Pic 'n' Mix Packs at Events

As you know, here at KBH HQ we are always busy testing all those different strategies that people have for working their business, and inparticular disproving those "oh, you can't do that!" type ideas.  So this winter I've taken on an events with no tables, no bowls, no trays, no bottles.  Ahhh, you say, a Packs only event - but no, we didn't take any packs either!  So what did we do that generates £100 of sales in a very small event with less than 100 people, in an hour and a half?  Well - read on!


What I took:

  • 100 A4 Disney Packs
  • 1 Pack of A4 Sleeves
  • Sticky Hooks
  • Couple of bags of sticks
  • Pack Headers
  • A bucket of mixed sand tubes
  • 3 bowls

Now the important thing to realise when you look at this list is there isn't that much and it's not that heavy.  In fact, if you didn't have a car you could easily pop all of this into a roll along suitcase to use with taxis or public transport.   Or if you've not got parking near to the event, this is an amount of equipment and stock that you can carry in one trip, and its not that heavy. 

Think of what you've not got - No display stands, no kg bags of sand, no just in case extra top up sand for the bottles/bowls, no tables, no dustpan, no bowls, no bottles.  Its a dead easy set up.


How I set up my table?

On my table I set out the pictures.  In the front middle of the table, I put 2 bowls and filled both with random handfulls of mixed sand tubes.  I also popped on the table behind the bowls my pack of sleeves, sticks, headers and hooks.  There you go, that's it.  It's taken me longer to type this than it did to actually set it all out.  (Empty box and remainder of sand tubestucked away under the tables)


So how did it all work?  How did you sell it?

When customers came to the table;

To the child mainly (with a big smile):

Today is a very special day because you get to choose whatever pictures you like to go in your packs, infact you can even get 2 of the same picture and colour them in completely differently.  So, first of all you pick your pictures, and then you need to pick your sand tubes, you can have lots of different colours, or just lots of the same colour - whatever you want - its up to you.

No break in conversation, but shifting my eyes to the parents:

It's 2 pictures for £12 for and they get to choose 15 tubes of sand, or 1 picture for £8 with 6 tubes.


Who Bought?

There are a lot of older ladies in the South West of Scotland.  Not the type that have young grandchildren, but the type whose grandchildren are in their twenties.  So it was really interesting how I sold a lot of these pick and mix packs to these ladies.  They were buying as Christmas day activities for their great big twenty year old grandchildren - which I loved.  

We also had lots of sales from parents with tired and knackered kids where the kids wanted to make a picture, but the parents were either time short or knew the kids had passed their frazzle point.  The "activity" of chosing the colours, chosing their pictures, felt like a proper activity to them, not simple a quick buy transaction.  They all left clinging to their special packs.


How do you make it up?

The children pick their pictures first, and I pop them in a sleeve, with the extra sleeve for the second picture.  Then I ask them to pick 5 tubes of sand, and as they do that, I pop the headers, stick, and hooks into the sleeve, then I pop those 5 tubes in and ask them to pick another 5, and then the same again.  If the child is in the middle of a major indecision - then say "Ok, for your last 5 you have to shut your eyes and find the lucky tubes".  That simple.  Seel the sleeve (it will re-open an reseal for the finished picture) and present it to the child.


Why does this pricing work?

Remember when we talked about pricing, we talk about the fact that its not proportional, you don't charge for Sand Art per "square inch", A4 pictures aren't twice the price of A5 - you set your prices to form a set of big flashing arrows pushing the customer to the product that you want them to buy, which is the best value for money product.

I hear some people already going "15 tubes! that's too many, why are you including more than they need? Thats's crazy?".  But what I (and the parents as customers) hear, is that you get 6 tubes in the £8 pack and 15 in the £12 pack, so I pay £4 more and get way more sand tubes than if I bought 2 seperate packs - WOW, that's much better value for money.  And they buy the 12 pack.

(there is a big gap between 6 and 15)


"It won't work - the children take too long to chose their colours"

I've heard this comment in the FB groups and it is completely wrong (to be honest, it does my head in a wee bit).  

The reason why comes down to a simple question - too long - compared to what?

.....Its substantially quicker than children making pictures at the sand tables.
.....Its substantially quicker than children making pictures with bottles and trays

So longer than what?

.....Longer than a child dithering between two packs with the pictures that they want (but not in the same pack) and their parent getting frustrated and saying "just pick one" or "lets just leave it then?"

So, lets break it down and look at the maths - lets say that it takes a child a whole five minutes to choose their pictures and sand.  So thats 15 seconds to choose each and every individual tubs of sand - which is a complete over the top exageration.  So that means that if you only serve one child at a time, you can servce 12 children per hour @ £12 per child, that makes £144 per hour in sales - or £70 profit per hour for you.


So lets compare.....

If you had a table set up with 6 trays and bottles, and charged £4 per picture - how much is your maximum sales per hour - I would say £72 (based on each tray being used 3 times per hour)


Why it works?

You have today offered your customers something that no-one else has offered that day - a completely personalised product.  

I've had a customer who chose a 2 picture pack - both pictures were the same design, and he chose 8 tubes of red sand out of his 15.  This little boy clearly liked red cars, and thats fine, its fine with him, its fine with his mum, its fine with me.  Who says you have to have 2 different pictures, who says that you should have certain "correct" colours pre-selected for you.

The parents love the time and attention that you have put into creating that perfect personalised product for their child, and treating that child as a real customer rather than just the thing holding the money (which I see from a lot of non KBH stallholders at Christmas Fayres).

The child leaves with a huge smile, knowing that they have got EXACTLY what they wanted, and that they were in control of those choices.


Quick Recap - Pic n Mix Personalised Packs - What do they offer?

  • A really simple and easy way for you to attend events, without lots of preparation or equipment required.
  • A lighter easier option for those who have transport issues, or mobility issues, or where there is a long way to hump your stuff
  • Simple pricing - you're only selling 2 options, 2 prices.
  • A very quick and easy set up and pack up at the end - straight back into the box, all ready to go again for the next event.
  • A completely personalised product for your customers - something special and unique to them.
  • A high value for money product for your customers
  • A happy feeling from your customers that you care about them and their purchase.
  • Not bad for a few hours work :) 

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