Increase your revenue in 2017 with SPRAY TAN PARTIES
By Susan Brand
The sunless industry is exploding this year and we need to be prepared to make these events not only fun but to run as smooth as possible.
After many lessons learned, I wanted to share some great tips for all of you on how to make sure your party is most efficient and successful (Many of these tips can also be applied to bridal party tanning as well)
Spray tan parties are a fun way for people to get their favorite friends together & also very lucrative so all spray tan professionals should be promoting them. Depending on your space many hold them in their salon or choose to do them as a mobile service to make it easier for the hostess. (Plus this way if they have children they do not have to worry about paying a sitter…extra bonus for them!)
When I book a party I like to hope that the host is as organized as I am, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Time is money and the more policies you have in place at time of booking will be helpful and also make it less stressful for you as well.
Setting a date:
This is the first order of business. I give them a ballpark pricing quote however I wait to do an exact price quote until it is much closer to the date of the party. I also advise the hostess that if I am giving a discount or a free tan that is subject to change depending on the day of the party based on how many people show up. This way there are no surprises or awkwardness when it comes to collecting payment. The reason for this is because it is common for the number of attendees to fluctuate. For example I have had many occasions where I am initially told that say 7 or 8 people will be attending but the day of the event you show up and there are only 4 so then price will change. If the location is outside of your main service area this is the time to let the host know that you do have to apply a travel fee.
Take a deposit
I have learned this the hard way. If someone is serious they should not mind giving you a deposit to reserve their time. You should always give them a basic contract outlining the terms of payment (for example if the deposit is refundable etc.)
A spray tan party can take a few hours and you will be blocking your schedule from other potential bookings. If you blocked yourself off and then they cancel (especially at the last minute) then that causes a loss for you if you are unable to fill that time slot with new paying customers.
Party guest skin preparation:
I send the host a nice email with the link to skin prep and tanning tips (You can even make it look like an invitation if you’d like) but it is crucial to let her know she has to make sure the guests need to follow your pre tan instructions.
There have been many occasions where communication was lost and guests had shown up unprepared. So you have a few options to try to ensure that this does not occur:
You can ask for the guests contact info and contact all of them yourself (very time consuming)
Or you can create a Facebook event (highly recommended) & advise the host that all attendees need to join the event so you can make sure that they are provided with all of the proper information.
Any questions that the guests have can be posted to you on the event page and it will be easier to monitor them from a central location then having tons of emails sent to you! If someone is not on Facebook I advise that I am happy to email the guests direct if I am provided their contact information.
Clarify in advance the size space that you will need, electrical outlet accessibility, and that it needs to be well lit with ventilation. (In addition to your extraction fan that you should be bringing)
Ask if there is a theme:
Many hosts like to set a theme for their party and if they do, I always like to bring a small gift for them that coordinates with their chosen theme. For example:
If the theme is a Tropical Party, I will give them a cute margarita glass and wrap it with some colorful tissue paper!
How to set up
Always get to the location at least 15 minutes early. Allow time for traffic and know where you are going. So map out the location prior to getting in the car if you are unfamiliar with the area. This way you can be set up and look professional for when the guests start to arrive,
Items to bring:
Disposable robes (They are inexpensive and make it nice for the guests. It will not ruin the tan while they are socializing as they are lightweight.
Large sheet (I always put this under the tent to prevent any overspray from getting on the clients furniture or flooring)
Square Reader to accept credit card payment (or whatever method you might use)
Carry more than one spray tan solution, different skin tones require different solutions.
I bring 2 extra of EVERYTHING just in case more people wind up attending you have enough product or you have an accident and spill some solution (It has happened to the most experienced of spray tanners)
I let the hostess know that I will be starting prompt. All guests need to be there at the time provided so I only have to explain the process once. If you do not set this precedence then you will have stragglers coming in at all times and possibly causing you down time (which has happened to me) and having to waste time going over instructions numerous times.Guests should decide in advanced the order they are going to be sprayed.
I also discuss final payment with the host first and foremost. I want to know how I will be paid. This way I know if I need to collect payment from each guest when I spray them or if the hostess will be responsible. This avoids any miscommunication and guarantees I won’t be out any money. There have been situations where the guests thought the hostess was paying and that was incorrect. So payment is the most important thing to ensure that you are all on the same page. It is also recommended that you put in the contract that the hostess is responsible for any payments from guests who skip out without paying.
Bring a backup machine!
This is crucial as you never know what can happen. I once had a group of 12 and my machine was giving me a hard time. (Thank goodness that my husband was able to bring my backup). But I was lucky. If your machine or gun malfunctions and you do not have a backup that is the most unprofessional thing that can occur and can tarnish your reputation.
I choose to bring 2 tents & set it up like an assembly line for efficiency. Remember, the quicker you are done the better for everyone. I like to set up a separate area for a drying station. This way once I am done tanning them I do not have to waste time drying them off in my main tent. They can dry themselves off in a different area with a blow dryer and I can take the next guest.
Do NOT lose out on making some extra money! Bring as much aftercare that you can and make sure they are displayed on a table ready for purchase. I like to bring a folding table so I know I have the space I need & set it up in birds eye view while they are getting sprayed so they can see it and will pique their interest when I talk about it while they are being sprayed.
Should the spray tanner party?
I personally do not participate in the party event & I do not partake in alcohol I feel that this is most professional and always want to conduct myself in an appropriate manner. However that is your choice and this is just what I do. If the hostess offers you a snack or water there is nothing wrong with that as you do want to stay hydrated.
Bring Gift Certificates
I have been surprised with how well this works. I always love to bring these because they are a great tool to utilize to get someone to book another party! I give a gift certificate to the potential next host that books a date that gives them $10 off for booking at the event or I offer it towards an aftercare product.
Most important! If something is odd and doesn’t feel quite right, go with your gut. You have the right to refuse any client. I had to do that once with a guest that was just too intoxicated (swaying in the tent was a giveaway..lol) and for more safety measures please read our prior blog about mobile safety tips https://perfectglowsunless.com/mobile-spray-tan-tips/
Include other vendors
Jewelry, candle, makeup and clothing vendors or direct sales reps can be a great additions to a party. The more the merrier & if you include them in your party then they can reciprocate and recommend you to their party hosts!
Susan Brand is a Senior sales account manager and sunless educator for Perfect Glow Sunless™ She is located in Florida and also the owner of Healthy Glow Airbrush Tanning.