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Organisers - do you put things on to keep kids entertained?

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  • Organisers - do you put things on to keep kids entertained?

    With our first hand-made only event happening on 9 July, I'm starting to think about the "bigger picture" and would like to offer something to keep youngsters entertained so parents can spend time looking at the lovely things on offer

    Do any of you who organised fairs bring people in to do stuff like face painting and so on? And if so, how does it work? My thinking is finding someone who does face-painting or similar, then they would then charge anyone who used their services, but I don't really want to have to pay them for coming - is that unreasonable?!

    I'd love to hear how this sort of thing has worked for others

    Thanks all!!

    Sarah Gail Designs
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  • #2
    I like your thinking! i don't organise fairs and attend very few but the ones i have mums with small children always seem harrassed. Would be so nice for the moms to browse and have a bit of me time. Could you talk a friend into entertaining the kiddies? Hiring a proffessional is expensive and lets face it you don't want to walk away out of profit. Face painting sounds perfect, its not very hard to do and dosn't need to be of a high standard if you don't charge. I would do some sucking up to my friends or relatives!! I'm sure the crafters attending would really appreciate it as they then have more potential customers and would book with you again, just as long as it dosn't turn into a play den!!! Brilliant idea and i hope you can make it happen.

    Anna x
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    • #3
      Thanks Anna, we are trying to make the event a success for everyone - traders and shoppers I too have seen plenty of harassed parents at fairs I've traded at, and have had to keep my beady eyes on little hands if they're bored!! But definitely won't let it turn into a childminding service, or detract from the main purpose of the event!!

      Unfortunately, I don't have anyone I can call on to help out with kids, and I'm almost certain whoever was to do so would need some sort of insurance and possibly other formalities (CRB check, perhaps?). I know there's a lot of regulation involved if you're interacting with children. My business partner works for a business start up support organisation, so will see if they've got anyone on their books looking to start out in the kids entertainment field - you never know!!

      But I really don't want to have to pay someone to attend if they can charge for their services.

      Sarah Gail Designs
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      • #4
        Originally posted by muffin789 View Post
        But I really don't want to have to pay someone to attend if they can charge for their services.
        If they are charging for their services then I'd treat them as any other stall holder, don't look at it as them doing you a favour as it's mutually beneficial although if you get really desperate you could charge them a reduced fee. No idea where you could find one though - you could always try stallfinder
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        • #5
          Originally posted by nattynetty View Post
          If they are charging for their services then I'd treat them as any other stall holder, don't look at it as them doing you a favour as it's mutually beneficial although if you get really desperate you could charge them a reduced fee. No idea where you could find one though - you could always try stallfinder
          This was my initial thought, but I didn't want to be presumptuous!!

          There is a really huge portico at the front of the building we're using, and I think we could set her up out there, so she's not taking up valuable stall space, and perhaps that way we could get away with making it a freebie - need to think about that.

          I've remembered that there is a local lady who does face painting so I've emailed her to see if shed be interested. I haven't mentioned money other than to say that I envision parents paying, so will see what she comes back with!

          I really hope she's up for it as I would really prefer to support another small local business, rather than having someone travel miles! Fingers crossed

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          • #6
            [QUOTE=muffin789;448419

            Unfortunately, I don't have anyone I can call on to help out with kids, and I'm almost certain whoever was to do so would need some sort of insurance and possibly other formalities (CRB check, perhaps?). I know there's a lot of regulation involved if you're interacting with children. My business partner works for a business start up support organisation, so will see if they've got anyone on their books looking to start out in the kids entertainment field - you never know!![/QUOTE]

            You are right any entertainment put on for children the poeople that do the entertaining have to have insurance and be qualified so friends would not do unless they work in that field.

            We did not and deliberately steered away from children's entertainment at our event last weekend, as having been a stallholder at events where children's entertainment was laid on found it was to the detriment of the the handmade as the parents preferred to pay for the kid's to do things rather than what the fair was about being handmade crafts.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Caroleecrafts View Post
              You are right any entertainment put on for children the poeople that do the entertaining have to have insurance and be qualified so friends would not do unless they work in that field.

              We did not and deliberately steered away from children's entertainment at our event last weekend, as having been a stallholder at events where children's entertainment was laid on found it was to the detriment of the the handmade as the parents preferred to pay for the kid's to do things rather than what the fair was about being handmade crafts.
              Yes, I was pretty sure there were rules to be aware of, and as we want to start off on the right foot, I'm trying to keep on top of things like this (and PLI!!! - I've lost count of the number of emails I've had to send about it!!!).

              I definitely understand your decision not to include any kids entertainment at your event, and it is something I am still a bit torn over. The thing is, I did a craft fair on Saturday where they had a bouncy castle and balloon modeller, and they went down really well. Parents seemed to be relieved to have a few minutes peace, and did still seem happy to buy.

              I have lost count of the number of times at events when I've heard a whiny voice saying "Mum I'm bored. Can we go now?" after stopping at the first couple of stalls, and have seen a lot of people turn around and leave as soon as that happens. A big bit of me would like to try and offer a chance for both parent and child to have a bit of fun.

              Hmmm.

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              • #8
                PAH!! That is a real shame, i would volunteer myself if you were local as i have an enhanced CRB ( not with children but adults with learning disabilites, different altogether for kids) I can totally understand myself being a mom and the risk of undesirable individuals ( perverts, lets face it!) It is such a shame that the world has come down to red tape, again i totally understand why. It is so sad!
                Anna x
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                • #9
                  Make & Take tables are always popular - the children could make cards, paint pots, string their own bracelet etc - usually around £1 a go (ish)

                  Jane
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                  • #10
                    I did a fair last year where the organiser had set up some low tables for children, with paper, pens, crayons etc. No charge, it was just a 'keep 'em busy' area. It was absolute MAYHEM. I'm not a kiddie person anyway but the racket and ruckus caused by just a few kids was unbelievable. Thankfully I wasn't smack opposite these tables but even so several potential customers disappeared when the kids started up.

                    I also did a fair - can't remember exactly where, isn't that awful? - where the organisers had arranged for a face painter to be there. Not your usual tiger face painting, but amazing designs with butterflies and flowers and sparkles. She was fabulous! She wore her own designs as well, like tats. I was greatly tempted to have her do me a design when it got quiet but I was too chicken. The kids were transfixed. She had a book with her with some of her designs in, and the kids that were waiting to be done just sat quietly and looked through it to decide what they wanted.
                    Last edited by Pretty things; 20-05-2011, 05:25 PM. Reason: spelling......
                    Heather
                    Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

                    Website - www.prettythingsjewellery.co.uk


                    Destash bead and papercrafting shop - http://www.misi.co.uk/handmade/BlackCatBeads.html

                    New blog - www.prettythingsandwitterings.blogspot.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by greannancrafts View Post
                      Make & Take tables are always popular - the children could make cards, paint pots, string their own bracelet etc - usually around £1 a go (ish)

                      Jane
                      I get the idea, but definitely not the type of thing we want to be doing - will take up way too much space, as well as need someone to "man" it. I can see it being way too much trouble for our first event, when we want to be concentrating on our traders and customers.

                      Originally posted by Pretty things View Post
                      I did a fair last year where the organiser had set up some low tables for children, with paper, pens, crayons etc. No charge, it was just a 'keep 'em busy' area. It was absolute MAYHEM. I'm not a kiddie person anyway but the racket and ruckus caused by just a few kids was unbelievable. Thankfully I wasn't smack opposite these tables but even so several potential customers disappeared when the kids started up.

                      I also did a fair - can't remember exactly where, isn't that awful? - where the organisers had arranged for a face painter to be there. Not your usual tiger face painting, but amazing designs with butterflies and flowers and sparkles. She was fabulous! She wore her own designs as well, like tats. I was greatly tempted to have her do me a design when it got quiet but I was too chicken. The kids were transfixed. She had a book with her with some of her designs in, and the kids that were waiting to be done just sat quietly and looked through it to decide what they wanted.
                      Yes, the first scenario you outline is my idea of hell, and there's no way I would have anything like that at an event where we are trying to develop the "higher end" craft fair, with quality hand-made only products.

                      The face painting you describe is exactly what the local lady I've found does - I'm really hoping she wants to get involved!! (no response yet )

                      Sarah Gail Designs
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                      • #12
                        Hi I have a few comments.

                        We are in sunny essex so to far but in our town we and several others do childrens parties (us jewellery and another build a bear and another ceramic painting) we do events and take our stuff and charge the parents to do what ever they want to do.
                        We obviously pay a table fee (more than most others there because of the space) so you could see if there any local people/playschools who would do this.

                        Otherwise if you are looking for an entertainer/magician etc who does not charge parents then I would still charge them a small fee as after all it is publicity for them.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by clareh71 View Post
                          Hi I have a few comments.

                          We are in sunny essex so to far but in our town we and several others do childrens parties (us jewellery and another build a bear and another ceramic painting) we do events and take our stuff and charge the parents to do what ever they want to do.
                          We obviously pay a table fee (more than most others there because of the space) so you could see if there any local people/playschools who would do this.

                          Otherwise if you are looking for an entertainer/magician etc who does not charge parents then I would still charge them a small fee as after all it is publicity for them.
                          The "make and take" thing really isn't something I want to encourage, whether run by us or someone else. I'm sure they work well at some events, but don't fit with our style.

                          I'll stick to trying to find a face-painter I think. Occupying the kids for a few minutes was the main plan, and full-on kids entertainment's not our thing.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by muffin789 View Post
                            The "make and take" thing really isn't something I want to encourage, whether run by us or someone else. I'm sure they work well at some events, but don't fit with our style.

                            I'll stick to trying to find a face-painter I think. Occupying the kids for a few minutes was the main plan, and full-on kids entertainment's not our thing.
                            As someone who sells at a number of craft fairs, I have to say that the thought of a children's entertainer at any of the events fills me with dread. It's not the right environment - I am there to sell my handmade jewellery, others are there to sell handmade pottery, or cards, or knitting, and so on. It's a craft event. Face painting is a skill/talent and it fits with that environment. Mr Chuckles doesn't.
                            Heather
                            Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

                            Website - www.prettythingsjewellery.co.uk


                            Destash bead and papercrafting shop - http://www.misi.co.uk/handmade/BlackCatBeads.html

                            New blog - www.prettythingsandwitterings.blogspot.com

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                            • #15
                              Just a quick note about face painting - I have been trying to book a painter for our summer fair coming up and the quotes I received varied from £120-£160 for 1 painter for 2-3hours. They would then charge the kids between £1.50-£3.50 per face and the takings from the stall would be ours. The pictures of the faces they were painting were amazing, but after looking into it I don't think we'd break even, even if we were charging £3.50 a go. None of them were interested in attending and paying for a stall to keep their own takings. Hope you have more success.......

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