From Bingo Supplies to Bingo Programs – How to Run a Successful Bingo Fundraiser Part 3

If you’ve read our first article “From-Bingo-Supplies-to-Bingo-Programs—How-to-Run-a-Successful-Bingo-Fundraiser-Part-1”, you should have checked out the licensing requirements for bingos in your state and determined a rough idea of how many bingo players will be attendance. If you’ve read the 2nd article, “From-Bingo-Supplies-to-Bingo-Programs—How-to-Run-a-Successful-Bingo-Fundraiser-Part-2” you’ve built your bingo program and picked your bingo prize payouts.

Now let’s look at the revenue generators or the bingo products you’ll sell at your bingo.

Bingo Books & Admission

Many bingos will sell an admission package to each bingo player when they arrive. This package usually sells for around $20 and includes entry to the event, a bingo book with bingo sheets for each game in the bingo program, and perhaps an added bonus such as a free dauber or an extra bingo sheet for a jackpot game.

If you have early bird games (a handful of games before your main bingo program), you should sell bingo books for them for around $3-$5. Additionally, extra bingo books should be sold (usually for $5-$15 each) at a discount to the admission price. Finally, it’s a good idea to sell extra single bingo sheets for the larger prize (jackpot) games.

If you choose not to have an admission package, you can simply sell bingo books for a set price once the bingo players have entered.

Raffles

Raffles are a great way to earn additional funds during your bingo event. During the night, have a friendly person walk around selling with a smile. If possible, it’s a good idea to advertise and presell the raffle tickets beforehand.

You can have 50/50 raffles (where 50% of the proceeds go to the prize), or raffle off one or more prizes. Your prizes should be good quality and have obvious value. Don’t be cheap!

Be careful, raffles, like bingos, can also fall under state regulation. Be sure you find out your state’s policy on raffles beforehand.

Pulltabs

Like raffle tickets, pulltabs (charity tickets) are a great way to increase sales and revenues during a bingo. A pulltab is a similar to a scratch off lottery ticket, but instead it has a number of “windows” that are peeled open to reveal a possible prize. Each box of pulltabs contains a set amount of prizes (usually around 75% of the take). Therefore, each box (once sold) is guaranteed a certain profit.

Pulltabs come in a variety of games and styles. If you decide to sell pulltabs, make sure you know how each game is played beforehand.

Be warned! Pulltabs are even more heavily regulated than bingos. Be sure that they are legal in your state. And, if they are legal, make sure that you are properly licensed to sell them.

Bingo Supplies

Bingo supplies, especially bingo paper, can be a little confusing. If you are unfamiliar with bingo, ordering the proper bingo books can be difficult. We recommend you read “How to Order Bingo Paper” on the Wholesale Bingo Supplies website for a quick overview and for some idea what bingo paper cuts and sizes that bingo paper comes in.

Make sure you order your bingo supplies in advance to give yourself some time. You’ll likely need the following, bingo books, additional bingo sheets for jackpot games, bingo daubers (markers for the players), and raffle tickets and pulltabs (if legal in your area). If you’re unsure of what bingo supplies you need, visit Wholesale Bingo Supplies

If you plan on hosting bingos on a regular basis, you might even consider purchasing an advanced bingo console and bingo equipment. But, this can get pricey. For an annual bingo, it’s best to find bingo equipment you can borrow. Also, you can get by purchasing a low-cost, quality, bingo cage.

Bingo Callers

If at all possible, find an experienced bingo caller. You don’t want some novice person calling bingo who has trouble handling the equipment (dropping bingo balls in the middle of a game can be a disaster) or lacks confidence in front of people. If you can’t find an experienced caller, then find someone who is comfortable with crowds and have them practice with the equipment ahead of time. Go over your bingo program step-by-step.

Whether experienced or not, you want your bingo callers to call numbers at a regular pace. We recommend that bingo numbers be called about every 20 seconds for commercial bingo hall environments where seasoned bingo players play. However, this speed should be adjusted to fit your crowd and the number of bingo faces in play. Hopefully, your bingo equipment will have a timer which will alert your caller when to call. However, if no timer is available, use a watch or clock as best you can to call at a regular pace.

Cash vs Baskets or Other Prizes

It doesn’t make a lot of difference if you give away cash or prizes or a mixture of both at your bingo fundraiser. The important thing is to make sure that whatever you give, you are giving something with value.

Make your bingo prizes worth the effort for your bingo players. If you give bingo baskets, fill them with quality products. If you give cash, make sure you give away some big jackpots. When your bingo players win a bingo, they want win something and they want to win something good.

Bingo Concessions

Your bingo event will usually last from 3-5 hours, with the actual bingo program taking about 3 hours to play. Therefore, it is important to have refreshments and food available if possible. Bingo players are not robots. They will get hungry and thirsty.

Make sure that the food you serve is good quality and keep your prices reasonable. We believe it’s smart business to have your bingo concession be a draw for your bingo event and not a profit center. Let your bingo games make the money while your concession keeps them well-nourished and happy.

A bingo fundraiser requires planning. You’ll need to assemble a team of volunteers, find a qualified bingo caller, acquire prize donations, locate a site, advertise, and more. Make sure you give yourself at least a month or two to prepare.

Good luck and happy fundraising! If you follow our advice, we’re sure your next bingo fundraiser will be a success.

How to Repair Dented Bingo Balls

Believe it or not, I am frequently asked how to fix dented bingo balls.

You know, you’re calling bingo and for some reason ‘B12’ shows up with a dent in the side. Obviously, you can’t continue calling bingo with a dented bingo ball. Your bingo players would scream bloody murder and rightfully so. You can’t call a fair bingo game with damaged equipment.

So, what can you do? Well, I’ve never seen a dented bingo ball fixed by simply pressing on it, or pushing out the dent by hand. So, I don’t think that works. No matter how hard you press, the dent isn’t going away.

Well, here’s one home remedy that I’ve used to fix dented balls and save bingo managers the hassle of buying a completely new set:

1. In a container, heat some water to the point of almost boiling.

2. Place your dented bingo ball into the hot water.

3. Use a spoon or other device to hold the ball under the water as best you can.

4. Soon, the ping-pong like ball should soften a bit and the dent will repair.

It’s actually pretty easy!

Now, this won’t work for cracked bingo balls. Cracked bingo balls are done and you might as well throw them away. Also, it won’t work on the miniature bingo balls or the wooden ones.

Finally, I can’t guarantee this will work. While I’ve used this method to successfully repair balls a number of times, it’s very possible that it could destroy a ball further. In other words, use this home remedy at your own risk. But really, what have you got to lose……a dented bingo ball?

Good luck! I hope this saves you from having to buy a new set of balls the next time you have a little dent.

A Checklist for Bingo Supplies-10 Things You Must Have and Why

Bingos’ growing popularity online has many fans flocking the virtual bingo halls in seek of some bingo fun. Even with this rapid growth online fact remains that bingo is the largest game in the world and the majority of bingo fans still play bingo the good old fashion way, in their church, schools clubs and even homes or just a general get together.

Here I will share with you a couple of things you will need if you decide to put on a bingo game for a large crowd or just a simple gathering.

1. Tubs of chips- You can find these in a wide assortment of colors and styles. A popular trend is to have these customized. Most tubs are reusable. It is always better to get these the ones with the gritty edge for easier handling. You can also get the popular magnetic chips for better handling.

2. Daubers- These can also be customized. Red is one of the more popular colors for daubers, however the variations in daubers have grown considerably and your choice are wide.

3. Double Roll Tickets-Most rolls contain up to two-thousand tickets per roll. Using various colors is always recommended with larger bingo gatherings.

4. Bingo Paper/Cards- The push out die paper is popular on those bingo cruises we often hear about. There is no need daubers or chips with these ones. You can simply push out the number as they are called with your finger. If you prefer the traditional bingo cards then you can have them custom ordered with customized themes or logos.

5. Cushions and Totes-Bingo suppliers who make cushions and totes have gotten more creative with the numerous patterns and styles. It is recommended that you get the ones with extra cushion padding for more bounce and softness, they also last longer. Get the ones with a Velcro pouch for a better grip on the chair. Totes with special compartments for specific bingo necessities such as your daubers and chips is always good deal. There are wide assortments of patterns and colors to choose from. Matching tote and cushions normally look better together.

6. Raffle Drums-Drums come in all shapes and sizes. The size is obviously the determining factor in getting a bingo raffle drum.

7. Ping Pong Cage-Stainless steel cages are recommended. These come with bingo balls.

8. Promotional Wheels- Most wheels are made of wood. It is highly recommended that if you decide to get a promotional wheel you get one made from plywood. Promotional wheels often become wobbly and discolored when made with regular wood. These have a very short life span. Get only the best promotional wheels. Wheels can be custom made base on promotion and target audience.

9. Electronic Equipment-These are much bigger investment. When you get electronic bingo equipment ensure that it is state of the art with a good warranty. These are more suited for bigger bingo establishments. Useful equipments include the Game pattern flashboards. They come in different sizes and show the amount to be won and last number called.

10. Bingo Starter Kits- Bingo Starter Kit is good for large and small bingo games. Most bingo kits have everything you need. These are a few things that your bingo starter kits should have, a cage set which includes the cage, bingo balls, a masterboard, bingo cards, chips, bingo paper that contains bingo sheets and bingo daubers.

These are just few of the things you will need for your bingo game. There is a wide variety of accessories available. Most bingo supplies can be customized to order specific to color, logo and themes.

Bingo Equipment Can Help You Maintain Call Speed Consistency

Bingo supplies can be quirky business. While visiting a customer’s bingo the other day, I noticed that the bingo caller was calling bingo on his own without the benefit of a timer. While this caller was experienced, and had a good feel for the bingo players, he was still varying his pace enough to be a problem.

Without a timer, this bingo caller would sometimes lose track and start to call too slowly. To which, bingo players would soon grumble, “Speed Up!”. Sometimes this bingo caller would accelerate the pace, causing bingo daubers in players’ hands to speed up in a flurry to get their numbers daubed.

Bingo players don’t like inconsistency. Variable calling speeds are going to annoy them at the least, or really upset them if they miss a bingo. Despite this bingo caller being solid in most respects, he was hurting his bingo with his lack of consistency. He needed to use a timer to regulate his call speed. Believe it or not, little things like this can cause a bingo to lose bingo players.

So, where does a bingo caller find a timer? Most bingo machines come equipped with timing devices which will set a steady pace for callers. If this is unavailable, a simple and inexpensive metronome will do the trick. Even a watch or a seconds hand on a clock is better than your bingo caller simply winging it on his own.

In my customer’s case, when we asked the bingo caller why he didn’t use the timer on his bingo equipment , he said he thought it was broken. Funny thing is the timer wasn’t broken. The bingo caller just didn’t know how to use it, and was too afraid to try. Once he was shown how it worked and how easy it was, he began calling the bingo numbers at a consistent pace. The bingo players were much happier with him as a result.