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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Would you invite prospective parent to one of your shows? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

itsmagic
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middle earth
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I'm trying to get booked for an upcoming birthday show. I mentioned to the gentleman that I have a show coming up. He asked if he can attend the show to get an idea what kind of show he will be getting.

Do you have any experience or advice with this?

I've checked with the host of the upcoming show, and she said it would be fine if I wanted to invite him to the show.
kenscott
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I say NO. I think it is not polite to do business at a home when someone has booked you to entertain. I never book shows with other moms while I am there. I simply give them my card and tell them to call my office.

The parents don't know you, but they are letting you in because you are the magician, but letting someone they don't know and you don't know into their house would not set well with me.

Give the guys some references to call.

Ken
rossmacrae
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Once they've seen your show, the "magic" (the surprise) is gone.

References, a video "sample" on your website - after that, if you can't book 'em, you probably couldn't with any inducement.
Emazdad
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If you are at a larger gig, there's no harm in saying your are going to be somewhere where they can see what you do. However, you can't have strangers wandering into private parties.

<<<<Once they've seen your show, the "magic" (the surprise) is gone. >>>

Why then do people book magicians they've seen at other parties. Most of my work is recommends and seen before.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Chrystal
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Hi,

I've only been asked this question once in my career, and I wouldn't recommend someone to watch me in another person's private residence. The person hosting the b-day party may agree, but I still think this puts the person in an uncomfortable situation. If it were a public venue then that's perfectly acceptable. I would rather lose the gig than risk losing further business with my existing customer.

It's just not something that I would set a precedent doing. You may find although people might agree, it's still an imposition to ask if a complete stranger can come to their home. You can send them a DVD like others suggested or invite them to a public venue.

I wouldn't invite someone either to a corporate gig as that, too, is private and considered out of bounds for me to invite others. Just put yourself in the position if you had hired a workman to your home, and he asked if the guy down the block can come watch him work at your house in hopes he would hire him too.

Nope...too much of an imposition to ask of a customer. Okay, this is also a very rare scenario, but what do you know of the person asking? What if they have a history of being a pedophile or committing burglaries? I know that may be an extremely rare circumstance, but would you want to be the person responsible that allowed him to come into another persons home? You can see which side of the fence I'm on regarding this question.

Good Luck to you.

Chrystal
Billy Whizz
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I'm with Ken on this one. I wouldn't allow a stranger to come along to a private party.

If it was a holiday camp or big public event, then that's OK. Put some photos onto your website of you in action. He can see that and give him your sales pitch. If he doesn't want to book you, then it's his loss. Someone else will possibly book you instead.
p.b.jones
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Hi,

I personal would not take them to a private gig. Although I have on several occasions done this where a TV company wanted to film me at parties, but I got permission from the party mum and told the TV company that there would be no re-runs. They had one take and no interruptions.

Phillip
Rupert Bair
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If it was a public gig then yes why not.
That way they can not turn around and say that was awful!

Matt
Peter Marucci
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Let's look at this from the birthday parent's angle:

He or she is paying you, the magician, to entertain the children -- NOT to showcase your act for a total stranger (to the host or hostess).

Whkile the host of hostess might be unwilling to refuse your request to allow a stranger into their home to watch your show, it's just tacky!
Creative Coach
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I'm with Ken, a definite NO-NO! Give them references but no to showcasing you! People that come to see you usually are a big distraction even at a public event. He wouldn't need to see you at a public event because I would hope your presentation for a public event would be different than a childs party. He wouldn't be comparing apples to apples. The only time I allow someone else from another school to see my school shows is when the school I'm working for invites them!
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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I always send out invites to my prospects to come and attend any of my PUBLIC performances. It is great PR for me and it not only gets my name fresh in their mind, but it gives any prospective client the chance to see me perform and talk with me if they should want to.

I never would invite anyone to a private gig that I am doing as that is showing disrespect to my private client. However, I do a lot of festivals that are open to the public and this is a perfect venue in which to let others come and see me perform.

So public performances- YES / private performances - NO

Kyle
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Starrpower
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John, I agree and disagree.

Yes, there is not a direct comparison as far as the show is concerned. But they do get to see YOU, and get a feel for your personality and the way you can interact and include guests in your presentations. This is far more important than the "tricks" you do, anyway. I have had people come to see me at my restaurant and they went on to book me for large events. For example, I recall a time when representatives from Pepsi were in town and wanted to see me perform. I was booked that evening for a restaurant, and they arrived to watch. The next day they called to hire me for a large illusion show.

As mentioned before, I would never invite a prospect to someone else's home or a small private gathering. But I have had people come to see me at public events or large banquets where they can quietly stand in the back. It's not uncommon in the catering biz to have engaged couples quietly stop in during wedding receptions, and this isn't all that different.
Donald Dunphy
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I, too, think that it is bad manners to invite a prospective customer to a private party. All of my main reasons have been addressed above.

To further touch on something Chrystal said, you also have the weakness of giving the impression that you don't hold your customer's contact information (in this case, address) in the strictest of confidence. In this case you are giving the impression to both your current customer, and to your prospect. Remember all the privacy policies out there on websites, that say, "we do not rent, loan, or share your personal information in any way, with anyone." This should be a policy for your business as well.

The only exception to this is when a customer has written a reference letter for me, then I will put their whole name (and company, if it is on the letterhead) along with the quote, on my website, or in my marketing materials. But I don't share their home addresses or home phone numbers with anyone. That information is held securely.

To give you hope, itsmagic, there is a high chance that this prospect will still book you without seeing your show. You simply need to provide other evidence that you offer a quality show that meets their needs (I personally wouldn't bother sending a promo video or DVD to book a birthday show... then, you are investing too much for too little return). I have had prospects ask a few times over the years to see my shows, and when I explained that all the upcoming shows were private ones, and that the only upcoming public show was at a mall far out of town, they were satisfied with the testimonials on the website, and the full information I mailed to them. In most cases, I still booked the shows.

So, set an example for this prospect that you will hold their personal information private, too.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Joseph_Then
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Simplest answer ever: NO for private party, YES for public performances.

Imagine a stranger coming to YOUR OWN birthday party? It's the same reasoning.
-----



Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
themagicman3
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I have been asked this question twice. Luckily, I also perform at a toy store occasionally. I tell the perspective client when and where I will be performing my public show, and invite them to attend. I have never once invited them to one a private party. In my oppinion, it is not worth the one booking you could get to risk losing the potential business of parents of children who were actually invited to the party by the host/hostess. I would say no. Just my two cents.
Bob T.
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I agree with Peter, look at it from the parents point of view. You are asking them to invite a total stranger in to their home. Private party absolutely no.
Also, god forbid something end up missing, I can only imagine the problems.
Public show no problem.
magic4u02
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Ojn the other hand, does anyone else here use their PUBLIC shows as a form of marketing to other prospects? I do it all the time and it is a great way to stay in touch with a prospect and give them the chance to see me perform live and talk to me if they like.

I do a lot of festivals, so every festival I do, I send out a private invite to all my prospects in my ACT database. It works really well and I have landed some gigs from doing this.

Kyle
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Cheshire Cat
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Simply No! It is unnecessary and unreasonable. We have all had these sort of people asking these sort of questions, and we have politely asked them if they would like strangers coming to their function. You have got to draw lines and boundaries which cannot be crossed in the kids entertainment private party business. Where you stake these boundaries I suppose depends a lot on how well you are doing, but this is a fundamental 'no no'.


Tony.
itsmagic
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You guys are absolutely wonderful! Thank you soo much for sharing your stand on this issue.

My initial gut instinct was like yours, but I wanted to get a consensus. I understand where you are coming from, and it totally makes sense.

I will let my prospect know that although I can probably get him invited to the private party, it would be impolite and imposing to do so for my current client, and hope he understands. Furthermore, like the Gr8t Donald said, this will also protect the privacy of my current clients. I will provide him with any info or reference he desires to help him make his decision.
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