Having a helper in your henna booth is very important for your success at a busy festival! Here are some guidelines for what you might want to ask them for help with.
Henna Booth Babe’s Tasks:
- Help with the setup of the booth – especially things that couldn’t possibly break/ruin your whole fest day while they’re inexperienced.
(…..no “helping” with the tent or anything else mechanical until they’ve seen it done multiple times and tried it while you watch…. this will end in broken things and you being upset when they were just trying to help.)
put out chairs (but not tables! the tables are a pain), tablecloths, books, nonbreakable signage, cash box, tip jar, etc
- Answer the same questions tirelessly, again and again, with politeness and kindness.
- How long does the henna last?
- Do you have black henna? (or jagua, or “white henna”, or whatever else you don’t do)
- What’s in your henna?
- Can you do this photo off my phone?
- How long will this take?
- Do you have any ___?
(Know the book inside out by gig #4).
When they say “where are the butterflies?”, know where that is – and then ask them what they’re looking for. (They will almost NEVER say they’re looking for a tiny little one like the one on the $10 page… it’s almost always some grander vision… so doing this means you both help them visualize what they really want and also upsell.)
- Where’s the ___? bathroom, ATM, big thing everyone cares lots about at this event, etc
- When’s the ___? most popular band at the music festival going on, end of the festival, time something else big happens, etc
- Take the money. Know where in the cash box the money goes and keep it organized. Know how the credit card reader works. Once there’s a lot of $, know where to put it securely. Get rid of $1 bills by giving as change whenever possible – we don’t want ’em at the end of the day.
- Manage the line. Know how long the wait currently is. Tell people where to stand once they’ve paid. Keep people in line entertained and happy while they wait to whatever degree you want to / can. (Chat with them, generally be a smiley, attentive presence.) Make sure people know paying is what secures their place in line, and no, we can’t hold their place if they walk away.
- Force artist to take breaks.
- Remind artist to stretch / sit with better posture / etc.
- Hand artist food and drink (hopefully from the coolers) periodically, unprompted
- Be kind to the random event organizer who wants to “invite” you to (read: take your booth fee for) their (probably tiny, just getting started, needing more promotion badly before it’s worth doing for the $) event. Take their flyer or give them yours with a smile (but no promises!), and let artist deal with it later.
- Know your party rates and policies (travel distances with no additional fees, # of hennas per hour, etc) by heart, and be a good salesperson when someone starts inquiring about this.
- Have the book of not-in-the-festival-books stuff at the ready for expensive, but actually quite common requests (like bridal style, full back pieces, baby bellies, etc) and know whether or not we have time to do that today / right now / tomorrow, or if they need to book a private event to get that done.
- Give a second opinion on design price points for new designs that were recently added to the book. (After they have been thoroughly trained in what makes things cost what they do.)
- Observe trends in which designs people seem to be picking the most, and which are going ignored.
- Price custom designs off the cuff to the best of their ability.
- Help pack up at the end of the day.
The short list:
-Take the money.
-Answer people’s questions.
-Manage the line.
-Make sure artist is fed and watered.
We tend to call them “booth babes” out of the history of comic conventions and more commercial booths and such where a pretty lady is often hired as a model to help with promotions… We realize that this is sexist and awful, and yet continue to use the term because it’s the default, and at this point almost humorous. Some guys prefer to be called “booth blokes”.