They might come with a hefty upfront fee, and not all of them
will be your biggest moneymakers, but having an attraction that
will draw in the crowds and create a buzz of excitement about your
fair will benefit you and your profit! Make sure it stands out on
your publicity materials, whether printed or online.
Zorbing, climbing walls, Spider Mountain, mobile zip wires -
these attractions will certainly draw in the crowds. Find out how
many people can take part over the course of the event and set
prices accordingly. Use these attractions to entice people to your
event, but don't expect them to make lots of money. Sell tickets
and time slots beforehand.
External fairground rides will be a firm favourite for children.
Choose which rides you think will best suit the majority of your
attendees. Are they younger children? Would a teacup ride work
well? Or a more daring ride for adults? Decide whether you will pay
for hire and take the fees, charge a pitch fee, or agree a
percentage of takings.
Some suppliers will run this on the day, but otherwise ask
volunteers to supervise to make sure everyone is using the
inflatables safely. Inflatables can mean anything - from bouncy
castles to the younger ones, to larger, It's a Knockout
themed inflatables, too.
Taking the interest of both adults and children, a falconry
display will provide you with a well-presented and spectacular
show, offering something a bit different to your community.
Marnie Fewtrell, PTA Chair, Berry Hill Primary
told us: 'We paid a local bird of prey company £150 for a half-day
display. We charged £1 to hold a bird and the children loved it!
The birds were beautiful and the chap handling them was full of
amazing information which everyone loved!'
Approach a local pet shop who might be willing to bring some
animals along, as well as asking supporters and members of the
community to bring in their pets for a show. Judge them on
categories such as 'waggiest tail' or 'brightest eyes'. Run a photo
competition for those who don't have pets. Read advice from the
RSCPA on running a pet show.
Pony rides are a fun experience for children, even if they don't
turn a huge profit. Check to make sure your insurance covers you
for this sort of attraction, unless you are using a commerical
third party supplier such as your local riding centre, for example,
in which case they must have their own public liability insurance -
be sure to check this with them.
Photo booths can be customised with a variety of themes to suit
your audience. Julie Hartell, Co-Chair, Friends of Beacon
Rise: 'We had a jailhouse photo booth at our Wild West
fair, which was run by a local photographer free of charge. We
charged £1.50 per person and raised £70.' Record people's details
with image numbers, then upload them to a digital print website for
collection from a local outlet, or delivery by post.
A designated performance area will give your event a focal point
and allow local clubs (karate, Zumba, street dance, etc.) to
showcase their talents to families in your community.
Don't panic about the initial outlay of hiring a circus - you
will easily make your money back, and have a great time, too! Sell
tickets in advance and start your publicity drive as soon as you
People in stocks
Enlist key people in your organisation to get a soaking in
honour of your cause! Laura Golding, PTA Chair, Haydonleigh
Primary: 'We bought some stocks for our fair (£54.99 on
eBay) which went down a treat, easily covering our investment in
one event! We charged £1 for three throws of the sponge (2-3 metres
away). Anyone could go in the stocks, but we only had teachers step
up for this! We raised over £400.' Editor's tip: assuming teachers
agree, take bids beforehand where certain targets have to be
reached before the victims will venture into the stocks, i.e. £50
for head of KS1, £75 for head of KS2, £100 for the Head!