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Topic: Magic Show As Marketing Tool
Message: Posted by: magicalmischief (Apr 22, 2003 03:59PM)
Hello everyone -

I am in the process of producing an hour long - family oriented showcase for several surrounding towns where I live. I rent a hall for $30 and will charge a small fee of $5 bucks each. In turn I am going to give away a free birthday party show to a lucky audience member. I am curious what your thoughts are.

Thanks :sawingchick:
Message: Posted by: Billy Whizz (Apr 22, 2003 04:13PM)
I'd say go for it!!

Emazdad and myself were talking recently about doing something similar. Not sure if I would give away a free show though, do you really need too??

Good luck and all the best, Billy
Message: Posted by: magicalmischief (Apr 22, 2003 04:15PM)
The Free show would be in the form of a raffle. If people want it's a buck a chance...and I'll get they're name and address for future mailings.
Message: Posted by: Billy Whizz (Apr 22, 2003 04:31PM)
Good idea, you might make more cash with the ticket sales than your show is worth, more pennies in your pocket.
Message: Posted by: Mago Mai (Apr 22, 2003 05:17PM)
I would yhink of another prize.What if the kis's birthday party was the day before the raffle?Or,His birthday is the same day you have a show out of town.

You might get sponsors to give the prizes.
A restaurant ,a toy store,a miniature golf place,etc....

Mago Mai
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Apr 22, 2003 05:27PM)
I used to give out free shows at raffles when I was working for charities that I really cared about, but the show had conditions attached, it couldn't be used on a weekend, or in december (my main earning days) and it had to be within 15 miles of Plymouth.

Now I don't do it at all, as I found that when I did book in the free show, sometimes a paid job would come in for that date/time, obviously as i'd comited myself to the free show, I had to turn away the paying customer, unless I could convince the paying enquiry to have a different time/date. So in effect doing the free show acually cost me 95. It's something to take into account if you are going to do it.

You may be better off giving say a 10% off voucher instead, that way someone who never thought of hiring a magician may do so because they've got the voucher, and you'll still earn off the show.
Message: Posted by: Jon Gallagher (Apr 22, 2003 05:53PM)
You might want to check state laws on raffles. Here in Illinois, a charity can do a raffle, but if an individual does it, it means a stiff fine and possibly some ungimmicked handcuffs.

If you want to have a drawing for a party, that's something else. But selling a chance for it makes it gambling.
Message: Posted by: magicalmischief (Apr 22, 2003 07:08PM)
Ah...Good point...Didn't even think of that.
But here in Massachusetts...people have whats called "Testimonials". When to people become engaged and they sell tickets and have whats called a 50/50 raffle. Where the winner gets half of the money collected. I would think that's the same thing, but I will inquire.
Message: Posted by: Jon Gallagher (Apr 22, 2003 09:25PM)
We do 50/50 drawings as well, usually at high school sporting events. The winner gets half and the organization gets half, but again, that's an organization like the booster club or PTO.

HOWEVER.... if you do a drawing, and you make sure they put their children's birthdate on the form.... you've got a mailing list to send your promotional materials to.

Want to make a few extra bucks? Buy some Svengali decks wholesale or some other small magic tricks and sell them during intermission and after the show.
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Apr 22, 2003 11:16PM)
You may want to offer something really different to the child such as a free magic class for the child and four of his/her friends. This way you can give something of value and maybe use the opportunity to add five names to your mailing list and increase the chance of booking your show to one or more of the parents of those kids.

...and no, people...I don't even want to hear the whine of EXPOSURE. This is marketing and merely a way to provide something of real value while still retaining the integrity of your show, which in my opinion should not be given away for free.
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Apr 22, 2003 11:29PM)
Hi Magicalmischief,

Sounds like you have a great idea! Good luck on your venture.

Another option may be that you offer this service to a non profit organization,yet still keep the five dollars per person ticket price. The organization may charge a few more dollars on top of that. Thereby everyone gets something out of it. I perform on a regular basis at a theater and the management only keeps a small portion of the fee, yet do all the advertising for the show and provides the staff. It's a great system!

Hooking up with another agency also allows them to sell the tickets in advance,do all the advertising and all the extra's that come when putting on a performance. Less work for you, more bodies to help out,yet you still are in control of the show. Anyway, that was just a thought.

I personally wouldn't offer a free show as a prize.I agree with Emazdad. You may have to turn down a paid show in the future. If you choose to do this you do have to have some stipulations attached ..Mon-Fri, not peek times,etc. It is also a very pricey door prize. Instead I would purchase a magic kit, Harry Potter book or vid and other things they may like,including a gift certificate with say 20% off one of your b-day party shows.

If you had a non-profit organization involved you may have raffle sales like a 50-50 draw. Lots of potential with a show like this! I wish you the best of luck. Let us know how it worked out for you. :bigdance:
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Apr 23, 2003 05:09AM)
I did't run the raffles myself, the prizes was something I gave to the organisations that booked me to put in the raffle they were holding at the event. it's a lot of extra work for you if your doing the show as well.
Message: Posted by: magicalmischief (Apr 23, 2003 07:15AM)
Some really GREAT ideas...Thank you all. I was going to sell magic tricks but I don't necessarily(sp) have the$250 to invest. The wholesalers have a minimum. But maybe next one. I did decide against the raffle...too much to worry about with fines and such. :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: Magic Patrick (Jan 1, 2011 06:49PM)
I like this idea. Is anyone here doing this? And if you are how has it worked for you?

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Jan 3, 2011 12:40PM)
I like the idea of a drawing for a magic class - or a certificate for a percentage off.

Also, check out Jim Snack's Ice Cream Social - http://www.success-in-magic.com/alanspage.htm

Ed
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jan 3, 2011 01:56PM)
[quote]
On 2003-04-22 18:27, Emazdad wrote:
Now I don't do it at all, as I found that when I did book in the free show, sometimes a paid job would come in for that date/time, obviously as I'd comited myself to the free show, I had to turn away the paying customer, unless I could convince the paying enquiry to have a different time/date. So in effect doing the free show acually cost me 95.
[/quote]

As with anything, we have to look at the return on investment. The party didn't cost you 95 Euros; you invested it in a marketing campaign for your business. If you planned the promotion wisely, then you surely made well above that 95 Euro investment in new bookings, right? If we collect the names, birthdates and email addresses and implement a focused campaign that brings a single party that we might not have had otherwise, then the "free" party more than pays for itself. If it doesn't, then the fault lies in the campaign.

I suppose it depends on how we look at this. I regularly give away "free" parties, magic kits, individual tricks and books all the time through my restaurants, Scout clients and chosen charities. I seldom invest more than I would normally "throw away" on phone book and media advertising and the response is so much stronger.

[quote]
On 2003-04-22 18:17, Mago Mai wrote:
What if the kid's birthday party was the day before the raffle? Or his birthday is the same day you have a show out of town.
[/quote]

My "Free" party certificates are numbered, signed, authenticated and laminated. They look professional and stand out as an item of real value. Each certificate has an expiration date thirteen months after the date of issue (Award Date). Each certificate displays my logo and that of my client. The certificate "fine print" states that the certificate is a single-use instrument that may be used as payment for a single basic birthday party package for up to 15 children, has no redeemable cash value, is transferable and gratuity for the entertainer is not included. The certificates also state that parties are subject to the availability of the entertainer's schedule - specific dates cannot be guaranteed. 4-6 week advance booking is strongly recommended.

I look at it this way. You are your best advertising. If you have a show and personality that rocks and your marketing is in place, you'll average at least two (and often more) new bookings for every appearance you make.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Jan 4, 2011 08:29AM)
[quote]
If you have a show and personality that rocks and your marketing is in place, you'll average at least two (and often more) new bookings for every appearance you make.
[/quote]
I shudder to think of what that says about me! 8>O

From the marketing viewpoint, would there be any advantage to either a birthday show or a magic class show? I'm leaning towards a magic class, because it doesn't have to wait for someone's birthday to roll around.

Ed
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jan 4, 2011 09:05AM)
[quote]
On 2011-01-04 09:29, Ed_Millis wrote:
[quote]
If you have a show and personality that rocks and your marketing is in place, you'll average at least two (and often more) new bookings for every appearance you make.
[/quote]
I shudder to think of what that says about me! 8>O[/quote]

In my enthusiasm, I may have oversimplified and overstated that a tad. Let's modify the line to read "[b]Under ideal conditions,[/b] If you have a show and personality that rocks and your marketing is in place, [b]you may expect[/b] at least two new bookings for every appearance you make."

This is simply my experience. The vast majority of my bookings come from word-of-mouth and prior appearances.

[quote]From the marketing viewpoint, would there be any advantage to either a birthday show or a magic class show? I'm leaning towards a magic class, because it doesn't have to wait for someone's birthday to roll around.[/quote]

I think it would depend on the age of the children in your target market. I market to the parents of the 7 & under crowd. Magic classes for that age group are generally miserable failures for me.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jan 4, 2011 09:19AM)
I like this idea too, thanks for digging it up BYUDAD. I have considered something like this before but had a difficult time finding appropriate performing spaces for anything like $30. I'm finding stuff in more the $700 range and that's more than I want to invest. I'd like to come closer to a break-even price. Any ideas on what kind of spaces I might be able to rent that would work for this?
Message: Posted by: Magic Patrick (Jan 4, 2011 11:43AM)
I am not sure about the regulations and such but if you make a charitable contribution I believe that churches and schools have stages. Not the prettiest places but effective and who knows most churches will help with the ticket sales as well.

Good luck and hopefully you will find a place.

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jan 4, 2011 12:31PM)
David, we have community art centers and small mom-&-pop theaters that are very open to this kind of thing. You can rent the space and reap the rewards or work a partnership arrangement with them.

For example, Pinehurst is a small, very-well-to-do golf community near me. Their restored historic downtown area has a small 200 seat movie theatre with a full stage. I've performed family shows there several times on a 50-50 split basis on the tickets - they keep 100% of the snack concessions - which is where their real profit comes from. They only show movies on the weekends, so Monday thru Thursday are generally open.

I worked a similar deal with a local comedy club using their stage and gear for family shows for Saturday matinees and Monday evenings - Most comedy clubs are generally dark during those times.

A local puppet troupe uses an Improv club's stage twice a week for morning Sesame Street style shows and have developed a very loyal following. Same 50-50 arrangement.

Check with your local art council as a starting point and see what they would suggest.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Jan 4, 2011 04:25PM)
Most cities are cutting 'way back on multi-use buildings. Might your City have some little-used buildings that are costing them money that they would rent for a reasonable fee?

Being a warm-weather place also, we have "snowbird parks" that have recreation halls. Might you have some in your area that would be available?

And there's always the library; ours has an auditorium for rent. Kinda small, but so's the city.

Ed
Message: Posted by: MagicB1S (Jan 5, 2011 07:52PM)
Local VFW or American Legion might have a Hall you can rent.