you want to throw your child the largest Birthday Party of their life, one they will remember until their old and gray… No problem, just book the items with Fun Source up to a year in advance and we will carry the note until the big day. This allows you to pay monthly, direct debit, or come in and pay when you have extra funds. Planning a wedding that requires tents, tables, chairs, dance floors etc? The Fun Source layaway plan is your ticket to an organized and paid for perfect event, because If the event is paid for, then you have no worries just before your big day. Another advantage of the layaway plan is that Fun Source can take deposits on your event from multiple sources allowing guests, family members or anyone who wants to contribute to add funds to you account. Just call us at our office 205-854-2022 to get all the details or check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/funsource for more information.

So your going to have a birthday party and your looking at your local indoor party place to help you out… well, you may want to look at other options. Fun Source Party Rentals (www.funsourceinc.com) is a Birmingham, Alabama based party rental company that specializes in all types of party rentals including birthday party rentals, and we are going to be comparing the indoor party facility vs. individual party rentals in this blog posting. Indoor party rental facilities limit the number of guests you can have at your party and additional kids can be very costly. Whereas, a party rental company allows you to have an unlimited number of guests. The cost of renting from Fun Source in many cases is half the cost of an indoor facility. Indoor party facilities also limit the time of your party, restricting your birthday to one hour on the inflatables. Fun Source Party Rentals inflatable rentals are for all day.  Whether your party is at a park, church or your home, renting an attraction from Fun Source allows your birthday child and their guest to play all day on the attractions. In addition, the advantage of renting from a party rental company is the selection of items available. Indoor facilities limit your choices of attractions, Fun Source has over 300 items to choose from. Don’t have a yard to set-up in? Birmingham is full of parks for your party and most are unbelievably inexpensive. Another advantage of renting from Fun Source is that Fun Source has waterslides which are not available at indoor facilities and offer the kids an amazing amount of wet fun for blistering hot summer days. When it’s time for your child’s birthday party, there is no comparison… Fun Source Party Rentals is the only choice.

Fun Source rents too many different types of events including weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, tailgating parties, carnivals and grand openings. Recently Fun Source has had several events where the customer did not plan for crowd control. The following is a list of three tips for crowd control and barrier control that will help you when planning your carnival, grand opening, showcase event or black Friday sale

Line for Rides, Carnival Rides

Not so Formed line

1) If you have rides and large crowds, you really need barriers for line formation. This will avoid children or adults jumping in line and causing problems with your guests. When there are no clear line-up markings or barriers, people tend to congregate at the entrance to your attraction causing confusion as to who was at the entrance first. Fun Source Party Rentals carries retractable barriers that eliminate this problem.
2) Leave space for people to congregate away from your attractions. Many times the person in charge of the event makes a master layout of the event placing the rental items in a circle or semi-circle attempting to stay close to a power or water source, this can cause serious issues by not allowing adequate spacing for lines to the attractions to form. If necessary rent a generator to save you the trouble of equipment to close together.
3) If you see your event is close to ending, keep in mind that your event attendees will not take this into consideration. People will continue to get in line for an attraction even after the event has ended if allowed too and this will cause disgruntled guests when lines are cut off;  plan in advance to end line entrance allowing time for line completion to avoid this problem. Fun Source Party Rentals rents several types of line barriers as well as event barriers to help with crowd control. Fun Source has an event coordinator on staff to help you with these items.

Unanchored Slide Blows Away

Don't Go With a Cheap Company

It still amazes me that customers would try to save $10-$15 dollars by going with a company that has no track record for safety. Recently there has been a rash of party rentals going bad because of inexperienced companies improperly setting up equipment. Fun Source has been in business for 17 years during which time we have seen companies come and go, however we have become one of the largest rental companies in the state. The reason customers come back to Fun Source time and time again is because those who have used our company know 1) we provide clean and excellent working equipment 2) safety is our primary and main concern including proper anchoring, inspection and customer instruction. (If a Fun Source Rentals representative is found to improperly secure a piece of equipment he will be releaved of his duties immediatly… this is how serious Fun Source takes safety) 3) We are professional and when you call you get us, even when its on the weekend 4) We carry insurance to protect you the customer. Most small companies work out of their basement and are not insured properly leaving you, your school, church, city or organization exposed.  Think twice before you try to save $10.. There is a reason why they are $10 cheaper. Party Rental Safety is most important know who you are renting from!!! Check Out this video to see what happens when you go with an unproven company… SAFETY IS MOST IMPORTANT!!!

With today’s economy all of us parents are trying to watch our pennies, but the one thing that we will not skimp on is our children’s birthday parties. Fun Source Rentals has a couple of ideas for parents to save a little money when it comes to planning the party but still have a party your child will remember for a lifetime. 

Fun Source Party Rentals

Saving Costs on party rentals

Idea # 1
Have a joint Birthday Party — On the surface this may seem a bit unorthodox but keep in mind that this will cut your expenses in half. For example, if you rent a $250 Fun Source waterslide it cuts your expense to $125. Although the party is a joint party,  that doesn’t mean that you have to actually have the party together. We have had several customers over the years that have rented equipment and separated the parties into a morning party and an afternoon party… all you need is a central location. The central location can be a church gym, cul-de-sac, park or any location that would serve two parties. Don’t know anyone with a birthdate close to your child’s? that’s easy… just post it on facebook. You would be surprised how many people you know that have a child about to have a birthday.

Idea #2Charge to come to the party- I know, I know.. You’re thinking CHARGE!!! yes charge. This is a great idea for middle & high schoolers. Let me tell you a brief story. Several years ago we had a customer with a teenage son. The son asked for a laptop for his birthday but the parents were unable to afford one at that time. The son told his parents, “If you will rent me a Velcro Wall for my birthday then I will pay for my own laptop”. The boy gave out flyers to his middle school classmates inviting them to a huge bash… He told them to bring $20 each to cover food and entertainment. At the end of the night, his dad told me he raised $850.

When it comes to party planning costs, think outside of the Party box. Think Fun Source Rentals

Calling all Fun Source customers…. Fun Source wants you to tell us about your past party rentals with www.funsourceinc.com. Fun Source is giving away two lots of  5 tickets to Alabama Adventure, a value of $120 each for the winning entries. The tickets cover an all day admission for both the water park and the amusement park any day of the week. All you have to do to enter is just give us a brief description on our blog of your past party or event rental with Fun Source Rentals. Those customers who include at least 1 picture of their party will be entered twice into the drawings… This is the perfect end of the summer treat for your children. Fun Source will be sending out a mass email to all of our previous customers and the drawing will take place August 9th… Tickets are good through the end of September. Alabama Adventure

Fun Source giving away tickets

Fun Source is giving away 5 tickets to Alabama Adventure

In recent times, party rental companies are popping up everywhere. People start rental companies out of their basement and are undercapitalized causing the company owners to fudge on necessary expenditures. The most common unfunded area of the party rental industry is in liability insurance.  Party rental liability insurance is expensive and this is why many companies choose to forgo insurance funding.  What does this mean to you the customer? It means that you are exposing yourself, your church, your school, your organization or your city up to lawsuit.

Unsafe Part Rentals

NO ANCHORING ON LOCAL RENTED INFLATABLE!! Improper set-up of party rental inflatables can cause injury due to tipping or increased winds. Make sure the party rental company you choose is insured and that they set-up your equipment properly!


Another issue that adds to the problem of potential injury is the lack of proper set-up of party rental items. Because many party rental companies are operated on a part time basis, there is limited training of delivery personnel which leads to improper securing of party rental items. The lack of rental liability insurance has become such a problem that many states are enacting legislation to regulate and require proof of insurance. Be sure your rental company has insurance by requiring proof of insurance and calling the issuing company to make sure the insurance is valid and not fabricated. This will protect you in case of an unfortunate event.



In the Kevin Costner movie, Field of Dreams, the famous line was “If you build it they will come.” This is not always the case when you are planning an event, carnival or fund raiser. The following Fun Source Rentals blog will address four necessities that are essential to promote your event and ensure an excellent attendance.

1. Cause Related Affiliations – In order to draw a crowd you must give them a purpose to be there. It’s not enough to just set-up some rides or attractions and expect people to come out in force; you must have a cause. The cause you choose could be as simple as helping the high school band pay for instruments, or raising money for breast cancer research or too increase funds for a youth mission trip, but you need to think charity first. People need a reason to spend their money at your event, and a good cause helps everyone’s conscious.

2. Choose a Good Location – The location you choose to hold your event must be visible. If you are a municipality then block off a main street or use a prominent city parking lot, a local school may use the football field, or a city park to be seen, but whoever is coordinating the fund raiser has to choose a location that is very visible. If the people can’t see your event they may not come to your event.

3. Marketing Your Event – How do you get the word out? This is where your marketing plan comes in, and YES you must make a marketing plan. First, decide who is your target audience that may attend your event? Because you have chosen a charity or cause to support, you should use this in your marketing efforts. For example, if you are having a food drive for the United Way, then use the local media including TV and radio to push the food drive. Most local media will give you free airtime when you are supporting a charity through your event. Incorporate flyer handouts at the local schools and neighboring city schools to get the children excited about the rides and attractions that will be available. Incorporate local churches, businesses, civic organizations and politicians to take part in and promote the event to their followers by way of social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. Make your event more than a small outing; turn it into a community event.

4. You Must Have a Hook — The final piece of the puzzle is in the way of a hook or an additional draw that will keep the people engaged in your event. This will serve to keep the attendance high throughout your carnival, fair or fund raiser. A hook consists of several elements such as vendor participation (also, an excellent way to raise funds through entry fees), local bands or youth group performances, road running/bike race, cheerleading competition, ugliest dog competition or learning experiences such as the police and fire departments. It’s also a good hook if you can choose a date that is close in proximity to a holiday such as Easter (egg hunt), St. Patrick’s Day or 4th of July. You can use these holidays as an added draw. A silent auction is another proven method for raising monies for your charity. Many local businesses, professional sports teams, local radio and TV personalities are eager to donate items to your cause. This not only helps your event, but it also promotes them as well. Think out of the box when looking for hooks and when the people arrive, you will have an added incentive to keep them engaged.

While these methods are not guaranteed to create the largest event you’ve ever drawn, they are proven methods to take your event to the next level. Fun Source has been in business for many years and we have seen events done  successfully and events done poorly that were extreme failures. Brainstorm with your fellow event coordinators, and come up with unusual ideas to draw a crowd and keep them focused on the fun they are having. Many people in this economy are staying home for their vacations and your event may be just the family time they need.

Fun Source Ride

The Mind Winder is a top money maker for fund-raising events. We recommend charging $2-$3 per ride / 2.5 minutes per ride.

A carnival fund raiser is an excellent way to raise large amounts of revenue for your school, chamber or charity event, but if not done properly your event can turn into a nightmare for all involved. The following is a list of 7 common mistakes event organizers make that cost them money and frustrate everyone involved.

1)      No real person in charge. When organizing an event there has to be one person in charge with a plan and delegation authority. Event rental companies despise pulling up to a carnival site where nobody really knows what’s going on. This slows down set-up time and jeopardizes the event starting on time and flowing smoothly.

2)      No layout of the carnival items. This is another thing that slows down the carnival set-up process, and drives the rental company crazy. Most rental companies are on a time schedule, and the truck has additional deliveries. When there is no layout or map drawn up in advance showing where items go, it causes confusion and debate about the best place to situate your carnival items.

3)      Don’t ignore the event planning professional. FunSource recently met with a city official who was planning a city wide event. The party rental event planner suggested a small change in the date of their event to ensure large crowds and a profitable city event. Suggestions were made about how to attract people, a hook or draw that would keep the people engaged, again this was ignored. The outcome? The city’s carnival was a complete failure. The city ignored the event planners suggestion of a hook and as soon as the running race was over within 20 minutes every person that was attending was gone leaving their carnival items standing there with no revenue. DO NOT IGNORE THE PARTY RENTAL EVENT PLANNER! In most cases the party rental event planner has years of experience and has seen every type of event.

4)      Make sure you have power. It must number in the 500’s the time FunSource has shown up at a park to set-up a carnival, birthday party, church event etc.. and there has been no power . Make sure your event venue has power available or rent generators.

5)      Make sure you have volunteers to work your event. All event rides must have supervision to make sure the kids do not go crazy. In 100% of cases the renter of the equipment will have to sign a contract stating that there will be supervision. When you have no volunteers and an injury occurs because the children are not controlled, be sure your ready to pay your attorney to defend yourselves.

6)      Your rental company has no insurance. In today’s economy everyone is looking to save a dollar, but when you do so with a company that has no insurance, you’re playing with fire. Recently, FunSource showed up at an event and there was a moonwalk there from another company that we knew had no insurance. The bounce house had no anchoring or stakes to secure the item in place which increased the chance for injury. When the youth pastor was asked about insurance or proper securing of the unit he just wanted to save $15. When you are throwing a carnival/ fundraiser, it is irresponsible if your rental company has no insurance.

7)      Ask for referrals. Don’t just assume the company you are contracting to make your event a success is reputable. There are many companies that promise you the moon, but if you can’t get in touch with them when your event has an issue this could be disastrous. If the company shows up and there equipment looks as if it has been in a sandstorm without cleaning or the equipment doesn’t work properly this will leave you, the coordinator, with egg on your face and people talking behind your back. Ask for referrals from like sized events.