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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Stage show block pricing (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Close.Up.Dave
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I've had a few gigs lately where clients have asked for multiple stage shows. I've always seen stage shows like a set product rather than a service, so therefore I've always figured when you buy in bulk you should get a better deal. That is, instead of it being about charging for my hourly rate and time.

There has been good luck giving people deals on the block pricing. I've also had bad luck not providing it, and losing the contract over it. So it stands to say I've been approaching selling multiple shows a bit blindly and seeing what works. But I figured I'd come on the board and see if anyone had any tips on percentages or ratios in determining a good way to sell multiple shows at once to a client.

Thanks!
Mindpro
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Selling multiple shows is quite common in some professional markets to differing degrees and applications. In the fair & fest market selling a mutiple-show run over multiple days is quite normal. In the collage market while schools may only be booking one show, they often book in tandem with other area schools and therefore are offered a block rate allowing each to save and benefit.

Booking multiple shows is an advanced strategy that many entertainers never become familiar with. Many trade show entertainers or presenters use this. Instead of booking one show for this year's event and hoping they rebook you next year, you approach them with a two or three year contract offing perhaps a pricing deal, but also guaranteeing them that they lock into your current price and scheduling priority. So they book you for the next three annual trade shows under the one contract. I know of entertainers that have signed million dollar contacts using this method.

Annual tours also often work this way. Of course it's hard to do for an act they haven't booked before or they are unfamiliar with. But for someone that knows and has seen you, knows what you can offer them, and see this as an opportunity (it's up to you to present it as such), it can be both a great motivator and a great deal creating a win-win for both of you.

Make it appealing enough so they see the value and benefit of accepting such a multi-event contract, but make sure you are getting what you need as well,as you will be locked into it for the term of the agreement.
Dannydoyle
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The problem comes in when they cancel one of a the shows.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magic4u02
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That is when you have in your contract that if a show is canceled the client agrees to pay the full base (single) show price.

Kyle
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Harris Deutsch
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Kyle...

Wise thoughts and words!
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Dannydoyle
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Yep fantastic in theory. But weather or what not, and now you have a client who is not wanting to pay through no fault of their own and suddenly you have a genuine customer service issue.

Try to tell someone that it is in the contract and they will be paying more now. Ever actually have that discussion? It is NOT as easy as you make it sound.
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charliecheckers
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Quote:
On 2013-11-26 12:48, Dannydoyle wrote:
Try to tell someone that it is in the contract and they will be paying more now. Ever actually have that discussion? It is NOT as easy as you make it sound.

I agree. Not only that, but it can be the wrong thing to do for business. My only ask of clients is that they use me for the next opportunity. I realize my negotiations are on a smaller scale, but I think the principles are the same.
Dannydoyle
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OH they sure are!
Danny Doyle
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Close.Up.Dave
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I was also asking in reference to multiple shows within a single day, or over a couple of days. Not necessarily over the span of a few years
magic4u02
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I apologize if I made it sound to simple. In reality there is a lot more too it then what I posted. I do have a weather policy in the contract that is agreed upon by both parties in advance and does effect whether they pay or not. There is more. My point really is to have a contract that protects you and is fair to the client as well.

Kyle
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Dannydoyle
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Again simple but not easy.

Protect you means you get paid for the date if it does not come off. Fair to the client when they pay for a show that never happened?
Quote:
On 2013-11-26 15:01, Close.Up.Dave wrote:
I was also asking in reference to multiple shows within a single day, or over a couple of days. Not necessarily over the span of a few years

Block bookings are common in college markets. This is where they are familiar with each other in some way and can even share expenses or what not. I do not know a lot of college block bookings as I do not work for them.

Outside a market such as this where people are looking to do such things it is hard to do.
Danny Doyle
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magic4u02
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What a client is paying for is "time". Any business needs to protect themselves effectively. How you choose to do it is up to you and how you want to run your business. To enter any type of a blocking situation without a contractual agreement between both parties is just a dangerous way to travel. Just my opinion. To each his own. =)

Kyle
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Dannydoyle
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Who said not to use contracts?

I am saying you use words lime "fair" and "protect" to hide what is being said.

What you are advocating is charging more if a show drops off. I am not saying you are wrong. But lets at least be clear about what is being advocated.

It is " fair" to you to charge more if a show drops off. This is a relative term with many meanings to many people. If I am the client and a few groups we were going to do the one show dropped off and I cancel it and will not make as much money, it would seem "fair" to me to get the show at the block rate anyhow. Otherwise I may make no money at all.

This is the problem with words like fair. They are not quantifiable.

You need the provisions in the contract but they are only worth what you are willing to spend to see them enforced.
Danny Doyle
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magic4u02
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Wow did not mean to cause an issue here. Not hiding anything. lol I am simply saying use a contract and make sure it is agreed upon by both parties. That's all.

Kyle
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Starrpower
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I think the term "block booking" nees some clarification here. Dave, are you referring to several performances during the course of a day? A weekend? An entire season? How many shows, and how is the booking defined? I think details like this can make a huge difference in how this discusion unfolds.
charliecheckers
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Seems like several different, yet related subjects being discussed. Block Booking strategy and how to handle issues that may arise along the way.
I block book festivals and fairs of in the following way: 1st show - Full Price 2nd show 40%discount. Third show 50%off. I realize this is a greater discount than many offer, but I was doing so to break into these markets. I share this as one example, and not to share what works best. I was happy with the opportunities it afforded me.
I also Block Book library shows throughout the summer. I provide a discount to branches that can make arrangements for me to perform shows at neighboring branches the same day. These are 10% to 20%, depending on the # of branches involved. This greatly reduces my work to book my summer shows.
Occasionally, a librarian will call to switch their agreed upon date. Of course this disrupts my planning and advantage for that day because I am now not doing the same # of libraries in that area that day. Because my overall arrangement with libraries still works out extremely well, I accommodate their needs with the same smile I had when I originally booked the shows. Am I leaving money on the table? Maybe, but I am not willing to find out.
Close.Up.Dave
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Quote:
On 2013-11-26 18:00, Starrpower wrote:
I think the term "block booking" nees some clarification here. Dave, are you referring to several performances during the course of a day? A weekend? An entire season? How many shows, and how is the booking defined? I think details like this can make a huge difference in how this discusion unfolds.


I agree, I didn't realize it would at first. But I think Charlie's explanation explained more so of what I attempted to. I've had a few different corporate clients trying to book me for several shows within the same day. I had been providing a % discount off of each show, but it didn't really have a real rhyme other than booking several shows within the same day. A recent bid that was asked of me was for a very large event, in which I think had I had a more concrete blocking strategy I would have gotten the booking. My mistake, but one I'm attempting to correct as I know this will happen more often.
Starrpower
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I often do this with fairs and festivals. When I do, I price it per day. I define what a "day" is, typically something like "up to four performances per day. A "performance" may be either a single stage show or one hour of strolling magic." That gives them something to hang their hat on. They may choose to take me up on all 4 performances or not, but it's a "day" of performing so nobody is splitting hairs.

I do the same thing with libraries. I don't specify what the per-show costs will be, but rather the cost to have me there. In almost 30 years, I have never had an issue with payment due to cancelled shows at these types of bookings.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2013-11-26 17:02, magic4u02 wrote:
Wow did not mean to cause an issue here. Not hiding anything. lol I am simply saying use a contract and make sure it is agreed upon by both parties. That's all.

Kyle


You miss my point. I am not accusing you of anything. I am saying words like fair do not help as they mean different things to different people.

Also lets say it is in the contract. Do you go over every word and every clause and all the implications with every client? If you do good on you because I sure don't.
Just having it in the contract is not a cure all. It is still a tough thing to enforce even if they agree to it and will possibly cause resentment.
As I keep saying it is simple but not easy.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
charliecheckers
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This is a great topic - I know there are many variables, but hearing how others block book is helpful. I try to be flexible with those who have repeatedly used me, for example I just block booked 3 shows for a festival in January. Their budget fell short of my quote. I took the gig anyway because they use me every summer, and it is still good money for January. It would be helpful to know if there are standards for block booking, or if everyone approaches it differently.
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