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Need help managing long lines for a PPF or any gig

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Need help managing long lines for a PPF or any gig Empty Need help managing long lines for a PPF or any gig

Post by lorikenh on Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:45 pm

Hi, I have a family glitter tattoo business. My husband, my 2 teenager daughters and myself. We did a PPF yesterday, so it was free to the customers, and it was NUTS! People waited in the hot sun for an hour. We had to leave at 3:00 for another gig, so at 2:00 we asked the last lady to say "no more customers", she was last. Well we found out that kids were cutting the line, wouldn't stay in any kind of "line", like we kept asking them to. They kept mobbing us from all sides. People were begging us to take just one more, etc. It basically sucked. We're thinking of handing out numbers, say from 15 down to 1, 1 being the last person. Then the "cutters" wouldn't have a number. Does anyone have any suggestions that have worked well for them? Also, we charged $95.00 an hour, and since there was four of us, that seemed way too cheap, any suggestions?? Thanks for any imput. Lori
lorikenh
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Post by vegas mom on Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:42 pm

Denise Cold has a great and awesome line control plan and diagrams actually. Try the search or type in her name and her posts should pop up. When I have more time I will search for the threads and link them here...
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Post by Noella on Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:11 pm

PPF means pay per face - so each customer paying for what they want done....

A suggestion I might make for you (assuming you had all 4 of you applying) is to instead have 3 applying, and one as a marshall - I know it seems counter productive to have fewer applying, however I can tell you that in my experience, a good marshall improves the productivity of the event more than an additional applier. Especially when you are finding your legs with traffic flow.

If they are mobbing you from all sides, find a traffic flow limiter - we use walls and half walls (to still give us a breeze and let people see, but not walk through), and put up banners etc of choices to direct where we want people to go - if *they* aren't paying (if the event organizers are) then your "job" is to have a reasonable and orderly flow of people - so the marshall keeps them in line - no line, no application - cutters don't get anything. Cut off at the time - if you are supposed to end at 3, then at 3:01 you are packing - no exceptions unless your client is the one deciding the exceptions - based on what you are being paid and your agreement.
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Post by fesspenter on Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:50 pm

I now have a "Four Mile Orange" Safety Vest that I painted "LAST IN LINE" and little flowers on the back. I number the hand of each child, beginning with the end is #1, up to the front. I note the time and I take ONLY the people in line with numbers on their hand (in red or green paint).

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Post by lorikenh on Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:06 pm

Hi, I thought PPF meant something like Prior Paid Function. I misread an earlier post, sorry. My husband was at the front table, getting out the stencils and often putting the stencil on, then sending them to us 3 to glitter. I'll have to try the # on the hand idea. It was super windy that day, so I'm trying to figure out some sort of line wall, like they have in banks that wouldn't blow over nor cause a trip hazard. We have another paid function coming soon where there will be a long line maybe in front of other booths, any suggestions there? I appreciate anyone and everyone's input! Thanks, Lori
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Post by Noella on Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:10 pm

I'd never heard that meaning for PPF - I apologize - it wasn't meant in a bad way from here....

Some of our extra banners if they aren't needed for set up we have a heavy plate on the bottom (and a 20 lb sandbag weight) and we put a cardboard tube that is red and white (came from a display in a grocery store) over it - and then use ribbons (cloth ribbon) to make the line. If we are on grass we can often use a stake - I've seen buckets with cement and a pvc tube hole for putting an upright in.
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Post by lorikenh on Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:55 am

Thank you, any tips help!
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Post by Denise Cold on Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:25 am

Shannon had a great suggestion about posting the time that you will be available "Free glitter tattoos from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Artists will stop promptly at 4:00 pm so please plan accordingly" or something like that. You could say the estimated time per person on the sign so they will have an idea if waiting is worth it.

I agree that your husband should be the line manager if he's going to come anyway; however, I usually only take hubby to fairs where his presence has a direct effect on how much money we earn. At a paid gig why are you trying to finish everyone? You should quote an amount to the client and go at that pace and make sure everyone gets paid for being there. What you could do is have a base price for the first artist (Let's say $75) and then add $25 for each artist after that. You have to take into consideration how expensive your tattoo stencils are too. If you are rushing to try and get everyone in, then you are probably out-of-pocket an extra 20%. Quote about 20 per hour per artist. I know my stencils are about .50 cents each so that's an extra $10 per hour at that pace...if you are doing more that's more money out of your pocket!

Can you tell us a little bit about the set-up you DID have? Were you in a tent? Was it just a table with all of you sitting around it? What was the venue...a fair, a party, company picnic?

I'm fascinated with line-ups and what people will go through to get a free face painting or tattoo. I can't imagine waiting for an hour...but why when you should be cranking out about 60-80 people per hour was there that long of a line. Was it a huge venue? Anyway...if it's too weird you don't have to answer but I'd like to figure out a way to fix it. Smile
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Post by lorikenh on Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:15 pm

Denise Cold wrote:Shannon had a great suggestion about posting the time that you will be available "Free glitter tattoos from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Artists will stop promptly at 4:00 pm so please plan accordingly" or something like that. You could say the estimated time per person on the sign so they will have an idea if waiting is worth it.

I agree that your husband should be the line manager if he's going to come anyway; however, I usually only take hubby to fairs where his presence has a direct effect on how much money we earn. At a paid gig why are you trying to finish everyone? You should quote an amount to the client and go at that pace and make sure everyone gets paid for being there. What you could do is have a base price for the first artist (Let's say $75) and then add $25 for each artist after that. You have to take into consideration how expensive your tattoo stencils are too. If you are rushing to try and get everyone in, then you are probably out-of-pocket an extra 20%. Quote about 20 per hour per artist. I know my stencils are about .50 cents each so that's an extra $10 per hour at that pace...if you are doing more that's more money out of your pocket!

Can you tell us a little bit about the set-up you DID have? Were you in a tent? Was it just a table with all of you sitting around it? What was the venue...a fair, a party, company picnic?

I'm fascinated with line-ups and what people will go through to get a free face painting or tattoo. I can't imagine waiting for an hour...but why when you should be cranking out about 60-80 people per hour was there that long of a line. Was it a huge venue? Anyway...if it's too weird you don't have to answer but I'd like to figure out a way to fix it. Smile
lorikenh
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Post by lorikenh on Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:32 pm

My husband is at a front table, 3 of us back at 2 tables in a tent. My husband says we do about 36 in hour. 5 min a piece. We let them choose up to 3 colors. We put glue for only the first color. Then add that color. Glue for 2nd color, then color, etc. There's probably a much faster way. Would love tips. We didn't know back then to put numbers on the people when we say no more. The last lady in line was great about telling people no more. I couldn't just leave before she got her tattoo. That seemed too cruel. So that meant we had to do everyone in between her. We just didn't know kids were cutting in line. A church hired us. We were at a college field. Thanks for your comments! Lori
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Post by Denise Cold on Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:26 am

I love a last in line that actually does her job! I'm glad you know now to mark the last people. I did it with bracelets on my last big job and it literally turned out perfectly but we had to do it 1/2 hour before quitting because the line was long. Sounds like you tried at one hour though...now that you know what you can do realistically then you will know how many people you can finish in the time.

Yes, there is a faster way, you should be at about 3 minutes each. Have everything within reach. Have duplicates (or triplicates) of all of your stuff. Each person should either have their own kit or their own job that takes about the same time ie: one of you does the choice of the stencil, alcohol & application (make sure the alcohol is dry), the next person does the glue, and removal of the stencil. The last person does the colors application and handing out of the card. (That's actually harder to pull off but may be cheaper for now...no chairs until the end.)

You do put on all of the glue at once. Glimmer tells you to take the stencil off immediately after gluing up the design and then let it dry, you get crisper edges...especially on swirly designs (Emma still hates to do that but I'm retraining her.) The reason for this is to avoid ripping the edges of the design when there is a dried layer of glitter and glue.

It's important that you remember your alcohol pre-wash so that the glitter doesn't stick to their skin and falls away after you finish glittering up the design, it's good for the design too; it will last longer.

This tip from Leah Reddell at FPBA...let them choose their favorite color and then YOU choose the coordinating colors. So lets say they choose blue, then you get get the light blue and the purple. Don't ask about the other two colors. Even quicker, say "you want a red rose?" if they have a preference for another color they will say it then, if not, they will just say "sure!"

Another tip, especially if you are alone at a party: Have two clients going at the same time. Hand alcohol wipe to client "B" and have her wipe where she wants the tattoo and tell her to let it dry and not touch the area. Glue up the stencil from client "A" and take it off and let the glue dry. Now you can come back to client "B" and place the stencil, glue it up and take it off to dry. Go back to "A" and glitter her up and give her a care card (that conveniently has your business card on the other side,) rinse and repeat. This would work especially well at birthdays.

Another tip: Ask about the colors they want while you are putting the glue on the stencil. Gather the three colors while they are drying and ask the next person in line what stencil they want and hand them the wipe or wipe their arm and let it dry. Use these tiny pockets of time to increase your productivity.

Another one: You will pay for your duplicate glitter bottles with literally four extra tattoos at a paid fair situation. Make sure that each artist has their own set of bottles. Use a poofer bottle with the openings widened a bit so you can aim the glitter where it's supposed to go rather than block it out. I try to buy stencils with wide open spaces so that I don't have to pattern too much. I just do a gradient with the darkest color at the bottom and going to light. Like stars, hearts, butterflies, peace signs...I do have the others but I only do two colors like chili pepper (red/green) frog prince (green/gold) hello kitty (silver/pink) rose (red/green)

Don't bring artists (or line manager) that aren't paid for! I only bring my daughter when I'm paid an extra $25.00 (probably should be more...) and she makes $18.00 an hour and the other $7.00 per hour goes toward stencils, glitter and my gas. Smile (Really, $7.00 doesn't cover it but I want her to think like a business woman. ) Like I said in the other post, especially when you are pre-paid, going over time or rushing too much starts to cut into your profits, especially with glitter tattoos.

Last tip: Like Noella mentioned, if you do have a similar situation, keep hubby free to watch the line and keep the hoppers out. In that situation that would have helped much more than him helping with application. I was doing a free to public event and my coordinator was thoughtful enough to hire a line manager. Well, after we'd handed out the last cards to end the line, he was having fun...talking with his girlfriend etc. and meanwhile I had about a dozen people either inadvertently start waiting behind me (it was an open tent) or they would ask me about the face painting. The job doesn't end just because you've called end of line and even handed out numbers. A good line manager can keep you focused and free from distractions until the very end.
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