This time last year we were busy deciding the winner for the 2016 Winter Incentive – 15 people won a place on the Spa break – 5 top sales, 5 top team builders, and 5 Head Office heros.
And today I am busy preparing for the Team Leaders meeting, and I am so delighted to see that this year, twice as many consultants will will a winter incentive. 12 lucky consultants have already secured a wonderful day out for their family at a Merlin Theme park of their choice, and I am so very happy about this. When we talk to our consultants, the one thing that comes through strongest in all the conversations is that some many of you are doing Kids Bee Happy for your families – for some extra income yes, but also for the extra skills and experience too, and to build a proper business.
So a shout out to Jennifer O’Hanlon, Michelle Munt, Kate Fletcher, Louise Padmore, and Vicky Gregory who have not only already won their Theme Park tickets, but who are also in with a good chance of adding a hotel stay onto that family day trip, or escaping on a cottage weekend.
And another shout out to Lauren Samson, Karen Ord, Claire Rothwell, Dina Emmons, Adele Emmerson-Ryan, Martin Fearnley, and Katy Reed
And as our Winter Incentive period is still running, we have another 7 people who if they are simply active in January and February will also win their Family Theme Park tickets, and then another 6 people who are so close, they just need to be active and a little bit more to win the prize. I’m not going to tell you who you are right now (just to build the suspense and tension) – but your leaders have a list.
And this is what makes me happy – giving away prizes – so Remember – there are still 2 months left of the Winter Incentive period, so everyone is in with a chance of winning a prize for their family too.
As I’m busy sat here finalising the agenda for Conference, a lovely blog post came through my inbox called Comfortable Networking for Introverts, which has lots of helpful tips for introverts who don’t normally do networking or conferences, on how to take the anxiety out of the day.
If you’ve already bought your conference ticket you’ll know that this year we’re having a pre-conference social, a chance to get to know eachother, with a glass or wine (or soft drink!), before the main event kicks off. At Kids Bee Happy we’re lucky that we have such a lovely family atmosphere, but even with all of this we still have lots of consultants who haven’t met consultants outside of their team, and some who might not ever have met anyone else in “real life”. And so on Friday night we’ve got a lovely opportunity just to meet, chat and get to know each other better, so that when we get into main day the one thing that everyone will have in common is that they will know lots of other people in the room.
If you want to read Lucia’s post on Comfortable Networking, it’s here – meantime – I’m looking forward to meeting you next Friday.
Top Tip – Not everything that sells in October is a Pumpkin.
If I was to ask you what proportion of pictures sold between November and December were Christmas Themed – what percentage would you guess – 80%? 60%? 50%? Well let me let you into a trade secret – in 2015 only 32% of the pictures sold in November and December were Christmas themed, and in 2016 it was 36%. So why is this? It’s Christmas – surely everyone would want to make a Santa picture??? Well, there are a number of reasons, firstly Christmas is literally all around, from Halloween until 26th December it is completely everywhere, so it makes sense that not everything that everyone would want to do or buy during those months will be Christmas themed – if it was, everyone would be totally sick of Christmas long before Santa’s elves had loaded the sleigh.
Think back to Easter – did you exclusively sell only Easter themed ovals? Or were these in fact just a proportion of pictures and your sales?
So what’s this got to do with Halloween? Well its exactly the same, just because the date is Halloween, it doesn’t mean that everything everyone wants to buy or do during October will have ghosties and ghoulies on it. Infact, the majority will probably want the opposite. So here are our Top Tips for Halloween Sand Art.
1. Look to what the kids choose as costumes
If you want to know which designs sell well at Halloween, then learn from the masters – next time you’re in your local fancy dress shop, take a quick squizz at the childrens costume section and Disney characters will be dominant. In fact Snow White, Belle, Cinderella, Elsa and Anna are consistently year on year in the top20 Halloween costumes list for UK, adult versions as well as children’s. I’m lucky, I have one of the UKs biggest fancy dress suppliers just down the road, and I can verify that every October for the past 14 years I have visited and spent over an hour helping my daughters choose that years Halloween constume, and what can I tell you – that over 1/3 of the shelf space will be for Disney character costumes, and not just the princesses, but also Woody from Toy Story, Cars, Dory, Nemo and the Good Dinosaur are there too. Remember that when you’ve got the little kids – the costumes and characters they pick at Halloween aren’t the scary kind – they’re the friendly familiar kind. And even the bigger kids drift back to Disney after a couple of years as Witches, and Devils – which is why of course there are so many adult Disney costumes. So make sure that your stocks include as many of the Disney Characters as possible – they are all available in packs of 5 so you don’t have to buy hundreds, and remember any character picture can be made “scary” just by mixing it up with the colours.
2. Capitalise on Trends
Did you know that Scary Elsa has become a real “thing”? Give it a quick search on google and you’ll be amazed at what you find. I remember last year that Debbie, our Leaders did some great Scary Elsa pictures with some of her Halloween customers – green faces, orange and black dresses, red hair – it was amazing – and the children had such good fun letting their creativity run wild with them, and the best bit is that these pictures are never out of “season” so you know that they are always a safe buy.
3. Remember the Parents
The thing about Halloween is that it tends to happen in the dark, which means that all of the children are accompanied by parents – so make sure that you’ve got some Ailsa Black pictures or Mandala pictures in your stocks so that the grown ups can have a go too.
4. Halloween Themed Pictures
Halloween themed pictures are another essential. There a range of 6 different designs of Halloween pictures, but remember don’t make your event exclusively Halloween only pictures because our statistics tell us that at least half of kids will want to do something else. There are already 4 Halloween pictures available on site – Haunted House (A4), Trick and Treat (A5), Ghostie Boo & Witches Hat (A5) and Bat and Boo. From the 5th October we will also have the Spider back as an A6 picture, and the Cat on a Broomstick as an A6 picture too.
5. What is Scary?
The most scariest piece of music in movie history contains only 3 notes. Those three notes aren’t scary, and if you’ve never seen Jaws those three notes on their own probably wouldn’t make you hide behind a cushion. So what makes it scary ? – our imagination, knowing what those three notes are telling us, knowing that something is going to happen but we don’t know what, and we don’t know when, the suspense, the tension, the build up. Can you feel it now – just reading this? So use those same techniques in HOW you deliver the sand art, stories whilst the children are making the pictures, suddenly turning the lights off unexpectedly, etc. All of this stuff is free – there’s no cost – but its going to be this stuff that makes your Halloween event the stand out event that they’ll remember for years to come – rather than just the design on the picture card itself.
6. Be Imaginative
So, we’ve ticked the obvious boxes, Halloween themed pictures for the ghosts and broomsticks. Disney pictures so that the kids can make a picture of the character that they are dressed up as. Now its time to let your creativity take over. For example, in Scotland a fairy isn’t traditionally what you would think of as a fairy, they are faeries – tiny mischievous and powerful beings that deliberately wreck havoc in peoples lives – that sounds pretty “halloweeny” to me, the same with Leprechauns who do infact magically exist all year round, not just on the 17th March 😉 and of course Leprechauns are real, we know because an Irish MP has blamed the wee critters for permanent road problems only a few weeks ago . Another one – the Ailsa Black isn’t just any cat, it is infact a magical Witches cat in disguise, full of magical powers. All these little stories etc are special to the children, and help them engage and enjoy the sand art much more than simply the design, they take the picture home, share the story and the imagination……
7. Halloween Bears
And don’t forget that the bears can be all halloweened-up too. As well as of course as making witches cats, you’ve got the opportunity for creating Halloween designs and doodles on the tee-shirts and hoodies. But again, back to being creative and imaginative, bear making gives you such good environment for telling scary Halloween stories, for example Did you know that dogs and cats are supposed to be able to see the supernatural – so if you’ve got some children who really are a bit spooked out by Halloween, what better thing for them than a lovely Cocoa, Lemon or Charlie, who will sit watch all night next to them protecting them from all the scary monsters. There are lots of stories about phantom and magical tigers all over the world. And well, anyone that’s seen Fortitude can definitely verify that Polar Bears can be very scary. And i’m willing to bet good money that 2 minutes on google will reveal a whole wrath of american scary stories about bears. So every bear has the potential to be a Halloween bear – and it won’t cost you a penny extra.
8. Halloween Sand
Mix the colours up – be brave, take out the pink and add some darker colours. Top up your orange, red, black and brown. And don’t forget the silver – always fab to give a picture a completely different sense.
So, there you go, a few of our top tips, and as you can see the simplicity is in looking beyond simply the date and the theme, using your energy, creativity and enthusiasm, and making it about more than just colouring in a picture. Why don’t you join the brainstorming session in your teams and share spooky stories and ideas.
During the past few weeks we have had a number of consultants that have cancelled events at the last minute. Even worse, we’ve had consultants who simply haven’t turned up and haven’t even been polite enough to contact the organisers and let them know why. With Kids Bee Happy everyone’s business benefits from being part of a brand that represents quality, consistency, and high customer service, so if a consultant doesn’t turn up then it impacts on everyone.
It also has a knock on effect and impacts on the reputation and bookings of other consultants.
There is never an excuse not to turn up. 90% of the time an other team member can cover or a borrow box can be arranged.
And PLEASE – never book multiple events for the same times – you cannot be in two places at once and you are guaranteed to be letting someone down.
Well every year it comes along and every year it brings with it a whole bunch of surprise. Because August is in the “summer” we expect it to be full of long beautiful summer days, and frequently it is – especially if you live in the southern half of Britain. However, for those of us in other parts of the UK, August is always a mixed bag. So, top 5 tips for loving August events –
- Have a gazebo – if its hot and sunny, you’ll need it to save yourself from the sunshine, if its not so hot and sunny then you’ll be one step ahead of the rest of the activities on the field, and the parents will flock to you when the showers come.
- If it is raining – then remember it will usually only rain for a short amount of time. It’s not February, the weather moves fast in August, and so what’s wet one minute can be gorgeous sunshine the next. Many of our top consultants will tell you that the best bit of the day is usually after that shower when other more fickle stall holders have packed up and gone home. Plus the organisers will love you for ever – and that’s always a bonus.
- Talk to people – if you have a tent full of people hiding from a summer shower, then grab that opportunity to talk to them about Kids Bee Happy, about birthday parties, other event ideas, or team building. Remember sales don’t always appear in the form of a picture, sometimes they come in the form of a birthday party booking from a nice friendly chat with a customer taking advantage of a chance to sit down.
- Remember the Sun Tan Lotion and Water – remember to take care of yourself too.
- Explore the floor – if its a great sunny day, then don’t try to squish everyone into your gazebo, why not grab a picnic blanket or a groundsheet, put the sand bottles and sand bowls out of the ground, and double the space you have available.
But remember, whatever you do – have fun!
Every now and then an event opportunity comes along that is bigger than you are used to – more people, bigger location, more marketing, and inevitably, a higher pitch cost. So here are some top tips to help you make the most from your bigger than normal investment:
Before you book – things to think about?
The plan here is to make sure that you only pay high ticket pitch prices, for busy well run and well marketed events:
- Ask directly about the opportunity for a revenue split/profit share. This way, the risk of a bad event is shared between you and the organiser, and protects you if the event is a washout. Don’t be scared – Ask!
- Ask for “facepainters rates”. Some organisers reflect the fact that you are providing entertainment which adds to the value and impact of their event, rather than just simply presenting a shopping opportunity.
- Check the position of your pitch before you book, and select your pitch location carefully.
- Perimeter Pitches – Never take a pitch on the perimeter – people tend to access the event, go straight through the first row, and then do a kind of up and down or zigzag pattern, however, many skip the ends of the rows and the outside perimeter. There is a reason that event organisers phone up with great last minute deals on these positions, its because exhibitors never re-book them – they don’t make money, if you are positioned here – move.
- Is your pitch near a food and drink outlet? Even better if it is near somewhere where the parents can sit within eyesight of your stand. Food and Drink usually means that the parents are happy to wait longer whilst their children make pictures, and has a definite impact on helping families come back for second and third pictures.
- Shopping tents are not the best place to be, usually the pitches are too small, and adults will visit these tents without their children in tow.
- Do the public have to pay to get into the event? If so, it’s likely that there will be free entertainment. Check the free entertainment being offered isn’t too close to your pitch.
- Does the event tend to sell a lot of pre-paid tickets or likely to be a “sell out” event (think Airshows etc). If so, then even if the weather isn’t perfect, if people have paid a high price for their tickets they will go regardless, which means you will have less of a negative impact if its wet or windy.
- Talk to previous exhibitors.
- Look at the previous years marketing footprint (google event name, prior year).
- How did you find out about the event – did you hear of it naturally, or was the first time you’d heard of it when the organisers contacted you.
- What media are they using to market this years event: Radio, local papers, local TV, social media, partner companies etc.
- Google event name, and current year and see how many references – if its only 1 or 2, then it looks more local community that big ticket.
- Do the maths – If an average customer spends £5, how many customers do you need to cover your pitch cost – if that looks scary, particularly after looking at their event marketing etc, then don’t be afraid to pass this opportunity by, and instead go as a member of the public and scout it out for next year.
Between Booking and Event date
The plan here is to make sure that you have everything that you’ll need:
- Make sure you have suitable cover should the weather be bad – provided by either you or them – but make sure you have it.
- Helpers – if you are paying a lot for the pitch, you are expecting to be busy, so make sure that you have people there to help you (Teenagers are good!)
- Promote your attendance on social media. Post on their facebook page/event page, include them in tweets, talk about how excited you are to be going there etc.
- Ask them to include you in their marketing.
- Ask them to include you in their program, telling people where they can find you.
- Prepare your stock, If this is your first time at this event, take products from all price groups.
- Check your packing, this is not the type of event to turn up at and find out you have forgotten your plastic sleeves.
- Promote your attendance on your own social media accounts, you will have social media followers who will be there.
- Follow other exhibitors and tweet them etc.
- Ask the organisers about average spend – a lot of the larger organisers will have data that indicates how much an average family spends whilst at their event.
- Make sure you have all your event info ready; pitch details, car passes, registration numbers, insurance certificates, etc.
- If the weatherforecast is dodgy, then do some posts about sand art being “weather proof”
- If the weather forecast looks terrible, then keep in touch with the organiser who may be planning cancellation or postponing.
- Its always a good idea to add a couple of trays and some filled bottles into the car – these are ideal for children with autism or other special needs that prefer to work in a quieter environment, and for children in wheelchairs etc where access to table could be tricky in busy times.
- Make a poster to take with you which tells of your next booked events and venues.
- If you have a workshop planned, then take a poster and a booking form so that people can book with you at the event
At the event & Making pictures
The objective here is to make sure that as many people as possible at the event know about you, can find you, and can make pictures with you:
- Find the organiser and say hello, and confirm the details.
- Add the organisers mobile number into your phone.
- Go find the sound team, and give them your details and ask them to give you a few announcements on the tannoy.
- If there is a cafe (as opposed to catering vans) take some flyers along and leave them there.
- If you have family/helpers with you. Send them out with vouchers telling people where abouts they can find you – particularly around lunchtimes when more people are sat down eating and drinking.
- Wear branded clothing and a smile, talk to everyone, make sure your pockets have flyers or cards in them so that you talk to everyone possible – even on a walk to the toilet.
- If it is a very busy event, set up your stall so that all the pictures etc are at the back of your pitch to minimise chances of people helping themselves.
- Make sure your gazebo is as open as possible, take sides off etc, so that there is as much visibility as possible.
- Allow time to walk around the event at the beginning, find out the prices of other activities and entertainment etc so you can get a feel of how much the average spend is going to be.
- Set out your table on a “zone” type basis, so that people can select from similar priced products quickly and easily.
- Get some children on your table as soon as the event opens – if you don’t have your own children with you, borrow some from other exhibitors, or best of all, find the organisors child and give them a really big complicated free picture – that will keep them on your table for a good 40 minutes or so, and their parents will love you.
- If you can’t do that then make sure you’re round the front of the table and ask every child who passes if they want to help you by colouring in a section of your picture.
- If you find one particular pricing group is selling well the focus on that and remove from display some of the slower moving products.
- If you’re busy put away the complicated pictures.
- If you’re quiet, get the complicated pictures out.
- Put stickers on the kids when they pay, that way, a quick visual sweep around the table will easily reveal any who have sneakily snuck on whilst you were busy talking to other people.
Finishing Pictures and After the Event
The objective here is to start building relationships with your customers to make sure that work with them again:
- Even though you are busy, you will still have approx 30 seconds to talk to the parents and children when they finish their picture, so focus on what information you want to be sharing at that stage. Remember that talking about birthday parties might not bring you in instant cash, but its a much bigger future customer.
- Take photos – either of the children, or pictures of their pictures if people are sensitive to you taking photos of the children. Tell them you’ll be putting the pictures on your facebook page so remember to check.
- Ask them if they enjoyed it and if they’d do it again. Then tell them where they can find you next – your next few events.
- Put flyers in every picture.
- Have recruitment flyers available incase you are too busy to talk to potential new team members.
- Run a prize draw, where you collect name, contact details and DD/MM of the kids birthday’s.
- Give them a voucher for a discount when they come back the second time that day.
- Put stickers on the kids – so that when they are walking around the event they are advertising your product.
- Put stickers on babies in prams and other toddlers etc who might not have done pictures with you.
- Don’t use carrier bags – that way the carried pictures are very colourfully visual and make other children curious and want to make one.
- Make sure to find the organiser to say goodbye and thank you. If you can’t physically find them then email or text them.
And don’t forget…..
Write into your diary the sales for the day, and any notes that are important for next year – preferred pitch positions etc.
Don’t be scared……
A lot of consultants shy away from the more expensive events, but a good event, well organised, well attended, and well marketed, can give you high sales and a good return for your pitch price. The secret comes in doing the leg work before and after the event to make sure that you squeeze as much as possible out of the opportunity.