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Need advice for corporate party

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Need advice for corporate party

Post by PaintFreak on Sat Nov 01, 2014 12:17 am

I'm not new to face painting--I started 8 years ago as a way to help out at my daughter's annual school carnival--but I am new to the business side of it.  I got serious about face painting this year and have had a few paid gigs--promotions for a costume shop and a birthday party that was booked through another painter's business website.

That same painter has asked me to partner with her for a corporate party.  The party was just booked today so there aren't a lot of details.  We communicate mostly by text, so when I asked her for details I got mostly short answers.  I asked how many children would be present and if there was a theme and she didn't know.  I didn't want to ask her for the company name directly because I sensed that's probably a no-no (understandable), but I did ask her what type of business it was so I might be able to anticipate the crowd and what people might like.  She didn't know.  She suggested I have either 30 designs ready to go or be able to paint requests on the fly.  I'm not experienced enough to paint on the fly, so I will have to come up with pre-set designs.  The problem is, I don't know if it will be adults only or families with children.  I would do vastly different designs depending on which crowd I'm catering to.  The party is from 7-10 on a Sat in mid-December.  I don't anticipate getting much more information from her because that's how it was for the one birthday party she booked me for.  How would you suggest I prepare for this corporate party?
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PaintFreak

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Re: Need advice for corporate party

Post by jlirie on Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:35 am

can you use designs that are interchangeable? for kids, more bright colors and cartoon like or exaggerated details, for adults, more subtle make up or dark colors and realistic details, and based around the eye, cheek, arm, forehead, rather than full face?

female - frozen eye or forehead design, butterfly, eye designs, princess tiara, rainbow, peacock, feathers, flowers, leopard eye, etc.

male - dinosaur, snake, dragon, tribal, sports (flaming football, etc or team logo/colors), skull, lightning, camo, angry birds, etc.

p.s. 7-10 pm on a saturday in mid-december sounds like an employee christmas party, guessing mostly adults at that hour, and possibly more formal/dressy? someone else with experience please weigh in..

and you should ask her for more info, maybe tell her it sounds like an employee christmas party that might be rather formal and you want to know how to dress appropriately to represent you guys professionally, and offer to call the company on her behalf.

and if she's always so vague and disorganized, maybe skip working with her in the future.
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jlirie

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Re: Need advice for corporate party

Post by PaintFreak on Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:43 am

Thank you for the very helpful response.  That's a great mix of designs for both boys and girls.  I think you're right about it being an employee Christmas party, but I'm not sure it would be for adults only.  Is it common for a company to hire a face painter for an adults only party?  That seems like a thing to have if there will be children present.  It's in So Cal, so 7-10pm is a family friendly time for this region.  If it had been 7-midnight, then I would have thought it was just adults.

Honestly, after all the reading I've been doing on this site about proper business practices, experience, contracts, the number of people who could potentially show up, etc., I think I'm out of my depth with this corporate party.  I'm not sure what the other painter's experience is outside of birthday parties.  Every time I've dealt with her, the info has always been sketchy.  Although its her business, I've always had to ask all the questions to get details about a gig rather than her providing the info.  She's only booked one party for me, but every time she's inquired about my availability, she only gives me 12-24 hours notice.  I've told her I really need at least 3 days lead time to do a party because I need to know the theme and have time to prepare some designs specific to that theme.  She seemed surprised at that.  This gig is the first event where I've gotten this much lead time, probably because a corporate party requires advance planning.  She's tried to book me for gigs 30-50 miles away until I told her it wasn't worth my time unless I got a travel fee.  She charges $65/hour and I get $50/hour of that with a 2 hour minimum.  It seems like she's lowballing her prices, but it's her business and her decision.  I suspect the long distance jobs are ones she doesn't want to do herself.  She must have been getting the same response about travel fees from her other painters because she asked me to provide a bio for her website that included the areas I would service and the travel fee I would charge outside of that radius.  When I told her it would be a $30 fee for a 60 mile round trip, she said the client cancelled the booking.  When I explained to her that was less than the going rate of .56 a mile, she implied that the client cancelled because of the travel fee and her tone was one of disappointment.

Dealing with her does feel disorganized and I'm tempted to back out of the gig.  She seems to get slightly annoyed when I ask for details about a gig because she never seems to have info and tends to give me short answers--it's a bit like pulling teeth. Then again, this whole thing may be a good learning experience both in what to do and what not to do.  Either way, I'm going to spend the next 5 weeks getting my designs together and practicing so I can do them quickly.

What are you thoughts about this situation?
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PaintFreak

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Re: Need advice for corporate party

Post by PaintFreak on Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:48 am

I should add, the $65 rate she charges is only if I do the gig. I have no idea what she's charging for this corp party since both of us will be there.
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PaintFreak

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Re: Need advice for corporate party

Post by jlirie on Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:27 am

thanks for clearing up the evening thing, you are probably right about them hiring a face painter because there will be children.

i don't think you will be out if your league at all, if you have been painting for 8 years, as you said, it would be good practice for that kind of event. and you are the type to be prepared, so i'd go for it.

as far as 30 designs, that sounds like a lot, so if you have the usual favorites down pat, i wouldn't worry too much about it. you know all the girls will want frozen designs or hello kitty, lol. throw in butterfly, unicorn, rainbow, mermaid, peacock or swan, heart design, and you're good to go.

and boys pretty much go for dinos, snakes, dragons, robots, super heroes, skulls, flaming footballs.

p.s. anyone who cancels over proper mileage reimbursement is cheap.
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Re: Need advice for corporate party

Post by PaintFreak on Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:39 pm

Thank you for the encouragement jlirie. I'm going to go through with the corp party. I'm going to approach it as a learning experience. Besides, cancelling would be unprofessional on my part, and if the gig works out I know she'll call on me again. I'll just have to learn how to fly by the seat of my pants with her.
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