Events can vary wildly in nature, but each will leave behind its own unique mark upon its target audience. Whilst an enthusiastic staff team, great management and a streamlined engagement strategy are all key aspects of a successful event, sometimes you need that extra special something to set the day alight.
I’d like to take this chance to discuss a growing trend in those events and promotional activities targeted at a specific kind of audience: the family unit. Lately we’ve noticed a rising demand for entertainment staff when engaging with this market — more specifically: face painters, balloon modellers and children’s entertainers! Staffing a family campaign can be tricky, that’s why we’ve got you covered.
Children’s entertainers and artists have the ability to engage with a family audience and transform their brand experience from ordinary to experiential. Twisting a balloon into a silly-looking giraffe and painting a child’s face like a pirate may not seem much upon first glance, but it’s a key opportunity for an emotional connection to develop between the audience and the brand. Not only can it lay the foundations for consumer loyalty and retention, quite simply, it gives families the chance to forge happy memories in the fire of the event, and we think that’s just lovely.
The short answer is: any! As long as the target audience of the product, service or concept is family-oriented, entertainers can be used to promote all kinds of things. They’re also an incredibly useful platform for facilitating the marriage between marketing and national celebrations (i.e. Christmas/Easter/The World Cup).
Family campaign staff are incredibly versatile, and can be either the stars of the activity – drawing in the full audience focus – or they can complement your brand ambassadors by entertaining the children, whilst parents and guardians engage with the key campaign messages. Either way, they bring a layer of dynamism and merriment to any event!
First and foremost, family entertainers must be cheerful and jolly, with high energy levels; I’m talking Holly-Willoughby-cheerful and Santa-Claus-jolly.
No parent in their right mind is going to approach a sour-faced balloon modeller slumped in a chair whilst lamenting the state of the economy, pausing only occasionally to sigh into a flaccid balloon.
Entertainment staff for a family campaign need to foster a smile upon whomever they interact with and exude energy; they should be living, breathing conduits of positivity, linking consumer and brand together!
Ability to show personal initiative:
Entertainment staff working a family campaign have to listen carefully to consumers’ wants and needs, whilst having the confidence and initiative to stray away from the agenda the situation calls for it. For example: if little Oscar wants his face painted like Batman, but dark and broody Superhero designs don’t blend well with the event planner’s Easter egg-hunt theme, well, what does it really matter? At the end of the day, if the children are happy then everyone’s happy, and if you’ve ever been shopping with young ones you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. A good entertainer will know instinctively that the consumer needs to be put first, and ultimately understands that what benefits the consumer, benefits the brand.
Target audience awareness:
We don’t ask our entertainment staff to prove their artistic flair using qualifications and certificates, after all, the formal assessment route isn’t for everybody. We judge only by the quality of the work that we see, coupled with the personality and enthusiasm of the creator!
Take face painting for example; when I look through examples of work in the run up to a family event, I look for bright, fun, well executed facial-designs which utilise a range of colours, characters and animals, as this affirms an understanding of a family audience.
When your entertainers understand the target audience they can more easily connect with them; our role here at eventeem is to ensure that the right individuals are appointed for family-targeted events. We achieve this with our thorough interview and shortlisting process and certainly know a great family entertainer when we meet one!
Safeguarding children and/or vulnerable people:
Staff members working with children or vulnerable people must be in possession of a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) – that much goes without saying. It’s our responsibility to ensure that the individuals we recruit for all campaigns, be they family-oriented or not, are fit and legal to do so. That is something we take very seriously.
With activities such as face painting, it’s always worth asking your staff to provide you with a comprehensive list of the ingredients used in their kit in advance, so you can collate them into something that will enable parents to identify allergens easily. It might sound like extra work – and it is – but you’ll be glad you took all possible preventative precautions, in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.
A balanced staff team:
Ask yourself: have I got the correct proportion of entertainment staff to traditional event staff? It’s useful to have a team leader on site to take photographs in order to document the family fun, as well as providing a comprehensive report regarding the event’s impact at the end of the day. A team leader will be unencumbered by balloons, magic tricks and face paints, and is therefore also able to lend an extra pair of hands to help smooth over any issues! (After all, we can’t expect a face painter to drop their sponge mid-tiger and start calculating levels of audience engagement now, can we?)
Clear communication and instruction:
Most importantly of all: are your staff thoroughly briefed on the key campaign messages and audiences? Be clear about your expectations and goals for your event and make sure they understand this well in advance in order to better prepare themselves.
Anticipating and preparing for all eventualities will ensure that your staff are equipped to facilitate a memorable and effective family campaign for all to enjoy!