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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Is there a standard percentage for event planners? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ksalaz1
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What percentage do event planners get of your fee? Meaning, If you are hired for $400/ hr, which is known both by the event planner and the client, does the event planner get 20% or 10% of $400?

The problem arose when a client I had done magic for privately arranged for me to work a corporate party, but I could only go through the event planner. Everyone knew what my fee was and the event planner asked if I give a percentage to event planners when I work with them. I didn't know what to say since my client got me the gig, but the event planner has the contract to do the gig. I asked him which other magicians he has used before and he said usually David Roth. I am excited to be able to work with the event planner and want to get more work, but want to do it professionally and not be taken advantage of. Any advice?

Ken
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Jim Snack
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Are you being paid directly by the corporation and the event planner is handling logistics, or will you be contracting with the event planner who will be cutting you a check?

The reason I ask is because the event planner could be receiving a fee directly from the corporate client for coordinating everything. I have no problem paying a commission of up to 25% to a bonafide agent or bureau, however, I don't want the event planner to charge the client $800, then give me $400. My fee is the same whether I work through an event planner or directly with the client.

If the client is someone you already have a relationship with, and the event planner is simply doing the paperwork, then 25% seems a bit high for the commission. On the other hand, if you pay that commission without complaining on a gig that you do most of the work on, don't you think the event planner might want to work with you again?

Why not simply ask the event planner what his or her policy is in these situations. Then decide if that is acceptable to you. If not try to negotiate more favorable terms.
Jim Snack

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ksalaz1
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Thank you Jim. Yes, the contact for the event was my own, but I am being contracted through the event planner. I spoke with the event planner and he says he will not be able to put a percentage on top since the client already knows my fee. I told him that out of fairness I would give him a comission out of my fee this time for his work on this project, but that usually my fee is $375/ hr for strolling magic. He thanked me and said "You just got a new client" The percentage was not discussed, as I wasn't sure how much to give him and he seemed to leave it up to me. But what is the standard in this situation?
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Jim Snack
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In this case I suggest sending $50-$100, but I would have asked the event planner what commission he or she would like. You can simply say that you usually pay 10% (or 15%) for a referral, where you do all the contracting work and 20% (or 25%) when it's a new client that the agency sends you to and handles.

If your fee is $400 and you pay 25% to agencies, then you pocket $300 (intead of your usual $375). If you pay 20% then you pocket $320. Just work it out beforehand with the agent what the commission rate you and he/she are comfortable with. And send that amount for this booking.

Just remember, it's a partner relationship, so don't try to cut the agent out of spin-off bookings (someone sees you at the event and wants to book you for another event). Refer all spin-off work back to the agent and pay the commission you have worked to the agent. Build an open trusting relationship and it will pay off.
Jim Snack

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ksalaz1
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Thank you Jim, you are being very helpful.

The event is for 2 hours so the total is going to be $750.oo Should I then send him between $100-and $200? Also, since I sent him my contract to him, he will be paying me. Do I get the full 750 from him and then send a check back for the comission amount? My standard contract asks for a 20% deposit and full payment on the day of the event before I perform at the event. I do this for all the "shows", but not sure if that is the proper way when there is a middle man such as an event planner.

thoughts?

Ken
"Master of the Obvious"
MichaelKent
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I would fax him an invoice for $600.00. The rest is implied.
paulajayne
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Hi

Here in the UK event planner normally have a markup on the Acts fees, which they present to the client.

I would expect my full fee.

Paula
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I once wrote a book on elephants, I think paper would have been better.
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ksalaz1
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I spoke to the event planner and said I would usually give 15% to 20% and he said that 10% would be fine. So thank you for all your help.

best,

Ken
"Master of the Obvious"
Jim Snack
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There you go...done deal. It always pays to ask. Have a great show.
Jim
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Bob Sanders
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A guideline I often use was learned from the musicians' union. One-nighters are gigs of three days or less and the standard commission is 20% assuming that the net pay is at least twice union scale. The act just shows up and performs. The agent does everything else. Regular gigs are 10-15%. The musicians' union (AFM, AFL-CIO) does not allow performance contracts to be bought and sold.

There was also the AGVA (American Guild of Variety Artists) and these contracts could be bought and sold. Therefore, there was no agent commission. SAG (Stage Actors' Guild) is even different.

Package shows are sometimes put together by speculating promoters. In those you actually contract directly with the promoter who bundles the talent into a show or series of shows. The promoter is normally at the mercy of ticket sales or he contracts the shows he can sell. Small fairs, media shows, and military base shows are frequently done this way. Transportation between fairs and shows is provided by the promoter (usually private plane). You may do 3-5 shows in a day and skip days. As a youngster, I loved them (but the contacts were plentiful since I had also been a studio and stage show musician); as an old guy I avoid them.

It was common to open for musical/band concerts. I think Jeff McBride also worked a lot of these with rock groups. The money was very good ($1800-$3000/day in the late 70s and early 80s) but the work was hard and props were very limited. I solved that part of the problem by having three shows packed (red, yellow and black) to ship out with props and it kept props together needed for the show. It also meant having duplicate props. That does costs money. That is why I still have three of most any major prop I own. They paid for themselves very quickly. Sometimes you lived in your costume from 10 AM until midnight. You lived on hotdogs and Cokes. But it was an adventure!

Bob
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RonCalhoun
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Quote:
On 2004-11-16 14:16, ksalaz1 wrote:
What percentage do event planners get of your fee?


In a normal cases, NONE.

Agents, take a percentage.

Event Planners add their fee on to your fee and pass cost on to the buyer.
Tony Chris
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I agree with Ron. Event planners fall into a different category and there is a very fine line between them and agents. I work quite frequently for both types and I can tell you that here in Vancouver, Canada, usually an agent will take around 15% of the total fee and you simply never really know what an event planner will take.

It is always a tricky game when quoting an event planner because you never know what the actual client has as a budget. I have heard of stories where some entertainers have worked for event planners and found out later that the planner actually got quite a bit more than them.

Tricky I tell you!
As magicians we create what onlookers call magic. If they truly believe in what we have created for them to witness then magic is real!!!



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Jerskin
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I got the wrong check once & saw how much the event planner was making vs. what I was being paid for the gig and it was triple-I was getting 1/3! ouch.
GrEg oTtO

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jamesbond
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Well, who cares how much the planner is making - bottom line is ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR PART OF THE DEAL??? Chances are that if it weren't for the planner that you would be sitting at home for $0. I personally don't care how much he makes as long as I get my rate. You have to realize that magicians are often dime and dozen commodity (sad but true) and if you charge only 15-20% on $400 that's NOTHING by today's standards... think about it how far will $80 get you these days - tank of gas??? The guy won't make a living from charging these rates I'll tell you that right now.

My 2 cents

Bond
Jerskin
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I agree-but it was interesting to have my suspicions confirmed!
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Dannydoyle
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I think it is often pointless to get caught up in "percentages".

What I mean is if you are going to end up with $2000 at the end of the night for 2 hours work, and you are happy with this, and agree to this, what does it matter to you what the person who gets you the gig gets?

I mean if you turn down the deal based on the "percentage", you can pass up the 2 grand. This is not a good move in MY VIEW only. I mean it is not about the 25% or 30% they are getting, think of the 70% or 75% YOU WILL NOT GET, if you pass. If you have another job that pays better, then take it. But really it is more about the actual dollars in the bank if you ask me, than the "percentage" number.
Danny Doyle
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Jerskin
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Agreed.
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jamesbond
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Right on Danny!

Bond
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Quote:
On 2008-07-08 22:21, jamesbond wrote:
Well, who cares how much the planner is making - bottom line is ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR PART OF THE DEAL??? Chances are that if it weren't for the planner that you would be sitting at home for $0. I personally don't care how much he makes as long as I get my rate. You have to realize that magicians are often dime and dozen commodity (sad but true) and if you charge only 15-20% on $400 that's NOTHING by today's standards... think about it how far will $80 get you these days - tank of gas??? The guy won't make a living from charging these rates I'll tell you that right now.

My 2 cents

Bond


I agree. I know at least one event planner who uses me makes at least double of my asking price. I heard 20-30 pct but I do not believe its true. Everytime they book me I am excited. Not so much about the gig but this means there are clients paying top dollar still! As long as the event planners are booking me at an acceptable (although not premium) rate, I can plan my marketing accordingly and not be disappointed so much when magicians here get the penny gigs out from under me.

And what you say about magicians being a dime a dozen, its very very true. I am marketing more now then when I started and provide the client with mentalism and try to set myself apart from the bare bones magic dude. In the long run, the layman has no clue what a mentalist does though. One of the event planners who uses me sell me as "unique" entertainment. I learn from them not the other way around.

I do not know how it is in the rest of the world but these are tough times where I am at. People are watching every nickel and dime. Magicians are bidding $100 on shows here and getting them..........sometimes. Smile

I would go with an agent in a hearbeat if I could find one. I feel my act is good enough but its hard to involve an agent where I am at.
magicofCurtis
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Quote:
On 2008-07-08 22:59, Dannydoyle wrote:
I think it is often pointless to get caught up in "percentages".

What I mean is if you are going to end up with $2000 at the end of the night for 2 hours work, and you are happy with this, and agree to this, what does it matter to you what the person who gets you the gig gets?

I mean if you turn down the deal based on the "percentage", you can pass up the 2 grand. This is not a good move in MY VIEW only. I mean it is not about the 25% or 30% they are getting, think of the 70% or 75% YOU WILL NOT GET, if you pass. If you have another job that pays better, then take it. But really it is more about the actual dollars in the bank if you ask me, than the "percentage" number.


Danny, I think this is the best advice I have ever read from you! Smile
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