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Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
576 Posts

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Just curious, do you charge any extra for shows at christmas? The reason I ask this is because at the recent Kidology convention, whilst talking to different magicians in the hotel etc., I was surprised that they ALL charged the same rate at Christmas.

I charge about 50% extra as its the busiest time of year. We turn away about ten times the amount of work we actually take in December. So christmas parties are charged at a much higher rate. I still charge the same for birthday parties as I don't think it's fair to penilise parents who's child's birthday is in December, but I only do birthday parties after school in December, not on the weekends.
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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So you actually charge the same, just set aside your weekends for Christmas parties. (It is good to see you in here again Billy)

The last couple of years I have increased my fee at Christmas time and then kept it at the higher rate.

The trouble I find is Birthday Mums always want to book early for Christmas and the corportae Christmas parties all leave it until the last minute & want to book in at short notice.

My fee for a company christmas party is only 25% more than a standard birthday show.

I am thinking maybe that is too low.

What do you all charge for Christmas party shows compared to your normal birthday party rate?

Maybe half as much again like you Billy is good, or what about even higher? Anyone trying charging double?
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Joseph_Then
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For me I won't charge double unless you are HIGH in demand.

But I'll charge 20% or more for events at year end and I won't chrage any premium for birthday parties.

If they book me early, it's just clever of them, that's all.
-----



Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
7424 Posts

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I charge my regular fee for Christmas shows, school shows, festivals, churches, etc. I offer several packages in a range.

I charge a discounted fee (half of my regular fee) for in-home birthday shows. Sometimes the birthday fee is slightly higher if the group is larger than 15 children (I've mentioned this before on another thread). I offer several packages in a range.

Without getting into dollars, it is like this: birthday show packages range from $x to $x+y, other show packages range from $2x to $5x+y.

In December, I have a policy of only doing Christmas shows on weekends, and birthday shows on weekdays.

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
576 Posts

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Quote:
On 2004-09-09 20:27, Andy Walker wrote:

The trouble I find is Birthday Mums always want to book early for Christmas and the corportae Christmas parties all leave it until the last minute & want to book in at short notice.


Hi Andy,

When I finish a show at Christmas, if it's a good one, I always ask the booker if they would like to book up for next year now as it gets very busy, and they nearly always say yes.

If I get a phone call anytime during the year for a birthday party on a weekend in December, I never say I'm saving those slots for Christmas parties, I just say that the weekends are full with christmas parties who book up a year in advance, even if I have no shows on a weekend. I know that I could fill the weekends up ten times over if I could fit them in.

The fees I charge are £110 for birthday parties and £160 for Christmas parties. Next year I might think about going up to £190 for two hours. I'll have a chat with Emazdad as we tend to charge the same rates so we're not in competition with with each other.
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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Like Billy I charge 50% more for xmas parties, but charge the normal fee for birthday parties. Also with a birthday party balloons for all the kids comes as part of the package, if they want balloons for the kids at a christmas party I charge for an extra hour.

I have 3 basic xmas packages, The 1-Hour Show, The 2-Hour magic and games package, or the 3-Hour magic games and balloon package. If a 1-Hour booking wants balloons they get charged the 2-Hour rate.

I wont take a 1-hour booking on a weekend unless I've got at least 2 x 2-3 hour parties booked in that day. School and playgroups etc who use me during the year also pay the increased December fee for my services

I wont take a birthday party booking on a weekend. there is 2 reasons for this.

1, most corporate xmas parties are on a weekend and I'd rather do shows at the higher price and maximise my income.

2, If you book a birthday party on a weekend in December there is a good chance it will get cancelled at short notice. Why? because the birthday mum suddenly finds out only a few kids are coming as the rest are going to mum/dads firms xmas party.

Billy and I learnt the hard way, billy more than me, he had 9 short notice cancellations one year. I had a couple as well, so as we alweays do when confronted with a problem we discuss it together and came up with the no birthday parties at weekend solution. I now seem do do a lot of parties in November and January for kids who's birthdays are in December.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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30% extra for Christmas Company/Golf Club etc. parties. But you know, - a Christmas Party starting on a Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. does not equal our regular Birthday daily turnover on a Saturday or Sunday. Christmas parties can mean extra travel, odd starting times, difficult access (especially into factories and office blocks), kids that don't know each other and won't mix with each other. Ok, we've done it and been there - but it's a little like travel, once you've experienced it for years and years you value a nice meal in a restaurant more than the hassle of the duty free shops!
magicbern
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Hong Kong, China
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A very interesting thread...I used to charge about 50% for all shows during the month of December.

However, it did not sit too well with some clients whose kids had birthdays that month. So, like other members have ementioned, I charged extra only for specific Christmas shows for corporations and schools.

What I've settled for now is regular prices for all shows in Dec except 24th-26th and 31st (being regarded as public holidays where even regular jobs pay an overtime rate of 100% extra). So it seems logical to most of my clients.
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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I don't work xmas eve, xmas day or boxing day, I spend that time with my family.

For new years eve I work on the princible that I don't really want to work that night, I will do a birthday party during the day for my usual fee, but I charge triple rates for the new year eve gigs that evening.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
magicbern
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Hong Kong, China
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Well Im not married and have no family so I cant think of a better way to spend the holidays celebrating with kids and getting paid handsomely!
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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I don't work xmas eve, xmas day or boxing day,
Hi,
I do charge extra at Christmas and like Emazdad I do not work the 3 holiday days
Phillip
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
576 Posts

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I would work them, but it would be a huge fee. This year I'm working christmas eve, but I've charged 3 times my normal rate.

In this kind of work, weekends and bank holidays mean nothing, I work EVERY weekend through out the year, and almost every bank holiday. This is not a normal 9 to 5 job.

I think most people would work any date if the fee was high enough.
wizardofsorts
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Chicago, IL
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When we think about the cost of things we can't always think in dollars and pounds. We have to measure the cost of doing certain things on ourselves and our familes/friends. I usually don't work from December 24 to January 2. I make enough the rest of the month and in October to make up for it. I travel to Pennsylvania to see my family and spend a very important time with them.
Edd
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Chuck Lyons
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Channahon, IL
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I quess I will wiegh in on this one too. I charge one price for birthday parties any time of the year but I charge a different price for corporate and festivals and outdoor events. The reason is simple they are very different programs or venues. The buyer gets a different style program and ther fore pays more. That is not to say my birthday parties get a lesser performance just a differernt one. Usally less time too. Average birthday party 30-45 minutes corporate -festival 1 & half hour - 3 hours.
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
747 Posts

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Well I have now been quoting a fee for Christmas parties double my basic birthday show rate. So far no one has had a problem with the fee, so maybe it should be higher still.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
576 Posts

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Go for it Andy. I've never had anyone say the fee is too high for a christmas party. If you think about it, the person who is booking you is not normally the person who is paying you. So they don't care how much it cost, they have been told to book a good entertainer. So they want to get the best to impress.
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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That's right Billy, and if the early callers don't book you, the ones who leave it too late and phone in November will.

<<<I charge one price for birthday parties any time of the year but I charge a different price for corporate and festivals and outdoor events.>>>>

So do I, I also charge a lot more for weddings, They never run on time so you end up hanging around, You never know how many kids are going to be there or what ages they are going be. When you ask all the questions to find out all about the gig etc all you get is "I'm not sure how many parents are bringing kids".

Usually I'm booked to entertain the kids while the speechs are going on, On a good day you get 10-20 kids most of an entertainable age, on a bad day you get 4. I did one wedding where there was only 4 kids and I was booked for 2-hours. A 3 year old who was too young to understand what was going on, a 6 & 7 year old Boy and Girl, and a 13 year old boy who considered the whole Idea of being in a room with a magician doing games and magic babyish. I was booked from 7pm -9pm and the 6 year old girl and 13 year old boy had been up since 4am driving down from London and were dead on their feet.
I had another last night 8 kids, one 3, one 4, one 7, one 9, four 10. I did get one 10 year old up to help, and 1/2 way through her routine the door opened and a guy came in and took all 3 of the girls away, including the helper, to be given gifts by the bride, this of course spoilt the whole routine.

All this has pushed me to come to the conclusion I don't want them anymore. I wont say that to the enquirers, I'll just quote majorly exagerated fees and put them right off. If someone is willing to pay me the mega-bucks I'd go along and do it.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
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