International University of Santa Claus (IUSC)


"School 4 Santas"


"Behind the Red Suit - The Business of Santa" 


Presented  by Santa Tim Connaghan,

Two-Day Workshop Schedule 

Choose day one, day two or both days. Please select when registering.

Workshops are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with one hour for lunch(not included)

Day One  -  I am usually arrive at the meeting room at 7:00 a.m. to set up and start registration and check-in.  The course begins at 8:00 a.m. with most of the day dedicated to The Basics of being Santa  - plus, how to work with photo companies, malls and event producers. We generally finish between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m.   The Saturday Dinner is usually at 6:30 p.m. for all students and any other Santas in the region.   You do not need to attend the school in order to attend the dinner.

  • The History of Santa Claus -  How he evolved from Stories, Legends and Cultures. 

  • The Basics of being Santa - What a Santa should know - Making the visit memorable - Positive Guest Service - Who do you Work For? - Santa's Greeting, Your Ho, Ho, Ho's - Santa's Arrival, Breaks and Departure- Welcoming the Children - The first 5 seconds - Seating the Child or Children - Special Techniques for photographing babies  - Seating Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers - Seating School Age Children - Photos with Tweeners, Teens and Young Adults - Hands in the Photo - Working with Special Needs Children & Adults - Posing Suggestions - Special Techniques 

  • Talking with Children - Asking, listening and answering - How to ask the right questions - Secrets of how Santa knows all -How to answer children's questions - Answering difficult questions - Talking with teens and pre-teens - Knowing the current and most popular toys - Answering those who don't believe in Santa or Christmas - and many other questions children ask.

  • Your Image as Santa - What children, parents and others see and think of you - 24/7/365? -  Background Checks - Grooming and Appearance - Your health and Personal Hygiene - Santa's Magic Suit and accessories.

  • Presentation of Diplomas -


Day Two -  The morning begins at 8:00 a.m.   However at 7:30 a.m. I can host a small non-denominational prayer meeting if those in attendance wish to do so.   The rest of the day covers elements of being a special event or private party Santa including: Types and sources of business; Basic business set up; Elements of marketing and promotion; Additional sources of income.  I try to finish at 4:30 and begin graduation and presentation of Diplomas at that time.   We will finish between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

  • Your Magic Wardrobe -  Simple steps to building a good, workable wardrobe.  Care and maintenance of your wardrobe. For those wishing, they can bring in their suits or dresses and wear them if they wish.  They can change out of them at lunch time.

  • Enhancing your Image as Santa - Suggestions for improving your appearance and presentation as Santa.

  • Working for a Mall or Photo Company - Who's in charge - Efficiency, it's a team effort - Working with and training your helpers - Working with Pets - Handling problems - What a mall should supply - What the Photo Company supplies - Working away from home - "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays", What to do? -  When the media calls, protocol for handling the media.

  • There is more than just sitting in a Mall -  Children's Parties & Home visits - Company and adult parties - Corporations and associations - Charitable and non-profit events - Media or marketing events -  - Parades - Tree lightings - Conventions and major dinners - Off-season events - Santa 24/7/365.

  • Special Event Santa - Making the Grand Entrance.  Handling large Crowds, Getting more training - Working with and using the Media.

  • The Entertaining Santa - Add Storytelling, Singing, Magic, Balloon Art, etc. to your resume. The Year-round Santa - What to do the other ten months of the year.  Summer promotions  - Modeling, Advertising and Commercial work.

  • Adding more to your visit as Santa - Mrs. Claus and Helpers - Other activities - Sleigh, Reindeer, etc.

  • Santa as a Business - Starting and managing your own business - What you need to get started  - Getting free help and assistance - Setting your rates - Marketing and rate surveys - Insurance - permits and licensing - Background Checks - Bookkeeping -

  • Marketing & Promotion - How to Market yourself - Getting Good Photos - How to get free professional photos - Business Cards and handouts - Web pages and web sites - How to get others to promote you - Networking

  • Get a Head Start on the Holidays - Planning and Scheduling your time so you can also enjoy your work, have time for family and reduce stress.

  • Be Prepared - Be Organized - Being prepared for the job - Checklists of supplies and equipment - Checklists for work - The dressing area - What a client should supply - What you should have for entertainment and public appearances..

  • What Qualities do Great Santa's Possess - A Santa of Character - Santa Emeritis

  • Presentation of Diplomas -




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Material for the International University of Santa Claus has evolved from the experiences of many Santa's and has been compiled by Real Santa, Tim Connaghan.  This information and additional materials are contained in his book, "Behind the Red Suit -The Business of Santa."


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This page was last edited September 15, 2014


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