The above image shows a female carnival volunteer holding a smile face balloon.
Does Your Planning Team Have This Much Needed Volunteer?
Most carnivals or festivals have a person or group (such as a classroom or club) responsible for each game or activity booth - which is a fantastic idea! This makes it easier for the event planning team so that the workload does not fall on just a few folks - and we love this idea!
BUT... from our 13+ years of carnival experience, here at Carnival Savers, we highly recommend that you have a "dedicated purchaser." A dedicated purchaser is ONE person who purchases all carnival game supplies, carnival decorations, and carnival prizes instead of allowing each booth to buy their own supplies.
"Why have a dedicated purchaser?" you may find yourself asking. Isn't it easier to divide & conquer by having each booth purchase their needed carnival supplies including decorations, game supplies, and prizes?
In short, the answer from Carnival Saver is a big fat "NO"!
In this blog post we have detailed below the 3 important reasons for choosing one designated carnival buyer. We think you will agree with us when you see the very first argument for having one buyer is that the savings can be substantial! But keep reading as the benefits are more than just financial.
The above image shows a pink piggy bank with money being placed in it.
Having One Purchaser Saves Money!
We've seen plenty of schools, churches, and organizations waste precious gas money to make multiple trips around town to the local dollar store and discount stores to try to supply everything they'll need for just one booth! We have also talked with customers who order small orders from our website ($50 or less) because they are buying for only one carnival booth. (When we can, we encourage our small-order customers to team up with another booth or two so they can have at least a $100 order so that their shipping is Free.)
Perhaps you are thinking, "Well... most of our folks are members of a well-known online purchasing club and receive free & fast shipping."
But did you know that we have price checked online and that "online membership site" has prices that can be double the cost (or more) of Carnival Savers discount pricing! OUCH!
However, having one purchaser who orders all carnival supplies can buy in bulk online which gives your team much more buying power! It's well-known that free shipping is becoming more common online in 2018, and here at Carnival Savers we provide FREE shipping on orders that are $100 and above! AND we have a coupons page right on our website - the more you spend, the more you save! Check it out!
And, for tax-exempt schools, PTAs, PTOs, and churches it is much simpler for the dedicated purchaser to make sure they give the tax-exempt form to the company when they are ready to make a purchase. If there are many buyers, all of your volunteers must make sure that they have a tax exempt form ready to give to the company or they will pay taxes on their order. Those taxes can really add up and are an unnecessary expense for a tax-exempt organization!
We make it easy to set up a Tax-Exempt Account on Carnival Savers - and right now (2018) we are only required to collect taxes in the state of Texas, so if you are not in Texas no worries - no taxes will be charged! (That may change in the near future - but we will do our best to make it easy for all states to have a tax-exempt account with us!)
The above image shows a basket with three white puppies.
One Buyer Prevents Duplication
Three cute puppies in a basket is an example of a wonderful duplication. But, three carnival booths that basically have the same prizes... not so much.
Planning a carnival or festival is a lot like planning for a large backyard party. It's a great idea to have many folks helping to make the job less overwhelming for just a few. But, many times we find that one of our customers is just ordering for one carnival game booth - and they have no idea what other volunteers are planning as far as prizes for others booths. Everyone is "floating their own boats!"
When kids get to a carnival and find that 3 of the booths all have the same type of prize, let's be honest, it's a little less exciting for the kids. In addition, we've found that it is incredibly common for there to be communication errors between multiple carnival purchasers. Of course, it's usually nobody's fault! This is due to the simple fact that it is difficult to keep everyone up-to-date on all of the details of event planning and purchasing. In addition, sometimes important details are missed; an example of this is nobody remembering to buy bean bags for the new bean bag toss game. If you had one purchaser, that person would know it was their responsibility to make sure each carnival game had prizes and all supplies needed to play each game.
Furthermore, assigning one person to be your event purchaser will get rid of these communication errors, and prevent buying too little or excess carnival supplies. Obviously, this will save plenty of time and money. This one person will become the 'carnival buyer' that volunteers can refer to with questions about the events and supplies needed for your upcoming event.
Of course, your carnival buyer would take inventory of leftover prizes from last year, look at the status of the carnival game supplies and determine what needs to be updated this year. In addition, your carnival buyer can also purchase carnival decorations so that each booth, although unique, has a common element to tie your event all together!
The above image shows a volunteer at a table with a calculator and spreadsheets.
Saves Your Treasurer Time and Headaches too!
If your organization is reimbursing all volunteers for carnival costs because you have several purchasers then this will be a nightmare for your treasurer's bookkeeping! Think about this - the treasurer must look at every single receipt, determine all items purchased, and verify if all was used at each booth. It is much easier to reimburse one person, your dedicated purchaser, who has just a few receipts instead of dealing with dozens of receipts from several different volunteers!
Plus, volunteers who are tight on money may feel uncomfortable "loaning money" while waiting for a check to come in within the next 30 days.
Note: Schools and Churches - Check THIS Out!
Carnival Savers has an option we call "School Purchase Orders" that allows schools and churches to pay with a check within 30 days of ordering. We only require that you ship directly to the church or the school, that you do not have an outstanding balance and that you promise to pay in 30 days. This can all be done online with a few clicks of your mouse! Click HERE to see the details on our Frequently Asked Questions page!
We hope this gave you some ideas for organizing your carnival or festival purchasing that will help to save you time and money. If your event is a few weeks away, of course it may be too late for this year, but be sure to keep this in mind for next year - we think you will love the change!
Wishing you all the best with your big event!
Image courtesy: (first photo) Photograph by Lidya Nada on Unsplash.