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magic4u02
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Paddy that is so true but the weird thing about that is not that I do not want to be full time. I would love to and I know I could do it.

My main thing is that I am one of very FEW people who actually LOVE their day job. I love doing what I do m-f. Being an artist and designer brings a lot of joy to me as does my magic. So I try to balance them both the best that I can and get enjoyment out of each.

It is a nice spot to be in for sure.

Kyle
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MagicalPirate
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You may also want to consider actually joining IAFE also. You have to get someone to sponsor you into that organization but it's worth it as it will blanket you to all 50 states.

http://www.fairsandexpos.com

Martin Smile
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magic4u02
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I think I may do both this year. It certainly would be worth it. I am going to read more up on it and go from there.

If anyone is attending their local convention, please report on it here as it would be great reading and also very rewarding for others.

Kyle

Update: Nov 7 2004

Hey gang,

The book is coming along nicely and I am getting there. Hope to get it done for the new year. I will keep you posted.

I wanted to take the time now to talk about what you should be doing at this very minute now thru the end of December if you want to target or get into the festival market. This is the time where I, myself, go through the same process to get myself ready for the next mailings. I figured since I have to go through it any ways, it might be helpful to post the process right here in hopes that it might help you all who want to take these steps with me in your own location. Now is the time to take action!

- I first make sure I have my publicity and promotional materials ready and available. This means that I have business cards, and a promo kit that is of top quality design. Everything matches and everything fits both my brand image and brand message.

This means that what I send out is consistent for the prospect or suspect and it all ties in together with my USP (unique selling proposition) that I have set up for my magic business and myself.

I cannot stress how important it is to have your materials professionally done. Often times the first impression a potential client gets of you is from the materials you send out. Make them want to remember you and make them want to take action upon what they are sent.

A good quality logo is a place to start. This logo can then be used on stationary and also through out your marketing kit and promotional materials. It helps keep your brand consistent. I may make a different post to cover more on how to make a great promo kit at a fraction of the cost. Let me know if anyone is interested in this.

- Once the kit and materials are set up, I make sure I have a nice lead generation style letter that can be customized and personalized for sending out to any prospect that is interested. I try to keep this to one page and not more then 2. It basically gets the suspect interested in learning more about me. It is a very mini scale of some of the important items that are in my kit and I highlight them. I also make sure that I really show them the benefits of my show to the target market and not just my features and I give them a reason to look at the packet and take action upon it.

- Now that my materials and letter are ready, I take the next several weeks (right now) and start creating my festival contact major list. This is so critical to start and begin this process now.

A great place to start is simply using your web browser and the Internet. I always begin by typing in festivals for (your state). It always pops up a ton of great links that will have listings. This is a great place to start. Do this for any state that you feel you want to work and get those links.

Visit the links with the idea of finding out a contact person's name and information. This information can be written down or placed into a database so you have it.

I try to get as much info on the event or festival as I can. Date, times they hold it each year, contact person, phone number, address etc.

NOW FOR A GOLD MIND OF A SECRET: Another great way to add to your contact list is to check out Parks and Recreation Departments for each township in your area. Every township has one and they ALL have festival style events happening every year. Most have at least 3. So let us do the math here just on this idea alone.

Say there are 20 townships in your local you can name off the top of your head. Times that by the number 3 and you get 60. 60 means that there are potentially 60 festival style gigs you can and should be working if you try hard. Now remember there are a LOT more then just 10 township in your area. So if you think about it, you really have a gold mind of potential festivals to hit.

- Once you have your client list and contact list...do not simply mail your packets out. This is a huge mistake that a lot of people do. You will want to wait. Take it easy. You need to really fine tune this list and get the list "cleaned up".

By this I mean that most and some of the client listings may be wrong or not correct. You also want to make sure that 1) your contact is the entertainment decision maker for the event and 2) that the person knows and expects your info to come in the mail.


- This is where you do a cold call. Now I have talked about this before earlier on but I will summarize here for you all. When cold calling the important thing to know is that you are not selling to them at all. And not trying to offer or even mention anything about your show or its features!! You simply are calling to let them know your a magician/clown/ hypnotist etc. and that you would like a entertainment contact person for such and such event in hopes you can send them your information packet for consideration for this years event. That is ALL you ever have to say. It is clear as to your intentions and your not selling to them. This works. I have rarely ever had a problem with someone not giving me the contact info I need.

This is so important because you now get the name and e-mail and address for the exact person who makes the entertainment decisions for the event. You now can send out an e-mail and let them know the packet is on the way.

- Next step then is to plug in the information into my lead letter template and customize it a bit for that client and then mail the letter and my packet out to them.

- I then make sure to place all this information into my contact database (I use ACT) so it helps to remind me to send a follow up e-mail or letter in a week’s time. This is a part of my 3 step follow-up process. I will talk about that at another time.

These are the things you should be doing now and getting yourself prepared for. In regards to time frames you should:

November:
- Get your materials in gear
- Get logo created as well as your stationary and promo kit materials
- Start to make up your rough draft festival contact list

December:
- Continue with your list and enter this information into a database like ACT so you have every contact at your fingertips and so you can later set reminders for your follow up system

January:
- Right after New Years is when you start doing your cold calls. Do not try and do it before as the holidays are around and people just do not have the time, do not care or will simply forget your information. Besides most people have off so the person will not be there to contact.

- Calling after the holidays and the first week in January is a perfect time. They are back to work and holidays are over and usually this is the time when local groups start planning for the festivals in the spring and summer.

- Cold call your list and simply ask them for contact person who makes the entertainment decisions so you may be able to send them your info for consideration. Write down this new information and any info they give you.
- Enter this into a database
- Send out your packet in the mail with your letter

This is pretty much the process I use and the system I am taking part in right now. Now is the time to get active in this process!

If you are serious about working festivals near you this year, start now and take the steps mentioned above. If you do, you will be in great shape.

Let me know if you have any questions as well as what other steps you take yourself to prepare yourself for the festival season in 2005?

Let us get a conversation started on tips and techniques for preparing yourself for the new season of festivals.

Kyle
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Brent McLeod
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Kyle-

WOW!

Absolutely Brilliant-Thank you so much for your Advice/Wisdom

Roll on the Book!

Again Thanks
magic4u02
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ABM:

You are most welcome. It was my pleasure. I figured that since I was going through this process now any ways, I mine as well put it on the post so that others can do the same and get started on the festival marketing should they decide to go this route for 2005. Now is the time to start the process rolling and I wanted to make sure people had the tools and tips needed to do just that.

The book is being written every chance I get and I will certainly keep you all posted on when I get this big project finished. It is taking time, but I enjoy doing it and hope it might be a big help to others who want to do the festival market. Having a book that explains it all in detail I hope will be a big help.

ABM, Did you have any questions about the above process? I would love to answer them for you? Do you plan on doing the festival market for next year? If so, what experience do you have with them so far and what do you think you may need help with?

Kyle
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paraguppie
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Hello Café,

I have not gotten to talk to you in a while Kyle, just thought I would let you know that tomorrow I leave for Colorado Springs for the Rocky Mountain Fair Association Convention (long title eh?).

I will do my best to give a full update on how it goes sometime next week. I have followed your advice by getting some really killer promo "books" to hand out. Hopefully I get more business than I can handle. I would be happy to book just a couple shows, so I hope to at least do that. Talk soon,

Keith
Check me out at www.magickeith.com
magic4u02
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Keith,

Go and have fun and get those leads and gigs. Make sure while you are there that you are active marketing and not passive. If you're not sure what I mean, let me know and I will go over it again with you before you leave.

It would be awesome to get a report on the convention in full from you when you get back. I think it would be an added highlight here and we can all learn from your experiences. Thanks for offering to do this.

Kyle
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paraguppie
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Well you asked for it!

I will be as brief as possible, but there is a LOT of information I can pass on.

The Rocky Mountain Association of Fairs convention is crazy. It's like a circus with alchohol. There were clowns, jugglers, hypnotists, magi, music acts...you name it, they were there trying to sell the act.

I set up my room with a bunch of my props (all of my Wolf's Magic stuff and some other items). I blew up a ton of balloons and decorated my room to look like a magic bomb had gone off. It's a good fit for my show.

Basically here, you have your room (that you sleep in) that people meet you in, it's not like a trade show where you have a booth, it's all in your room. You have to figure out a way to get people to come into your room. I gave away a wine basket. People had to come in to sign up for the free wine basket. This worked wonders.

While they were signing up I told them about the show. I explained how it's a wacky show with all these bright colors and interactive magic with kids on the stage, followed by a large "Vegas style" illusion where we vanish my wife. Almost everyone there wanted to hear more which allowed me to really pitch the whole show.

Something I realized is that smaller fairs with smaller budgets have a problem. They need a balloon guy, magic guy, stage show, wondering acts and a MC all for the price of 1 guy. BECOME THAT PERSON!

I sold that side of the show to death. "If you need someone to anounce the girls doing gymnastics after my show, I'll be happy to do it, I'm already comfortable on a microphone where you might not be". "I would be happy to push other acts, maybe your big headliner that night needs to sell more tickets, I'll push the show before and after my show". These things worked!

I booked 5 fairs including the North Dakota State Fair! I also re-booked Central States Fair here in Rapid City. I will be opening for bands, comedians and doing my regular kid's show in 4 states just from this one convention. I am also expecting more calls because a lot of these smaller fairs, go home and discuss it with the board before booking you.

This is huge for me because I just wanted to pay for my way down and back (break even) and I got way more than I had hoped for.

Another magician asked me how I got so many bookings because he had not gotten any so far. In my opinion his skills are better than mine, and his rate was lower by a tad. The problem? He didn't have anything to get the people into his room. He kind of waited for people to wander in, where I was in the hall ASKING people to come into my room and sign up. I also did some magic in the halls, little stuff like d-lites, just to get attention. It worked.

I will shut up now, and let anyone ask questions that would like to. I can also rap with you guys about the promotional materials NEEDED to do a show like this. I hope this helps.

Keith
Check me out at www.magickeith.com
magic4u02
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AWESOME!!! WAY 2 GO!!!!

It looks like this festival thread and mumbo jumbo actually may work. hmmmm hehehe

In all honesty, I am very glad to hear back your report and it just goes to show that you can succeed if you are willing to learn, educate yourself and go out there and take ACTION!! as you have done.

You are right that what we discussed earlier in reghards to being a total solutions provider for these festivals is 100% the way to go.

If you can provide a sort of "one shop" stop for them, then you become in more valuable to them and your perceived value increases. I think you realized that as perhaps you kept hearing about them needing so many entertainers and strolling and someone to MC this show. Was this the case? if you can be the person to provide those solutions to them, then you will certainly be in their minds a lot more.

I often find this is the case in my own festival marketing. the local festivals really do need someone who understands their needs and who can also offer them multiple solutions.

I will write more later.

Kyle
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spkrosky
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Congratulations Keith! Booking the State Fair is a major coup for you - for any of us! I only hope I can be as successful in my sales letters this winter. Again, Congrats!
magic4u02
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Spkrosky,

I have no doubt that if you use some of the ideas in this thread, that you will have great success on your lead generation mailing come January.

What do you have already set up for your letter and your sales or promotional kit? Perhaps we can all help you with it with suggestions so you have it ready to go.

Kyle
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spkrosky
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Right now I have a glossy 1-page info sheet introducing myself as a family entertainer/magician. It lists some past clients as well as has a publicity shot and a good crowd reaction shot. The sales letter is just that - a 2-page letter with an attention-getting headline and I talk about the benefits of having me at the festival. I also list 2 prices depending on how big of a show they want (basically one for an illusion at the end, one for no illusion). I also direct to my web site for more information, which I am currently updating. How's that for starters?
magic4u02
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The only thing I do NOT do is list my prices on anything going out to the festivals. The reason for this is that I want them to contact me so that I can build a relationship with them and to be able to offer them the best solutiion to meet their individual needs. It works best for me when I leave the prices off. You certainly can try it this way and just make sure to track your results.

I just find that if I have prices on my stuff, I get people ONLY price shopping with out ever really reading the stuff and finding out who I am and what I can do for them.

I would certainly list the different things you can do for them and the packages perhaps as well as making sure I havew listed my benefits to them.
Kyle Peron

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paraguppie
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I would have to agree about not placing a price sheet in the packet. I like to talk to them so I can tell them more about the show first. When someone calls and the first thing they ask is "how much" I don't tell them right then. I say "let me tell you a bit about the show first" so I can give them the highlights first. It seems to work better than "$$$" and a quick "thanks, we'll call back" type thing.

My promo packet turned out nice. It has several pages of pictures (promo and live shots) a page with nothing but logos of businesses I have worked for, some descriptions of the shows available, an intro and outro letter and some reference letters on company letter heads. Everyone liked it that saw them.

See you guys later,

Keith
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magic4u02
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Keith,

Is there any chance of me seeing your kit in some sort of format? I would love to see what you are using and get ideas as well but also to possibly give you some feedback on it as well if you would like.

Let me ask this question for the group.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS MONTH TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE FESTIVAL SEASON OF 2005? What are you working on and also what are your goals for next year?

Kyle
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paraguppie
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Kyle,

I would love your feedback on it! PM me your address and I will send you one out later this week. Thanks for the offer.

As for getting ready? We are working on a new illusion for the show, a better PA system, and updating my manipulation routine. This is going to be a several month process. Hope it's worth it.

Keith
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magic4u02
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It is always worth it to broden your horizons and improve the show you give to your audiences. I will shoot you over a PM asap as I would love to see your kit and help you out with it as well.

If anyone else would care for me to look at your kit or anything you are working on, please just let me know. It would be my pleasure.

What illusion are you working on? For festivals remember to try and get an illusion that packs small and can be performed without too many angle problems. I am sure you know this though.

The PA system I use for my shows is the Fender Passport 150. For festivals, this system is most ideal. It packs very small and is easy to carry and set up. It also gives you optimal sound quality. I can give you more details on it if you like.

As for a manipulative act for festivals, just make sure to keep it short and make it fun for your audience. To any festival audience, manipulative routines can become boring real fast.

Kyle
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paraguppie
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Kyle,

It's funny that you use that system, because I have my heart set on the 250 version. I think it will be ideal for what we do.

As far as illusion work is considered, we are working on a few ideas. I want to be able to "load" without a ton of cover (behind a banner maybe?) so we are looking at a fire cage, or maybe a body twister. Who knows, maybe both. They both pack relatively small, and should play huge.

We are also buying a cargo trailer. The show is getting way too big for a Ford Explorer. It was time.

I will get a pack out to you ASAP.

Keith
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magic4u02
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The 250 is much bigger, so keep that in mind for space etc. I have done festivals, theaters up to 500 seats with my 150 without any problems at all. It is also much smaller in size and still packs a punch for the festival market. For this market, I have found it most ideal. I can even blast out background noise at festivals without any problem.

Yes, loading is a problem at festivals. I want to get a Blamo as a production, but you often do not always have the great luxury of cover for loading of the assistant. Certainly something to keep in mind for any festival style illusion.

Twister is good as that can be done surrounded and is angle proof and does not rely on proper lighting etc. You should be fine with that if it can pack down well for you.

We should also talk about how everyone loads and travels with their stuff to festivals. This would also be a great question for the thread. I always try to make sure I am as compact and packed flat as I possibly can be. I will say more on this topic later.

Thanks for the packet. I will be happy to take a look at it and review it for you and offer some suggestions if you like.

Kyle

Update: Dec 10 2004

Well it is mid December and now it is time for a reality check and a status check. NOW is the time to get busy if you plan on doing or trying festivals out in 2005.

In my past experience it is often in the months of January and february that festivals gather together and start their planning for the year's entertainment and events. This is the KEY and critical time to send out your lead generation mailing and to get the best return from it.

What should you be doing right now?

- You should make sure that your promo materials are set up and are quality materials.

- You need to make sure your materials are up to date and modify and edit them to add in any information or clients or qoutes you gathered from last year.

- You should compile your lead generation letter and make sure it is written well enough and checked and ready to go in a template fashion on your computer.

- The main thing you should be doing is compiling your master festival contact list. This list is your source for contacts, dates, numbers and e-mails for the festivals you want to work and what areas you want to work them in. This takes time and research, but NOW is the time to get that list generated.

- Now is also the time, once your list is compiled, to do a simple cold call technique to check and make sure your contact information is correct and accurate and to change it if you fiond that the contact person you have is not the decision maker. This is a very important step as we discussed this a while back. Make sure you are NOT selling to them over the phone. You are simply asking if you might get some contact info so you can send your materials for consideration. Keep it simple like that and you will do quite well.

The idea there is to make sure you have the correct contacts to mail to. It also allows you to make sure the person knows and expects the packet in the mail. This in return will get more people reading your materials and a better return on investment in booked gigs.

Gather this information up and get busy as now is the time to get prepared. Once january 2nd rolls around, it is time to start mailing those kits out and continuing doing so that month. Then do a simple 2 step follow up process.

I hope this helps as a reminder for those seriously thinking of getting into festivals this year. If you are or are even thinking about it. PLEASE let me know. I would love to help you out and point you in the right direction.

The festival market is great for a lot of entertainers and you end up doing less shows for more money and that to me is a great thing.

Let me know how everyone is doing in getting prepared for your mailings? What have you been up to and how are you getting ready for lead generation for 2005?

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Paddy
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Kyle, I have been calling and getting the names of the people to send info to. Now the question. On Jan 2nd do I send out JUST the lead generating letter or do I include my printed promo package with it (minus any tape of my performance)?

I am tempted to send the whole thing out but my wife says this may be "spilling my candy in the lobby."

Thanks

Peter
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

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