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Jonathan
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I wanted to get some different opinions on how to determine what to charge for corporate shows. Obviously, a lot goes into it. How do you know when to raise the price, and how much to raise? Static rate or negotiate per show? If you negotiate, how do you go about that?

So many different points of view on this, I'm interested in hearing them! Smile
Dick Christian
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Jonathan,

It is impossible to answer your question without a great deal more information. The bottom line is that your fee should be commensurate with the quality of your performance and that, in turn, is a function of your experience and reputation as well as other ancillary considerations. Although what others in your area and with skill, experience and reputation comparable to yours are charging for their services may provide a general idea even that may have little or nothing to do with the fee that you can or should command.

For example, even though you may have a better show than someone else, if you have not yet established the track record of many PAID performances with highly favorable reviews to have earned a reputation for reliability and quality work, you cannot expect to command the same fee as someone who HAS established a reputation even though his show may not be as good as yours. Further, in the corporate market, it is your reputation in THAT MARKET that is important. You may have been a big hit at the Cub Scout Blue & Gold Dinner or your community picnic, but that doesn't mean that your act will play in the corporate market. In any market in which you are an unknown, not matter how good you may be, you're starting on the bottom rung of the ladder and whatever your fee you better be able to deliver a higher level of service than you fee suggests if you are to establish the kind of reputation that will lead to success.

The corporate market is probably the most competitive of all and only those who are tops in their field are likely to survive for very long. After all, in the corporate world you're "playing with the big boys" and will be competing with the likes of Karges, Conover, Stetson, Banachek, The Evasons, Kreskin and others of that caliber and unless one measures up, they're not likely to last for long in that environment.
Dick Christian
robwar0100
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Richard Osterlind published an ebook on The Business of Magic. You might want to check it out: http://osterlindstore.com/catalog/produc......fa880ec2

Bobby
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Kevin Cook
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I would recommend making a few telephone calls, calling other performers in your area and asking them what they charge. Pretend to be a potential client looking for quality entertainment. Try not to mention that you are a performer.

Once you have a good idea of the average price, set your own price at $10 less. Thus undercutting your competition and winning the clients.

Some performers may argue that a high price is a sign of quality. This is simply not the case. In the modern business world, high prices are linked to weakness and shame.

Good luck.
Steve_Mollett
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Quote:
On 2009-09-02 08:51, Kevin Cook wrote:
In the modern business world, high prices are linked to weakness and shame.


Is this why the CEOs who LOSE money for their companies get golden parachutes?
:huh:
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The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
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John C
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I agree Dick but I have a question. Are we as corporate performers always competing with the TOP guys or is there room for a show priced at $500 - $1000 VS $5000.

It's hard to articulate without sounding like I'm saying I have a lousy show but aren't there different corporate venues to seek out and won't the corporate market place look for appropriate entertainment for these venues?

Let's say even in your local corporate marketplace like Hospitals, Chambers, Women's Clubs, Rotarys and/or local large businesses, they aren't looking to hire the TOP guys necessarily and they may not be looking to spend $5000 for a show.

So, the pricing may be variable in this area as well as the competition. Yes?

J
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James Munton
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John,

I don't believe Dick mentioned a fee amount in his post.

Actually, my experience has been that the $500 -$1,500 market is extremely competitive (depending where you live).

As for Kevin Cook's silly advice, I think he must be on a chain-yank mission.

Best,
James
Domino Magic
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Quote:
On 2009-09-02 08:51, Kevin Cook wrote:
I would recommend making a few telephone calls, calling other performers in your area and asking them what they charge. Pretend to be a potential client looking for quality entertainment. Try not to mention that you are a performer.

Once you have a good idea of the average price, set your own price at $10 less. Thus undercutting your competition and winning the clients.

Some performers may argue that a high price is a sign of quality. This is simply not the case. In the modern business world, high prices are linked to weakness and shame.

Good luck.


I am hoping that post was a joke. It doesn't matter what everyone else is charging. You charge what you're worth. Under-cutting competition isn't the best strategy. Don't call around and ask other performers. Don't waste their time and efforts when they are thinking they may be booking a show. You wouldn't want someone doing that to you.

There is no correct answer here. "The corporate market" is defined as what? Local, national, international? Banquets, trade shows, product introductions, sales meetings, holiday party? Are you doing your standard show or are you customizing presentations for the event?

And, as Dick stated earlier - what's your track record? You may be hired to customize presentations for an international corporate event, but if you have zero experience doing that, then it doesn't matter what someone else with 20 years of experience charges.

Quote:
On 2009-09-02 09:49, johncesta wrote:
I agree Dick but I have a question. Are we as corporate performers always competing with the TOP guys or is there room for a show priced at $500 - $1000 VS $5000.
.................
Let's say even in your local corporate marketplace like Hospitals, Chambers, Women's Clubs, Rotarys and/or local large businesses, they aren't looking to hire the TOP guys necessarily and they may not be looking to spend $5000 for a show.

So, the pricing may be variable in this area as well as the competition. Yes?


I'm not answering for Dick here, just my own experience and say YES. I work almost exclusively in my local market doing corporate shows. I'm not competing with guys like Osterlind or Conover for example. While they may come in to my town for a gig, it was gig I wasn't going for anyway.

What I found is that marketing a mentalism show gives you an advantage over magicians because there is probably very little competition in your local city. I'm in a large city and am the only performer who offers a mentalism show. My fees are in the price range you mentioned - and a little more, averaging $500 - $1,500. Magicians in my area are charging $500 and under.
James Munton
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Quote:
On 2009-09-02 10:37, Domino Magic wrote:
I'm in a large city and am the only performer who offers a mentalism show. My fees are in the price range you mentioned - and a little more, averaging $500 - $1,500. Magicians in my area are charging $500 and under.


For gawd's sake don't tell anyone where you live!
John C
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Quote:
On 2009-09-02 10:35, James Munton wrote:
John,

I don't believe Dick mentioned a fee amount in his post.

Actually, my experience has been that the $500 -$1,500 market is extremely competitive (depending where you live).

As for Kevin Cook's silly advice, I think he must be on a chain-yank mission.

Best,
James


I know James, I made those numbers up for example's sake. Maybe it's $10,000 not 5 who knows. But it's my point that counts. I think Domino is correct. I am in the same situation as he is.

I don't compete with the "top elite", etc (maybe I should) I have a totally different take on Mentalism as far as the performance aspect. Who knows, though, some may enjoy my show more. Smile

J
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
Dick Christian
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Quote:
On 2009-09-02 08:51, Kevin Cook wrote:
I would recommend making a few telephone calls, calling other performers in your area and asking them what they charge. Pretend to be a potential client looking for quality entertainment. Try not to mention that you are a performer.

Once you have a good idea of the average price, set your own price at $10 less. Thus undercutting your competition and winning the clients.

Some performers may argue that a high price is a sign of quality. This is simply not the case. In the modern business world, high prices are linked to weakness and shame.

Good luck.


A couple of things. First Kevin's advice is both the dumbest and most unethical I've seen in a long time. For starters, the pros can spot the wannabe pulling such a stunt in the first 10 seconds of the conversation. In addition, the idea that a $10 saving is going to get anyone the job -- especially in the corporate market -- is not only stupid but a likely commentary on the level at which Kevin performs (sorry if you take offense Kevin, but that's the fact of the matter).

As to the actual fee one should charge for one's services, as I said in my earlier post, that is a function of the quality and reliability of the service you provide. By mentioning some of the top (and most highly paid) performers in the corporate market I did not mean to suggest that anyone entering that market is competing directly with them, nor that everyone performing at corporate events should expect to command the same sort of fees. As I recall, what I said was that the fees commanded by other performers OF COMPARABLE SKILL, EXPERIENCE AND REPUTATION when performing at corporate events IN YOUR (geographic) AREA may provide a general idea of the going rate. Certainly, smaller events hosted by smaller companies in one's local area can hardly be expected to be able to afford to hire the "top guns" so there is plenty of work available that may pay in the $500 to $2,000 range depending on the situation.

The important thing is that if you are going to charge what others are charging, no matter whether that is $50 or $50,000, you better d*** well be sure that what you are offering is of comparable quality. Since my work is almost entirely for relatively small events (i.e., audiences of less -- usually very much less -- than 1,000) for local companies and associations in my local area, I am not competing directly with the "big names" and my fees rarely exceed $2,000 and most are in the $750-1,000 range.

The pros usually have their own "standard" fee schedule and while they may make occasional exceptions when special circumstances warrant, they tend to stick to their "standard." To lower one's fee simply to undercut the competition is one of the sure-fire marks of the amateur. (Sorry Kevin.)
Dick Christian
John C
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DEAD ON DICK! Performers do that around here and get what they deserve! Nothing.

Good to hear about the local markets Dick that's what I approach.

Thanks

John
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RJE
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Corporate is a very ambiguous term.

Included in "corporate" are everything from a smaller company's party where they might be 30 people in attendance to an international week long convention of over 1500 people. The rates for shows for these "corporates" (and depending who you are)are going to vary greatly from $500 to $25000 or more. (Never done one for $25000 myself, nor am I ever likely to.)

If you are looking for doing the most common "corporate" shows, these would probably by an evening performance following a dinner in a banquet hall. The number of audience members would be smaller in the 75 to 250 range, typically.

There would probably be risers placed at one end of the hall by the hotel or venue itself. Unless you provide your own, lighting, may or may not be provided, same goes for backdrop and the sound system is usually inferior and piped through speakers in the roof or you use the DJ's system.

You SHOULD have your own sound system, backdrops, wings and lighting if you are doing "corporate". This gives you the best shot at presenting your best performance in these types of venues.

For a show as I have described, typical fees vary from $750.00 to $2500.00 in our market (there are always exceptions). The price range takes into consideration the venue itself and where it is located, the number of guests and the company hiring you as well as type of show they are looking for.

Generally speaking, the better your credits (experience doing corporate with excellent testimonials) the more you can ask to do a show.

Even still, there will always be an amount the market will bear and you have to know where that line is. Charge too little and the potential client may think you are too amateurish or doubt your capabilities to deliver. Charge too much and they won't hire you either.
Jonathan
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RJE, that is exactly the conundrum. How do you know where that line is?

BTW, what you are describing is exactly the kind of corporate show I'm referring to. Smile
James Munton
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Quote:
On 2009-09-02 14:09, Jonathan wrote:
RJE, that is exactly the conundrum. How do you know where that line is?


That's the easy part. You quote your fee and if they book you, you probably could have got a little more.

Best,
James
Jonathan
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Lol, well that sure helps absolutely none!
Dick Christian
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Quote:
Jonathan,

On 2009-09-02 15:11, James Munton wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-09-02 14:09, Jonathan wrote:
RJE, that is exactly the conundrum. How do you know where that line is?


That's the easy part. You quote your fee and if they book you, you probably could have got a little more.

Best,
James


That may not be the answer you wanted to hear, but as they say "Them's the facts." First get all the pertinent details; i.e., when, where, what they expect you to do, how many will attend, what kind of set-up/environment will you have to cope with, etc., then quote 'em your price based on that scenario. They'll either hire you or they won't. If you're over their budget and they reject your bid, you simply brand yourself as an amateur and wannabe if you reduce your price significantly to get the job. The client is usually looking for the performer that best meets their needs, but also fits their budget -- simply telegraphing that you're hungry is rarely the best way to go.
Dick Christian
Domino Magic
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Quote:
On 2009-09-02 15:13, Jonathan wrote:
Lol, well that sure helps absolutely none!


Believe it or not, your original question has been answered. Looking at some of your previous posts on other subjects, you seem to be new to this - and that's fine. No one here is going to look down on you for that. If this is in fact true, then you should be at the lower end of the scale until you are confident your show will deliver what you promise and you start to develop a track record. You will probably find yourself adjusting your fee to meet the market and what you can deliver.

It's trial and error. There isn't a set answer and ultimately, YOU are the only one that can answer it.
Steve_Mollett
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Quote:
On 2009-09-02 15:11, James Munton wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-09-02 14:09, Jonathan wrote:
RJE, that is exactly the conundrum. How do you know where that line is?


That's the easy part. You quote your fee and if they book you, you probably could have got a little more.

Best,
James


Spot on; Eugene Burger said pretty much the same in one of his lectures.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
RJE
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Quote:
On 2009-09-02 15:49, Domino Magic wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-09-02 15:13, Jonathan wrote:
Lol, well that sure helps absolutely none!


Believe it or not, your original question has been answered. Looking at some of your previous posts on other subjects, you seem to be new to this - and that's fine. No one here is going to look down on you for that. If this is in fact true, then you should be at the lower end of the scale until you are confident your show will deliver what you promise and you start to develop a track record. You will probably find yourself adjusting your fee to meet the market and what you can deliver.

It's trial and error. There isn't a set answer and ultimately, YOU are the only one that can answer it.


That basically answers your question. Over time and with more "corporates" under your belt, you'll get the hang of it.
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