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PPF gigs, profitable?

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PPF gigs, profitable?

Post by rharris524 on Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:28 pm

I inherited my business 4 years from my mother who started the company over 30 years ago so most of her advice and practices, I've followed figuring she knows what she's talking about. One of those things is not to pay for the chance of making money and that most PPF events lose money. Anyhow, it seems like a lot of you do quite well doing PPF at festivals and such. What advice do you have to making it work? For one, I'm way better than she ever was at painting and I have the benefit of the Internet, YouTube, this forum etc. I think I'd like to try but most festivals are in the $400 range and that is a lot of moola coupled with the fact that I'd have to invest in a tent, banner, etc so I'd have to be pretty confident that I'd minimally break even.
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Re: PPF gigs, profitable?

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:47 pm

My advice is start slow. I never pay more then $175 for a 3-4 days festival. They can be profitable..but, not usually in the first year due to the face that you need a tent, banners...etc.
When you invest in a tent, make sure it is a good quality tent with all 4 sides. I have seen many a tents uplifted and twisted like taffy from stronger winds. The cheaper tents will only cost you 4x that in the end. I bought an EZ-UP tent from Costco for approx. $200 CDN. Make sure it is white. The coloured tents can cast a funny colour inside and you can have issues with it. White is the best colour in a tent.
Slowly invest in banners. Look for deals from such companies as Vistaprint. Sometimes they have deals where the banner is free...you just pay for shipping.

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Re: PPF gigs, profitable?

Post by debranewmanart on Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:58 pm

I do PPF at festivals and make a profit, but I refuse to pay more than $65 a day for a spot. You don't have to do huge festivals to make money. All you need is one more kid waiting to be painted, not a long line.

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Re: PPF gigs, profitable?

Post by freedspirit on Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:54 pm

I agree,,as long as you keep the overheads down,,gas and site fee,,you are away..you definately make money,,it can be variable due to weather etc,,but
I believe it is the best advertising you can do . Because of these festivals, I can now whip up some really impressive skulls just due to the practise it also gives you...there are many benefits,,but you may have to take a bad day here and there also..I dont think I've lost money yet but I have just broke even a couple of times..Good luck I think you will enjoy this adventure.
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Re: PPF gigs, profitable?

Post by Kat's FacesForFun on Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:09 am

Most events where they charge vendor booth fees will work with you because you are entertaining and not just selling a product. See if you can negotiate. A profitable festival is one where you can keep 2-4 painters busy. If this festival is big enough, you can bring in 1 or 2 other painters and you can split the booth fee. Suddenly.. $150 (for your portion) doesn't seem like a lot of money because you are making $700 a day. (this assuming you paint all day). My main income is from ppf at a month long "festival" in the fall. I made $6k in one month working 2 or 3 days a week. Don't count ppf out!!
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Re: PPF gigs, profitable?

Post by Psalmbook on Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:31 am

I do PPF events every few months. You really need to research the event & see if it's worth it. Do they have a kid's zone? How many people will be attending, what's the demographics(if it's all old car guys & no kids, you'll probably be wasting time & money). Is the cost of the event worth is. I'm willing to pay $70 a day. Is it already saturated w/ other face painters & what's their quality? I do always have another craft paint hooker at most my festivals, but she's really not any form of competition. I've seen her work, but never seen her.

I've not started traveling to face paint & probably won't. It's not worth the time, effort, travel cost when I know 3 parties will almost make me the same amount. So, I try to only do local festivals, in my market where I can get spin-off business.

Price yourself well! Plan out how many faces you can do in an hour & what a reasonable price scale is. You don't want to undersell yourself & have a line a mile long, but you also don't want to be over priced & sitting idle. Upsell when you can. I add liquid bling & gem clusters as an upsell for $5-$10. You ask everyone who's got a child in your chair if the want to "Bling Out" the design for $5 more or $10 more. It's a numbers game. many will turn you down, but some won't & you make an easy $5-$10 w/ minimal effort.

Tents w/ walls are best (you may not always use your walls, but they do make great shade & weather barriers when needed). Have good weights. I almost lost my E-Z Up last July 4th when a storm blew through & I had it weighted wrong.
Have bold easy to see & understand signs.
Have a menu board(I hate menu boards, but always use them for PPF)
If you have Credit Card capability, use it. People will spend more if they don't need to use cash.
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Re: PPF gigs, profitable?

Post by pinkundies on Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:02 pm

Ditto what Linda said that is great advice!

Lynne
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Re: PPF gigs, profitable?

Post by rthling on Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:24 pm

It really depends upon who will be attending an event. It also depends what people expect out of the event. If they are expecting to spend money, you will do well. Flea markets are awful in my area. People want something for nothing. Craft fairs in my state are hit and miss. Festivals where people have to buy food and drinks are your best bet. And someone said to gauge your prices by the price of beer and water. I thought that was brilliant.
The first big PPF event I did, I was underpriced, and customers told me so. This year I'm putting my photo board together with no prices. I'll add them when I get there and see how much things cost.
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Re: PPF gigs, profitable?

Post by sweethavenarts on Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:59 pm

I agree with negotiating booth price. The first time I did that I was sooooo nervous and worried that they would say no. But they were happy to work with me, same with the next event. Now I'm kinda bossy about it. Surprised
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Re: PPF gigs, profitable?

Post by TheGildedCat on Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:25 pm

If you're in the US and own a smartphone, get yourself a Square. It makes taking credit card payments super easy at a PPF event - and there's even a place where people can leave you a tip. It's not the lowest percentage (2.75%?), but that's fine considering it's a sale I wouldn't have made otherwise!
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Re: PPF gigs, profitable?

Post by Sweet Loretta on Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:07 pm

PPF events can often build. Meaning you may make less the first time compared to three year down the road. They can be hit and miss and it is a trial and error process when starting out.

For most events the less you pay to vend the less potential to make more money. It is not for everyone so a small event with low cost, close to home is a good idea just to feel it out. The entry fee will be advertisement if it is close to home and you book small events aka parties.

Any large event with higher cost should not be considered advertisement as really big events do not bring you more gigs. However larger events with higher entry fees which too may be juried events are places where you could be scouted for big gigs or more events.

No matter large or small - a homemade sign or a digital printed graphic vinyl banner - make sure your booth is clean, clutter free and professional.




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