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.