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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Cancellation of Bookings due to Corona (142 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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David Thiel
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**sigh**

A client in a small settlement that was just in the finalization stages of a really sweet agreement says they are going into "Lockdown" mode and won't be doing the event. And it was for March 28th...............a corporate client just cancelled a high producers retreat in Jasper.................an intergovernmental conference postponed a booking till September (they were talking about a 'pandemic')......Really, people! C'mon now...

This too shall pass...this too shall pass....this too.........

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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Decomposed
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I just got a call from a client on a big event I am scheduled on April 23. They wanted to know before their meeting if I was feeling apprehensive about traveling and still doing the event. She said she fully understands if I want to pull out. Heck, I basically said as long as it is not inside a nursing home in Washington I am good. I will see if it still goes.

Now that I said that, I have been giving this some thought about my actual performance. I am a keynote speaker but as a lot here, I use effects and closeup inside the personal space of the audience. Now with all this going on, I am going to have to concentrate not only with my routine but how it will play when I use a volunteer. I can of course play it off as comedy and wipe down the everyday prop with sanitizer like I did once with Howie Mandel.

Anyway, I know this is not big issue with so many loosing gigs and I don't mean it to be. Today I received an email from GigSalad about all the cancellations of events and basically we will all get through this. Austin's business took collections and are having a mini music festival anyway.

Its difficult to go to sleep because every time I wake up, the zombie apocalypse gets worse. Smile
Mindpro
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The power of the press and media as I always say
Devin Knight
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I had 3,shows canceled today for this month. Ouch
Decomposed
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Sorry Devin. It seems if I take a nap, I get up and more havoc with the world on the cuspid of ending. NBA postponing season, Tom Hanks and wife infected, Big NCAA tourney played without fans, on and on it goes.

I still have three gigs on hold, all in April. One today emailed me and said now with the ban on European flights, April 3 is on hold. I guess I missed they had clients from Paris flying in. Anyway I was called today by another planner and asked if my town was "that" bad. Fake news or rumors or both. I am the keynote and they just wanted to see if I was still traveling up for the event mid April.

Once people are tested, of course the infected count will rise. But those infected getting sick and dying?
danfreed
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I just had my first cancellation, entertaining kids for a group event at a country club. And my improv comedy group just had it's first cancellation at a small public show. My favorite band cancelled their upcoming European tour cause they couldn't get insurance due to Corona. A friend who does motivational speeches for companies is having a bunch of cancellations.
David Thiel
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A couple of thoughts to add -- now that my cancellations are rolling in as well. They are offered here as meat for discussion -- not an excuse to pick a fight:

1) Whether or not the Corona virus is a Chicken Little Bandwagon topic or not -- I am a marketer of my shows. And one thing I know for CERTAIN is that what the client perceives as real IS real to them. If they perceive a "sky is falling" pandemic -- they won't do events. If they don't do events, they won't need entertainment or speakers for them. And if they don't need entertainers...well...you can do the math.

Client perception is everything. The media is expert at fanning the flames. How do I know this?

2) I was a reporter for 10 years prior to moving into the entertainment field. Actually -- I WAS in the entertainment field as a reporter, when you think about it. (And I did.) The radio superstation I was working at specialized in male 18-25. Media -- all media -- is about capturing listeners/readers/viewers. The bigger the market share, the more attractive that media outlet appears to advertisers. Advertisers bring money --which is the lifeblood of media. With me so far?

There's a saying in the news business: "If it bleeds it leads" -- which shrewdly addresses that quirk in the human psyche that loves to hear about and look upon horrible things. This is why traffic slows way down when there is an accident. People are just dying to see someone else dying...or at least to find out what's happening.

Interested people = avid readers/listeners/viewers.

I can lead my newscast with "Everything's pretty good around the globe. There is some concern about a virus called Corona. Medical professionals say you should wash your hands. We are keeping an eye on it." OR I can say "THE W.H.O. has declared the Corona Virus a WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC! SPORTING EVENTS ARE BEING CANCELLED. 108 people in China DIED in ONE DAY from this virulent HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS disease! Cruise ships are being barred from..."

Granted both examples above are exaggerations. But you can understand the tone, right? One explains facts in a straight up but non-inflammatory way. The other fans sparks into an inferno. My simple question is: Which approach are YOU seeing?

Don't kid yourself: the media couldn't care less about the carnage it leaves behind in coverage as long as they get people to pay attention to them TODAY. And if industries start failing -- as they will -- that's good too -- because that's a whole NEW source for stories. Modern media is all about manipulation of facts so that the people can be manipulated. They mess with your emotions, rattle your preconceptions. Every reporter worth their salt knows how to construct a story for maximum impact -- or twist things to suit a predefined conclusion. Every newscaster knows how to take a pause -- just long enough to let YOU know that they agree/don't agree/are as horrified as you/holding back emotions.

Back in The Day -- when I was reporting -- there were still a few ethics. Most reporters would have been horrified at the notion of exploiting a story, editorializing or "blowing it up." But in my day there wasn't competition from the Internet. People weren't getting their news from MSN -- or worse yet -- Facebook posts. There was a whole lot less competition. Now many papers have fallen and the range of options for people to get their news is VAST! Media outlets are fighting for their lives and make no mistake: they will happily elbow their way into the lifeboats in front of women and children if they feel they have to. And they do.

So what does this mean for entertainers???

No matter how you cut it -- it's going to be very bad. Maybe it's going to be bad for a long time. Hopefully not. But to simply say that it's being blown out right out of reality is ultimately meaningless from a hard business perspective.

Personally I need to think about my next course of actions as an entertainer very carefully. That's my reality because it is the client's reality.

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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Decomposed
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Boy, I may need to change the title of this thread. It shows how quickly news is changing literally minute by minute. I am a basketball fan and thought I would watch my favorite college team play without fans. I wake up and now the tourney is cancelled.

Cruise ship entertainers no work now (I think I would turn that one down for sure) with all cruises docked now.

I read (hope fake news) Italy in lock down deaths increased 23 percent in one day.
EliTheIllusionist
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I've had 3 clients contact me this morning about their upcoming events this weekend being either cancelled or postponed. Still working out how I should handle the payment or non-payment aspect. For the one client that wants to postpone, we worked out that the payment will be collected and honored at the later date when the client reschedules. All good there.

How's everyone handling clients/events who decide to cancel (meaning not to be rescheduled) but are under contract and near in event date (Ex: this weekend)? Are you sticking to the terms of the contract for payment? Or just breaking the contract agreement, due to the CoronaVirus?
corpmagi
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Quote:
On Mar 9, 2020, Mindpro wrote:
I think you are creating your own panic in much the same way the media does/has. I'm not sure what markets you work within that you are seeing such concerns and cancellations or panic, but I must say as a talent broker and nationwide full-service agency owner, in addition to the markets I personally perform in, we have yet to see any cancellation or serious concerns. The closest thing we received was one "what if" call just as a thinking ahead, precautionary consideration. One out of over 700 bookings currently on the books.


This situation has had to have changed by now...Schools, houses of worship, offices, businesses, are all limiting their services. Schools and colleges are going online for the foreseeable future, Starbucks is considering drive-thru only. Offices are having their workers work remotely (from home).

Trade shows, conventions, conferences, NBA, concerts, Broadway, all shutting down, and canceling or postponing events. Everyone will be affected by this in one way or another. I've had six major trade shows cancel in the past three days, and I fully expect the other two that I have on the books to cancel or postpone as well. It is going to be a very rough ride.
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Gerry Walkowski
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Whether you’re in the entertainment field or not, I think we’re all in for a bumpy ride at least for the immediate future. The stock market is taking a shellacking, and that in and of itself is making people nervous and really question their purchases.

The grocery stores were packed today. Everyone was out stocking up on water, toilet paper, paper towels, and extra food items. Of course, you can’t find hand sanitizer anywhere, except for maybe on eBay and even then, you’ll be paying top prices for stuff that was selling for just a dollar weeks ago.

If you were thinking about buying a new house, car, clothes, take a vacation, etc., all that stuff can wait till this thing blows over. Unfortunately, entertainment falls into that category of things that will most likely get postponed and/or just outright cancelled.

I really feel for anyone out there working cruise ships, trade shows, school shows, motivational speaking engagements, etc. My guess is that even birthday party performers are going to take a hit at least in the short run. Hopefully if you’ve been in this business a long time you’ve socked away enough money to help you get through rough patches here and there.

Let’s pray that things return to normal A.S.A.P.

Gerry
The Mysterious One
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I agree. Actually, if are thinking about refinancing an existing house, now is the perfect time. Mortgage interest rates are the lowest they have been in years as the Fed has dropped interest rates. It is the lowest since the financial crisis. Mine dropped 1.7% from when I bought my house 2 years ago.

Refinances are up more than 10 percent...They are having a boom in that industry.
Mindpro
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A major announcement will be coming tomorrow that will spark even greater concern and craziness that will answer some of everyones questions. Many booked gigs will be affected.
The Mysterious One
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And here I was trying to go to sleep. Waiting with baited breath Mindpro!

Too much bad news for my taste... Now, it is reported that Trudeau's wife has been tested positive for Coronavirus. Hoping she has a fast recovery
Dannydoyle
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On Mar 12, 2020, The Mysterious One wrote:
And here I was trying to go to sleep. Waiting with baited breath Mindpro!

Too much bad news for my taste... Now, it is reported that Trudeau's wife has been tested positive for Coronavirus. Hoping she has a fast recovery


The more high profile people who recover quickly the better.
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Lavey
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Here it's Horror.

All bookings till mid-Avril canceled and almost no inquiries. I work in my country but also in Belgium, Germany, and France.

Luxembourg: Schools closed, no events inside with more than 100 people.
Belgium: Schools closed, Restaurants closed, Discos closed and so one
France: Same
...

I tought till today that they are over-reacting and the media only make panic but maybe there is much more behind. I never saw anything like this.
Christian Lavey
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Ken Northridge
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Yesterday was quite a day. Biggest drop in the stock market since 1987, and all the cancellations, etc.

Somehow, I was able to make a little lemonade out of lemons.

We’ve been agonizing over our planned vacation, a cruise to Alaska in late June. It not so much getting the virus I was concerned about, but being quarantined for the first 2 weeks of July would be extremely costly for me. I’d be horrified to cancel on all of those clients, some of them have been loyal to me for 25 years, not to mention the amount of money I’d lose.
We decided to cancel our vacation.

Within hours I received a booking for one the dates we’d have had to turn down. I also emailed two other clients who I had told them I was not available and informed them I am now available. One booked, and one has not gotten back to me yet.

So, not only did we save a ton of money on the vacation, I just got 2 bookings I would not have had. Which is good because I have a feeling I’m going to need that money!
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Keith Raygor
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Similar experience here, Ken. Our first cruise to Alaska was to be in May, after season closes down here.

In the last couple weeks I've spoken to all of the agents, event planners and activities directors that have booked me for their events. They've expressed similar thoughts to most of us, that the 24-hour news stations are making more out of this than we're accustomed to, and that its impossible to know where the truth lies. So they're erring on the side of caution, in part because of the local Covid-19 cases that are being reported.

But I'm still getting calls for new dates in April and May. They're just different types of events - more private parties and local companies, rather than the larger corporate conferences that are being postponed.

I remain hopeful, and will use the time catch up on marketing, to be ready for when things normalize. I've seen difficult cycles like this before.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Mar 13, 2020, Ken Northridge wrote:
Yesterday was quite a day. Biggest drop in the stock market since 1987, and all the cancellations, etc.

Somehow, I was able to make a little lemonade out of lemons.

Within hours I received a booking for one the dates we’d have had to turn down. I also emailed two other clients who I had told them I was not available and informed them I am now available. One booked, and one has not gotten back to me yet.

So, not only did we save a ton of money I just got 2 bookings I would not have had. Which is good because I have a feeling I’m going to need that money!


As I said earlier, nothing has changed. I have not had a single cancellation or postponement personally or at our agencies, brokerage - yet. I fully expect to especially in light of some expected announcements today or tomorrow (if you understand how the media works).

However what I was referring to is my many coaching students and consulting clients whose venues, events, or productions will or are being affected. For example one of my students has 10 Easter events scheduled. There is a strong possibility that these will be canceled in the near future. The school announcements coming will affect those performers, speakers, and presenters for the next 6 weeks, for now, those that perform at trade events, and those that perform at public entertainment venues - that is who my posts were directed at, not the resident Tricky Business (or wherever else I post) agenda troll.

Unfortunately, most performers use a business model that has them working gig to gig, booking to booking, and often check to check, with only one or a primary source of income. These guys and gals will be affected the most by this temporary "crisis." Those working in consumer markets will be hurt the most due to the consumer panic, as will large internationally attended professional market events.

This is a business-related issue, not performance-related. This is why I was asked to come here and address this, from the business perspective, not to mention the ever-important "now what?" and "what is the best way to deal with this?" and "how can this affect the greater picture not yet being seen or discussed?"

As I said this is what it is, is being overplayed by the media, which is fine (not really but again it is what it is), and much we just have to roll with and is beyond our immediate and initial control. But how we handle it is something much more important than many getting stunned by the developments may be considering. As I said it is an opportunity on many levels for the business professional, just like when the real estate market drop happened in 2007, 08 and 09, while devastating many, it was a great opportunity for investors. We need to see the greater picture. Once the media changes it's story and waves the flag that it is ok to get back to normal, will you be ready and prepared. Are you thinking of what comes next? How to turn this into a business benefit or advantage?

Like Ken, our bookings and inquiries have continued strongly, and there are several reasons for that based on our business models. As I said those on the continuous hamster wheel of booking gig to gig on only a 3-4 month window will suffer the most. For now, the hamster wheel has stopped and is broken. Those of us working another busienss models may feel a temorary dip, but I expect there will be a decent bounceback depending on how you deal with this and your positioning. Plus those booking 6, 12, and 18 months out will not feel this the same way other than the next 30-45 days, which if handled right much of which can be salvaged.

Remember this is also a customer service issue/concern with our clients, customers, and accounts. See this for what it is to your business, beyond just your performances being canceled and immediate loss of revenue.

When I say accept it and roll with it, this can also be a great time to do any in-business house cleaning, specialized marketing, and contact with your list)s) offering help, advice, tip, and strategies of how to navigate this, all of which can be utilized to your advantage. This is also a great time to commit yourself to improving your business, learning and business education, and finally implementing the things that get put aside due to our busy performing schedules.

So we can sit around in shock, devasted, or complaining, or we can see the opportunity and possibilities that can be created by this. It is also an eye-opener to maybe reevaluate or reconsider some foundational aspects to your business, especially your current business model. Now is a great time for changes and implementation within your business. Utilize this time and situation well.
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I’m launching my new magic show:
Exclusive Magic for the Exclusive and Discerning Client. I perform for only one person at a time, and I have a very large sheet of transparent plastic wrap between my singular audience and myself. I am planning to post a video of this show on YouTube, and I expect it to go viral.
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