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So you’ve made a great decision and invested in an experienced, professional face painter for your event! So what can you do to ensure you get your money’s worth and take advantage of this opportunity?

Here are a few pointers and suggestions to help you make the most of your investment.

POSITIONING OF THE FACE PAINTING AREA IS KEY – ensure they are highly visible and appropriately placed e.g. near the other children’s activities and with plenty of space around them allowing for comfortable queuing. Where possible, arrange for the face painters to be set up relatively close to toilets/kitchen areas as this enables water changes to be done easily and facilitates speedy comfort breaks if needed.

CLEAR SIGNAGE is also highly recommended both to direct customers to the face painters but also to help manage expectations of the parents and children in the inevitable queue. Remember to include the following:

• Minimum age warning (most professional face painters do not paint children’s faces under the age of 3)
• Opening and closing times
• Children to be supervised at all times by parents/guardians
• Long waiting time warning
• Prices
• How many faces can be painted per hour?

WORKING ENVIRONMENT – If the event is outside please always ensure you provide your artists with a gazebo or marquee (preferably with sides). This is equally important in hot weather as it is in wet weather. In wet weather the reason is obvious – as colourful as it may be you really don’t want a stream of rainbow paint trickling across your event site! Side panels really help in inclement weather too as gazebos can act as a wind tunnel making it very difficult to paint. Hot weather can also be our enemy as the sun can melt and damage some paints plus there is a risk of sunburn/heatstroke for the face painters and models alike.

Most of us come to these events prepared with snacks; water; flasks of coffee etc. to keep us going but offers of sustenance throughout the day are always gratefully received! A fed and watered face painter is a happy face painter!!!

ADEQUATE RESOURCING – Please ensure you book enough artists for the expected footfall. A good rule of thumb is one face painter painting an average of 10 faces per hour. A minimum of two face painters is recommended for longer events as it avoids having to physically close the queue when a break is needed. (Breaks can be staggered throughout the day). Never underestimate how many you will need as you can end up disappointing more people than you please.

MANAGING THE QUEUE – If it’s going to be a busy event, we advise allocating a member of your event team to deal with the queue and sometimes handling the money. This can save vital seconds/minutes of the face painters’ time and will help ensure the face painters are not being overwhelmed with people or jostled whilst they’re working.

A GOOD TIP - If the venue permits, set up a large mirror (ideally freestanding) somewhere away from the painters themselves. Valuable minutes are eaten up if the child stays in the chair looking in the mirror with parents taking endless photos! If your event is themed, you could even set up a dressing up area near to the face painting stand with various items for the children to put on whilst looking in the mirror. You could even add a large empty picture frame for the children to peer through creating great photo opportunities.

MANAGING QUEUES - Please avoid the temptation to use any sort of ticketing system. In our experience it just causes terrible confusion and arguments. Whilst you may think this will avoid long queues, it just becomes very complicated when people wander off and don’t return in the correct order. Keep it simple. Let them queue. Seasoned professionals will keep a close eye on the numbers waiting and will close the queue at an appropriate time. (I.e. when there are about to be more people waiting than time allows to paint). In most cases 30 minutes or so is adequate but at very busy events it is sometimes necessary to close a queue up to an hour before the end. It is extremely helpful to artists if a member of the event team can be around at this time to help deter people who want to join the queue. If you have a tannoy system in place, an announcement that the face painting queue is now closed is very helpful. Even when we are all packed up we can guarantee still hearing the age old plea of “oh surely you can paint just one more”!!! You would be amazed at how much verbal abuse face painters receive when having to turn customers away once the queue is closed.

Please remember to brief your artists on your charity cause / corporate background / sales focus – we are engaging with the parents – your customers – throughout the day and are ideally placed to help you get your “message” to them.

Ultimately, we are there to help you make the most of your event – face painting is a big attraction at any event and usually has the longest queue, we know the value we can add, so make the most of us!!!!

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