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Dannydoyle
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On Oct 24, 2019, thomasR wrote:
Also less power.... the first LED fixtures left a lot to be desired. But now Martin auras and Quantum profiles are my favorites. Putting 6 moving head washes on 1 circuit would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

Taking it back to a small traveling magic show.... being able to bring 6-12 moving heads to a small theatre and not have to worry about bringing a power distro, possibly paying an electrician etc... that can totally change the game.


Tech has caught up. The first generation of those LED were not great, but a few years down the road where we are now and it is amazing what has come to pass. The NAB show is just so cool to see new things.
Danny Doyle
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Mindpro
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What is this Tech Talk? Lol, I agree this is a very worthy and valuable topic, but it is actually getting him way off what he was likely initially seeking. While this is one component of this type of venture I would be frustrated if I was coming here to seek one type of info and others started geeking out on something I understood little or nothing about, that scares him away from getting his initial actual interests.
thomasR
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Well he’s got to ask some questions!!! Ha.

I did bring up some marketing questions on the last page in between my led lighting thoughts.
Dannydoyle
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I detailed it ONLY because with advances in tech it changes the economics by orders of magnitude.

Plus in reality if you want to tour a show like this the tech stuff MAYTERS.

I hope Kevin Ridgeway answers. I seem to remember pics on Facebook of Kristen changing breaks on the truck. My guess is not because she WANTED to. Their show travels and they know the ins and is of every aspect of it. THAT is how you do it. The pretty show on the stage is the easy part.
Danny Doyle
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Mindpro
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On Oct 24, 2019, thomasR wrote:
Not sure if we scared KC away... hopefully not. But since this a topic that particularly interests me... anyone want to discuss marketing in small towns for a small theatrical show?

What works best in 2019?
Here's some options... Billboards, Newspaper Ads, Monthly publications (such as coupon books that get mailed out to every home), Poster the town, table tents in stores and restaurants, radio ads, tv ads, ads at shopping centers (some malls that have empty kiosks will rent them out for advertising)...

And of course online advertising.. where to begin...

now of course a small show coming to a small theatre isn't going to be able to have a massive marketing budget. So what works best? How do you sell those tickets.



I have been wanting to respond to this post for a while but have been on a crazy road schedule throughout Texas for two weeks (man is this state huge!) doing 2 or 3 shows a day without a single day off. So sorry for the delayed response.

There are many variables to what you seem to be making a blanket statement or perception about. Everything you mentioned can be extremely costly and sounds like you've been reading too much Kaplan, lol.

Each type of deal is unique even under the same recurring business model. It is all governed by the arrangements (deal) you make. I have never been a believer that, even in full a 4-wall deal, all of the marketing is up to you and your available funds/budget. This is a very elementary way of doing this and tells me much information and knowledge is absent or missing.

Yes, I agree if you approach things this way you will likley meet problems. Your line about a massive marketing budget is also is interesting. There is a forrmula for such a deal based on varible elements such as size of venue, market size, ticket prices, and about 5 o r6 other elemets. It will dctate a proepr marketing budget when done properly. As anyone that knwos this you could easily spend $100k nd still not full a 300 seat venue, so liited and a budget should be determiend in adance based on the deal. This will dictate where and how you spend your budget is you know and understand the expected rate of ROI of each source.

First one must really understand the difference in marketing, promotion, and advertising. Three completely different things. Without this knowledge, you will always be bound by your available budget. Also without this knowledge, you will operate as kind of a "layman" or inexperienced promoter which could easily be the first red flag to a venue you are approaching.

Another misconception is that you can rent from any theater or venue you want as long as you are willing to pay the money. This too is an incorrect assumption for many reasons. As much as in these circles it is a "landlord" economy, they want good, quality tenants. They have much at risk as well, not just you. Ther are very specific thigs they are looking for when considering or accepting these types of deals. Much more than just money received. And regardless of what others tell you, they are not just interested in your rent money. There is muuuuch more to this. Which is why knowing how and where to find the right venues is one of the most important first steps.

There are so many crucial steps that one should be concerned with before worrying about marketing or marketing methods. If the right deal is made it can save you a fortune on marketing.

Also, your knowledge of types of markering and which are most conducive and effective to your kind of performance and the venue is also hugely important. Next comes the psychology and understanding of how tickets are sold, how, when and where the public decides and buys tickets, and the reasons being offered for this. Sure a handful will buy because they think "oh, cool, a magic show is coming to town next Saturday." This will probably get an audience of 2o-25 tickets sold for a 200-500 seat venue Many will be other magicians or hobbyists). Again, there is much more to this than most ever realize. This alone is both an art and science in and of itself. You must know which marketing options will sell how many tickets.

To do these types of productions you have to wear many hats and with each hat must come the intensive knowledge of each of these areas to maximize or optimize the potential. Very few people will come to see an unknown magician doing a show locally without the right purpose, reasons, psychology, and calls to action.

So we could break down each of the things you mentioned above but without the proper context of the deal in place first they are pointless.
thomasR
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No offense but it’s that type of response that makes me go “why bother” when posting.

I’m asking generic questions to get the ball rolling... it doesn’t mean I don’t have any personal knowledge.

I also disagree with what you said regarding theatre rentals. Typically a theatre will rent to anyone who has the money, with some exceptions. Only venue I’ve ever contacted that wanted to evaluate wether my show fit their venue was a high profile venue in Chicago, and even they were quite open to discussion, just wanted to be sure the show would meet their brand image.
thomasR
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“So we could break down each of the things you mentioned above but without the proper context of the deal in place first they are pointless.”

There is no deal in place so there is no context. It’s a hypothetical “traveling show” performed by KC the magician in small towns.
thomasR
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“I have never been a believer that, even in full a 4-wall deal, all of the marketing is up to you and your available funds/budget. This is a very elementary way of doing this and tells me much information and knowledge is absent or missing.”

When did I say it was? I was asking what marketing works best?
Dannydoyle
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Thomas I have to ask you something. I have worked with a great many theaters in rental situations. I have been in the office with many a theater manager who uses other shows specifically as examples of things that will simply not fit into their "brand" if you will. Once or twice it was my show!

A theater has a marketing plan. Often that plan does not include just renting to anyone with a check. Many for example are music oriented and will not even consider anything not music. One near my sisters house does exclusively plays. No matter the night of the week or if they are between runs they rent to nobody.

So I am having to disagree a bit about if they rent to anyone with a check. I have worked with small places in Chicago that still demanded fitting in with the overall scope of the operation. Many theaters have patrons, season ticket holders or what not. So it does matter what the entire roster looks like.

If you are touring regularly with high level artists like it seems you do then maybe you have never seen this? But indeed in many many cases it actually happens. When you come in with little to no name recognition as I do (Even more so 20 years ago!) then these things tend to crop up. Maybe it is just a difference of point of view?
Danny Doyle
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thomasR
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Danny... yeah you’re right. There are specific types of venues like that. Those are the venues that I can tell aren’t a fit so I don’t contact them. Ha.

In general, I’ve contacted ALOT of venues (theaters and performing arts centers) about rentals and almost always am just given the commercial rates upon request. And I’ve persobally folllwed through with a few dozen of those rentals where it was just my personal company renting the space.

I do remember one other venue in Kentucky who’s board denied my rental for a theatrical circus show back in like 2008. That was more about them not wanting to allow rigging in the theatre for aerial acts... but still that did happen.
Dannydoyle
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That is sort of my point. I've dealt with dozens a year so you tend to run into more of it. Also if you avoid the ones who will be like that in the first place obviously you run into fewer of them.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
thomasR
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Yeah. It certainly happens, but you still find venues right?

Do you think it’s because of the hypnosis thing? KC had mentioned doing a hypnosis show, I wonder if that makes venues nervous?
Dannydoyle
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In many ways it is tough. But once you have a track record and can provide 20 plus years of venues that want you to come back it makes things easier. PROVIDED you fit their structure.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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On Oct 26, 2019, thomasR wrote:
No offense but it’s that type of response that makes me go “why bother” when posting.

I’m asking generic questions to get the ball rolling... it doesn’t mean I don’t have any personal knowledge.

I also disagree with what you said regarding theatre rentals. Typically a theatre will rent to anyone who has the money, with some exceptions. Only venue I’ve ever contacted that wanted to evaluate wether my show fit their venue was a high profile venue in Chicago, and even they were quite open to discussion, just wanted to be sure the show would meet their brand image.



Too bad you feel that way, but I wasn't posting just to you, and more addressing the topic in general.

You may have personal knowledge, I never said anything or questioned that, but by some of your answers you've stated here and before, may lead one to believe maybe not having as much as you could or limited based on the questions and approach you've offered. If it works for you, then great, not questioning it. I was speaking in a broader, more all-encompassing sense, in an effort to optimize-returns-and-minimize-risks-type-of way.

After doing these shows for four decades now I have only met one theater that would take anyone's money and it was an unmanaged, unmaintained theater, that wasn't really open regularly for business, but rather rented on an as-is basis for one time events. You paid him (the building owner), he lets you in, turns on the power and comes back to lock in when you are done. You are liable and responsible for everything. Other than that almost everyone has certain interests and criteria that must be met. As Danny was eluding to the have many things, including historical status guidelines that they must work within, not to mention demographics, sponsors, subscribers, and their existing lineups. It must fit their brand and often must be approved by their board of directors.

Even for smaller community theaters of 60 -125 seats, they often have contracts with local community theater groups that have priority, first position status over other things they can accept. Some of these groups even have veto or right to decline clauses in their agreements. As Danny said they are the priority tenant and often have permanent sets up for rehearsals and runs dates, and if they can release it, it must jive with their schedule, interests, their approval, and the approval of the owner or board.

Larger theaters and PACs even worse.

Demographics are a large part. If their primary demo is 45-64, and they tend to run 60s and 70s bands or lineups of bands, comics from that era (ala Gallahgher, Louis Anderson, Rita Rutner, Jimmy Walker, etc.), theatrical productions like Grease, Jersey Boys, Defending The Caveman and so on, so having a kids/family magic show or Sesame Street Live may be rejected or passed on because it doesn't fit with their demographic, brand, positioning, or season ticket holders (who do bi**h and complain more than you can imagine and they have great clout and control over programming, more than most would think.)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. In tourist towns like Branson, The Dells, Pigeon Forge, Vegas, Rem Tahoe, you need much more than money, especially for a residency show as you need to provide current liquid funds, a marketing plan for the duration of the contract, and much more.

For one-nighters, there is a whole different set of requirements. Both of course include insurance, extras if it is a union room or city, and so on.

Also being an unknown name will not fit well if their current lineup is all celebrity or nationally known acts even of from 40 or 50 years ago. It's like Sesame Street's which one of these things doesn't belong? It's you (not your thomasR, but the unknown entity).

One wrong move can create image damage, funding damage, sponsor damage and more.

So I too greatly disagree with you that they will accept just anyone's money. This is why it is important to learn and know the differences in types of these venues. Just like the differences between a kid's party, cruise ship, festival, trade show and la ladies club. Just like knowing and understanding the differences in Consumer and Professional markets, these are huge differences, so knowing the right type of venue is an early crucial step. Look at Bill Gladwell's experiences and the struggles he's had. Look at Vegas and the number of failed shows or in any of the other tourist towns. The right deal with the right type of venue is a must or you make the odds even worst against you before you have even started.

Also remember, often the people you travel with are not the people behind the deal. They are the frontline crew that runs the production. Rarely are the ones who've made the deal, running the show and whose money is on the line. Crew and road managers are only roles in the production.

While the nature of a show like a hypnosis show's perception can come int play, it again has more to do with their reputation, demographics and type and style of programming lineup that is part of their business model. Yes, your business model must align with theirs or problems will occur quickly. There are some types of places where a hypnosis show will outdraw a magic show any day. The opposite is true of other venues. Being the wrong match would make a venue much more nervous than a style of show (hypnosis). Also, it must be a fit. There are some fantastic nationally known Jazz artists that are among the best in the industry. Unfortunately for the major of venues, regardless of how good they sound, how many millions of records they have sold, if they are not a match for their audience they will likely say no. Jazz is a hard sell to most venues. Great music and artists, but not the mass appeal for most venues and their audiences.

Another concern, using the jazz example, is they don't want a 1/3 full house regardless of how great the act is. 2/3s of an empty house is not good for business, profitably or image.
thomasR
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Well I'll just say my experiences have been different than yours when dealing with local theaters up to large performing arts centers in both small towns and large cities. I've personally made the initial contacts and signed the contracts for virtually unknown shows playing these venues. It's always been a pretty simple process that involves me asking for rental rates and available dates... me filling out an application and sending a deposit... me signing the contract.... and yeah then the show happens. I could have gotten lucky but I've rented venues in NC, SC, TN, GA, AL, KY, IN, MS and PA and had pretty much the same experiences.

I totally agree that I don't have as much knowledge as I could... I'm ALWAYS trying to learn more about this industry.
TomBoleware
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I know nothing about the large tourist areas, but ! completely agree with thomasR that a small town theatre will usually rent to anyone who has the money. And its not that hard to do, Only problem is in a small town the ‘deposit’ can vary and be higher for someone out of town. And yes you do have to provide proof of insurance. But I do agree they do like Name Entertainers so they can have a packed house and get a good percentage of ticket sales besides the flat rent.

We have a 900+ seat theater here and for years we did our annual magic club show there. I had the theater call me one year asking if it was anyway I could change our scheduled date. No problem because this was 4 or 5 months out and we moved our date up a week. I knew the management and found out it was a country music superstar wanting the date. So I know for a fact many theaters has different contracts, one for out of town people and one for the locals. Many of the small town theaters are run by city officials and they need the locals to use it as much as possible because that is their bread and butter customers. Out of town performers are just extra and not the main source of income.

But for smaller shows theaters are not the only place to do shows, many small towns have community centers with a stage suitable for a show, and you can expect a smaller rate there. School stages can be acquired to if you know what you doing.

This is why I always suggest trying to tie the show in with a local group if possible. You can get a much better deal all the way around. Us small town people don’t trust you out-of-towners. You’re welcome to come but don’t expect any special treatment and be prepared to pay.Smile

But no it’s not rocket science to rent a place.


Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

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Dannydoyle
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On Oct 26, 2019, TomBoleware wrote:
I know nothing


Tom


At least you admit it. FINALLY.
Danny Doyle
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thomasR
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Tom was correct... they will want proof of insurance. That’s very true!
TomBoleware
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I can remember a time when insurance was rarely mentioned when renting a place. But in todays world it is a big deal even in the smallest of towns.


Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
Dannydoyle
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Is there a traveling show in the past 50 years doing so without insurance? It is and has been an absolute requirement.

One way or another something was insured. Many negotiate to have the venue provide it or what not, but there was always a component of insurance. You can't bring hundreds of people into a space and take control of them and not have it.

Put forth your "aw shucks I'm a small town guy" bs all you want. You're still showcasing your lack of experience. Unless someone is talking about touring in fantasy land 60 years ago this is a lack of experience.

No Tom. You could have held them to that contact.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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