Hayley Gjerstad, former PTA Chair, Longtown Community Primary School, Hereford (62 pupils) told us: ‘As a small school of 62 children, to make our circus event a success we needed to make sure tickets had sold out before the day. We began by providing an ‘early bird’ offer to pupils and their families, then released tickets to the general public two weeks later. Tickets were £5 each, with under twos going free with two paying adults.
We contacted all local primary schools and nurseries and advertised with flyers, posters and via social media. We also had a free advert in the local parish magazine. We kept a log of the tickets sold and to whom, just in case we had to cancel.
A local brewery ran a bar (which required a Temporary Event Notice). It was necessary to ensure all risk assessments were carried out before the event, and we discussed traffic and site safety with the local authority. Because the event was open to the general public, we had to lock the school and hire in toilets, which carried an additional cost.
We decorated the site with ribbons, flags and bunting. Parents lent marquees and we made a wonderful cut-out board for photo opportunities!
We were thrilled with Popup Circus. The audience participation was superb with plenty of laughter. The show was the perfect length and a real treat.
We raised a total of £1,500. If we were to do it again, we would increase the ticket price by £1, which would increase our profit by £600. The profits included money raised by selling bubble wands and helium animal balloons, which were a great hit. Local food companies sold burgers, ice cream and pizza, from which we received 10%. This also meant we didn’t have to worry about food hygiene or volunteers.
Our circus event was sponsored by a local water company, who held a label-design competition for pupils. Each year group had a winner, and the specially labelled bottles were sold for £1, making a profit of 100%.
We were thrilled with how the event went – everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We will definitely be booking Popup Circus again!’