A ladies' pamper night and shopping event gives PTAs the chance to raise money, not simply via parents, but through local businesses, too. The number of potential stallholders is vast - from beauty therapists to reflexologists to Avon. And they will all be eager to introduce themselves to the mums, grandmas, and aunts at your school, making this type of evening a sure-fire fundraising hit!
- Three months before: Choose a date and a time for your event - bear in mind that Saturdays are usually the busiest days for beauty therapists, so avoid Friday evenings to ensure support. Book a venue - your school will do - and calculate how many stallholders you will be able to fit on the premises. Assemble your team - you'll need volunteers to help recruit therapists and stallholders, promote the event, and help on the day.
- Seven to eight weeks before: Source stallholders and therapists by asking parents for contacts and through social media. Charge external stallholders a fixed fee of £5-15 per pitch plus a raffle prize. Send booking confirmation letters out via email with reply slips and payment details, details about what is provided, set-up timings, etc. Send booking confirmations to therapists, and aim for mini treatments to keep costs to parents low.
- Five to six weeks before: Spread the word using posters, flyers, letters and via social media. Sell tickets for £3-5 before the event and ask people to book and pay for treatments in advance, so therapists know how many clients to expect. Selling treatment slots prior to the event requires time and effort, but ensures that guests don't miss out, and stops them having to wait around on the night. Take contact details of clients in case you need to track down any 'no shows'.
- Four to five weeks before: Create a floor plan of your venue - some treatments may require privacy. Set aside a comfortable seating area where guests can catch up with friends and relax while waiting for treatments. Create a programme that includes a map, details of raffle or auction prizes, and a list of contact details for all therapists and stallholders, so that guests can contact them after the event. Consider including goody bags for each guest within the ticket price and ask therapists to donate samples.
- Two to three weeks before: Contact sellers with an outline of arrival and appointment times. Draw up a rota appointing volunteers who can meet and greet therapists and stallholders, and check tickets as guests arrive. Finalise what refreshments will be provided and who will be in charge of this on the day. Any supply of alcohol, even if included in the ticket price, will require a TEN. Submit an application to your local council at least 10 working days before your event.
- On the day: Arrive early to set up and decorate your venue. When stallholders and therapists arrive, provide them with a bottle of water and a card thanking them for their support. If running a raffle or auction, encourage guests to buy tickets or place bids as they arrive, then announce the winners at the end of the event.
- After the event: Have a post-event debrief with your team to discuss what worked well and what might need tweaking. Be sure to thank your therapists and stallholders for taking part, and ask for feedback. Give details about how much your event raised and how this has contributed to your fundraising goal.
Download a print-friendly PDF version of our step-by-step guide to pamper evenings
Pamper night tips and advice
- Licensing: If selling or supplying alcohol at your event, you will need a TEN (England and Wales). Complete a risk assessment and consider First Aid requirements. If you plan to play music and your event is held on school premises, check your school has the appropriate music licence.
- Insurance: Commercial stallholders, such as Avon and Stella and Dot won't be covered by your school or PTA insurance, so will need their own public liability cover. Does your PTA get insurance cover through membership of Parentkind? If so, Parentkind advise that, 'Third party non-commercial stallholders (e.g. parents selling homemade jewellery) will now be covered at no extra cost under our new insurance policy. The use of candles at your event will also be covered as long as they are risk-assessed. Stallholders that sell or use homemade cosmetics or beauty products will not be covered due to the risk of skin reactions and allergies on non-tested items.' To find out more, call Parentkind's advice line on 0300 123 5460.
- Boost profits: A raffle and/or silent auction is a simple way to raise additional funds. The benefit of a silent auction over a raffle is that your audience can bid on items based on their particular preferences, and will undoubtedly shell out more than the £1 they might have spent on raffle tickets!
- Alternatives: How about a junior pamper party run near the end of the school year? Offer treatments such as henna tattoos, Indian head massage, manicures and pedicures. Ask parents to accompany their children, and provide refreshments.
'We have held two successful pamper nights for Mother's Day. We charged £3 for entry, which included a free glass of wine and a goody bag containing cosmetics samples and leaflets provided by therapists. We found stallholders by searching online, charging a £20 pitch fee for therapists and £15 for shopping stalls. We also asked stallholders to donate a raffle prize. We had two therapists per treatment - these included massages, facials, spray tans, waxing, and manicures. We advertised on Facebook, via the stallholders' social media and on our website. We requested that guests pay the therapists on the night, but they had to book appointments in advance, so each therapist knew how many clients they would have. This year, we offered refreshments of wine, soft drinks, cake, and a gateaux stall. We made £450 from each event, with around 40-50 people attending each time. We definitely plan to run this event again next year!'
Shula Farnie, PTA Chair, Poverest Primary, Orpington, Kent (285 pupils)
'We started planning our pamper night three months in advance, and advertised with posters and flyers, in our newsletter, and on Facebook. We had a variety of stalls and beauty treatments on offer, including Body Shop, Neal's Yard Remedies Organic, Tropics Skincare, Avon, Stella & Dot, as well as other local businesses. Stallholders were charged £5 per pitch, plus a raffle prize. Beauty treatments were offered at £5 per 15-minute treatment, and our guests could choose from massages, reflexology, and spiritual readings, to facials, mini manicures and waxing. Guests were charged £3 per ticket, which also included a complimentary drink. In total we made £375.66!'
Rebecca Golding, PTA Chair, Rocklands Community Primary, Attleborough, Norfolk (73 pupils)
For more information
- There are several issues to consider relating to insurance, licences, etc. See our Event Planning Checklist for more details.
- Check out our licensing guide for a breakdown of the most common licenses PTAs need.
- Read our at-a-glance guide to Temporary Event Notices.
- Read advice on running a raffle, and get tips on running a silent auction.
The above is intended as guidance only. We recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on the guidance provided.